Setup for computer calls that doesn't involve a headset
July 26, 2015 3:41 PM   Subscribe

I take work calls from my computer, and want a solution to improve my sound that isn't a headset or Bluetooth. Any ideas?

I work from home, and answer work calls through an app on my Mac desktop. (This setup is non-negotiable, and I won't be using anything other than the app + desktop for this scenario.)

Right now, I don't use a headset or anything external. The call comes in, I click answer, then use the native Mac speakers and microphone to take the call. The speakers work just fine, but the inbound mic gives my voice a tinny mushy sound.

I want a new solution, but I have some requirements. I don't know if my ideal setup exists.

1. I don't want a headset or Bluetooth or anything that covers my ears or touches my ears. This rules out the obvious solutions, but trust me - I don't want my ears covered or touched. (I can't stand that feeling of stuff on my face.)

2. I don't mind continuing to use the native speakers (the caller always sound great) - I just want my voice to sound better. A standalone mic is an idea, but I worry about feedback combining the native speakers + the external mic. Since many of my calls are long, however, a mic where I need to hold down a button to talk the entire time isn't feasible.

I don't know anything about this type of technology, so I'm not sure if there's a total DUH! answer I'm missing or if what I want doesn't exist. Can you help? Thanks!
posted by Zosia Blue to Technology (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You want a Jabra SPEAK 410. Usb connected, trivial fast mute, echo cancellation. I hate all gadgets, but use this.
posted by gregglind at 5:03 PM on July 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wow! That looks like exactly what I was hoping would exist. Going to give it a shot. Thank you!
posted by Zosia Blue at 6:43 PM on July 26, 2015

Best answer: We have a similar (or the same) Jabra at work. Easy to set up and use.
posted by radioamy at 6:44 PM on July 26, 2015

If that one doesn't work, I recommend the standalone mic route. I haven't used that specific Jabra since I gave up once I settled on the standalone mic, but I tried out just about every option for years and years. One day, I saw a $10 mic with a basic headphone style jack on Amazon and decided to give it a shot. Once I started using it people were asking me what I'd done to make myself sound so good after the first call. I've been using it for about 2 years now and I haven't had a single issue. I use it combined with my normal PC audio, which runs through an amplifier and pair of bookshelf speakers, without echoes or feedback or anything like that. The mic is a few feet from one of the speakers and about as far away from where I sit.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:44 AM on July 27, 2015

The ClearOne Chat 50 is what we use at our office. It's nice. It's USB-powered with a wall wart if you are using the 3.5mm jack instead. No Bluetooth, though.
posted by domo at 7:46 AM on July 27, 2015

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