Without the proper headset, teaching English online cannot be successfully conducted. In order for a virtual classroom to be engaging, it is important for the teacher to hear the student clearly and for the student to hear the teacher clearly, too.
There are a few factors that every online educator should take into account when shopping for a headset. Contrary to popular belief, they are not made equal. Every manufacturer structures their headsets differently.
Table of Contents
- 1 Audio Quality
- 2 Microphone Quality
- 3 Mute Feature
- 4 Wireless Option
- 5 Comfort Features
- 6 Lightweight
- 7 Flexibility
- 8 Non-Bulky Style Preferred
- 9 Durability
- 10 Read Reviews
- 11 Support
- 12 Do Not Let Price Fool You
- 13 What Headsets Are A Good Deal?
- 14 Top Headsets on the Market for Online English Educators
- 15 PLNAUDIO478 by Plantronics
- 16 Bluetooth Headset by VicTal
- 17 USB Headset H390 by Logitech
- 18 Stereo Headset H110 by Logitech
- 19 Hands-Free Headset by AGPtek
- 20 IM320 USB Headset by iMicro
- 21 Taking Care of Your Headset
- 22 Verifying
- 23 Share Vital Information with Students
Most headsets provide two audio options: stereo and mono. Online English educators tend to choose the stereo option due it covering both ears. A mono headset is structured with only one speaker, making room for distraction to easily occur while teaching. You definitely do not want to be the type of educator who often asks students to repeat themselves due to not hearing them clearly, as they are paying for a service, and thus expect it to be first class in every aspect.
Online English educators need a headset that comes accompanied with a noise-canceling microphone. The only thing that your students should be hearing is you, not the noise that is going on in your space, if any. There are units that have a rotating microphone; although this is not a necessary feature when teaching, it might come in handy for other tasks that you undertake in everyday life.
Even though you should not be interrupted by anybody while teaching, it can still occur due to an emergency; therefore, to play it safe, it is suggested you select a headset that includes a mute function, one that can easily be pressed on when you want to avoid students from hearing anything.
There are more educators that are choosing wireless headsets due to the issues that can sometimes arise with those with a cord. If you stop and think about it, cords easily get tangled, making them prone to malfunctions soon after purchase. No online educator has time for that, which is why wireless headsets are growing in popularity. Contrary to the assumption of many, this type of headset is not on the expensive side. If you do end up choosing a headset with a cord, make sure to purchase an extra unit, especially if you are the type of educator who is always busy and thus does not have time to take proper care of devices, such as always making sure that cords are left untangled after use. It is always better to prevent damage than need to buy a replacement.
A great percentage of headsets on the market are made with a headband-style design. This type of headset has two pressure points: horizontal pressure of the earpieces and the vertical pressure of the headband on your head. The ideal headset would have a design that closes around your ears. Instead of the cushions pressing against your ears, they should be pressing against your head. This will allow you to garner a better audio experience, as there will be less external audio frequencies reaching your ear. To ease vertical pressure, assure that the headband is padded.
Since a headset is designed to be on your head, a lightweight option should be highly considered by every online English educator. Feeling a lot of pressure on your head is going to make you frustrated, which in turn will disallow you to adequately share your knowledge with students. When teaching, it is vital for online educators to feel relaxed. A heavy headset will definitely take you a few steps back in this aspect.
There are more headset manufacturing companies that are making their models more flexible to provide professionals with the utmost comfort. If the headset that has caught your eye is not flexible, that is fine, but flexibility would be an extra plus to consider before checking out.
Non-Bulky Style Preferred
Online educators should definitely not want to purchase a headset that is bulky in nature. This type of style can be distracting to your students. Your headset should be as non-bulky as possible. The thinner it is, the better it will be.
In order to find out if a headset is durable or not, take a look at the warranty that accompanies it. Do not feel 100% safe if it does not come with a warranty. Make sure to find out what it covers, as warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. If the warranty is for a year or more and states that the company will replace a model that malfunctions, then you should feel at ease about the headset that has caught your attention.
Besides finding out about the warranty, look at the reviews that the headset has garnered from consumers. From doing so, you will be able to know if the model is worth your time of day or not. Make sure to choose one that has more positive reviews than anything else.
You will notice that the majority of high-rated headsets on the market were manufactured by reputable companies. Almost all of these companies provide telephone, email, and/or chat support. Choosing a headset manufactured by a well-known brand is not a must, but it does provide peace of mind.
Do Not Let Price Fool You
A costly headset does not necessarily mean that it will be high quality, just like a low-priced headset does not mean that you will be buying one that will malfunction within a week. Never let the price fool you. It is important to analyze headsets: cheap ones, expensive ones, and anything in between.
What Headsets Are A Good Deal?
The amount of headset options available on the market can make anyone confused when looking to purchase one. At the moment, there are several models that stand out from the rest in a very meaningful way due to providing an overall first-class experience; however, there are three, in particular, that have become the go-to options for online educators due to providing an engaging experience, innovative features, high-quality structure, and for their extremely low price (below).
Top Headsets on the Market for Online English Educators
PLNAUDIO478 by Plantronics
This particular model has been able to obtain hundreds of positive reviews in a short period of time on a variety of different online platforms, and it definitely does not appear like it is going to stop anytime soon.
This unit, that was manufactured by the well-known company Plantronics, provides a noise-canceling microphone, as it has ‘digital signal processing’ technology to cancel out any background noise and boosts voice signals in order to have clear conversations with your students when it is time to conduct your lessons. This model is Skype certified, meaning that you can rest assured that your students will be able to hear you clearly if you select this platform. It comes in two color options: black and chrome.
It is not a wireless unit, but the cord was created to remain durable even if a tangle takes place, which is definitely not something that can be said about the cords of other headsets manufactured by other companies. Most cords out there tend to be on the fragile side, but that is not the case with this model. For just a few dollars more, you can extend the protection of this headset. It is definitely worth it.
Bluetooth Headset by VicTal
This headset was designed to be utilized on computers, smartphones, iPhones, and other electronics. Of course, when you are teaching, it should only be utilized on your computer, but it is good to know the other devices that it can work on as well.
This headset, which has received numerous positive reviews from bloggers, was designed for your voice to always be heard crystal clear, even if you find yourself in a noisy environment. This wireless option provides 12 hours of continuous use or a standby of 250 hours. It is important to mention that this model should not be utilized while it is charging as this can cause damage to the battery.
Another important mention is that it comes along with a mute function, and since it is only seven ounces, it is very lightweight! If you want, you can add extra protection to this headset before checking out.
USB Headset H390 by Logitech
There are some headsets that are able to quickly become best sellers; this model by Logitech is one of them. It is currently being offered at a very low cost, which definitely has raised many questions such as, how Logitech is able to provide such a high-quality item at such a low price. The answer to this question is quite simple. You see, since Logitech is one of the top electronic companies in the world, it has its own factories, permitting them to provide their products at very low price points.
This is a padded headband that provides the utmost comfort. It has a noise-canceling microphone that rotates. It has mute and inline volume controls that are very easy to utilize, as well as an advanced digital USB. It is compatible with Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, among other operational systems. Its cable length is eight feet, enhancing your comfort. This unit has a two-year limited hardware warranty.
Stereo Headset H110 by Logitech
This is another model by Logitech. It has been referred to as one of the most affordable stereo headsets on the market. It works with Windows and has a sound card with 3.5mm audio-out and microphone-in ports. Its first-class padding is definitely one you would need to experience to understand why so many consumers are stating they always feel extra comfortable when using this model.
Due to it only weighing 4.8 ounces, it is very lightweight in nature. It is of a thin structure; therefore, you can rest assured that your students will not be distracted by it. Since it has a noise-canceling microphone, your voice will always sound clear. A one-year warranty is also included with purchase.
Hands-Free Headset by AGPtek
Founded in 2001, AGPtek has become well-known in the industry for manufacturing low-priced electronics that are high quality. Their customer support has been referred by consumers as one of the best. This company is always at your service, ready to answer any questions you might have, in a timely fashion manner.
To ensure perfect voice quality, this headset has a 150 ohms speaker. It has a noise-proof microphone to increase the clarity in which your voice is heard. It is a very comfortable piece to wear on a daily basis. You can stretch the headset clip to meet your preference.
Due to its effectiveness, numerous online educators around the globe utilize it on a daily basis, but also those individuals who work at hospitals, insurance companies, and etc. Just like every electronic item by AGPtek, this unit also comes along with a one-year warranty.
IM320 USB Headset by iMicro
Established in 2006, iMicro is currently growing in popularity. The demand for their headsets is impressive among educators and other professionals, as they are first class and on the affordable side, making them a must have.
The speaker diameter of this model is 40mm, and its cord was made with durable material. You will notice that the microphone itself is very thin so that you can experience utmost comfort. It comes along with a warranty to provide you with peace of mind. Just like one review mentioned, this unit hits above its price point.
If you are the type of individual who likes simplicity, then this model is one that you should take into consideration. It is simply . . . perfect!
Taking Care of Your Headset
Many online educators do not take proper care of their headsets. Even if your headset is assembled of durable material and comes along with a warranty, do not take it for granted. Take care of it after each use. If you buy a headset that has a cord, you need to ensure that it is always left untangled before placing it in an area that is free of clutter.
There are many online educators who tend to have a beverage next to them to take sips during a lesson. Besides looking unprofessional, this type of action can damage your headset because liquid can fall on it and thus easily damage it.
At the end of the day, you are the only one can come to the conclusion if a headset is indeed the best option for you. You can verify by asking your students how well they hear you. Make sure to ask them this question at the beginning of each lesson. Verifying that everything is in order in the audio department will ensure an engaging lesson.
Just like you need a good headset to conduct lessons, your students need a good headset to learn from you. For this reason, it is also important to notify them about the information that you just read by email or by posting a message on the virtual board.
Recruiters tend not to go into detail when it comes to the type of headsets students should have in order to gain a pleasant experience on their platform, making it your duty to explain it in detail. Notifying students about this information will reflect that you are the type of educator who goes the extra mile to ensure that every student is on the same page.
If you are just beginning your profession as an online English educator, you should always do everything within your reach to make the experience in your virtual classroom the most pleasant one possible; therefore, it is vital that you take time to inform them about information that could help facilitate their learning in your virtual classroom, including what type of headset to get.