Telephone Headset Tips

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Corded headsets with noise canceling microphones like those available from Plantronics. Use wireless headsets only if they have high-quality wireless connections and long battery life.

There is nothing worse for remote team members than having to struggle to hear other people in a phone conference. Spend money on a good quality headset that provides low-distortion audio at a decent volume level so everyone can hear you clearly. This is particularly important for cross-cultural interactions where thick accents exacerbate audio problems.

Features to look for:

  • Light weight&#8212for comfort with long hours on the phone
  • Dual ear pieces (one for each ear)&#8212improves comprehension
  • Noise canceling microphone&#8212reduces background noise for those of you in a noisy office or home environment

Personally, I prefer a corded headset as I am assured of minimal effects from RF interference, fading batteries, etc. I spend long hours on the phone in front of my computer and thus wireless is not a requirement for me. However, if you really prefer a wireless headset, get the best quality you can afford, purchase a spare battery so you can quickly switch during those really long meetings, and be sure the radio link is encrypted between the base and headset. Oh, and please don’t forget that mute button while doing the dishes or when you visit the water closet.

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