Great Mac-compatible headset for VOIP?
January 12, 2010 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Recommendations for a great Mac-compatible phone headset or earpiece?

I occasionally use my laptop, a circa 2007 Macbook Pro, for business calls, and want an affordable, well-made headset or earpiece with good audio quality.

My Macbook Pro has no microphone jack, and I am not overly fond of bluetooth earpieces due to sub-par audio with even the best ones on cell phones.

Am I limited to USB devices? Is bluetooth so much better on laptops that I should consider it?

I'm not desk bound, so I would like something I can toss, with my laptop, into my messenger bag; it should be somewhat compact or durable - road-warrior gear.

Enlighten me - what headsets should I consider that will play well with my Mac? What do you use and love?
posted by zippy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't worry about Mac compatibility with a USB device. Those work with any OS. I don't recommend getting a Bluetooth set, as you'll need to deal with batteries and poorer quality, plus it will drain your laptop's batteries faster, too.

If you want to use a regular 3.5 mm jack headset, you can use one of these dirt cheap adapters, whcih have reasonable quality for voice. If you're using it for Skype (and not production work), this makes the difference between USB and audio jacks trivial. Unfortunately, the MacBook Pro (I own the same one) does not have a powered microphone port. What it has is a line-in port, which Apple reasoned a "pro" would be more likely to use, since that's what comes out of video editors and audio equipment.

Personally, I say look for what you like in headphones (IE what doesn't bother your ears) and see what gets five stars on Amazon. Failing that, I'm sure you'll get much more specific recommendations from others.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:50 AM on January 12, 2010

I have an old Logitech USB headset that I used to use with Skype that worked perfectly with OSX.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:54 AM on January 12, 2010

I have a Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 headset. It's USB, durable, comfortable, has very good audio quality, and works just fine with my MacBook. It may be too big for your use but I've been satisfied enough that I would buy another without hesitation, should I need replace mine.
posted by 6550 at 12:10 PM on January 12, 2010

Best answer: I just use the built-in microphone on my MBP and a regular set of iPod/stereo headphones. The sound quality is great, but you have to stay seated at the computer.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 5:37 PM on January 12, 2010

Best answer: I've been a heavy user of Skype with a headset on Macs for several years. I'm very picky about sound quality (on both sides of the conversation), and my go-to headset for quite awhile was a Plantronics fold-up USB headset that I liked, but when I broke it a few weeks ago I was disappointed to find out (via Amazon ratings) that they've "updated" that model with one that's not nearly as good.

After dithering about it for a good while, I rolled the dice on a Sennheiser PC 166 usb headset, and I've been really, really pleased with it. Several Amazon reviewers mentioned issues with low volume on it, but that's not been my experience at all.
posted by nonliteral at 5:50 PM on January 12, 2010

Response by poster: Fin, that's a great suggestion. I wouldn't have suspected it, but regular headphones plus built-in mic = awesome.
posted by zippy at 2:21 AM on January 23, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you for the good answers. I went with Fin's solution (decent earbuds, built-in Macbook mic) and it works very well.
posted by zippy at 3:01 PM on February 22, 2010

« Older The value of a company share   |   "Can't we cross this here and get a couple more... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.