Headsets – customer service and technical support

Headsets allow the user to speak and listen while keeping both hands free. Commonly used in customer service and technical support centers, where employees can converse with customers while typing information into a computer.

Also common among computer gamers are headsets, which will let them talk with each other and hear others, as well as use their keyboards and mice to play the game.

Headsets generally come in two connection types: standard 3.5 mm and USB connection. General 3.5 mm computer headsets come with two 3.5 mm connectors: one connecting to the microphone jack and one connecting to the headphone/speaker jack of the computer.

3.5 mm computer headsets connect to the computer via a soundcard, which converts the digital signal of the computer to an analog signal for the headset.
USB computer headsets connect to the computer via a USB port, and the audio conversion occurs in the headset or in the control unit of the headset.

Gaming headsets for computers are specifically designed for gaming and provide some additional features that can be beneficial for gamers.

Mobile headsets come in a range of wearing-styles, including behind-the-neck, over-the-head, over-the-ear, and lightweight earbuds. Some aftermarket mobile headsets come with a standard 2.5 mm plug different from the phone’s audio connector, so users have to purchase an adapter.

Smartphones often use a standard 3.5 mm jack, so users may be able to directly connect the headset to it. There are however different pin-alignment to the 3.5mm plug, mainly OMTP and CTIA, so a user should find out which settings their device uses before buying a headphone/headset.


Mono And Stereo

Headsets are available in single-earpiece and double-earpiece designs.

Double-earpiece headsets may support stereo sound or use the same monaural audio channel for both ears. Single-earpiece headsets free up one ear, allowing better awareness of surroundings.

Telephone headsets are monaural, even for double-earpiece designs, because telephone offers only single-channel input and output.


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Microphone Style

The microphone arm of headsets may carry an external microphone or be of the voice tube type. External microphone designs have the microphone housed in the front end of the microphone arm.

Voicetube designs are also called internal microphone design, and have the microphone housed near the earpiece, with a tube carrying sound to the microphone.

Most external microphone designs are of either omnidirectional or noise-canceling type. Noise-canceling microphone headsets use a bi-directional microphone as elements.

A bi-directional microphone’s receptive field has two angles only. Its receptive field is limited to only the front and the direct opposite back of the microphone.

This creates an “8” shape field, and this design is the best method for picking up sound only from a close proximity of the user, while not picking up most surrounding noises.

Omni-directional microphones pick up the complete 360-degree field, which may include much extraneous noise.

Headband styles

Standard headsets with a headband worn over the head are known as over-the-head headsets. Headsets with headbands going over the back of the user’s neck are known as backwear-headsets or behind-the-neck headsets. Headsets worn over the ear with a soft ear-hook are known as over-the-ear headsets or earloop headsets. Convertible headsets are designed so that users can change the wearing method by re-assembling various parts.


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Replaceable Batteries/Sensors

Q: Would it be possible to use rechargeable batteries instead of having to replace them?

A: Unfortunately, this is not possible as sensors in the alarm will degrade over time leading to a reduced sensitivity in detecting heat or smoke, resulting in the alarm system needing to be replaced. Any alarm that is purchased will contain information on its usability time period and you should check the date on which the system must be replaced – this can be up to 10 years.

Sealed, tamper proof battery units are safer than those which allow the user to change the batteries – there have been several tragedies over the years where alarms have not functioned because batteries have expired or people have removed them.


Earpiece styles

Headsets earpieces may be for either one of both ears. They generally come with one of 3 styles:

in-the-ear — these have a small speaker contained in an earbud that fits inside the outer portion of the ear canal.
on-the-ear — these have a flat speaker (often cushioned) that sits on the external ear.
around-the-ear — these have a larger, cushioned earpad that fits around the external ear and sits against the head, to exclude more external noise.


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Telephone headsets connect to a fixed-line telephone system. A telephone headset functions by replacing the handset of a telephone. Headsets for standard corded telephones are fitted with a standard 4P4C commonly called an RJ-9 connector. Headsets are also available with 2.5mm jack sockets for many DECT phones and other applications. Cordless bluetooth headsets are available and often used with mobile telephones. Headsets are widely used for telephone-intensive jobs, in particular by call centre workers. They are also used by anyone wishing to hold telephone conversations with both hands free.

Headset compatibility and pin alignment
Not all telephone headsets are compatible with all telephone models. Because headsets connect to the telephone via the standard handset jack, the pin-alignment of the telephone handset may be different from the default pin-alignment of the telephone headset. To ensure a headset can properly pair with a telephone, telephone adapters or pin-alignment adapters are available. Some of these adapters also provide mute function and switching between handset and headset.

Telephone amplifiers
For older models of telephones, the headset microphone impedance is different from that of the original handset, requiring a telephone amplifier to impedance-match the telephone headset. A telephone amplifier provides basic pin-alignment similar to a telephone headset adapter, but it also offers sound amplification for the microphone as well as the loudspeakers. Most models of telephone amplifiers offer volume control for the loudspeaker as well as a microphone, mute function and switching between handset and headset. Telephone amplifiers are powered through batteries or AC adapters.

A Typical Quick Disconnect Bottom Cable

Quick disconnecting cable
Most telephone headsets have a Quick Disconnect (QD) cable, allowing fast and easy disconnection of the headset from the telephone without having to remove the headset.

Standard handset lifter
Handset lifter
A Handset lifter is a device that automatically lifts or replaces a handset off/on a telephone. It is usually connected to a wireless headset and allows cordless headset use on technically primitive desk phones.

Some phones only have a mechanical means of switchhook operation. The lifter allows cordless headsets to be used remotely with such phones. The phone user presses the appropriate headset button to either answer a call or terminate a call. The headset’s base station’s interface with the handset lifter will take the appropriate action – lift or replace the handset.[2]

The use of a handset lifter is considered archaic by most technical professionals. Technology from decades ago eliminated the need for such device, however many phones, including modern IP phones, still do not have discrete circuitry for switchhook operation.


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Posted on: November 19, 2021, by :

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