Need a headset for music AND landline phonecalls
September 3, 2008 12:16 PM   Subscribe

Is there a wireless headset that will let me listen to beautiful music from my computer as well as make/receive phonecalls on my landline?

I spend all day listening to music from my Mac Pro using wireless headphones (Sennheiser RS120s; great for what they are). Problem: when the phone rings I have to whip off the headphones and pick up my cordless phone. This, technically speaking, is a pain in the rear. I'd love to have a wireless headset that could do both functions.

For music, the solution would either plug into the Mac's 1/8" speaker jack, or connect to it via Bluetooth (I'm running Leopard, which supports A2DP). For phonecalls, the solution would plug into a modular phone jack (I use Callvantage VOIP, so theoretically the solution could connect straight to the data stream, but Callvantage is proprietary so I don't think it would be possible.)

There must be millions of desk workers in my shoes who would buy something that solves this problem; I find it hard to believe that there isn't a company who's seen the market and built a solution. The closest product I've found is this, which adapts a wired phoneline to a Bluetooth phone, with a stereo input on the side. It doesn't seem to be available, though.
posted by dtgriscom to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Bluetooth does seem to be the way to go. Here's a landline-to-bluetooth adapter that's in stock. After getting something like that, you just need a stereo headset which supports pairing multiple devices. Lots of them seem to support this, just check their manuals before you settle on one.
posted by closetpacifist at 1:34 PM on September 3, 2008

From the headphone side: I just bought a pair of Motorola S9 stereo Bluetooth headphones (Amazon, $43, bulk packaging). They sound fine and are lightweight. I've used them for calls on my iPhone and music on my iPhone (using a Sony stereo Bluetooth adapter purchased from Amazon, ~$50 IIRC, and which I highly recommend) and music on my MacBook Pro (built in BT). I haven't tried the exact setuo you're after, but they are a good set of headphones at a great price.
posted by mosk at 2:35 PM on September 3, 2008

Not sure how these might fit into a solution, but don't miss this selection of stereo headsets from Hello Direct.
posted by intermod at 9:36 PM on September 3, 2008

Thanks for all the suggestions. I guess it's time to dig into those manuals, and perhaps email tech support for the details.
posted by dtgriscom at 10:14 AM on September 5, 2008

Well, I've just picked up a Voyager 855 headset from Plantronics, and have tried it out with my cellphone and my laptop. I chose it because it can pair with two devices at once (the term is "multipoint"), supports A2DP, is stereo, and has a loose wire between the two earpieces (my head's big). Result: works well for cellphone calls, but is only passable for music (the audio doesn't have much bass, which makes my usual diet of rock sound limp). Other problems include discomfort with long-term use of the in-ear piece, and hiccups and disconnections when switching between a cell call and the laptop's music. I'll keep it for hands-free cellphone use, but it's not going to cut it for serious music listening.

I also haven't found the right device for converting my landline to Bluetooth. The Jabra A7010 Bluetooth Hub would require that I get a phone and a handset lifter, which means more money and complications.

What I really need is a landline Bluetooth adaptor like the Rayson BTA-320. It looks perfect: no additional equipment (other than a Bluetooth headset), and has its own audio in so I don't have to deal with switching between Bluetooth devices. Problem: it's obscure, I don't see any manuals (e.g. does it support A2DP?), and I'd need to buy it from some obscure importer.

So, for the moment I'm stuck doing the headphone/cordless phone swap...
posted by dtgriscom at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2008

If you want one that has double shells, so it can be used for both calls and music, you could use the Logitech USB Wireless Chat Pro. I have it and am happy with it. Music sound quality is okay, but not for audiophiles.
posted by sinbarambam at 2:41 AM on October 2, 2008

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