Headsets 101

Understanding headsets terminology

When you go shopping for a headset, you're likely looking for something that frees up your hands, sounds good, and feels comfortable.

To help you find the headset that's right for you, the folks here at HelloDirect.com have defined a few basic terms that we hope will put you on the road to headset happiness!

Headset Types

A wireless headset gives you freedom to roam away from your desk with no cords connecting you to your phone. You can talk hands-free in your office, at home or in your vehicle.
Wireless headsets use either DECT or Bluetooth technology, which keeps your calls secure, even when transmitted wirelessy. DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony) headsets have a wireless range of 450 feet or more, while Bluetooth headsets have 33 feet range.

A corded headset means you are corded from your headset to a quick-disconnect cord or curly cord, which is plugged into your desktop headset amplifier, which is then connected to your phone.
Corded headsets ensure you're always available. You get a reliable connection, without the hassle of recharging or coupling to another device.

Wearing Styles

This wearing style offers stability and comfort plus a nicely customized fit. Single and Dual Speaker options can be available in the Over-the-Head wearing style.
When considering an over-the-head style headset, look for one with an adjustable click-stop headband to provide a good, comfortable fit.

Every day is a good hair day when you wear Over-the-ear headset! This style secures with a flexible ear hook that slips easily over your ear for optimum fit and comfort.
The over-the ear style headsets cover your ear only. No headband is involved so the headset does not interfere with your hair. The flexible earhook can be adjusted to fit your ear. This style is very popular with folks who do not like anything on their head.

Delivering all-day comfort with a discreet, stable design with this contemporary wearing style.

You put the headset inside your ear. People's ear shapes are differnt and many time headset comes with few different eargels in varying shapes and sizes. Some headsets have optional earhooks that latch onto the outside of your ear.

Convertible headsets come with multiple options so you can vary your wearing style. Options typically include over-the-head, over-the-ear or Behind-the-Neck designs. PLUS sometimes a unique ear loop design. You decide which style works best for you!

Earpiece Styles

Monaural (Single Side)

The Single Ear (or monaural) style headsets cover just one ear so you can stay in touch with your surroundings.

Binaural (Dual Side)

Dual Speaker wearing style features two speakers that effectively block background noise, making it much easier for you to hear the person on the other end of the line.

Ear Cushions

It is important to have pillow soft ear cushions on your headset for all day comfort. Some headsets have foam ear cushions while others have leatherette cushions. Some are round, some are oval shaped. When you initially buy your headset, choose the ear cushion you think will be most comfortable for you.

Down the road, if you want to replace your ear cushions, you can purchase a Refresher Kit for your headset that includes replacement ear cushions designed specifically for your headset style.

Leatherette ear cushion

Foam ear cushion

Microphone Boom Styles

Flex boom
The Flex boom allows you to adjust and move the microphone boom to position it near your mouth so you get the best quality when you speak. Its noise-cancelling mic is designed to reduce background noise so it's perfect for noisy environments. You can easily swing the boom away from your face so you can drink or eat without removing your headset.

SoundTube boom
The SoundTube boom is a unique, metal alloy tube designed for clear, crisp sound. This sleek, lightweight boom features a noise-cancelling mic and is designed for moderately noisy rooms.

Midi boom
The Midi boom is a compact, sleek style boom. Its directional microphone is designed for private offices with low background noise.

Voice Tube boom
The Voice Tube boom is also called "mic sticks", voice tubes are translucent, plastic tubes which serve as microphones. Voice tubes booms can be removed and replaced.
Voice tube microphones offer outstanding sound quality in quiet settings, with less weight compared to other styles. But, they are not recommended for busy office environments since they do not filter out unwanted noise from surroundings.

Noise-Cancelling Microphones

This technology, built into the headset microphone, is designed to reduce background noise so your callers hear only you. This feature is important if you work in a noisy office.


When dealing with corded office phones, a headset is usually only part of the equation. You typically need a device in-between to amplify the sound because the phone itself lacks the ability to do so. Cordless phones and cell phones do not need amplifiers.

There are several types of amps:

Built-in: Wireless headsets, have the amplifier already built into the base. No additional purchase required.

Standard: A standard or "Universal" amp is usually the most economical choice. Typical features are volume control, mute and a headset/handset switch.

Multimedia: A amp (Audio Processor) allows you to connect to both your phone and computer via a PC soundcard. Perfect for listening to audio, using voice recognition software, computer-based VoIP, and more.

Digital: A amp like the Jabra LINK 860 Audio Processor uses cutting edge technology like digital signal processing to reduce INCOMING background noise from your caller. Pair it up with a noise-cancelling headset for the best possible sound.