Skype calls are getting even more popular especially amongst businesses. It is not just about chatting to you family in Australia - it is becoming more than that. I don't know about you but when making long calls I want to be doing other things too - make a cup of tea, start the dinner, let the cat out (yes, I work from home)... but you can't when you are tethered to your PC by your headphone wire!
I was recommended these headphones by a friend. No more having to be sat in front of a boring Skype screen when you can start multi-tasking straightaway (well up to a range of 15 metres anyway).
I purchased my headphones from the Skype website in their assessories section. They are currently £62.88 (April 11) which is quite pricey for a set of headphones - but once you have been wireless you will never look back (plus if you go through a cashback site like I did you can often get a bit of money back).
I was amazed when they arrived because the packaging box was tiny compared to what was expecting. I hate wasted packaging and I was delight to see the way that the headphones tucked up neatly into their box. Even though you can buy a special case for them I purchased a padded pencil case to put them in, which fulfuls the job of keeping the safe perfectly, and they fit neatly into my laptop case too.
FEATURES (taken from Skype.com)
Wireless freedom: get freedom of movement without sacrificing audio quality.
Rich stereo sound: full band headphones and wideband microphone for astounding quality audio.
Plug and play: super easy to get started, no installation required.
Digital wireless technology: for interference-free audio.
Skype CertifiedTM: engineered to give you the highest quality Skype audio experience.
In order to use them you need to have
* Windows XP SP2 and above
* Mac OS X 10.4 and above
There is a more detailed spec available on the Skype and also freetalk.me websites so there is no point me fully replicating it here but put basically:
It contains a lithium battery and is charged via a USB port on your PC. You plug the 'dongle' in and connect the headphones to it via a cable. The headphones then charge up, this takes about 4 hours the first time and then 2.5-3 hours for regular use. It is effectively plug and play with no additional software required though you do have to 'link' the headphones with your PC.
Once they are charged just unplug the cable from the 'dongle' (but it needs to remain plugged in) and from the headphones. Away you go, you can chat away/ listen to music etc for approximately 6 hours before recharging. You can also increase of decrease the volume of the audio on the headset.
The headphones are really comfortable to wear and they have an adjustable microphone on a short boom so that you can move it up or down. If you are listening to music and don't need to chat you can store it upright and out of the way, though I have never found it obtusive in anyway. The other advantage of the microphone is that it can be used on the right or the left side and it doesn't pick up any breathing noise.
I am delighted with the headphones and even though I gulped at the price initially, I use them every single day. The give me so much more freedom to get on with other jobs whilst chatting. The sound quality is excellent and I have rarely had the problem of the battery running out midway through a conversation.
I have also recorded some video tutorials with them and the sound quality of the audio easily surpasse the quality of cheaper headphones.
The only slight hiccups I have had is that when I am called via Skype and my headphones need to be connected up I sometimes have to switch them off and on again to ensure that both the microphone and sound are working - as sometimes I may get just the sound. This may well be a PC issue as opposed to a problem with the headphones.
I was going to say that the only thing on my wishlist would be to be able to accept and terminate calls away from my PC - since starting my review I have found that you can (on some PCs) by logging into Skype and enabling hotkeys!
** Also posted on CIAO under the same title **