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How Do I Choose the Best USB Headset?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2016
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In order to choose the best headset with a universal serial bus (USB) connector, you will need to consider how and where you plan to use the device. You will probably want a different USB headset if you are a gamer than if you work at a call center or need hands free access to your cellular phone. Since a USB headset can have virtually any of the features associated with headphones in addition to numerous types of microphones, you will have many different options to choose from. Some applications will call for a headset that has two headphones, while others may require only one. It may also be important to find a USB headset that has a noise canceling microphone depending on how you plan to use the device, so it is important to consider all of these factors.

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USB is a popular connection type that is found on computers and a variety of other electronic devices. There are three different sizes of USB connectors, each of which have type A and type B plugs, so the first step to finding the right headset is to determine which one you need. Standard USB connectors are 11.5 millimeters (about 0.45 inches) wide and are typically found on desktop computers, laptops, and other devices. Mini USB connectors are 7 millimeters (about 0.27 inches) wide, while micro connectors are only slightly narrower but about half as thick. If you are looking for a phone headset, it will most likely have a mini or micro USB port as opposed to a standard one.

The next component to consider are the headphones. If you intend to use your USB headset for gaming, you might want to find a unit that has binaural headphones. A headset with two headphones may allow you to become more immersed in the game, and can provide stereo playback. If you are looking for a headset to use in a setting such as a call center, your work environment may be considered. A headset with a single headphone can let you to communicate more easily with your coworkers or superiors, but a binaural set may allow you to focus better on your customer.

You may also want to consider the microphone when choosing a USB headset. The two main types of microphones are boom and microtube, though you can also find features such as noise cancellation that are helpful in some circumstances. If you work at a busy call center, a noise canceling microphone may be essential. This type of microphone is capable of transmitting only your voice so that the person on the other end will not hear any background noise.

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