Loud and Clear 2019: How to Pick the Right Headset

The headset might be the remote worker's most important tool. High speed internet, the latest technology, and an effective work station are all necessary, but if no one can hear you, you'll never get anything done. With today's virtual conferences, online meetings, and never-ending phone calls, a good headset is worth investing in. But which one is right for you? 

Virtira's virtual team knows the frustrations of background noise, microphones set too low, ill-fitting earpieces. Our teams can't operate efficiently and effectively if they can't hear each other or their clients.  Even though we've managed virtual meetings for a long time, we still need a headset that gets the job done. 

Remote workers know that your online meetings need to overcome any barriers you face by not meeting in person. When choosing a headset, you need a product that will transmit your words clearly and to let you perfectly understand others, wherever they are. 

There are a lot of quality competitors to chose from but, don't worry, we've broken down what you need to know about each headset based on our virtual experience. 

WHAT MAKES A GOOD HEADSET?

Headsets come in all shapes and sizes, with different features and purposes. We’ve looked at many of the most popular brands and consider the following criteria to be the most important:

  • Audio and voice quality
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Style
  • Weight
  • Portability
  • Materials
  • Price

The Virtira team has been hard at work testing all types of headsets and are proud to present the 2019 Virtira Headset Awards! We’d like to mention at this point that this blog is not sponsored by any headset company and our findings are completely, utterly, totally unbiased.

THE 2018 SALES BEACON HEADSET AWARDS

Gold Medal: Plantronics Voyager Focus UC B825  (Best for Meetings!)

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC B825 

This headset checks all the boxes and is our highest-rated model. PC Magazine also ranks this unit highly. It’s the most comfortable headset we tried with no pressure on the ears. It offers wired and wireless options, active noise cancellation and looks cool. Audio and voice quality were both strong and connectivity is simple and effective. Superior marks across the board earn our gold medal.

 

Silver Medal: Jabra Evolve 65 UC

Jabra claims the silver with a winning combination of audio and voice quality, comfort and durability along with high marks in style! This model can be used wired or wirelessly with an impressive battery life of 10 hours.  Wirecutter had this to say about the Jabra Evolve 65.  It folds into its own case for compact travel and is made from high-quality parts. Connectivity is a breeze via Jabra link, Bluetooth and USB. It’s only drawback is a lack of active noise cancellation.

Bronze Medal: Bose QuietComfort 20 (Best work/play combination!)

These scored highest among the in-ear models we tested and were better than some of the headsets we tried! We liked this set’s comfort, the top-notch noise cancellation as well as its portability and looks. If you work and meet for extended periods in a location with a lot of background noise, this one is worth the extra expense.

Good options:

Voyager 8200 UCB 8200 BLACK WW

Featuring superlative sound quality, this headset with a built-in microphone scored strongly in terms of comfort, noise cancellation and durability. It would also be great for music or movies. Drawbacks included a bulky carrying case, a short charging cord and it was a bit heavy and big. These are important considerations if you’re wearing it for extended periods or traveling a lot.

TaoTronics Headphones (Best Inexpensive Model!)

Great choice for the budget-conscious. These versatile in-ear buds have active noise cancellation, are comfortable to wear and good audio and voice quality. Super-light and portable make then great for travelling and being active.

1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone

This in-ear unit is light, durable and is made from quality materials. A lot of care went into the design of these little beauties as they look and feel fantastic. We did feel that they’re not the best for business given their weak voice performance and lack of noise cancellation. These might be better for enjoying media than for doing serious business.

Decide if active noise cancellation is worth the extra cost. It’s a huge advantage when in a public space or even working from home.

Nothing Special:

Logitech H820e Wireless Dual Headset

We liked the sound and voice quality as well as the use of good materials. Unfortunately, we disliked the heavy charging station, the small ear pads that gave it an unstable feel and the lacklustre noise cancellation. We were also not impressed by the lack of multi-functionality and its clunky appearance.

Sennheiser 506045 MB Pro2

Comfortable, soft ear pads and a maximum 15-hour battery life highlight this unit. There’s no wired option so if the wireless fails you are stuck. They felt a little flimsy and had no noise cancellation. We found them not very travel-friendly and the audio seemed faint. Not ideal for meetings where hearing every word is key.

Final Thoughts

Hope you enjoyed our reviews and that they will help to guide you when it’s time to make your next decision about headsets. There are a few more things to consider when buying a new pair:

What are you going to be using them for? If it’s for heavy meeting use, make sure to get one with active noise cancellation and great comfort. If you only take the occasional meeting and want to also use them for leisure activities, a more compact unit with ear buds will be a better choice.

Audio and voice quality, with few exceptions, was close in the various units. The technology is there across the spectrum and is not as much of a determining factor as you may think.

If you are a frequent traveller who does the Up in the Air carry-on thing, get a smaller unit that won’t take up too much of your limited luggage space.

You need to decide if active noise cancellation is worth the extra cost. We feel it’s the most important feature to consider; it’s a huge advantage when in a public space or even working from home.

Headset Comparison Chart

Headset-Review-Comparison

Thanks for reading our Headset awards blog. Write to us and let us know what you think of our reviews; good or bad, we’d love the feedback! 

Check out how we ranked our favorite headsets in 2020!

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