You might be wondering what the best work headset is, but the reality is there isn't one. The best work headset depends on your specific needs as to which would be the right way to go for you.
For example, a headset your co-worker or friend highly recommends may be great for them, but not best for you and your specific needs.
We'll break down the key areas you want to focus on in order to make the best decision, no matter if you're working from home, on the go or in the office.
What's your primary use?
First you need to determine what the primary use of a headset will be. Phone calls, video calls, music or a mix of it all?
Determine your preferred wearing style
This can be tricky or hard to know which to choose if you've never worn a headset for work before. Sometimes it takes giving a couple different wearing style choices a try to know for certain which headset style you like best.
Over-the-head on your ears
This seems to be the most popular style of most work headsets as of 2023.
Over-the-head over your ears
Best for those who want to reduce unwanted background noise or find that on-ear headsets with glasses cause discomfort.
More sleek, low profile and a better choice if wearing an over-head headset isn't your cup of tea because it causes headaches, or would make you feel self conscious on video meetings or in the office.
The least common request we hear about, and the amount of good choices for work are limited.
This will be your typical earbuds you're use to seeing like Bose, Sony or Airpods but are not the best way to go for most in a work setting because of battery life, compatibility with different work software and dissapointing microphone quality on most models.
It's very important to know which devices are most important to connect to, and there's terminology to be aware of.
DECT: This is a wireless frequency that stands for "Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications". DECT is a digital communication that operates on a 1.9 GHz frequency and is best made for high-quality voice communication. You will get more secure communication and longer wireless range as well with DECT headsets. This type of wireless work headset is most popular to use with a corded desk phones, but there are other models that can also connect with your computer or mobile phone.
Bluetooth: Most are familiar with Bluetooth, but the main difference is work headsets for your computer will typically inclued a USB Dongle for more reliable connectivity, and Bluetooth options give you more portability and better audio for music compared to DECT.
Direct Connect Cable: If you use a corded desk phone, you need a compatible Direct Connect Cable to go with the QD (quick disconnect) headset of your choice. For example, if you order a Discover D711 QD headset, you need to order a compatible direct connect cable depending on the model of your desk phone.
Handset Lifter: This accessory is a mechanical device added to a wireless office headset allowing you to answer/end calls when away from a corded desk phone. It works by using double sided tape to stick on your phone, then the mechanical raises and lowers your handset as you press the on/off button on your wireless headset.
EHS Cable: This accessory is similar to a Handset Lifter but accomplishes the same goal for you to answer/end calls from a wireless headset when away from your corded desk phone. Instead a mechanical device raising and lowering your handset, this accessory enables remote call answering electronically. Anytime your desk phone is compatible with an EHS cable, this is a more clean way to go vs a Lifter.
All headsets aren't created equal and being able to hear and be heard clearly is extremely important. Sound quality is a subjective topic and all depends on your primary use. for example, if you're someone that works from anywhere who does a mix of calls, meetings and listening to music, then a work headset mainly focused for voice communication isn't going to be a good experience for you when it comes time to listen to music. In this case you'd want hybird headphones like the Orosound Tilde Pro.
Consider pros and cons of wired vs wireless
Both wired headsets and wireless have their benefits but you need to determine if you want the added freedom to multitask and move around without a cord in the way, or if you want to save money, not worry about a battery and find your job mainly requires you to be at the computer anyway.
Beware of fake 5 star reviews
If it looks to good to be true, it's to good to be true. Unfortunately even Amazon, the most trusted source on planet earth has a big issue with paid for 5 star reviews. Amazon is now finally starting to crack down on these sellers cheating the review system, but you'd think for a company that started the online rating trend that they would have been much more proactive in this area a long time ago.
You can read the article here from the hype magazine: Amazon bans 600+ seller accounts for review manipulation
Here's another source talking about the same topic but with known headphones brands: Amazon suspends Amazon-Native brands Mpow and Aukey
We don't see anything wrong with asking or incentivizing a customer with a gift card or free product to write a review with honest thoughts, but when customers are incentivized to write a 5 star review whether they love or hate a product, that doesn't do anyone any good and does a disservice to the rating system.
The Amazon Vine program is a great concept as well, but the downside is many people writing these reviews have no real world experience on how the product they're reviewing compares to other similar choices. The brand also doesn't get a chance to address any concerns or problems that may come up from the reviewer before a review is written. It's atleast better then paid for 5 star reviews to get a discount.
When you look under Amazon reviews, this is how you know the reviewer is part of the Vine Voice program.
Unfortunately knowing this information, it increases research time before you come to the conclusion on if the rating of a work headset that matches what's being said from YouTube reviewers and bloggers.
Specifically microphone noise cancellation is the number one request we hear most important to customers. Many people would agree you don't want people on the other end of a call or meeting hearing the distractions happening around you. Dogs barking, kids crying, co-workers talking, yardwork happening outside etc..
It's important to note, you will see a term online referring to ANC (Active noise cancellation), which refers to noise cancellation in your speakers and how much of the outside noise you hear, not how much noise your microphone will block out.
All that being said, it's important to use a work headset with mic noise cancellation if you regularly work in environments with distractions, so you're heard clearly to come across professional no matter where you're working from. It's also just as important to use a headset with dual speakers that offers ANC or passive noise cancellation so you can reduce the outside noise and really zone in on your calls and meetings.
USB Dongle vs Bluetooth
If you plan to invest in a Bluetooth wireless headset to use for work on your computer with call software like Teams, Webex, Google, RingCentral, GoTo and many others, whatever you do, do yourself a favor and always get a headset with an included USB dongle. You will be so glad you did because connecting a Bluetooth headset to your computer with native Bluetooth is hit or misss, and it's the last thing you want to deal with.
For example, some customers say their Bluetooth headset on their computer with Airpods or other consumer headphones work fine. And, many others tell us the complete opposite. No sound, no microphone, and frequent disconnections.
Now you may be thinking, well my computer is Bluetooth so all Bluetooth headsets should just work. And, I would agree with you in a perfect world that this should be the case, but unfortunately it's not. When you take two non-native devices and connect them, it may work but the question is how good? It's like wanting to pair Airpods to an Android phone. Will it work? Yes, the two will pair together but you lose out on added features that only work with Apple devices.
In regards to a work headset with an included USB Dongle for your computer, these types of headsets are optimized and compatible with your work software like I had mentioned early on in this segment. Meaning, you get a more reliable connection, longer wireless range, added ability to see your mute status on your meetings when you mute from your headset, and wireless ability to answer/end calls when away from the computer. Non optimized devices without a proprietary USB Dongle will allow these extra capabilities.
Reptutation, Warranty and service
Make sure to look for a brand with headsets that meet your needs, offers a good warranty and don't overlook a company that offers customer service that goes above the call of duty. An easy way to know how you'll be treated is by contacting the company before you decide to order and see how you feel when talking to them or how long they take to respond. If you call a company and are taken through a phone rodeo, sent to voicemail or your email doesn't get responded to for days or weeks, there's a high chance when you need help with a product or warranty replacement, it will be more hassle then it's worth. Your time is your most valuable asset, so even paying a bit more from a company that's there when needed, is well worth considering.
Overall, choosing a headset for work from home, at the office or on the go depends on your individual needs, preferences and devices you need to connect with. If you want to skip the hours of research time, contact us today and we can help narrow down a few best headset options to consider.