We’ve tested many different wired and wireless headsets for teaching online, and we’ve managed to round up our personal top five picks:
● Logitech USB Headset H390 with Noise Cancelling Mic
● Plantronics Audio 628 Stereo USB Headset
● Logitech High-performance USB Headset H540
● SteelSeries Arctis 7
● HyperX Cloud II
Our first pick comes from one of the most renowned manufacturers of computer peripherals — Logitech. Their H390 model is an excellent choice when it comes to headsets for teaching online.
First of all, we have to mention that this headset model can boast with an incredible audio performance; particularly when we’re talking about clarity.
Obviously, in an online classroom environment, audio clarity is definitely an important aspect. Plus, you’ll find no annoying lag when recording or receiving audio. This headset uses a USB-A type connection; meaning you can expect practically lossless signal delivery.
Of course, headsets aren’t all about the sound quality. If you’re going to be teaching a lot of online classes, you want your headset to be comfortable as well. Luckily, the Logitech H390 model is excellent when it comes to industrial design as well; they provide an optimum amount of comfort with their durable foam.
After many continuous hours of usage, an uncomfortable headset can become quite a burden. That’s why Logitech headsets are generally some of the lightest models on the market; you’ll barely feel that you’re wearing them. Unfortunately, this also means that they’re more prone to breaking compared to some more durable and heftier pairs.
● Excellent audio quality
● Not expensive
● Easily breakable
Next up, we’ve got another affordable and yet cost-effective headset — the Plantronics Audio 628.
In terms of noise cancellation, this is definitely one of the best models on our list. If you want to achieve a clear conversation with your students, without any background noise or cutouts; this is a great headset for you.
It uses software signal processing techniques to reduce echo and background noise to a minimum, consistently providing a clear and crisp audio output. Also, it’s perfectly compatible with both Mac and Windows devices; you’ll be able to use it on any computer with a free USB port.
The price is set at about $70 in most markets; a fairly reasonable investment for one of the best headsets for teaching online in 2020. It also sports a pair of ear pads that are designed with comfort in mind.
The general customer impression seems to be that Plantronics Audio 628 is extremely useful when it comes to teaching online.
Its ability to reduce background noise is especially useful for people who teach online but live in busy households. Sometimes, finding a room all for yourself can be difficult — this headset helps negate such struggles.
However, we should also note that the sound quality isn’t good enough for serious music aficionados.
If you appreciate a pristine sound and clearly divisible instrumental sources while listening to music, this headset can’t be compared to some more expensive and bulkier models.
● Background noise reduction
● Mediocre music playback quality
For our third headset, we return to Logitech and its huge variety of products. The H540 headset is a somewhat more advanced model compared to the H390; though they’re really not that different.
The audio performance is pretty much identical to the H390 iteration of the product; though we should mention that the H540 has an almost double sound sensitivity compared to the former headset. In practice, this pretty much means that you can achieve louder volumes without losing sound quality.
For people who want to teach online, this isn’t such an important feature. Its purpose, however, becomes clearer when we take the fact that H540 is more of a gaming headset into consideration.
Both its design and aesthetics are closer to a gaming product than to a piece of office equipment.
However, that doesn’t mean that the sound quality is any worse. As we’ve mentioned, it’s quite comparable to the H390 model. The two have only a slight difference in pricing — the H540 headset is about 10 bucks costlier.
The headset is also equally comfortable when compared to the H390 Logitech offering — the durable foam pads and the leather neck of the headset provide ample ease over prolonged use.
The only drawback compared to the previous model is that the cord is shorter. So, if you plan on standing up a lot and using a nearby whiteboard; we recommend getting a wireless headset or a model with a longer cord.
● The better sound quality on higher volumes
● Comfortable design
● Shorter cord
Our penultimate pick is something quite different, but it ties in neatly with our previous comments about the length of cords — a wireless headset!
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is the perfect mid-range wireless headset for teaching online. However, you should be aware of the fact that this is, like most wireless headsets, primarily a gaming product.
That means that it’s got a bass that might overwhelm you while listening to music; though it’s not any kind of concern in a casual online conversation.
Obviously, a cordless headset like this offers you the freedom of movement that’s crucial for some types of online classes.
It’s got a decent battery life as well, meaning you won’t have to charge it between each class. However, be prepared to pay almost double the price of the previous headsets that we’ve reviewed.
● Freedom of movement
● Sizable battery life
● Bigger price tag
Perhaps the biggest surprise on this list is the HyperX Cloud II — at least in terms of who manufactured it.
This wireless headset arrives from Kingston; the hardware company most often known for its many storage drives. However, a couple of years back, their first iteration of wireless gaming headsets was a pleasant surprise.
The second model in the series continues to astound us — especially because it remains below the hundred bucks mark.
The design of the headset is both stylish and cozy, and the 7.1 surround sound is a welcome addition; though not necessarily too important for teaching online classes.
Still, we have to say that this is one of the plushest and most comfortable headsets we’ve had the fortune to try out.
Its only downside is a lack of deep sound customization options; but then again, your average teacher isn’t a hardcore audio-freak that will be bothered by this.
● Relatively low price for this level of quality
● Freedom of movement
● Lack of customization options
What To Look For
Now that we’ve shown you our picks among the best wired and wireless headsets for online teaching, we’ll give you a couple of tips on discerning good models in general!
When you buy a gaming headset – or one that’s designed for audiophiles who need to notice every detail while listening to music – you’ll find that these tend to be quite bulky and heavy. And for people who only wear them for an hour or two each day, that’s fine. But if you’re a teacher who’s working in an online classroom, that can be quite cumbersome over extended periods of time. So, look for something lighter, even if the build quality is less satisfactory.
Obviously, you want your headphones to provide excellent audio quality if you’re going to teach via video call.
This doesn’t require the most expensive pair of headphones on the market; as you’ve already seen, you’ll be surprised by what you can find for a hundred bucks.
While it’s important that you can hear your students well enough — you also need to make sure that they can hear you properly as well. That’s why a high-quality microphone is important; in most cases, the one that built into your laptop won’t cut it, as it doesn’t have decent background noise cancellation.
Not Too Expensive
Of course, when you’re buying absolutely anything — the price is just as important as the other features and factors to take into consideration. Luckily, there are plenty of decently priced headphones that you won’t have to splurge a small fortune on.
Finally, the headset has to be comfortable — you’ll be wearing it for at least a couple of hours each day, meaning that you wouldn’t want to put up with an itchy or heavy headset.
So, keeping all of this in mind — which headset should you opt for? Although it all depends on your personal preferences, we’d have to say that the HyperX Cloud II seems like the best all-around choice. You get the freedom of movement, a comfy headset, and great sound quality for a very affordable price.