For anyone who uses the likes of Skype etc on their computer to communicate with others, a decent headset and microphone are an absolute must. Speakers are ok if you want everyone to hear your conversations, but a headset will keep it private. With my family, we are all big users of Skype, with the wife and I talking to friends around the world, or just the kids catching up with the latest 'who fancies who or is doing what with who' gossip that kids seem to thrive on nowadays.
When I was looking for a decent headset and microphone combo, these sort of caught my eye on Amazon. Firstly, I liked the behind the head style of headset - something that I tend to find to be a little more comfortable than the over the head varieties. Secondly, the microphone stalk was quite chunky, not like those flimsy mics you often find with the cheaper headsets. Then my kids kind of sold it to me because the earphone bits had 4 interchangeable coloured panels, which meant that they could customise it to their hearts content. In the end, I paid just over £17 for this Logitech headset.
Out of the box, it is a very sleek piece of kit. The actual headset frame (the bit that joins the ear pieces together) is very slim and flexible, nicely shaped to fit around the back of your head and around your ears. The 2 ear pieces have a black foam padding on them for comfort and when you put the headset on, the springiness of the frame ensures it sits quite nicely in place - not too tight, and equally too loose that it will slip and fall off. As I previously mentioned, the outer plastic cover of the earpiece is interchangeable where you have 4 pairs of coloured covers in either orange, red, blue of black that can be clipped on and off as required. There is a small tool supplied to assist you with this, but I've never needed to use it and my kids seem to manage it with ease because for some reason they like to mix the colours up - apparently it then makes the headset look really 'cool and funky' - which apparently makes me look a real 'hip happening' dad - so my kids tell me!!
The microphone hinges off of the left earpiece via a stiff bent clear tube assembly. It is fully adjustable on a ratchet mechanism on the left earpiece and the end of the microphone has a foam pad covering it which is a nice finishing touch. Of note, the microphone is also designed to have noise cancelling features, which means that it will block out any background noise around you, ensuring that you can have crystal clear conversations with who ever you're talking to.
So besides looking really 'cool and funky', what else is so special about this headset? Well for starters, you'll notice that it has a very long lead, measuring 9 feet in length. Normally, headset leads are around 4 to 5 feet in length, so a 9 foot one is going to allow you a fair bit of freedom to move around - or to tangle yourself up in. The lead is a joined twin core cable all the way along until it gets to the end where it splits into two 3.5 mm plugs, which are colour coded and plug into your computer, where one is for the microphone, whilst the other is for the headphone bit. Of note, this is a plug n'play device because there are no drivers to load. Plug it in and your computer should instantly recognise it and you can start using it straight away.
Another nice touch along the lead is the inline volume and mute control where you can adjust the volume for your headset, or mute your microphone to have a private conversation with someone else in the room without the other person online hearing. This inline control also has a little clip on the back so that you can attach it to your clothing to ensure that it is readily available for use and you don't have to run your hand down the lead trying to look for it in a hurry.
The sound quality is also very good. I've actually been on both ends of it, so to speak, where I have used the headset to talk to someone via Skype, and then my family have talked to me when I've been away, again using it over Skype. When I've used it, the sound is very clear and I've not needed the volume to be more than half way up to hear everything. When I've been on the receiving end, the noise cancelling utility seems to work very well. I've watched my wife talking to me via this headset on Skype and I can see my kids talking in the background behind her, and I've hardly heard so much as a whisper of what they were saying.
In summary, there are cheaper headsets, and equally more expensive ones. But in my opinion, this Logitech set has achieved a nice balance of cost against quality. The long lead is a nice addition, as is the noise cancelling feature which seems to work particularly well.
Hence, I can highly recommend this product.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
I have many relatives that live abroad and phoning can always be expensive so I decided to contact them via skype which meant that I needed a headset. I decided to try out Logitech's headset which I bought from Argos for about £10.
I was very pleased with it! The thin headset has been designed to fit the shape of your head snugly so it doesn't keep on falling off and it's not thick and uncomfortable and doesn't make you feel like you've got your head trapped in a cage!
The sound quality is excellent! Much better than using a regular earphone and in fact it makes music more enjoyable to listen to! The noise cancelling microphone filters out any background noise and so your conversation flows smoothly and doesn't get interupted. You can play around with the microphone wire and make it into any shape/curve you like so it fits perfectly around your face, keeping the microphone close to your lips so your friends/family can hear you properly.
It has a long cable so you can sit back comfortably and move around so it is very practical. What I love most about it is the in-line volume control which enables you to change the volume without having to do so using your computer so it's much quicker and saves time.
I reccomend this to everyone as it can fit anyone's head perfectly and I haven't found a single flaw with it.
Thank you for reading!
I got myself a copy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a piece of voice recognition software, but using my desktop microphone to input text was inefficient and IRRITATING because it picked up background noises easily, thought they were words and was not picking up what I saying very well. I kept reading that I should be using an approved noise cancelling headset with the voice recognition software so that was it. I had decided to get a headset. I went hunting on eBay and found the 'Logitech Internet Chat Headset' up for bid but it was "refurbished" and you do not get all the bits like you would with a new one so I looked elsewhere for it. I saw it on Amazon for £19 99 but eventually bought it on Ebuyer since it was cheaper at just over £16.
The headset looks like a normal pair of round-the-ear and round-the-back-of-the-head headphones but with a microphone extending out of the left ear speaker. It's wavy body that goes over my ears and round my head is made of strong plastic but is quite flexible so it will accommodate most head sizes. The microphone is at the end of an extremely flexible rod which can be easily adjusted so that it faces my mouth. It can't quite reach the centre of my mouth but it's near enough. Looking in the mirror, it looks like I'm a pop star on stage (or helpdesk person but pop star sounds cooler). The headset has a generous, three metre cable which is enough to let you sit right back in your chair and even walk around a bit. There's even a volume control and a switch to turn off the microphone. At the end of the cable, you simply plug the pink colour-coded 3.5mm jack to the microphone socket and the black 3.5mm jack to the speaker socket (usually green coloured) at the back or front of your computer (if available).
The headset comes with four sets of coloured caps for you to customise your headset with. This is purely cosmetic but nice to have anyway. You can interchange between black, metallic orange, metallic red and metallic blue or even a combination of two colours. I tend to stick to the red though. These are easy to remove with the switching tool (small piece of metal provided to remove caps) by inserting it under the chip and twisting or prying the cap off. Before I found the switching tools, I used my nails to remove the caps and it was still quite easy to remove. To replace them, you simply insert the tabs into slots and press into place. The manual tells you how to do this, as well as how to plug the headset in, the technical specifications, package contents and what to do if it doesn't work for you (troubleshooting). It is 100 pages thick but only the first 6 pages are in English. I find it very easy to follow and illustrations are included to help you. It's not a very complex device so it's more than enough.
The headset is secure when you wear it and doesn't fall off even if you tug on the cable hard. It's fairly comfortable to wear but after a while, it can get a bit uncomfortable behind the ears. I have the ear phones that use the around-the-ear design and I sometimes forget that I'm wearing them because they're so comfortable. This headset is not quite as comfortable but to be fair, they're bigger than my earphones. I've had this Logitech headset for a while now and I'm wearing them at this very moment. After wearing them for 1-2 hours and it doesn't hurt and is quite comfortable so chances are, it just takes a bit of getting used to.
The sound quality of the input from the microphone is excellent, and so is the output from the phones for that matter. The sound output is good but not particularly 'powerful' or climatic but for that, you would need bigger headphones. I find using voice recognition so much easier with this than with my desktop microphone. I passed my voice recognition software's sound quality test straight away whereas it took me five tries when using my regular microphone. The noise-cancelling feature is also a very welcomed since having it means the microphone only picks up what I want it to most of the time. I can even watch TV without it picking up what people are saying on the TV unlike my regular microphone, which would pick up even pick up my keyboard taps when I type. Typing using voice recognition software has also been a lot more accurate. The headset also comes with a 2 year warranty.
To conclude, this is an excellent headset. The sound quality is excellent, it's customisable and it comes with a nice long cable. After I found it on eBay, I watched The Gadget Show (on Channel 5) and they even recommended it for voice chat (Voice Over IP using a free program called Skype to be precise), which was another reason why I pursued this one rather than look at other ones. It has many uses from chatting to your friends using chat rooms or Instant Messengers like MSN, phoning someone through your PC, gaming, and voice recognition to just recording your voice onto your computer. Just a small quibble with comfort after longer periods of usage but this probably just takes a bit of getting used to. I can highly recommend this headset without any hesitation for people who want to use it for voice recognition, Internet chat, or those want good quality headphones for their PC but didn't consider getting one with a microphone.
Thanks for reading!
For the more technically minded who need to know these things for a buying decision.
- Headphones: 20-20,000 Hz
- Microphone: 100-10,10,000 Hz
Sensitivity: -59dBV/ubar, -39dBV/Pa +/-4dB
Cable length 3 metres
When i joined a clan (for online gaming) i needed a microphone, but the current one i had didn't cut it. Also i found using headphones made my games feel more immersive, so this combined with the mic made this headset an ideal choice.
Being a student i didnt want to spend too much on a headset, some out there are incredibly expensive (£80+!) but i managed to pick this headset up for around £20 (this was about 6 months ago).
When i first got the headset out the box i was surprised how small it was, i didnt think it would fit around my head, but luckily the plastic that is used on the headband is very flexible and the fit was perfect. With this design the band doesnt go on the top of your head, instead it goes around the back and over your ears, i find this style of headset alot more comfortable. One you have comfortably on your head the microphone boom is on your left, this is on a flexible wire so you can adjust it accordingly. Also the mic boom is on a ratchet so you can position it vertically too, if you dont want it in your face. The end of the mic is covered in foam to soften the hard 'S's and 'P's and the like.
Also there is an inline control so you can adjust the volume and decide if you want the mic on or off. To adjust the volume all you need to do is turn the wheel on the inline control to set it to your liking. To turn the mic on and off there is a small switch. This inline control is very useful as you dont have to keep going into windows settings to change the volume, it is all done through the hardware. Also the inline control has a clip so you can clip it onto your shirt for easier access. The wire itself is around 2 or 3 meters long so there is enough to give you some movement. At the end the wire splits off into 2 parts, the mic lead (pink) and the audio lead (green) which you plug into the apprpriate sockets in your pc. And that is all you need to do, is plug it in and you are off, you dont need to worry about drivers of any configuration, its that easy.
Also with this headset there are interchangable fascias, much like mobile phones. There are 4 different coloured fascias to choose from thewse are: Red, Blue, Black and orange. There is also a small tool to remove these fascias from the headset. In my opinion this is a bit of a gimmiky feature, but i guess it would be useful if there were more than 1 headset in the household.
The actual headphnes seemed to fit my ears and head very well. Also the foam on the ear parts is very soft and well padded so it is very comfortable to wear, if a little hot at times! But i do find the foam on the mic and ear pieces can attract alot of hair (but i do have pets)
Onto the sound quality, considering thier price and size it is very good. When i was playing counter strike i found i could hear footsteps alot easier, than with regular speakers, this made the game alot easier. They are also good to listen to music, but you cant beat a good pair of in ear headphones. But it is still very good.
The microphone is very clear, when on Ventrillo or Teamspeak alot of peoples mics sound very bad but these, according to friends, sound extremly clear and easy to hear. Another good feature with the mic is the fact that is has noise cancelling technology in it, so when you are speaking alot of the annoying background sounds cant be heard, which is great for the person on the other end!
My only big gripe is due to the design the headphnes rest on your ears and after a while it can become uncomfortable. But this is only if you have been wearing them for a few hours.
To summarise if you want a comfortable headset with good sound quality and a good, clear microphone this is a great headset to get. Dont go for the cheaper ones as the sound quality is noticably worse.