Headset info PART ONE

A headset should be selected for the person who will use it, the environment it will be used in, and the phone it will be used with.

One Ear or Two?
If you work in a noisy environment, consider headsets with noise canceling microphones and/or binaural receivers (to hear with both ears).

● A binaural headset will minimize the ambient noise that you hear.

● A noise-canceling microphone will minimize the ambient noise that the other person hears from you. [Ferengi photo from Paramount. Thanks.]

Binaural headsets have two "speakers." When on a phone call, you hear the other person through both of your ears and the sound seems to be centered in your head. The two speakers are wired together, and they reproduce the same sounds.

Binaural headsets are important for noisy environments, or situations where you want to concentrate on a phone call without being distracted or annoyed by people near you.

Stereo headsets (or headphones) also have two speakers, but they are wired separately, so they can reproduce different sounds (left and right channels).

Although you'll hear voices through both ears with a binaural headset, you do not get true stereo sound (different sounds through each ear), which is preferable for music, games, and sometimes for teleconferencing.

Pay attention to product descriptions so you get the right thing.

Why use a headset?

  • You'll hear better.

  • You'll be heard better.

  • You'll work better

  • You'll feel better.


A telephone headset performs the functions of a telephone handset, but it's worn on your head rather than held in your hand.


Handsets are OK for brief conversations; but if you're "on the phone" for a long time, or you need your hands for other tasks, a headset is a much better choice. It's much more convenient and comfortable to use a headset, than to hold a handset or to squeeze it between your cheek and your shoulder to free your hands. It's not very efficient to type with just one hand.

Like a handset, a headset consists of a receiver (speaker) that lets you hear the person at the other end of the conversation, and a transmitter (microphone) that converts your voice into electrical impulses to be transmitted to the other person.

In a headset, these two components are usually supported by a headband over your head) or an earhook (over your ear), or something in your ear like a hearing aid or a stethoscope.


There are other less popular variations, including bands that go around the back of your head. Most modern headsets are comfortable for people who wear eyeglasses.

● Headsets with longer microphone booms put the microphone closer to your mouth to make your voice sound stronger, with less echo and background noise, than headsets with short booms.

● Headsets with short microphone booms can be stored in your desk drawer, pocket or pocketbook, and work well in a quiet environment. Don’t use one in a factory or printing plant.

● Headsets with transparent “sound tubes” put less bulk in front of your face than headsets with microphones on booms, but should not be used in noisy environments.