The trend of online meetings and webconferencing continues to surge. As with many office workers, I increasingly attend meetings online rather than face-to-face. A good headset where you can hear clearly, be heard clearly, and is comfortable to wear is a must-have nowadays for most business and office workers. A headset can make all the difference between a productive or frustrating online meeting or business call. Logitech’s USB Headset Stereo (A-00057) is an almost perfect online meeting accessory; it’s lightweight, sounds great, and is a worthy Editors’ Choice for business-class headsets.
Specs and Design
The headset has an overall sharp, professional black-and-silver design. It’s a good fit, either looks-wise for a front reception office in a professional setting, or just as a very comfortable and efficient headset for a home office user.
The one feature I love about the H650e is that it has double ears. I’ve always found single ear headsets rather uncomfortable to wear for long periods. Each earpad is cushioned as is the headband—making the device a comfortable fit on the head. It’s also very lightweight, weighing 4.2 ounces.Attached is a flexible microphone boom that swivels up and away from your face and is made of a rubbery material so you can move it closer to and farther from your mouth. It’s a handsome design overall, but the microphone boom is so flexible that it’s easy to bend it a bit out of shape permanently, detracting from the classic look of the design—my headset’s microphone has a slight kink after using it quite often.
The headset connects via USB. Built onto the wire is a small panel where you press buttons for volume adjustment, microphone mute, and can place an in-line call on supported platforms. These platforms include Microsoft Lync and Cisco IP Communicator—the headset is optimized to work with both Unified Communications solutions, and the inline calling feature is supported on each. Since this device is optimized for a Microsoft product, I was hoping to use the inline calling feature with Skype, but I could not.
Included with the headset is an attractive velvet carrying case, a quick start guide, and an information card for the two-year limited warranty.
Setup and Performance
The H650e is compatible with Windows Vista and later (32- and 64-bit), Mac OS 10.7 and higher, and Linux. The headset did not come with any drivers. It doesn’t need them. As soon as I connected the headset to a USB port on my Windows 7 laptop, the operating system recognized and installed the appropriate drivers. It’s that easy.
For this review, I tested the headset for GoToMeeting, WebEx conferences, and Skype. In fact, I use it now for any online meeting, and across the board, it’s about the sharpest, clearest audio I’ve heard. Meeting participants confirmed clarity of my voice on their end.
I also specifically tested the noise cancellation, by Skyping a contact and placing a very noisy heater on my desk, right next to my laptop. My Skype partner confirmed that the conversation on their end was unaffected by the background noise. As one would imagine, there is quite a bit of ambient noise in the PCMag lab, and it hasn’t impacted audio in any of my online meetings from my end while I’ve been using the headset.
The placement of the volume buttons, and in particular the mute button, is extremely handy, especially if you are about to cough during a meeting and want to do the quick mute thing.
A Must Have Business Accessory
Meetings are pretty unavoidable in the office day-to-day. Since many of us are conducting meetings online; having a lightweight, comfortable headset becomes a necessity. If you’d prefer a wireless model, check out the Plantronics Savi 440; it’s considerably more expensive, but it has excellent sound quality and range, and works well with webconferencing software. Otherwise, Logitech’s USB Headset Stereo H650e fits the bill and receives 4.5 out of 5 stars and an Editors’ Choice for business headsets.
|Active Noise Cancellation||Yes|
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