What is a PC Headset?

Malcolm Tatum

PC headsets are simple devices that make it possible to initiate and receive audio communications through the personal computer. A basic PC headset will contain an earpiece that makes it easy for the operator to listen to inbound audio signals, and a microphone that allows the operator to verbally respond. Headsets of this type can be utilized with a desktop computer, or with a laptop or notebook computer.

A cordless PC headset.
A cordless PC headset.

The PC headset functions in the same manner as any telephone headset. While the earpieces on some of the headsets are similar to headphones used with portable music players, the basic design normally includes one ear bud connected to a mouthpiece. Older versions of the headset require the use of a wire to plug into the computer, but a newer option involves wireless headsets that function in a manner similar to a wireless mouse.

A standard PC headset.
A standard PC headset.

For the most part, a PC headset will be an extremely lightweight device. The construction will include a body that hooks easily around the ear and places the ear bud at the entrance of the ear canal. At the same time, a small microphone is positioned near the mouth of the operator, making it easy to carry on a conversation. Some versions of the headset will utilize a foam padded cup instead of an ear bud that rests comfortably against the opening of the ear canal.

In order to make use of a PC headset to make and receive calls, the computer must possess a high speed or other broadband connection to the Internet. Software that enables Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP functions is also necessary to operate the virtual dialer built into the software package. When all the necessary hardware and software are present, it is possible for the headset user to make and receive phone calls easily over the Internet, rather than using a cell phone or traditional wired phone device.

Increasingly, businesses make use of the PC headset as a way of enhancing the efficiency of employees who use voice communications extensively during the workday. Customer service and support personnel often utilize the headset as a means of keeping the hands free to manipulate a keyboard or look up other data while assisting a customer. Telemarketing employees often make use of the headset in order to swiftly initiate another call once the previous call is completed. While the savings on time is only a few seconds per instance, using a headset rather than a handset can significantly increase productivity over the course of a month or year.

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