The Best Headsets for Online Teaching
Without a proper headset, teaching online cannot be successfully conducted. It is important for the online teacher to hear the student clearly and for the student to hear the teacher clearly, too. There are some key factors that every online teacher (and student, of course) should take into account when shopping for a headset. Headsets are not made equal and do not need to be expensive for a quality one. Every manufacturer structures their headsets differently. We compiled this comprehensive headsets product review with in-depth research, teaching experience, and crowd wisdom of our English teaching community.
How to Pick the Perfect Headset for Online Teaching?
Good Audio Quality
Most headsets provide two audio options: stereo and mono. Online English educators tend to choose the stereo option due to it covering both ears. A mono headset is structured with only one speaker, making room for the distraction to easily occur while teaching. You definitely do not want to be the type of educator who often asks students to repeat themselves due to not hearing them clearly, as they are paying for a service, and thus expect it to be first-class in every aspect.
Online English educators need a headset that comes accompanied with a noise-canceling microphone. The only thing that your students should be hearing is you, not the noise that is going on in your space if any. There are units that have a rotating microphone; although this is not a necessary feature when teaching, it might come in handy for other tasks that you undertake in everyday life.
Why Noise Canceling Microphone?
The noise-canceling microphone doesn’t improve the sound you hear, but greatly enhance the voice quality to your students. Especially if you are teaching in a relatively noisy area, near heavy traffic for instance, then the noise-canceling feature will greatly reduce the background noise introduced.
Why Noise Canceling Speaker?
Different from the noise-canceling microphone, which reduces the surrounding noise that transmits to your students. The noise-canceling speaker enhances the voice quality to you by suppressing the surrounding noise in your area. That way you are not fighting to hear the sound from the speaker in a noisy area, which makes the listening to your students less tiring.
Even though you should not be interrupted by anybody while teaching, it can still occur due to an emergency; therefore, to play it safe, it is suggested you select a headset that includes a mute function, one that can easily be pressed on when you want to avoid students from hearing anything.
There are more educators that are choosing wireless headsets due to the issues that can sometimes arise with those with a cord. If you stop and think about it, cords easily get tangled, making them prone to malfunctions soon after purchase. No online educator has time for that, which is why wireless headsets are growing in popularity. Contrary to the assumption of many, this type of headset is not on the expensive side. The only downside is that you will need to remember to charge it periodically. The majority of the laptops all have built-in Bluetooth just like Wifi. However, if you’re using a desktop PC, then you might a Bluetooth USB adapter like this one.
A great percentage of headsets on the market are made with a headband-style design. This type of headset has two pressure points: the horizontal pressure of the earpieces and the vertical pressure of the headband on your head. The ideal headset would have a design that closes around your ears. Instead of the cushions pressing against your ears, they should be pressing against your head. This will allow you to garner a better audio experience, as there will be fewer external audio frequencies reaching your ear. To ease the vertical pressure, assure that the headband is padded.
Since a headset is designed to be on your head, a lightweight option should be highly considered by every online English educator. Feeling a lot of pressure on your head is going to make you frustrated, which in turn will disallow you to adequately share your knowledge with students. When teaching, it is vital for online educators to feel relaxed. A heavy headset will definitely take you a few steps back in this aspect.
There are more headset manufacturing companies that are making their models more flexible to provide professionals with the utmost comfort. If the headset that has caught your eye is not flexible, that is fine, but flexibility would be an extra plus to consider before checking out.
Non-Bulky Style Preferred
Online educators should definitely not want to purchase a headset that is bulky in nature. This type of style can be distracting to your students. Your headset should be as non-bulky as possible. The thinner it is, the better it will be, especially you might wear it in long consecutive teaching hours.
In order to find out if a headset is durable or not, take a look at the warranty that accompanies it. Do not feel 100% safe if it does not come with a warranty. Make sure to find out what it covers, as warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. If the warranty is for a year or more and states that the company will replace a model that malfunctions, then you should feel at ease about the headset that has caught your attention.
Besides finding out about the warranty, look at the reviews that the headset has garnered from consumers. From doing so, you will be able to know if the model is worth your time of day or not. Make sure to choose one that has more positive reviews than anything else.
You will notice that the majority of high-rated headsets on the market were manufactured by reputable companies. Almost all of these companies provide telephone, email, and/or chat support. Choosing a headset manufactured by a well-known brand is not a must, but it does provide peace of mind.
Do Not Let Price Fool You
A costly headset does not necessarily mean that it will be high quality, just like a low-priced headset does not mean that you will be buying one that will malfunction within a week. Never let the price fool you. It is important to analyze headsets: cheap ones, expensive ones, and anything in between.
Top Headsets on the Market for Online English Educators
The number of headset options available on the market can make anyone confused when looking to purchase one. At the moment, there are several models that stand out from the rest in a very meaningful way due to providing an overall first-class experience; however, there are three, in particular, that have become the go-to options for online educators due to providing an engaging experience, innovative features, high-quality structure, and for their extremely low price (below).
Wireless Mpow Pro Trucker Bluetooth Headset with Noise Cancelling Microphone
- BUILT FOR CLEAR CHAT -- Superior 4X Noise Cancelling Microphone blocks out unwanted noise. The mic is also adjustable to pick up your voices loud and clear. Provide crystal-clear conversations even in noisy environment.
- LIGHTWEIGHT & COMFORTABLE -- The headset weights 1.48 oz (lighter than an egg). Enjoy extended comfort with padded earpad and flexible headband.
- 12-Hrs TALKING TIME -- Offer up to 12 hours continuous talking time and 200 hours standby time with single fully charged in just 2 hours.
- EASY PAIRING & WIRELESS FREEDOM -- Pair easily with any two Bluetooth devices at one time. Roam range up to 30 feet from paired Bluetooth devices. Meet all your needs of calling.
- COMPLY WITH FCC REGULATIONS - FCC ID 2AMH2-MBH15. This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the Radio frequency devices. Please note that this headset is specially designed for calling, doesn't support listening to music. Great idea for driver, call center, Skype chat, conference calls, webinar presentations and more.
This affordable wireless headset only costs $20 before tax. It also has great reviews 4.3 out of 5 stars from 4,700+ reviews. It has all the key features you’re looking for at a relatively cheap price, including noise-canceling, lightweight, 12 hours talking time and long battery life.
- The sound quality is great.
- Wireless Bluetooth allows you to move freely.
- Long talking hours – 12 hours of talking time and fully charged in 2 hours.
- Mono speaker output, but not an issue if you actually prefer it.
Mpow 071 USB Headset/ 3.5mm Computer Headset with Microphone Noise Cancelling
- Crystal Clear Chat Headset -- Built-in unidirectional microphone which can be twisted discretionarily picks-up your voice loud & clear. Reduces unwanted background noise for clear conversation. Great ideal for Dragon speak, Online courses, Skype chat, call center, conference calls, webinar presentations and more
- 3. 5 mm Jack/USB Plug Connection Options -- The 3. 5 mm jack audio cable can be detached from the control box which gives you an additional connection option for Phones and Tablet. Or you can use the USB plug with control box to work with PC. Long headset's cord offers flexibility to move around
- Noise Reduction Sound Card & Easy Access Control -- Convenient inline Volume Switch & Mic/Speaker Mute for easy access. A Built-in noise-reduction sound card of the control box lower noise output from devices. Provide outstanding audio on both transmit and receive
- Extended Wear Comfort -- Headband and fluffy earpads pad with memory foam and wrapped by skin-friendly protein leather. Comfortably fit your head with the adjustable steel slider. Gentle Reminder: Depending on your head/ear size/shape, it may be a little tight for someone to wear which is designed to avoid sound leakage. In case of that and to get both audio and wearing comfort, please take off the headphone every 1-2 hrs to get your ears relax and protect them from muggy environment in use
- Multi-Purpose & Wide Compatibility -- This headset can be used mainly for chatting, secondarily for music, and if needed, as a backup to a priority gamer headset(It is NOT specially designed for gaming , please DON'T compare it with professional gaming headsets). Wide compatible with Windows 2000/7/8/10/XP/Vista, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Tablet PC
This one is another beloved bargain headset used by many with all the key features that a good headphone should have, 3.5mm Jack/USB connection options, noise reduction, comfort, side compatible with computers and tablets.
- The audio output is optimized for voice with its emphasis in the bass, marginal high end and reduced high pitch.
- Comfortable over the ear design, instead of on the ear.
- Volume control, microphone mute, speaker mute, and clear lighten settings indicators.
PLNAUDIO478 by Plantronics
- Noise cancelling headset with HD sound makes it a pleasure to stay on the call; cancel noise, not your voice
- Digital Signal Processing technology cancels out echoes and boosts voice signals for clear conversations
- Headset is Skype certified for a better chatting experience *In order to use the inline call answer/end and mute functions of our Audio USB headsets with Skype, users must download and install the Plantronics Hub application
- Even with Hub installed, inline call answer/end and mute will not work with Microsoft Lync or Skype for Business applications. For compatibility with these enterprise applications, users need to purchase commercial headsets, like our Blackwire series
- Answer and end Skype calls right from the headset with our answer/end and mute functions *requires the latest versions of Windows 10, Mac OS and Skype - we cannot guarantee compatibility with all versions of Skype and PC operating systems
This particular model has been able to obtain hundreds of positive reviews in a short period of time on a variety of different online platforms, and it definitely does not appear like it is going to stop anytime soon.
This unit, that was manufactured by the well-known company Plantronics, provides a noise-canceling microphone, as it has ‘digital signal processing’ technology to cancel out any background noise and boosts voice signals in order to have clear conversations with your students when it is time to conduct your lessons. This model is Skype certified, meaning that you can rest assured that your students will be able to hear you clearly if you select this platform. It comes in two color options: black and chrome.
It is not a wireless unit, but the cord was created to remain durable even if a tangle takes place, which is definitely not something that can be said about the cords of other headsets manufactured by other companies. Most cords out there tend to be on the fragile side, but that is not the case with this model. For just a few dollars more, you can extend the protection of this headset. It is definitely worth it.
Bluetooth Headset by VicTal
- Consumer Alert: Most users do not need a license to operate this wireless microphone system. Nevertheless, operating this microphone system without a license is subject to certain restrictions: the system may not cause harmful interference; it must operate at a low power level (not in excess of 50 milliwatts); and it has no protection from interference received from any other device.
- Purchasers should also be aware that the FCC is currently evaluating use of wireless microphone systems, and these rules are subject to change. For more information, call the FCC at 1-888- CALL-FCC (TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC) or visit the FCC's wireless microphone website at fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones.
This headset was designed to be utilized on computers, smartphones, iPhones, and other electronics. Of course, when you are teaching, it should only be utilized on your computer, but it is good to know the other devices that it can work on as well.
This headset, which has received numerous positive reviews from bloggers, was designed for your voice to always be heard crystal clear, even if you find yourself in a noisy environment. This wireless option provides 12 hours of continuous use or standby of 250 hours. It is important to mention that this model should not be utilized while it is charging as this can cause damage to the battery.
Another important mention is that it comes along with a mute function, and since it is only seven ounces, it is very lightweight! If you want, you can add extra protection to this headset before checking out.
Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000
- Premium stereo sound
- Excellent reliability and clarity
- Noise canceling microphone and superior sound with digital USB 2.0 connectivity
- Comfortable leatherette ear pads
- Optimized for Skype
Microsoft makes great headsets for teaching online and other activities. The LifeChat is the headset of choice for iTutor(TutorABC) so if you are going to work for them it is a wise investment. Even if you decide to work with another company you will find these to be highly reliable.
They do work with both MAC and PC even though the brand would lead you to think differently. The headphones are extremely comfortable for those of us who are working long hours online. The noise-canceling microphone removes a fair amount of sounds around you. This can come in handy for those of you who are on the go and end up in semi-noisy environments.
USB Headset H390 by Logitech
There are some headsets that are able to quickly become best sellers; this model by Logitech is one of them. It is currently being offered at a very low cost, which definitely has raised many questions such as, how Logitech is able to provide such a high-quality item at such a low price. The answer to this question is quite simple. You see, since Logitech is one of the top electronic companies in the world, it has its own factories, permitting them to provide their products at very low price points.
This is a padded headband that provides the utmost comfort. It has a noise-canceling microphone that rotates. It has mute and inline volume controls that are very easy to utilize, as well as an advanced digital USB. It is compatible with Windows and among other operational systems. Its cable length is eight feet, enhancing your comfort. This unit has a two-year limited hardware warranty.
Taking Care of Your Headset
Many online educators do not take proper care of their headsets. Even if your headset is assembled of durable material and comes along with a warranty, do not take it for granted. Take care of it after each use. If you buy a headset that has a cord, you need to ensure that it is always left untangled before placing it in an area that is free of clutter.
There are many online educators who tend to have a beverage next to them to take sips during a lesson. Besides looking unprofessional, this type of action can damage your headset because the liquid can fall on it and thus easily damage it.
At the end of the day, you are the only one who can come to the conclusion if a headset is indeed the best option for you. You can verify by asking your students how well they hear you. Make sure to ask them this question at the beginning of each lesson. Verifying that everything is in order in the audio department will ensure an engaging lesson.
Just like you need a good headset to conduct lessons, your students need a good headset to learn from you. For this reason, it is also important to notify them of the information that you just read by email or by posting a message on the virtual board.
Recruiters tend not to go into detail when it comes to the type of headsets students should have in order to gain a pleasant experience on their platform, making it your duty to explain it in detail. Notifying students about this information will reflect that you are the type of educator who goes the extra mile to ensure that every student is on the same page.
If you are just beginning your profession as an online English educator, you should always do everything within your reach to make the experience in your virtual classroom the most pleasant one possible; therefore, it is vital that you take time to inform them about information that could help facilitate their learning in your virtual classroom, including what type of headset to get.
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