Advantages of Headset

By: Larry Denton

Do you leave work everyday with a pain in the neck? The simple answer might be a headset. In this era of multi-tasking, wedging your phone between your ear and shoulder while you type, search for a document, or even eat, can be literally--a pain in the neck. A relatively simple device, a headset does away for the need to have any part of your body support the bulky, clumsy telephone receiver, thus sparing you from a stiff neck, sore muscles and a headache. With the wide array of headset options available, selecting the appropriate one can be very confusing.

A headset consists of an earpiece, a microphone, and a cord that plugs into an accompanying amplifier, which is plugged into the phone. While most people may believe that headsets are all the same, that statement is far from correct. As computer hardware evolves, everything connected to it evolves as well; headsets are no exception. With the creation of smaller, more powerful and faster chips, headsets are now being made much smaller, lighter in weight, more affordable, have a much larger range, and offer much improved clarity.

Telephone headsets come in both corded and cordless models and will increase your productivity since you can use both hands to do other work, like shuffling through your files or using the copier machine, while you are talking on the phone.

The cordless models even allow freedom to work up to 1,000 feet from the amplifier, but they are more costly and weigh a bit more.

The key variables you should consider when buying a headset are: Application--how are you going to use it? Distance--how much range and clarity will be required? Price--how much do you want to spend? Features--what special features (like a mute button or a quick-disconnect feature) do you want and need?

Perhaps the most important criteria in selecting a specific headset is comfort. Most headsets are designed to be worn over the head like a headband and typically cover one ear. If having the "perfect" hair day is critical to you, perhaps you should choose an earpiece that fits in your ear directly or is worn over your ear like eyeglasses. To ensure the right fit, you should actually test it out in real-world conditions. You should be comfortable with the fit and the weight of the headset, or the device will simply gather dust on your bookshelf.

Other decisions include: the option of one or two earpieces, noise filters, quick-disconnect cables, mute buttons, talk time, battery life and certainly--price. An inexpensive model can be purchased for $30, while more durable and dependable models will be worth the $100-$300 you will spend for them. Special tip--if $300 is too pricey, try a used headset. Refurbished models can be a good buy and you can often find them for half the price a new model.

As with any purchase, do your research before you buy. By comparison shopping, whether it be catalogs, online or at reputable vendors, you will gain information about what is out there and the various prices available. Headsets do save you time and neck cramps, while increasing your productivity, whether you are at home or in the office.

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