Don’t skimp with computer headsets

Munich (dpa) – Headsets have all kinds of computer uses, from games to video conferencing. Thus, if you invest too little in this combination of headphone and microphone, you might soon regret it, warns German gaming magazine Gamestar.

Low-end models, costing 30 euros (40 dollars) or less, usually have such poor workmanship that the microphone attachment or the connector cable to the computer break after only a short time.

Good headsets start around 60 euros, writes Gamestar, noting a test it conducted of 10 devices from different manufacturers. For that price, shoppers can get the PC 320 from Sennheiser, which got 85 of a possible 100 points.

Better scores went to Qpad’s QH-85 (90 points) and the Soundblaster Tactic 3D Range (87 points), though both of those cost around 100 euros.

There are two basic variations of headsets. Some have a simple stereo jack and are inserted straight into a PC’s sound card. They can also be linked to MP3 players or smartphones.

Headsets with USB connections aren’t usually so flexible, but do have their own sound chip, which can, for example, simulate surround sound. Stereo jack versions can only pull this off if the PC’s sound card has mastered the trick.