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The perfect recipe for authentic real-life sound when conferencing
Using headsets during phone calls can help with flexibility, which can improve productivity. Making the switch to headsets could greatly benefit your workflow.
According to a study, only 26% of our respondents in South Africa worked from home before the crisis. Due to the lockdown, the number of employees working remotely increased to 79%!
We face many new challenges when working from home. NOISE is a large part of the issue. When trying to have a professional conference with clients, having insufficient communication tools gets in the way of not only productivity but the quality of Interactions.
The importance of a good headset
Having the right headset can help with collaborating with colleagues and customers.
- Noise-cancelling technology reduce 75% of background sounds which benefits both parties on a conference call.
- Noise Cancellation headsets are good options, especially in open-plan offices as they allow retention of personal communication and focus space in these environments.
- A recent study found that 70% of workers believe that office noise negatively impacts their productivity. This is a huge number of workers that could be more comfortable and more productive in the office.
Invariably, audio is the most important element of any good conference.
Boardrooms and huddle spaces are a great investment, it’s important to make sure the sound is good as well as making sure all participants are heard with great audio.
Remote workers are hardly catered for. It is just as important to make sure conferences with in-office participants, as well as remote workers, sound good for everyone involved.
The Benefits of using a professional headset:
- Your headset should not only feel good but look good too. One should consider the health aspect too when choosing a headset. Uncomfortable, and usually cheap, headsets will damage your ears if you use them for an extended period. Ensure they are flexible enough to be adjusted.
- Purchasing a good-quality headset is a once-off purchase that guarantees you the best experience. Compare that to buying a cheap pair and being uncomfortable, and having insufficient sound through poor feedback and bad sound distribution.
- One is taken more seriously with professional equipment. Clients will be impressed when seeing the commitment to effective communication. It means you’re taking your job seriously.
- Focus can improve with the right headset. Working remotely means there are often distractions. One could even use headphones purely for their noise cancellation purposes if you’re feeling over-stimulated. Get in the zone with headsets!
Wired vs wireless pros and cons:
Wired is in most cases the most cost-effective and reliable.
USB or analogue 3.5mm jacks are used to connect headsets to phones, laptops or tablets.
Wireless is more convenient. They use either Bluetooth with or without dongles or DECT technology which is less susceptible to interference from other wireless devices.
If your work environment is one where listening is more of a priority than speaking then wireless is a good option. It encourages flexibility as you can move around and get more done.
Pros of wireless headsets:
They are easy to set up
You can pair with multiple devices easily
You can join conference calls from anywhere
They have excellent features to help you work from home effectively
Cons of wireless headsets:
- Wireless audio transmission is not nearly as reliable as wired headphones. The audio is transmitted through 2.4 GHz radio frequencies and converted to analogue when the sound reaches the headphones.
Cord-free headphones suffer from latency or low sound quality from low bit rate. The average Bluetooth latency in headphones is somewhere between 200 and 300ms.
Wireless headphones are heavier because they carry more components. This detracts from the fact that using headsets that are comfortable can aid in better productivity and workflow.
Battery life in wireless headsets is often quite short. The headsets need to be charged every 8 hours at most. And usually, we forget to charge them overnight. Some say that if you charge your headsets for too long it damages the battery life.
They are typically more expensive than wired headsets
Pros of Headsets that use cables:
- Wired headphones use audio signal that is transmitted via a cable which can add some unwanted noise. Statistically, wired headphones are superior.
- The audio quality is much better as the sound input is being directly implicated. Bluetooth streaming is subject to a limited bandwidth compared to analogue.
- Wired headphones are more affordable and easily reparable. Wireless headphones have more potential points of failure than their wired counterparts, which require more expertise, time and money to repair.
Cons of wired headphones:
- Wires get tangled. One of the most common complaints for earphones is that they aren’t neat.
- Tripping the wire can damage the earphones. There are also instances where it might be connected to your device and forgetting, you walk away which drags the device down to the floor.
- Quality is limited to the audio files. While wired headphones generally support higher bit rate, the output is still highly dependent on the audio file itself. MP3 files max around 320 kbps which is just a fraction of what earphones can pump out. Even the lossless FLAC files max out at around 1400 kbps.
There are two components to headsets:
The microphone and speakers.
In our experience, a mic with a boom arm works best for the noise cancelling technology. This is a great way to cancel out noise, as the closer the mic is to the speaker’s mouth, the more audible they are.
The noise cancelling technology typically listens to background noise and spoken voice and then eliminates all background noise.
Some headphones have microphones that are built into ear cups. There are various noise cancelling features for various types and technology. The microphones in the headsets listens to noise and then via built in processing tries to eliminate as much background noise as possible making the user sound much better to all participants.
Passive noise cancelling uses good foam coverage of the ears to eliminate background noise for the wearer.
Active noise cancelling uses the additional built-in mics to eliminate the background noise for the wearer.
We recommend choosing a good headset for your environment. If you work in noisy environments like coffee shops or malls, get a headset with good noise cancellation for the wearer and far side.
If you work mostly from home where it’s quiet, get a headset with a boom arm mic, and there is no need for active noise cancellation. Focus on getting good headsets for your remote employees.
Suggested Headsets for Business People and Educators
- Comfortable and deliver a good microphone performance
- Fitted to one head with an adjustable padded headband and sculpted foam ear cups for long hours of wear.
- Noise-cancelling microphone that allows for clear communication between all members. Educators will be able to have a clear dialogue with no background noise. Students will be more engaged and focused.
The Bottom Line
Using a professional headset is important in any work environment, be it remote or in office. The reality is that online communication is our go-to level of communication. You will be communicating with people online no matter what you do.
Every type of headset, be it cable or wireless has its pros and cons. Statistically, cable headphones seem to be winning the game.
However, it depends on one’s personal preference and the type of environment they will be used in as well as budget. It also depends on which features will be used most.
Reading this article should give you a clear indication of which headset is best for you, and why.