The best headphones for making Skype calls?
Paul Ockenden experiments with different headsets for making phone calls from his laptop
For a while now I’ve been trying to find a good solution for making laptop calls via Skype or Lync.
There's a whole slew of options, from the high-end and eye-wateringly expensive Plantronics kit through to simple options such as just plugging a set of iPhone earbuds into your laptop via an adapter to split the earphone and mic functions. The latter trick actually works, but the in-cord controls probably won’t, so you’ll have to mess around with onscreen controls.
In fact, even with some of the high-end earbuds you’ll probably find that the in-cord controls don’t work in Lync, so when you press Mute, for example, it will mute the whole laptop rather than only the Lync client.
Recently I’ve been playing with a set of Logitech’s BH320 earbuds, which plug into the USB socket rather than the usual headphone and mic socket and so can pass commands properly to Lync, Skype or whatever.
I’ve found these BH320s to be excellent for making voice calls. In fact, I reckon that most times they’re better than using a wired telephone (and the person at the other end often remarks that my voice is extremely clear, too).
I did try using them for music, which works, but I wouldn’t recommend it for serious listening because the bass, in particular, is almost non-existent. But I don’t think these earbuds are supposed to be about listening to music – they’re optimised for voice calling and perform that function exceptionally well.
I was a little surprised to find a company such as Logitech making kit such as this, since most of its products are very much in the consumer space: internet radios, Squeezebox streamers, big flashy remote controls, keyboards and mice. I wasn’t even aware the company was active within the B2B space; based on my real-world test of the BH320s, however, I think Logitech is onto a winner here.