My New Wireless Headset

By , May 25, 2011

How did I live without a cordless telephone headset?

I bought my first “cordless telephone headset” in 1989, and found it indispensable for several years. After it finally broke, I put off replacing it, and quickly adjusted to life without it.  Over the past decade, I’ve been quite disappointed by a series of both corded and wireless (Bluetooth) headsets for my cell phones.

Last year, I converted both my home and office phone lines to VOIP (Voice Over IP), and used a corded headset (connected to my computer) for most calls.  I hated being tethered to the computer, but for many months, that wasn’t as annoying as the prospect of a research and shopping adventure.

But finally, the USB plug for the corded headset broke*, so I couldn’t defer the shopping experience any longer.

After extensive internet research and a very frustrating shopping experience at Fry’s Electronics, I finally bought an ASUS Travelite HS-1000W wireless USB headset.

The ASUS headset instantly worked (“plug and play”) both as a VOIP telephone headset, and as a headphone for my MP3 music. The headset continued to deliver good audio quality as I walked from room to room.

I soon found some minor annoyances.  The only way to recharge the headset is to plug it into a port on the side of the USB “dongle,” and both because of this awkward plug arrangement and the short length of the charging cord (3 feet), I had to plug the dongle into a USB port on the front of my computer.  When the headset is charging and my phone rings, if I grab it without thinking, the cord tugs at the dongle. I’ve added a cord clip at the edge of my desk, so that when I grab the headset without thinking, the force doesn’t tug at the dongle, and instead yanks out the plug from the headset.

Another annoyance: there is no low-power alert or warning.  Instead, the headset simply stops working once the battery runs out.

The ASUS headset partially folds, and comes with a travel case, but I wouldn’t want to use it for frequent travel (it’s too awkward).

Despite these issues, I’m quite satisfied with the ASUS Travelite headset.  After just a few days, I once again view my wireless headset as “indispensable.”

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*/ How did my corded headset “break”?  Inexplicably, Logitech’s corded headset uses a very large, long USB connector, which sticks out several inches from the computer.  Since the cord wasn’t long enough to stretch around to the back of the computer, I had to plug it into a USB port on the front.  Like other USB protuberances, this plug became an annoying, unnoticed obstacle which I accidentally bumped time and again, until finally the headset stopped working. (The “dongle” for the ASUS wireless headset doesn’t stick out quite so far, but is still annoying, especially since the charging cord must also be plugged into it.)

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