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Decent Multi-purpose Headset Recommendations?

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GunnerMan

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Location
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The mic on my Logitech H540 that I have been using for phone calls and casual music listening during work, along with a little gaming, crapped out on me.

I'd like to pick up something a bit higher quality both in the mic and sound areas that I can use for making phone calls without sounding like I am talking through a bucket and some casual music listening. My budget is around $75 but I could go up to $150 if the increase in quality is that much better.

I have owned Sennheiser's and Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro's before when I was in college and/or used computers more for casual activities rather than work. I loved the 770's a ton.

My Sennheisers were open design and the 770's, of course, closed. Overall, I liked the more immersive sound and outside noise dampening of the closed style. It was also nice that I didn't need to worry about being "that guy" with the headphones that double as speakers for everyone else. Still, on both models, and my H540, I found myself pulling one earphone to the side about 75% of the time (a bit less with the open style) so I could hear the outside environment. While I like the idea of the double sided option, I think I would be happier and more comfortable with a single sided headset solution when considering the real intended purpose of making business calls etc.

I was looking at some of the Epos headsets. The ones in my price range seem to be lower profile on ear styles. I was also looking at Beyerdynamic's DT 108's which look to be well built and comfortable, though, I can hear the "prepare for landing" jokes now.

I am not tied to any specific style or brand (though no in-ear please) nor am I completely set on single sided. I also don't want to have giant cans on my head when doing webcam meetings (the size of the 108's is about as large as I am willing to go). I'm not particular about wired vs wireless or other fancy bells and whistles, just comfort and sound quality.

But, I realized that I have no idea what I am looking at when it comes to headset specifications and there are so many headset options that it's hard to sift through them all and find real reviews rather than the crap listicles that Google provides. The sound community here has been a great help in the past and I hope someone might lend their insight here because I don't always make the best choices on these things when left to my own devices.

Thank you.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
I've really been liking my Fidelio X2s with a BoomPro on them, very comfortable, great sound, etc.

Prior to that I was using a beyerdynamic mmx300 and it was really nice also, but would probably be too big/possibly out of price range.
 
OP
GunnerMan

GunnerMan

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Location
Albuquerque, New Mexico
I like the idea of a BoomPro but that requires a headphone with detachable cord which does not seem to be common at my price point. I used a clip on mic before that was not inline and I liked the flexibility but not the extra cord getting tangled and twisted.

Yes, the mmx300 are out of my range and too bulky. I ended up going with the Sennheiser/Epos Adapt SC 135's. We'll see about the quality but I got tired of looking and kind of need something quickly. I liked the overall design and the specs didn't seem terrible. It accommodates both USB and 3.5mm which will be handy for use away from the computer.
 

Janus67

Benching Team Leader
Joined
May 29, 2005
Hope it works well for you! Looks like some others recommend a zalman $10 microphone that folks wrap the cord around the headphone cord and clip it onto it to make it look like all one thing

 
OP
GunnerMan

GunnerMan

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Location
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Hope it works well for you! Looks like some others recommend a zalman $10 microphone that folks wrap the cord around the headphone cord and clip it onto it to make it look like all one thing

Yep, I used that Zalman mic before. Unfortunately, my headphones at the time had a coil cord that made it a nightmare to keep the clip on from getting all bunched and tangle in.

I received the SC 135's. I haven't gotten much use out of them yet but here are my initial thoughts in case anyone finds this and wonders.

Fit and build:
Overall, they are comfortable and light. I can wear them for extended period without feeling compelled to remove them. They look and feel pretty well built with only one chintz factor. The leatherette ear pad has full coverage foam padding, no opening for your ear or the speaker. I like this because it distributes the pressure over more of your ear surface. The padding on the ear pad is about 1/4" thick, so not a ton but it does it's job. We'll see how the foam ages.

I was a little disappointed with the padding on the non-earphone side. It only has a small patch of 1/8" low density open cell foam as the padding. Depending on your head width, it may not be enough to keep keep the hard plastic edges from touching your head. It works ok for me, and will likely get better as I break them in a bit and they are not so springy. Still, after extended wear, I can feel the area where the the rest was. That open cell foam will turn right to garbage over time, leaving little foam chunkies in your hair as it disintegrates. I will likely scrape it out and cut a small piece of closed cell hobby sheet foam to place in there instead.

The side piece without the ear phone is non-adjustable. No biggie. Pros and cons. One problem i had with the Logitechs is the adjustment slide wore out and I had to refit them every use. So reducing wear points is good but it might have been nice to adjust it for the best possible fit. The slide on the headphone side is decent, no play or looseness and so far has stayed put through multiple uses. It could be a little firmer, again we will see how it wears over time. (Adding a locking pin to permanently set your desired setting wouldn't be a bad idea).

These models have a detachable cord segment for USB or 3.5mm use. Already came in handy! A nice touch would have been to include a small attachable carrying bag for the USB segment so you don't need to worry about what happened to the usb part when using the 3.5mm option. The USB part detaches with about 3' of cord so it's not going to get lost on your desk, or in a car seat etc. but what do you do with it while it's detached?

Sound:
Of course, you are not going to get world class sound from a $75 monoaural headset so I was not expecting the world but I was looking for something a bit cleaner than and more range than the $20 home models.

As you might expect, there is not a lot of sound stage, maybe even slightly less than the Logitech's. You are not going to get that "sitting there" feeling that you'll get with higher end over ears. I guess I prefer an upfront sound when dealing with voice.

The sound is clean and pure with good range. Noticeably more than the Logitech which has a bit more tinny sound. The bass won't give you goosebumps or anything but it is there. Voice sounds are very present and upfront.

I have not done a lot of testing with the mic but I do sound like myself at least and from what I hear it was all very clean with good volume. It didn't pick up any lower frequency background noises such as HVAC fans etc.

Overall, a good pair so far. About what you'd expect from a $70 kit. They will definitely fit the bill for office voice communication with casual music listening in-between. I am happy with them. 4 out of 5 stars because of the poor dollar store quality padding on the headrest side.