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PC Headsets Buying Guide

At first blush, you might think the computer headset has come a long way, with slinkier, sexier designs and Bluetooth capability. But at heart, it’s changed very little. After all, its function remains exactly the same, allowing you to hear and speak via your computer, whether it’s for voice calls or gaming (or even just using the headset to listen to music). So, what’s out there these days, anyway?

Make sure to check out our selections for best headphones based on our reviews and ratings.

Logitech Premium HeadsetLogitech Premium Stereo Headset with Noise-Cancelling Microphone
Think of this as the entry-level headset. There’s nothing too flashy about it, although the noise-cancelling microphone can be a blessing if you’re trying to use Skype in a crowded Wi-Fi hotspot. For a basic analog headset, it’s very fair indeed, and the two-ear headset means it’s also good for music like Internet radio and comfortable to wear for extended periods. The 20 to 20,000Hz response of the phones is good. You wouldn’t want to record from the mic, but for normal speech, it works well. It has an in-line volume control, and the mute feature is handy. MSRP: $19.99 USD. Compare Prices

Plantronics DSP-400Plantronics DSP-400 Digitally-Enhanced USB Foldable Stereo Headset
Moving up to digital sound, Plantronics has the DSP-400, which uses a USB port. The headphones respond from 60 to 16,000Hz, but with a very crisp sound, and the 10-foot cable lets you walk around the room. Comfortable on the head, and with an adjustable boom Electret condenser microphone that’s surprisingly good, this is an excellent headset (Plantronics has a strong reputation in this field). It comes with software for speech recognition that’s only for the PC. But, as just a headset — which is what most people want it for, after all — it’s fine with PC or Mac, and it folds up to an easy-to-carry size. Good, solid, and dependable. MSRP: $129.99 USD. Compare Prices

Plantronics Voyager 510Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset with Multipoint Technology
Plantronics scores again with a very smart little Bluetooth set. The neat twist to this particular device is that the Bluetooth isn’t just for cell phones. You can move between your phone and laptop and any other Bluetooth-enabled device — it knows which one you’re using and moves to it automatically, and there’s even a landline adapter. In other words, this is the headset that can do anything. But is it good? The simple answer is that it’s on a par with other Bluetooth devices. With six hours talk time and 100 hours standby, it’s flexible, and you have up to 33 feet of roaming – as far as you’re ever likely to need from your computer. It all folds up neatly, too. MSRP: $99.95 USD. Compare Prices

Sennheiser PC 166Sennheiser PC 166 USB Stereo Multimedia Gaming Headset
Aimed primarily at gamers, this digital Sennheiser set offers 360-degree sound for that 3D gaming experience, which is really what you need. There’s the usual noise-cancelling mono microphone, but really, this one is all about the headphones, which respond from an excellent 15 – 23,000Hz, so you’ll definitely get the bass rumble. There’s an integrated sound card chip in the USB adapter for crisper sound, and a good in-line volume control. Evidently, pro gamers helped design the set, so it’s well set up for that. Above all, they’re lightweight and extremely comfortable, which is vital when you’re putting in hours of gaming. MSRP: $149.95 USD. Compare Prices

Altec LAnsing AHS302USBAltec Lansing AHS302USB USB and Standard Stereo Behind-the-Neck Folding Headset
Versatility is a plus, they say, and this headset offers that. It can work using the standard mic/headphone analog jacks, or those jacks can plug into a USB adapter. There are those who like the behind-the-head design, which was in vogue for a while. As you’d expect, there’s a noise-cancelling microphone. The 20 – 20,000Hz phones give a good response, while the inline controller covers both headphone and microphone volume. Not really ideal for gaming or serious listening, these do work well for online chats. MSRP: $39.99 USD. Compare Prices

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