I love a good headset, or is it that I love good headphones? It’s a tough question because the whole sector is converging into a single product:
- Telephone headset
- Stereo headphones
- Bluetooth, mobile headsets
- Consumer and prosumer headsets
Headphones feel like old tech. I remember my Dad used a pair on his reel-to-reel tape deck. But, like so many other things, the Smartphone changed personal audio. Over the past decade or so, headphones have become a killer, high-growth category within consumer electronics. Several companies, such as Beats (now Apple), have done well making headphones cool.
Of course the smartphone is inherently a phone, so the categories of headphones and headsets had to converge. There’s been tremendous tech advancements with things like active noise cancellation and Bluetooth connectivity. While my father’s headphones lasted around the house for something like 15 years, today’s headphones seems almost disposable due to the rate of tech obsolescence. But it’s good. The improvements in things like Bluetooth and active noise cancellation are tremendously improving the experience.
I wear a few different types of headsets every day. I wear them on my phone, on my walks, and in the zone in my living room. They are becoming like footwear, a different pair for every occasion.
I really like this new category of ‘around-the-neck’ earbuds. They have the potential to replace multiple types of headgear. They are comfortable, light, and highly versatile. Both Plantronics and Jabra sent me their newest creations for this category. Both are excellent, but they aren’t the same. In this video I explain some of the key differences.