Buying Tips For Webcam HeadsetsThere are many different kinds of Mac compatible mic headsets in the marketplace with various functions and widely differing levels of quality. Picking which headset to buy for your Apple voice and webcam video conferencing setup depends upon how long, where and when you'll make use of the headset during any given voice or video chat session.
Digital USB *or* 4-Pole 3.5mm Connectivity
Headsets can be utilized to conduct and manage Skype, Zoom and FaceTime calls from your Mac, as well as enjoy streaming computer audio, iTunes music playback and for Apple speech recognition. A headset can be either wired or wireless and can vary greatly in size and shape. They may be lightweight (such as ear buds or single on-ear Bluetooth headsets) to larger over or behind the head headset designs. Most gamers and music lovers will prefer a stereo headset, but single-sided mono headsets for business use may be more practical and preferred in an office call-center setting.
Recommended Mac USB HeadsetsFor simple plug-n-play convenience and full-fidelity sound reproduction, these Apple compatible USB headsets with microphone are ideal for use at your Macintosh desktop setup. Some feature long cords, often around 8-10 feet long to let you kick-back in your office chair or roam a bit even though you're still tethered to your computer.
|Creative Quality Headset||Dictation Headset w/Mic|
|Creative Labs Headset
|Plantronics USB Stereo
|Best-Selling Headset||Great-Sounding Headset|
On-Ear Mute + Vol
|USB Koss Headset
Excellent Bass Response
USB-C Headsets For MacA new generation of USB-C mic headset connectivity is needed for new iMac, Mac mini or MacBook models with Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports (which are USB 3.1 compatible.) There are a few native USB-C headsets with mic reaching the market worth review. You can optionally use a rectangular USB-A to USB-C adapter to use conventional USB headsets with if needed.
Native Type-C Interface
How Will You Use The Headset?When considering which Apple compatible headset to purchase, first ascertain exactly what you primarily intend to utilize it for. Think about whether you'll be using your headset for pleasure or business, for gaming, for music playback, for Mac webcam conferencing, or for OSX speech recognition and Apple dictation. Headsets can be USB, USB-C, wired, wireless with a 2.4GHz RF transmitter, or via a Bluetooth connection to your Mac.
Wireless Headsets For Webcam Chat On A Mac
|RF Wireless||Combo Wireless|
USB RF Transciever
|Logitech Premium Headset
RF AND Bluetooth
Wireless headsets obviously provide the advantages of more mobility which Apple users increasingly prefer. RF models have higher-fidelity audio and a more reliable operating range up to 50 feet, while Bluetooth typically craps-out within 30 feet or less. Bluetooth headsets also compress the audio signal and make some tradeoffs in speech and music quality. That makes them 'okay' for casual video and voice chat, but less than optimal for speech recognition and Apple dictation where precise interpretation of the audio signal is required. Both types of wireless headsets incorporate rechargeable batteries that may recharged via USB or a dedicated AC power supply. One advantage of Bluetooth headsets is that they don't require a USB port and can be switched between multiple gadgets when needed, for example an iPhone, Mac laptop or desktop, a home stereo, or a video gaming console after being paired with each gadget.
If you intend to use your headset primarily for webcam video chat or Skype on a Mac, a hard-wired USB headset is typically the most reliable and highest fidelity headset to buy. After all, you're not likely to be wandering far from the external webcam or built-in Apple iSight's view. If you have the urge to roam, wireless is a better choice.
Headsets For Apple Dictation & Speech RecognitionBecause accurate capture from a headset's built-in microphone is critical for speech recognition accuracy, a wired headset (either Analog or USB) or RF wireless headset is generally preferred over Bluetooth. There are some exceptions as some of the latest generation of Ultra-Wideband Bluetooth 4.0/5.0 headsets don't rely on heavy audio compression as in the past and perform better for Mac dictation and speech recognition.
Headset Comfort And Convenience During UseComfort and wearability is also a consideration to take into account when buying a headset for Mac and iGadget use. Comfortable, pivoting ear pads and padding on the headband can make long chat sessions alot more enjoyable. Many quasi-portable headsets have folding headbands and ear-cups that pivot so they can lay flat when not in use: They're more convenient and less space-hogging for travel or storage. Wired or Bluetooth earbud headsets with Apple compatible microphone integrated into the cord are most portable of all.
Headsets For Mac Music And Gaming TooIf you're leaning in your purchase a headset to primarily improve Apple iTunes music experience or for gaming needs, think about headsets that explicitly brag about deep bass and full-range 20Hz-20KHz response. These types of headsets have the tendency to feature big 40mm, 50mm or larger internal sound drivers for rich bass and hi-fi audio, and well-padded ear cups for enduring comfort and fully-immersive sound. Because gamers typically put on these headsets for long gaming sessions, these are typically wired to connect to a computer or console. RF-Wireless gaming headsets are also a popular choice. With the former, players don't need to futz batteries or deal with periodic recharging issues, with the latter they get some freedom to roam at a distance from their TV or Mac computer screen.
Consider Your Surrounding EnvironmentWhen deciding on your purchase of a headset, take into account the surrounding environment where you'll be using it. If it's a noisy environment, as in an office or a residence with roomies, in-ear or full-size earcups help block out ambient noise. Many lightweight headsets have open-air foam ear-coverings to also allow hearing what's going on around you - which can be important in a business environment. Some headsets feature noise-canceling mics, or ambient noise-cancellation to block unwanted enviromental and background sounds.
Apple Headset CompatibilityThink about headset compatibility with Apple hardware when you're deciding to buy a headset. If the headset has a USB or USB-C plug, you're all set since OSX has standard USB audio drivers built into the OS. Some vendors like Logitech or Creative Labs MAY provide specific Apple support for sound control with SELECT models of higher end headsets. Sadly many of the more elaborate 5.1 surround-sound gaming headsets only work in 2.0 stereo mode when plugged into a Macintosh.
Apple's use of non-standard signal voltages in analog microphones was problematic in the past. Another problem is most PC headsets have TWO separate 2 and 3-conductor 1/8" 3.5mm plugs: One for the microphone, the other for the stereo headset. Macs have a combined audio port. More recently Apple introduced a 4-conductor (4-Pole) TRRS audio jack that combines speaker and mic into one. Macs since 2010 and iPads, iPhones and iPod touch support the TRRS 4-pole plug CTIA standard, as do most cell-phone manufacturers as well.
As such, the latest generation of 4-conductor analog microphone headsets are now both Mac and PC, iPhone and Andriod / Samsung / etc compatible. Some come with both separate dual plugs (for older computers) and a interchangeable 4-pole plug for more modern devices. In short, many more analog headsets are now appropriate for Mac OSX / iOS use.