USB Headset

by JL Beeken on 8-06-2010

When I buy technological gadgets I always think I know what I’m buying and I’m almost always wrong. I returned the clip-on microphone that I purchased yesterday because of the screaming feedback. Then I narrowed down the USB headsets to two.

I already bought a USB headset awhile back for video-recording but it’s heavy and hot and when I’m talking on Skype I feel like I’m in a tunnel. I was looking for something more user-friendly for phone conversations. These two looked pretty much the same except one was a bit smaller and I like small because I’m small and big things make me feel overwhelmed.

I brought it home and sliced through all the plastic wrap, feeling quite confident that I would not be returning it. If there’s any chance of a refund I like to take it easy on the plastic.

USB Headset

As soon as I got it out of the packaging I realized that I had completely missed something that was written in faint white print on the box. I don’t take a magnifying glass with me when I go shopping and I really should. It says, “Adjustable, behind-the-head fit”.

‘Behind-the-head fit” … I wonder what that is. It took one try to realize the headset was not going to be supported on top of my head.

All I had to do was imitate the picture of the lady on the box wearing this headset, taking the ear-piece as a cue since that’s all I could see.

It took me a couple of minutes to realize this would not ever be possible. The microphone is on the right side of her head with the USB cable trailing down the right side of her body. When I put it on this way the whole gizmo slid down off my ears til it reached my chin.

A hundred other people would have realized this immediately. But, not me. This thing is meant to be suspended from my ears. If I turn the headset upside down, I can hang the frame across my ears and that will keep it upright. That just means I get the USB cable draped across my lap because the tower is to the right of my chair. And I must have an unusually small head because the ear-pieces don’t sit snug against my ears. Maybe they’re not supposed to?

USB Headset

There’s reams and reams of paper that came with this product. Nothing, nowhere does it say that I can dismantle this headset and re-assemble it in reverse order. Does it say that this headset comes in right-handed and left-handed versions? No, it does not. It says to plug it into a USB port, set it as the default audio device and go. In another picture of the same lady, inside the box, she’s wearing the microphone on the left.

Apparently, someone reversed the image on the outside of the box to show her wearing the microphone on the right. What they really should be including is a closeup of someone’s ears because it’s not obvious, to some of us, until you’ve ruled out all other possibilities. The bar across the back leans against the top of my pony-tail, otherwise I guess it would be against your neck.

The sound quality on USB headsets is sublime and this one has an inline control for turning the volume up and down. But I could have done with some clearer instructions.

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