What are Different Types of Cell Phone Headsets?

David White

For various reasons, cell phones users want to have their hands free while carrying on phone conversations. For some people, it's a convenience issue: they want to be able to perform other tasks with their hands, like typing or filing or doing housework. For other people, it's a safety issue: they want to be able to talk on the phone, yet keep both hands free while they're driving. As you can probably imagine, there are many different types of cell phone headset.

A cell phone that can work with a headset.
A cell phone that can work with a headset.

The different types of cell phone headset range in style, size, and price. They are sometimes made specifically for a certain brand of cell phone; others, on the other hand, are made for more universal use. Some cell phone manufacturers include one type of cell phone headset as an incentive to buy a particular brand of cell phone. By and large, however, the determining factor in a headset purchase is usually personal preference.

A cell phone headset.
A cell phone headset.

The most traditional type of cell phone headset is the one that looks like the headsets of old — a pair of earphones with a mouthpiece attached. The earphones are usually small enough to fit into the ear, although some earphones cover the entire ear. The mouthpiece on this kind of headset is usually adjustable. This kind of headset also usually has a wire that connects the headset to the cell phone.

Another kind of cell phone headset has just one earphone. This more modern-looking headset clips onto one of your ears and also acts as the microphone. Manufacturers insist that the technology used to design this headset allows for intelligible conversations. The headset connects to your phone via a wire.

The most technologically advanced kind of cell phone headset is the wireless headset. This kind of headset comes in several varieties. For the most part, these headsets operate on the popular Bluetooth® wireless technology, which eliminates the need for a wire connecting the cell phone to the cell phone headset. Some of these Bluetooth® wireless headsets look like giant paper clips when attached to people's ears. As with the one-ear earphone headset, a Bluetooth® wireless headset includes the microphone in the earpiece.

The different types of cell phone headsets are designed to make using a cellphone more comfortable. If you've had a cell phone conversation that lasts longer than an hour, you know the feeling of a cramped neck and a hand that is tired from holding the phone to your ear for so long. Even switching ears and hands does no good after a while. Using a cell phone headset eliminates this kind of physical discomfort.

Cell phone headsets may have a traditional microphone built-in to its design.
Cell phone headsets may have a traditional microphone built-in to its design.

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Discussion Comments


One of my favorite hands free sets is a microphone built right into the wires that connect my ear buds to my phone. That design is becoming more popular, probably because it is dual purpose I can listen to music or talk to people through that thing and that is very convenient (no weird switching when the phone rings or anything like that).

And, here's something else. If you are hooked up to one of those things and talking, people can usually tell what you are doing so as to avoid the "talking to yourself" syndrome that was mentioned in the previous comments.


@Melonlity -- I kind of agree. I hate those Bluetooth things for everything but driving. In a car, I can see the need to use a hands free headset as it is arguably unsafe to drive with your steering wheel in one hand and a phone in the other.

The rest of the time, though, I speak directly into my cell phone because I don't want to look like I am having a conversation with myself. There are enough people wandering around and talking to themselves, and I'd rather not be grouped into that bunch.


Those Bluetooth ones drive me nuts because they can be difficult to see. People can look like they are talking to themselves or, worse yet, can appear to be starting up a conversation with me and I look like an idiot for responding.

My phone is small enough. What's wrong with just lifting it to my head so people can see me and tell I am talking on a phone?

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