The 10 Best Computer Headsets
10. Plantronics Audio 478
- folds up compactly
- foam earcups deteriorate over time
- problematic with skype for business
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
9. Sennheiser Game Zero
- mic is great for voice recording
- will auto mute when the boom is up
- treble is somewhat overemphasized
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
8. Steelseries Arctis 7
- comes with a standard aux cable
- fully retractable mic boom
- mic pickup can be garbled at times
|Rating||3.8 / 5.0|
7. Microsoft Lifechat LX-3000
- convenient inline controller
- ideal for skype chatting
- durability is somewhat questionable
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
6. Astro A40 TR
- optional mod kit changes the design
- available in black or white
- feels a bit bulky on the head
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
5. Logitech ClearChat H390
- well-placed controls
- easy plug and play usb connection
- mouthpiece is not extendable
|Brand||Logitech ClearChat H390|
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
4. Razer Kraken Chroma V2
- personalized audio calibration
- great for marathon gaming sessions
- connects via a usb port
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
3. V-Moda Crossfade M-100
- almost no sound leakage
- folds up for convenient carrying
- gold-plated aux connector
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
2. Turtle Beach Ear Force X12
- powered via a usb port
- independent chat volume control
- bass boosting capabilities
|Rating||4.7 / 5.0|
1. Bose Quietcomfort 35
- 20-hour wireless battery life
- crystal clear voice pickup
- impressive sound quality
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
A Cutting-Edge Profession
For all of recorded history, mankind has engaged in sport. The timelessness of physical struggle is exemplified by the staying power of such competitive traditions as the Olympic Games and a multitude of professional sports around the globe. Societies as ancient as the Mayans and Egyptians have used games to strengthen social bonds and even serve spiritual purposes. These socio-entertainment proceedings have often used whatever tools are available — rocks, plant-fiber ropes, and animal bladders, to name a few. So it's no surprise that today we still use every implement at our disposal to help us compete with our fellow humans.
For some in the 21st century, that means ultra-HD video, near-zero-latency ping times, multi-core processors, and blazing-fast dedicated GPUs. Every day, hopeful gamers log on to league matches and prepare to frag their way to glory at the click of a mouse.
Hold your horses, though: as any Overwatch player will remind you, this is a team-based game, and your very survival depends heavily on how well you can work and communicate with your companions. And communication does not mean cursing at the screen when you get picked off by a camper.
In fact, at least as important as barking out instructions is the act of listening to your teammates. This should be obvious: being immediately aware of your partner's status in a co-op game is of utmost importance to reigning supreme over all the newbies. Then again, so is talking smack to said novices after you waste them.
So, we approach one of the most important tools of online gaming, arguably today's most quickly-evolving professinal field of sport. Some young pros earn tens of thousands of dollars each year playing video games, and millions more enthusiasts log on daily to harass gamers across the world. But that's not the only reason you might need a two-way computer headset.
Millions of dollars move daily in telephone-based transactions that take place through secured connections on PCs. And so many people live far away from their friends, family, and employment, that video chat is more popular than ever. There's little better use for hands-free communication than connecting authentically with your loved ones and your career. With all of these applications, there's sure to be a cornucopia of features and styles from which to choose. So it's worth taking a closer look at this tool for communication, teamwork, and trash-talk.
It All Starts With The Right Pair Of Headphones
When looking for any device that incorporates personal, on-the-head listening devices, there's one categorical decision to start with: what type of headphones should I choose? The most popular portable listening mechanism these days is arguably, the earbud, also known as the in-ear headphone. While these are lightweight and convenient, you won't find many useful applications for in-ear (or behind-the-ear) speakers in the computer headset realm. Most of your options will fall into either the on-ear or over-the-ear styles.
On-ear headphones are generally of a lighter weight and can provide great sound. Because they don't fully encase your ears, they're great in potentially high-energy situations when the adrenaline flows and the sweat pours. A little airflow never hurt anybody — especially when keeping a cool head is imperative to defending the throne room from a high-level boss.
And when there are a lot of calls to make to clients, donors, family, and friends? It's uncomfortable and inefficient to deal with sweat and possibly restrictive equipment for long periods of time. For those reasons, a lot of professionals decide to go with the less-intrusive on-ear style for long-term comfort and cool temperatures.
The other style, the over-the-ear headphone, has been the choice of studio musicians and audiophiles for decades. These units are usually bulkier and heavier than their lobe-resting cousins, but they provide the depth and accuracy that many over-the-ear headphones generally lack. If your digital media experience utilizes three-dimensional sound, headphones that completely surround your ears can take full advantage of that immersive audio. Also, if your phones pull double-duty as music listening devices, over-ears will definitely provide the most complete musical experience. Furthermore, these setups naturally cancel out far more environmental noise, and they're more likely to feature active noise-reduction systems that often have impressive auditory discretion.
It Sounds Like They Really Work, But How?
Well, that's a good question to ask. Whether you're blasting foes out of the arena with your plasma ray or brokering high-level donations to charitable organizations, you need to be certain that every word you say is received with clarity on the other end. So, it's understandable that you'd want some technical assurance before relaying voice data across the broad worldwide web when it's supposed to end up, intact, in the ears of one solitary recipient. Luckily, that's where well-established industry standards come in.
Voice over internet protocol is the agreed-upon method for transmitting vocal communication across the information superhighway using digital data packets rather than the old-school analog circuitry method (think 1990s land-lines). Within digital telephony standards is a varied group of communication methodologies and languages that enables developers to connect all of their clients and employees effectively and efficiently.
In the last few decades, the gaming, fundraising, entertainment, and customer service fields have been blessed with the development of numerous advanced platforms facilitating communication. With so many VoIP clients springing up to fill every corporate and competitive need, it's more important than ever to give yourself the tools you need to excel in today's rapid-fire, instant-connectivity universe. So, make sure that your audio quality is pristine and that your microphone is responsive — because you've got some aliens to kill, or maybe some contracts to close. And remember, this call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes.