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What is a Cell Phone Headset?

B. Miller
B. Miller

A cell phone headset is a device used for hands-free communication on your cell phone. In many areas, it is illegal to talk on your cell phone while you are driving without a hands-free headset. These are so ubiquitous that some cell phones now even come equipped with detachable headsets.

Most cell phone headsets feature a single earpiece which is both a headphone and microphone. A less common type of cell phone headset is one with a headphone and an attached but separate microphone. Those type of headsets are more common for jobs in which you need to remain on the phone for most of your day.

A cell phone headset.
A cell phone headset.

A cell phone headset can be wired or wireless. Some plug into your cell phone's headphone jack, while others connect wirelessly via Bluetooth® or infrared technology. Infrared is less reliable, however, because it requires a direct line of sight, whereas Bluetooth® only needs to be within a certain distance of the cell phone.

Each cell phone headset has different features that you may or may not need. Some offer the option of voice dialing. Most feature the ability to answer or reject calls without having to pick up the phone. Others offer noise cancellation in the microphone or headphone, which can cut down on the amount of extra noise you or the person you are speaking to will hear, such as other people talking around you or if you are walking outside on a windy day.

Headsets are a viable hands-free option in states where talking on cell phones while driving is illegal.
Headsets are a viable hands-free option in states where talking on cell phones while driving is illegal.

Battery life on a cell phone headset can vary. Some are designed to last for a long time, while others only last for a few hours. If the headset connects directly to your mobile phone, it can drain the battery life there as well. You might want to pick up a car charger or an extra battery for emergencies.

Cell phone headsets are usually small and unobtrusive. They are commonly around two inches long (5 cm) and hook around the ear, or fit into the ear like an earbud headphone. You can find cell phone headsets in various colors and styles; some are designed to specifically match a particular cell phone.

If you are interested in other accessories to match your cell phone, you might consider a cell phone case. These come in different themes and patters, and protect your phone from dings and scratches while making it look more personal. There are multitudes of ways to personalize your phone while making it more convenient and functional at the same time.

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Discussion Comments


I think there's definitely a time and a place for cell phone Bluetooth headsets. Like in the car, for example. However, I hate it when people walk around talking on their Bluetooth in the grocery store or on the street.

Those Bluetooth headsets are so small and unobtrusive, it looks like they're talking to themselves! Or, talking to other people around them. I can't tell you how many times I've mistakenly thought someone said something to me, when really they were talking into their Bluetooth.


@strawCake - I see what you're saying about getting a "no-frills" kind of cell phone headset. However, I think there are a few features that are pretty much essential. One of those is noise cancellation!

I made the mistake of getting a Bluetooth cell phone headset without noise cancellation because it was cheaper. No one can ever hear what I'm saying on my headset. The person on the other line is always asking me if it's windy where I am! I think soon I'm just going to have to give up and buy another, more expensive one.


I have a wireless cell phone headset. I actually had to get one a few years ago, because my state passed a law making it illegal to talk on your cell phone and drive unless you use a hands free device. At first I tried to get around this by using my phone on speaker and setting it in the cup holder, but the person on the other line could never hear me.

So I got a headset, and I really like it. I only use it when I'm in the car, so I got one that doesn't have a lot of extra features. But it works fine for what I need it for, which is leaving my hands free to drive!

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    • A cell phone headset.
      By: DaveC
      A cell phone headset.
    • Headsets are a viable hands-free option in states where talking on cell phones while driving is illegal.
      By: Luis Louro
      Headsets are a viable hands-free option in states where talking on cell phones while driving is illegal.