Purchasing a used headset can be a good method of getting a high-quality device at an affordable price. When looking for a used headset, it is important for buyers to verify that the set in question is compatible with their existing equipment and has the features and fidelity they want. Buyers may want to avoid in-ear headsets and products with delicate fabrics that may have become dirty or degraded over time. Headsets designed for use with video game consoles and personal computers may be found at stores that specialize in second-hand video games or through online auction and classified advertising sites. Re-furbished and reconditioned headsets used by call centers and help desks also can be found through online sellers.
The first thing a buyer should consider when evaluating used headsets is the type of system with which the set will be used. Different models of headsets are designed to connect with audio equipment, computers and telephone systems. Buyers should examine the headphone connection on their devices and consult their product manual to determine which headset models are compatible. For audio equipment related to music, buyers should generally look for headsets that support stereophonic sound and have a long enough cord to reach their listening location. Stereo jacks are commonly produced in two sizes, so it may be necessary to purchase an additional adapter if the connector is too large or too small.
Buying a used headset for a personal computer can be a more complicated process, because buyers may need to consider additional factors, depending on how their planned usage. If the customer is purchasing the headset just to listen to audio from a laptop, desktop or tablet computer, then he can look for products designed for regular audio equipment. Other customers may wish to purchase a used headset that includes a microphone that can be used for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or voice communication in video games. These headsets typically connect to a universal serial bus (USB) port on a computer or video game console. VoIP headsets may not need to be as high fidelity as stereo headphones, and some models may only supply monophonic sound to one ear.
When buying any type of used headset, the buyer should consider the cleanliness and durability of the product. Over time, earwax and other substances can build up on in-ear headphones, and the wiring can become loose or frayed. Consumers should think twice about ordering a set from an online retailer that won’t post current pictures of the headset or has a poor rating from previous buyers. Audio enthusiasts may wish to consult with their local stereo specialty store when looking for previously owned equipment. Audio stores will often buy back older equipment from customers when they purchase a new system.