(Wireless?) headset for Macbook with good microphone?
February 22, 2018 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I have hours of Zoom/Slack/Skype meetings every week, and I'd like a nice headset to use for those meetings. I have AirPods for my iPhone, and they behave well when I'm doing meetings on my phone, and completely fall apart when I try to pair them with my Macbook. Suggestions for something with a nice microphone that I can reliably use for meetings on my mac? Wireless is a plus as long as it's still reliable.
posted by sirion to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a place where you always work in your house, with other peripherals like backup drives & such? Or are you completely mobile?

I work in my home office almost exclusively for a bunch of reasons, so I bit the bullet a few years ago and got a Senneheiser OfficeRunner setup.

It consists of a base that plugs into your computer or hub via USB, and then a lightweight wireless headset. (You can use it with or without the headband part.) The range is AMAZING. I'm in a 3-story townhouse, and my office is on the first floor. I can go literally anywhere in my house with the headset on, which you absolutely cannot do with Bluetooth.

The battery life is also insane -- I've had 8 and 10 hour calls on this thing. The battery DOES eventually wear out, but they're cheap and replaceable.

They're expensive, but if you spend hours on meetings every week, it's TOTALLY worth it. I got an open box deal and paid only about $220 from Headsets.com, but that was nearly 6 years ago and it's still going strong. If it got destroyed tomorrow, I'd order a brand new one at full list with zero hesitation.

But, again, this is only attractive if you have a "home base." I do, because I prefer an outboard keyboard, a giant Thunderbolt display, a real desk phone for some calls, tethered backup drives, and wired ethernet for local network access, so it was no big deal for me.
posted by uberchet at 11:26 AM on February 22, 2018

It's not a headset focused on teleconferencing, but I'm really happy with my pair of Sony MDR-1000x noise-canceling headphones for all my Hangouts/Zoom/Slacking. (There's a well-regarded new version, but mine is about a year old at this point.) I usually keep one ear cup off during meetings to not have the weird muted self-talking-hearing issue that comes from speaking with NC headphones on, but it's fine with both ears on too.

The microphone is good enough to pick up my dog snoring from the floor (so much so that I need to stay muted when not speaking). Very comfy, the sound is great for music, and with the ANC they're a godsend for airplane travel. Battery life is good enough that I'm almost shocked when I get the low-batt alert; goes weeks at a time.

So something to consider if you want a do-it-all headset.
posted by supercres at 12:11 PM on February 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Addendum: BT connectivity is fine on my MBP; makes it almost all over my 1000 s.f. 2-story house. My Beats X with the W1 chip are a little easier to switch between devices (no need to disconnect on the first device), but the Sonys mostly stay paired to my laptop.
posted by supercres at 12:14 PM on February 22, 2018

I've had a couple of headsets for this over the years (Logitech G930, some Steelseries thing) and I've also tried AirPods (audio was flaky and the microphone was terrible on its best day--also with a Macbook Pro). I've switched back to regular wired Apple earbuds and they work much better than the AirPods, as well as any wireless option I've tried, and never need to be charged. I don't miss the wireless aspect as much as I thought I would. If I need to walk around during a long meeting I can use the Zoom app on my phone and put it in my pocket. I wish it had a hardware mute button.
posted by enn at 12:18 PM on February 22, 2018

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