Here’s why a headset remains the very best way engage on the phone, hangout, video chat, etc.

Whether in the board room, office, home office or car…using a good headset is how I ensure that I can both hear and be heard clearly! This has long been my habit, and if you wish to communicate effectively it’s a strategy that you should consider as well.

In the past I’ve described my rationale on various occasions, even offering recorded examples so you can hear the difference for yourself. I recently found the following nice image that illustrates exactly why a headset is the superior choice.

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Evaluating USB Headsets for Interpreters

This is admittedly a deep dive into a niche topic. It stems from work done for ZipDX, but is more technical than most audiences can stand. Nonetheless, those of you who frequent these waters may find it interesting.

plantronics-blackwire-c320-usb-headset.jpgWhy Do This?

One of the more fascinating aspects of my work at ZipDX involves the interpreters engaged in the use of our multilingual conference capability. These people, who are located all over the globe, are simply fascinating people. They have incredible skills with languages, and finely tuned sensitivity to the nuance of cross-cultural communication. It’s positively inspirational to hear them at work, and very gratifying to support them in their work.

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Dave Michels on Headsets

Sennheiser-DW-Pro-2-HeadsetDave Michels is a tea drinker. I’m not sure that fact is widely known, but I swear it’s true. Moreover, I suspect that someone has slipped something into his tea. Today he issued a curious assertion in an otherwise good article about headsets.

Sez he:

Headset/Headphones: I prefer the term headphones. I think headset implies a voice microphone and headphone implies audio or speakers only. Those distinctions are obsolete. Modern microphones are small, cheap, and sensitive. They no longer need to be in front of the mouth, so can be placed invisibly on headphones. Since most devices now support speech or voice, it’s just silly to get headphones without a microphone. Now that we’ve cleared this up, I am only using “headphone” below.

I take issue with his simplistic view of microphones, and especially the significance of microphone placement. If you truly care about how you are conveying your voice then a boom mounted microphone is a must! Accept no substitutes.

If, on the other hand, you are more concerned about not looking geeky…go whatever path tickles your fancy. Enjoy those Beats By Dr Dre Hey, he’s a Doctor right? They must be great.

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Headphones & Headsets In The Works

plantronics-t100I’ve been thinking a lot about headsets and headphones lately. This comes to be for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I left my favorite headset for listening to music in a coworkers car, and I don’t think I’m getting them back. Secondly, my favorite cell phone headset is very aged, and near death. Finally, I’ve been needing to upgrade the headset hardware that I use for telephony to better address my increasing use of wideband telephony. That has both desk-bound and portable aspects to be considered.

So I decided that I’d try a bunch of headsets of various sorts and see what I found the most appealing. This got started last December my wife bought me a Plantronics .Audio 480 headset as a gift. I’ve been using it quite a bit and I’m just about done with a written review of my experience using that device.

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Eating Our Own Dog Food Revisited

tn_old_telephoneOk, this is going to be a rant. Consider yourselves warned. And worse than that, it’s more or less a repeat of a rant from not long ago. The theme is essentially “Eating Our Own Dog Food” and it harkens back to thoughts of the Emperors New Clothes, or perhaps the state of the mechanics own car.

To what I am I referring? Well, in this case it’s the Squawk Box podcast from Feb 29. The topic was, netbooks vs smart phones and was extremely interesting. However the call, and resulting podcast, was also profoundly aggravating.

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