Looking for your thoughts on USB headsets.

Audience participation time. I’m sure more than a few of you folks out there are using USB headsets to voice chat online and I’m looking to pick one up as the quality of the audio from the collar mic I’m using now is best described as “meh.” The collar mic uses the standard microphone jack on the audio system and I’ve read that USB based mics tend to produce better sound, especially when used with a headset to help muffle output from the speakers.

My primary uses will be for voice chat while gaming though I’d like to try a podcast at some point so I’d like something that provides really good audio quality. I’ve been reading reviews here and there, but it’s hard to judge how much I need to speed for something that’ll produce decent audio and I’m hoping to be able to pick up two as Anne is voice chatting more when she plays WoW. So I’m turning to you folks to see if you have any recommendations you can pass along for me to check out. What’s good? What’s bad. What’s the best bang for the buck?

4 thoughts on “Looking for your thoughts on USB headsets.

  1. I did a lot of research when I was buying mine, The Logictech ones sounded tinny. I settled on a Plantronics DPS-500. It sounds better than another headset I have used in this price range. What makes it sound so good is the onboard soundcard the model has. It is great quality for teamspeak or ventrillo, and even good enough to podcast with if you choose.

  2. I bought a USB headset from Logitech, and while they’re okay, they were not well-designed.

    I wear glasses, that means I need headphones that go around my ears, not just squish onto them. As a result, I can only stand to wear my headset for about an hour before I pull it down onto my neck.

    The mic is of excellent quality, but the poor sound quality from the speakers in my $50 headset mixed with that is something that’s left me thinking on a replacement.

  3. At first I thought from the title this was some kind of snake-oil mind-reading headset thingy

  4. I recommend choosing one for comfort more so than sound quality.  Most headsets today all have about the same quality of sound from the $20-$100 range.  Unless you spend an insane amount you will likely see little increase in sound quality, especially for the MICs.  A better sound card will likely give you more of an increase in audio quality (in or out) than a headset.

    I did a lot of research before buying my headset about 2 years ago and even talked to an audiophile.  He swears by Plantronics, and that’s what I got.  But it hurt my ears, something I overlooked.  I had to pull mine down after a half hour, glasses or contacts.  I could squeeze another hour or so if I had been drinking, but to me nothing beats comfort.  In that dept, Sony had a pair that seem to be the best!

    I know they’re not USB and a bit older, but the design was extremely comfortable (and that’s my focus).  The headset sat over the ear and the weight of the headset was put on the soft plastic thingies that sat over your ears.  These soft plastic thingies could bend and move in any direction meaning they can fit nearly any ear size and would not put a lot of force on the ear in one spot, but instead distribute it across the ear.

    My Plantronics set had some cheap small layer of softness followed by hard plastic that wouldn’t waver a millimeter.  This leads to quick soreness.

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