Best Headsets For Online Teaching

When it comes to online teaching, some companies like tutors to have a headset, and with others it’s down to personal preference. I decided to use one just so other people around me don’t have to listen to my lessons! I’ve gone through several types of headsets to find one that works best for me, so now I’m sharing my findings! Here are the best headsets for online teaching!

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Best Headsets For Online Teaching

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Gaming Headsets

PROSCONS
-Comfortable to wear for a long time
-Built in mic
-Long cable
-Cool features (colours, lights, ‘cat’ ears etc)
-Inline sound controls
-Noise cancellation so good that it makes you talk loudly
-Very large (not very travel friendly)

A good place to start when looking for a headset, are ones that are usually used for gaming. They are built to be worn for a long time and have built in microphones. I absolutely loved my first headset. It was comfortable, the sound quality and mic were great and it had a long robust cable that plugged into the jack plug socket on my laptop. There was even an additional USB lead that when plugged in, made the ear cups change colour! You can also buy gaming headsets that have ears attached to them, which I think would be great if teaching younger children online! (I often have soft toys balancing on my head!)

So what was the problem? They were so great at noise cancellation, that I couldn’t really hear myself speak. Other people in the house would tell me that I was shouting/speaking super loud! When you work from home there is an element of consideration, especially if you are living with other people. They didn’t ‘mind’ because they know it’s my job, but I didn’t want them to be annoyed at having to listen to my teaching all day.

One Ear Headset

PROSCONS
-Lightweight
-Built in mic
-Can be worn on either ear
-Discreet looking
-Can hear surroundings/your own voice volume
-Short cable
-Squashes ear after wearing for a long time

So after the gaming headset, I switched to a one ear headset, the type you may find in a call centre. This was great, because then was able to hear the volume that I was speaking, as I had one ear free. It was lightweight and great if you wanted to travel with it. It was also versatile, as the microphone could spin, so the headset could be worn on the left or right ear. I like to have my mic on the left hand ear because I’m left handed, so will hold my iPad in my right hand to be able to draw on it with my left. Sometimes I play audio clips on my iPad too and by having the mic on this side, I can hold the iPad speaker up to it with ease.

The headset didn’t look big and bulky either. In the video feed I would look quite ‘normal’ as the headband was thin and the ear cup was small.

The downsides – even though the ear cup was padded, it was quite small and would sit directly on top of my ear. After 6 hours of wearing it, my ear would feel completely squished. It didn’t go red or sore, it just felt as if it had been squashed all day.

I’ve also come to learn, that for my teaching style, the longer the cable, the better. The headset I was using had a 1M cable. I teach standing up but I found I would often karate chop the cable by accident when I would start getting animated. The cable was quite thin too and I would get worried that it may break if I was hitting it too hard! It did have an extension which had inline sound controls, but it then needed to be plugged into a USB rather than the headphone port…and I have no spare USB ports with my current set up…

One Ear Gaming Headset

PROSCONS
-Comfortable to wear for a long time
-Built in mic
-Some brands can be worn on either ear
-Can hear surroundings/your own voice volume
-Inline sound controls
-Long cable
-Slightly odd looking (‘top heavy’ on one side)

Because I loved the gaming headset so much, I then looked to see if there was such thing as a one ear gaming headset and hooray! I found one! Because the ear cup is larger again, it sits around my ear, rather than on it. Being larger, the built in mic also feels more robust too. The cable is 1.5m, giving me an extra 50cm of length to play with, which is great. The longer cables often come with inline controls too, so you can control the volume and even mute the mic with ease. 

The only thing that I find a little strange is the way you do look when wearing it. The size of the ear cup is obviously quite big, so it does look a little ‘one sided’ compared to a standard gaming headset, where both ears look the same, or the smaller style one ear headsets.

Ear Buds

PROSCONS
-Smallest/travel friendly
-JVC Marshmallow brand comfortable after wearing for a long time
-Discreet looking
-Can hear surroundings/your own voice volume if using one ear only
-Short cable
-Not ‘secure in ear’ if animated
-Built in mic sometimes rubs against clothes, creating unwanted noise and is only on right side ear bud

If you are travelling while teaching online, ear buds could also be an option. They are much easier to ‘fold up’ and store. I personally love the JVC Marshmallow ear buds. The buds are memory foam and I’ve found them to be the most comfortable in-ear buds so far because of how soft they are, especially if you wear them for a long time. I use them for my MP3 player when I travel and when I’m on flights etc. They also have a built in mic on lead of the right hand side ear bud, but it can rub against clothes/hair creating unwanted sound.

Regular ear buds often have shorter leads and if you get quite animated in lessons, there is a chance that you might pull it out of your ear by accident. I think they would work better if you sit down while teaching online.

Bluetooth Headsets

PROSCONS
-No cable to get in the way
-See pros above for the various styles
-Slightly more expensive
-Extra tech setup
-Will need charging periodically

I haven’t used a Bluetooth headset for online teaching, but I know a lot of people like them, especially as you can walk away from the computer (within radius) and still hear if you get a call come in etc. There’s also no cable to get in your way if you get animated during lessons! You can pretty much get every one of the headphone styles above in wireless form.

For me, my teaching platform can sometimes be a little unstable on the tech side. I would worry that if I had Bluetooth headphones for online teaching, there’s a chance it might cut out in the middle of the lesson. Having a wired headset is just one less problem for me to have to worry about!

Final Words

When choosing the best headset for online teaching, there are elements of personal preference. Something that works for me, may not necessarily work for someone else! Hopefully I have been able to show you a couple of the pros and cons of some of the different headset styles which may help you in deciding which option may work best for you!

For more information and resources about online teaching and working from home, click on the button below!

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Best Headsets For Online Teaching

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