Over-ear headset for high-noise env?
August 4, 2016 11:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a noise blocking (or canceling), over-ear headset with microphone that would work well in a datacenter. My use case is Google hangouts with teammates while we're in the colo, so it needs to minimize background noise for the wearer, and have some kind of noise canceling for the mic. Over-ear is a must, these will be shared headsets.

NB: We've tried ear-muffs over conventional earbuds, and are aware of products like Etymotic's in-ear offerings.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic to Technology (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I tend to be in general a champion of passive noise isolating headphones, which means the big circum-aural headphones that cover your ears and don't have active noise-canceling processing. They're lighter, don't take power, and I think work better in situations such as yours, where you are likely to have lots of fluctuations in the noise, including impulse noises. Noise canceling headphones work pretty well, but only if the background noise is relatively steady state.

As far as noise canceling on the mic, there's not really good technology for actual input noise canceling. What you want is a mic where you can change the input dynamic range (sometimes called 'mic gain'), assuming the background noise is at a lower volume than the voice of the speaker when it hits the mic. That way you can turn down the gain (shift the input range up) and the mic won't pick up so much of the background.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:04 PM on August 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have Ryobi and a Howard Leight over the head ear-muffs with mini-input jacks that I wear in the workshop, but those don't have mics. If you can spend a couple of hundred bucks, I'd look towards aviation headsets. They're built for a really similar environment.
posted by straw at 12:17 PM on August 4, 2016

Response by poster: Ok, I'm going to test an actual aviation headset with a USB adapter. Thanks, folks!
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:10 PM on August 4, 2016

This Plantronics set is my daily pair and I highly recommend it for comfort. It does require an adapter to be used as USB or in a regular phone jack.
posted by soelo at 8:48 AM on August 5, 2016

Response by poster: Followup: I got a real aviation headset and a USB adapter for it, and they work quite well in the datacenter for Google Hangouts and Webex. My colleagues say there is low or no discernible fan noise coming from my end, and I am able to hear them very clearly.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 1:18 PM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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