IF, like many people around the world, you’ve suddenly found your office is a lot closer to your bedroom than previously (maybe it’s even in your bedroom now, if that’s how you want to roll?) then you’re about to discover one of the most important pieces of kit for working at home is a good headset.
Whether it’s listening to music, taking part in a video chat, talking on the phone while leaving your hands free or recording a report, they’re a must-have item. There’s a lot of them on the market, so I’ve put together this helpful little guide covering some of my favourite choices to give you some ideas on what’s out there.
Of course, when you’re off the clock, these headsets all have another advantage – they’re really good for gaming as well, letting you work and play with only one lot of financial outlay. Because let’s be fair here, the gaming is what it’s really about, right?
SENNHEISER GSP 370
The big advantage of a wireless headset is there are no cords connecting you to your computer. The downside is the batteries tend to give out just when you need them – unless you’ve got one of these fantastic headsets.
Combining superb audio and high comfort with a literal 100-hour battery life, the Sennheiser GSP 370 ticks pretty much every box for a work/gaming crossover headset. They’re everything you’d expect from a high-end audio brand
Sure, with an RRP of $349 isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the best wireless headsets I’ve tested – and they’ve never let me down in mid-video conference or mid game, either.
Long considered the industry standard for gaming headsets, the Astro A40TR corded headset offers excellent all-round performance regardless of whether you’re listening to Spotify, teleconferencing with colleagues, or racking up killstreaks in Call of Duty.
It’s comfortable, it has great sound quality, it’s designed to be worn for long periods of time, and you can even swap the headset plates out with different designs if you want to keep things interesting too.
With an RRP of $249 (not including the optional MixAmp for consoles) they’re a solid investment that can be trusted to see you through the most gruelling of work scenarios or gaming sessions.
PLANTRONICS BACKBEAT 6100
Although designed for use at the gym, these excellent wireless headphones (RRP:$299) work very well as a set of general purpose headset, especially for mobile gaming and having something to wear around the house for music.
Connecting via Bluetooth, the inbuilt mic lets the unit function as a very effective handsfree kit for mobile phones and smart devices, and if you decide to get into a home gym workout or go for a run outside, these won’t cop out when there’s exercise all about either.
They’re specially designed to be able to handle just being thrown in a backpack or gym bag, and they are quite slim and compact (at least as far as headsets go), making them ideal for situations where you’re not fixed to one particular location.
TURTLE BEACH RECON 200
Turtle Beach are one of the world’s top headset manufacturers largely because they make a range of solid, affordable and quality headsets perfectly suited for those on a budget.
The Recon 200 is a perfect example of that, offering comfort, good quality sound, and versatility with an attractive price tag (RRP: $99). While it uses a 3.5mm jack (meaning it works with everything from work laptops to consoles to a Nintendo Switch), it also has a battery-powered bass boost that charges via USB and runs for about 12 hours or so.
If you need a set of headphones for work-but-also-gaming and are conscious of the budget, these are a very good option that will cover a range of situations quite happily.
STEALTH CLASSIC GOLD ABSTRACT
Stealth are a relatively new entry to the Australasian market and work in much the same space as Turtle Beach, offering a budget-friendly quality wired headphone with 40mm drivers and a detachable microphone.
With all the features you’re likely to need, as well as a comfortable to wear design and funky aesthetic which will look neat on web chat, these are also particularly attractive if you’ve got kids in the house because it’s not the end of the universe if anything happens to them, either – the RRP is $69.95.
TWELVE SOUTH FERMATA HEADPHONE CHARGING STAND
The one most of these headsets have in common is they need to be charged from time to time. There are, regrettably, only so many USB ports available in a laptop and so many power points within cord distance with which to charge headset
Manufactured by Twelve South, the Fermata is a stylish but pricey piece of kit (RRP: $109, but they can be found cheaper on sale) which combines a leather-topped headphone stand with micro USB charger. There’s also a USB port in the base, meaning you can charge something else too if needed.
Clearly designed to appeal to people for whom form is as important as function, it could be just the thing to make sure your headphones are fully charged for when you need them – regardless of whether that’s for actual work reasons or a cheeky round or two of Fortnite.