The team here at Zahara spend a huge amount of their time on Zoom or Teams calls and as a result we have all used different headsets and audio devices. In this article we share with you what we use and how we rate each device. My own preference is to not only hear my callers really well but to make sure that the sounds quality they get back from me, via my mic, is as close to broadcast quality as possible. I don't want echo or tin. Setting up your office to accommodate this helps but the source of the sound is the microphone and that's the most important thing for a good Zoom or Teams experience.
Apple AirPods Pro
I have used my AirPods in the past and they are pretty good. The audio quality is great but the built-in microphones do sound a little tinny. What we have noticed in busy office environments is that office noise will transfer and it's not a great choice for the other parties on the call. With the noise cancelling enabled, office noises can be suppressed for you so you can focus more but there is a strange sensation of not being able to hear your own voice properly. The nice thing about AirPods is that they are very discrete and you can wear just one. They aren't something you want in your ears all day though so they are definitely best used sparingly. Rating: 3/5
MacBook Pro Built-in Mic & Speakers
I use a MacBook Pro and I have to say the built-in Audio is probably the best I've ever used. The most natural way to speak is as if you are in a room with someone and the MacBook facilitates that. This works fine if you have your own office but obviously fails if you need privacy. The mic is great and because its situated at the top of the screen works well if you are using the Mac without a monitor and if it's right in front of you. I took the time to record myself using different devices including an expensive Logitech conference device and a Polycom speaker phone, and the Mac was the best sound by a mile. Rating: 4/5
This is my latest headset and I really like it. This is an open-ear device meaning the sounds transfers through the side of your head. This might seem weird but actually works really well. It's an incredibly light headset so very comfortable. There is a strange sensation when you first start using it but the sound quality is excellent both hearing and speaking. The boom mic has all of the noise cancelling technology you want for a busy office. This device is very neat and if you have a virtual background on won't cause that strange shape that the "Air Traffic Controller" guys suffer from. Rating: 4/5
Plantronics Blackwire 3220
A lot of the team use the Plantronics 3220 as they are cabled so no issues with batteries and bluetooth sound. They come with either a USB C or USB 3 connector as well. They look good with a red cable and can come as a single ear or double. These work really well in the sales office and support teams where there are simultaneous calls. The boom mic only picks up the voice not the background. For those with longer hair they are discreet and subtle. Rating: 4/5
Plantronics Blackwire C3225
For those with too few ports on their PC or laptop but a spare 3.5mm jack, the C3225 is a good choice as it has a USB A and an audio option. The stereo on ear sound is god for a busy office but the noise cancelling microphone is the again the big win here. We have noticed that the cable - ironically red despite the name Blackwire, can rub away on the corner of the desk after a while so that's the only thing you have to be wary of. Rating: 4/5
Jordan Butler in sales likes to work without wires. He likes to be expressive with his hands when on the phone or presenting, so having wires in the way just means his MacBook is getting pulled off the desk. It also means he can get up and do some walking and talking on calls. He also says he feels incredibly trendy when presenting with them on! Fellow AirPod users get a nod of respect. On the downside he wishes they had a better mic - they pick up so much background noise which isn't great for a busy office such as ours. Rating: 3/5
These were the best headsets rated by the team at Zahara, which one is your favourite?