We have put together a list of the best headsets to ensure that your live video call stays productive and you don’t miss a beat of the conversation.
First, why is it so important to invest in a quality headset? Well for starters, your laptop speaker is not doing your virtual calls any justice. Editor and audiophile, James Wright explains that “laptop speakers are designed to fit into a small compartment so they generally aren’t of the best quality. If your system volume is set too high, any audio you play might sound scratchy or distorted.” Because the speakers are built so close to the screen, sound waves bounce off the display and cause the sound to become cluttered. This is why you may often hear an echo. Not only that, but auditory masking can be a major problem. This is when laptop microphones pick up a lot of background noise that can drown out your voice. Maybe you are using a pair of wired earbuds? This can definitely help to combat some of these issues, but these headphones usually have the microphone directly on the wire which can cause problems as well. The wire/microphone often gets bounced around from hand movements, brushed against clothing, or caught in your hair, leaving participants with muffled and distracting audio.
These are our top picks for headsets that are comfortable, professional, and will leave you with a seamless live video call.
Our top pick is perfect for young professionals in their home office or working college students. They are not only affordable, but they have the best comfort and sound quality for the price. And if you're also looking to give a clean, professional look on camera this headset will certainly do that with its sleek and modern design.
Connectivity: USB-A connection with 7.64 ft. cable (compatible with laptops, 2-in-1, or tablets with a full USB port)
Audio: Hardly any loss or breakage in signal delivery; audio drivers are laser-tuned to guarantee precision
Noise: Noise-cancelling capabilities (mic only captures active voices directed towards it and filters all peripheral noises)
Comfort: Lightweight; ear-cups and headband are padded with soft durable foam to reduce strain (comfortable to wear for long periods of time)
Design: Volume/mute buttons are mounted on an easily reachable inline remote system; adjustable microphone for optimal speaking position
Price: Affordable: $29.99
Connectivity: Does not support wireless connectivity; cable length can feel a bit restraining.
Design: Plastic casing is somewhat fragile.
Another budget-friendly option is the Mpow 071 USB Headset. Its versatility allows it to fit most laptops, desktops, cellphones, and tablets. The quality may not be as elite as some of the mid-range or high-end options, but it certainly gets the job done. And, the audio/noise control performs much better than laptop speakers or wired earbuds. Not to mention, it comes in a variety of fun colors to help you stand out.
Connectivity: USB and detachable 3.5 mm jack (compatible with Windows 2000/7/8/10/XP/Vista, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Tablet, PC)
Audio: Solid sound quality (40 mm driver)
Noise: Noise reduction
Comfort: Adjustable steel slider on headband with memory foam; fluffy ear pads with friendly protein leather (extended wear comfort)
Design: Unidirectional microphone; easy access volume/mute buttons; 5 color options (black, blue, purple, silver, and white)
Price: Affordable: $32.99
Connectivity: Wire cord does not offer as much freedom as Bluetooth.
Noise: Not fully noise cancelling
Comfort: Varies by person (headband may feel tight for some people).
If you are looking for a higher quality headset that is still comfortable and professional, the mid-range Logitech USB headset does not disappoint. It has excellent audio and recording quality and the USB wire cable is compatible with almost any laptop or desktop computer. The features of this Logitech headset are very compatible with the price.
Connectivity: USB (compatible with Windows Vista and later, Mac OS 10.7 and higher, and Linux)
Audio: Clear and accurate sound reproduction from the speakers.
Noise: Noise and echo cancellation
Comfort: Faux-leather ear-cups and head rest (comfortable to wear for long periods of time)
Design: Lightweight (4.2 oz); flexible microphone for adjustment to mouth; easy access volume/mute buttons.
Connectivity: The inline call feature is not compatible with all software.
Design: Wire cord does not offer as much freedom as Bluetooth.
If you are someone who prefers to have more freedom to move around during video calls, a Bluetooth headset may be for you. The Jabra Elite 45h is the best quality wireless headset that you can get for under $100. It has an elite combination of sound quality, call functionality, and long battery life. This Bluetooth headset will not only let you show off your dance moves to your more stressed out colleagues, but it is also great for listening to music in your downtime.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 (compatible with iOS 11.2 or later and Android 7.0 or later); 50 hours battery life; multi-device pairing
Audio: 45h sound (upbeat, energetic sound/good detail and control/ balanced EQ)
Noise: Good overall voice quality and noise isolation
Comfort: Continuous ear cushion surface; light and comfortable; good distribution of pressure
Design: Ear-cups fold flat; intuitive button controls and Bluetooth switch located in the right ear-cup; two color options (titanium black and gold beige)
Price: Mid-range: $79.99
Connectivity: Lacks an analog headphone input (only compatible with Bluetooth devices)
Noise: No active noise-cancellation
Comfort: Can shift easily with head movement.
If you still prefer a wireless option with a more minimal look, this LG Tone style HBS-SL5 is worn around-the-neck which makes them suitable for all purposes. The retractable earbuds are easy to operate and keep track of, especially if you have a tendency to lose things. This headset is a great alternative to traditional wired earbuds because you won’t have to worry about accidentally bumping the microphone with your hand gestures. These are perfect for those who travel, as well as those who are in an improvised working space or office.
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0 interface; long battery life/quick charging (10 minutes to charge 3 hours of use, the full battery lasts 8 hours)
Audio: Meridian audio; three-dimensional
Noise: Two built-in microphones; hands-free chatting
Comfort: Three replaceable ear tip options are included
Design: Easy to operate; retractable earbuds; neckband vibrates when you receive a call/text
Price: Mid-range: $84.99
Connectivity: Limited to devices with Bluetooth capability
Noise: Lower voice frequencies may sound muffled.
Comfort: Earbuds don't have angled nozzles (may be uncomfortable for some ears).
We hope that we have provided you with a quality list and some inspiration to purchase a headset for your future live video calls. No matter which you choose, it will be a game-changer when you want to connect with your team, providing you with better sound quality and less interference from your laptop speaker or wired earbuds. Let’s step up our video meetings and make a lasting, professional impact!