Headsets For Mac Conferencing

Shopping And Buying Tips For Webcam Headsets

There are many different kinds of 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. Headsets can utilized to conduct manage Skype and FaceTime calls from your Mac, as well as enjoy streaming computer audio, iTunes music playback and for Apple dictation. 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 setting.

Recommended Mac USB Headsets

For 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. They typically 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 HeadsetDictation Headset w/Mic
Creative Labs Headset

Adjustable Mic - 30mm Drivers
Plantronics USB Stereo

On-Ear Controls, 40mm Drivers

       
Best-Selling HeadsetGreat-Sounding Headset
Newest Logitech Model

On-Ear Mute + Vol
USB Koss Headset

Excellent Bass Response

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, wired, cordless with an RF transmitter, or wireless via a Bluetooth connection to your Mac.

Wireless Headsets For Webcam Chat On A Mac

           
RF WirelessCombo WirelessRF Wireless
Plantronics Headset

USB RF Transciever
Logitech Premium Headset

RF AND Bluetooth
Andrea Headset

Design Folds Flat

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 and Speech Recognition

Because 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 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 Use

Comfort 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 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 Music And Gaming Too

If 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 Environment

When 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 sounds.

Apple Headset Compatibility

Think about headset compatibility with Apple hardware when you're deciding to buy a headset. If the headset has a USB 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 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. More recently Apple introduced a 4-conductor (4-Pole) audio plug that combines speaker and mic into one. Macs since 2010 and iPads, iPhones and iPod touch support the 4-pole plug, as do most cell-phone manufacturers as well.

As such, the latest generation of 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. As such, many more analog headsets are now appropriate for Mac OSX / iOS use.