Since The Raven now works long-distance for a large government lab (LGL) which shall remain nameless, he has had to acquire a comfortable high-quality headset for long on-line conversations. Headsets turn out to be an area where a large amount of design and research has been invested. There are numerous types of earphones and microphones, signal processors, and devices. I've only scratched the surface of the market, and I came up with the following incomplete set of options:
- Wired or "corded" vs. wireless. Wireless sets sometimes include Bluetooth at considerable expense.
- Audio processing
- Basic telephony set.
- High-quality telephone set—includes audio processor. Some versions provide wideband sound reproduction, but this doesn't work with the actual telephone network, which is still bandwidth limited to 300-3300 Hz.
- Monaural—sound to one ear. Good for portability and comfort.
- Binaural headset—delivers the same sound to both ears for clarity in a noisy environment
- Gamer's set—adds stereo sound for spatial placement.
- Surround-sound gamer's set—even more spatial cueing.
- Audiophile—High-quality earphones for music listening.
- Voice processing—clarifies voices (including music vocals) at, probably, the cost of other kinds of sound
- Fixed to earpiece. Adequate in a quiet environment, will pick up noise everywhere else.
- Lapel microphone. Usually a bit closer to the mouth than an earpiece microphone, but still tends to pick up noise, and requires a lapel.
- Boom microphone. Brings microphone close to mouth to reduce background noise.
- Headworn performer or announcer's microphone. Made by the usual suspects: AudioTechnica, Crown Audio, ElectroVoice, Shure, and so on. Far and away the best wearable voice microphones available, but require adapters for use in telephony.
- Noise canceling—reduces background noise. Especially valuable with wireless sets used outdoors, where wind can play hob with voices.
Hmmm, wonder how these reproduce croaks.