Selecting a Headset for Skype
Four Easy Steps to Selecting a Skype Headset
Most folks who are utilizing a VoIP service these days don’t realize the importance having the right equipment plays in a quality calling experience.
This is especially true for Skype.
If you’re not yet familiar with Skype, it’s a free piece of software that allows you to make voice and video calls (alongside IM, conferencing and content sharing). Today it is the most widely used VoIP service in the world, with over 1 billion downloads and 5 million active users at any given time.
Now just because Skype is free to download, use and offers low cost international calling options doesn’t mean that it is a low quality service. Skype is actually a very capable service that even overs high definition calling with its SILK codec.
But in order to take advantage of Skype’s audio quality and utilize Skype’s SILK codec for high definition calling, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. That’s why selecting the right hardware for Skype is important.
Today there are number of devices for use with Skype. From headsets to web cameras to desktop IP phones, there is a piece of Skype hardware for everyone.
For now lets focus on Skype headsets and how to go about selecting the right one!
Step One – Connectivity
Since Skype is a piece software, your headset will likely be plugged into your PC or Laptop. Most of today’s Laptop’s and PC’s support USB audio devices, however some older models might not.
Before getting started with selecting your headset for use with Skype, check your PC and or Laptop to ensure the correct audio connectivity type.
(Note that Skype headsets are available with USB and 2.5/3.5mm plugs.)
Step Two – Style
Once you’ve determined the connectivity type needed for your headset, the next step in selecting your Skype headset is to determine the style of headset you are looking for. In determining the style of the headset, there are two main things to consider:
- Monaural or Binaural – Again, depending on your personal preference, you will need to determine whether you want a headset with a single ear piece (Monaural) or one with two ear pieces (Binaural).
In addition to these two style elements, you might also want to consider the overall look and feel of the headset. After all you will be wearing this headset quite often!
Step Three – Certification
When it comes to Skype headsets you want to make sure that the one you selected is compatible with Skype. To make this easy for you, Skype has created a certification program for hardware.
Under this program device manufacturers can send their headsets to Skype who will then certified that the device works with Skype in a “plu-n-play” fashion. This guarantees you that the headset will work.
Now this doesn’t mean that if you find a headset that you like it won’t work with Skype. Chance are good that it will, but it might not be “plu-n-play” or may not enable all of Skype’s features.
Step Four – Budget
Finally, the last thing you should take a look at is your budget.
When it comes to Skype headsets costs vary. There are Skype headsets that can be had for as low as $29.99, while others cost upwards of $199.99.
Typically I would say that when it comes to Skype headsets, you get what you pay for. But that’s not exactly true.
Take for example the FREETALK line of headsets for Skype. The Everyman retails for just $29.99, but it is the most popular headset for use with Skype.
However be aware that this is not always true, so make sure that you have a realistic budget and select the headset that is the best value for you.