What is a Transcription Headset?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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A transcription headset is a tool used by transcriptionists when they are listening to audio files in order to transcribe them to text. It is a set of headphones that connects to a computer or audio-playing device via a USB port or a 3.5 mm headphone jack. For professional transcriptionists or transcribers who spend their entire day with a transcription headset on, it is especially important for the device to be comfortable, and to be capable of relaying audio at high quality levels.

A transcription headset is typically priced comparably to a traditional pair of headphones. It generally features a dial for volume adjustment right on the cord, to make it easier for the transcriptionist to adjust the volume. Transcription headsets may be styled slightly differently than a traditional headset or set of headphones. Though there are designs that go over the head, there is also a type of transcription headset designed to look like a stethoscope. The earpieces go in the ears, but the band connecting the earpieces hangs down underneath the chin.


Aside from these particular features, transcription headsets do not generally include any additional benefits. In addition to purchasing a high-quality, comfortable transcription headset, a transcriptionist will likely want to purchase a foot pedal. This allows the transcriptionist to speed up or slow down the recording while he or she is working, as well as to pause and restart the recording without having to take the hands off the keyboard. Transcriptionists who are just starting out will likely have to go much slower to catch all the words, but with practice, it will get easier.

Because most transcriptionists are self-employed, contract workers, it is generally necessary to purchase these items such as a transcription headset out of one's own budget, but it may be possible to claim them as a tax deduction if they are being used only for work. Transcriptionists typically find it too difficult to use computer speakers for this purpose, because the sound quality is simply not clear enough. It is often necessary to purchase transcription headsets online.

Transcription jobs are particularly common in the legal and medical fields, but some corporations use transcribers as well. It is generally necessary to complete a training program before getting hired, which will help one adapt to the methods and skills used when transcribing. Transcriptionists need to be well versed in the terminology in the field in which they are working, as well as possess the ability to proofread their own work for errors. A good transcription headset is just one of the tools that can make the job easier.


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