Use a USB audio adapter and cellular style headset for more reliable conference audio

My pitch here is that you should find a good wired headset for corporate videoconferencing.  It is embarrassing when you waste people's time because your mic doesn't work, your wireless set ran out of battery power or someone wrings you on your multi-paired device and it switches you out of your meeting. Watch the YouTube video!

There are a bunch of different microphone speaker combinations you can use when in your many video meetings. We all want comfort and convenience without the hassle of microphone malfunctions.

I like the wireless experience but tend to use a wired setup if I have back to back sessions or am involved in more than 4 hours of sessions per day. They are super reliable and inexpensive compared to many wireless solutions. It seems like people with wireless headsets have to do more fiddling with their sound settings.

Inexpensive  USB / headphone adapters

Computer speaker jacks are often missing the extra connector for an integrated microphone. This means we need to use a different solution if we want a single plug 4 connector 3.5mm connection.

USB to headphone adapters have a 3.5mm socket on one end and a USB plug on the other. They plug into an open USB port on your computer.  I've been using this generic MillSo USB-3.5mm adapter that costs about $10. They come in USB-A and USB-C versions. These adapters let you use pretty much any 4 connector phone EarPod style mic/earphone headset with any Windows PC.  The adapters act as a USB sound card requiring no drivers with Windows 10.  There are other good alternatives.

You can get headsets with built in USB. I use the Logitech H390 USB headset which you can get on sale for about $30.  It works well but is slightly less comfortable than the cellular music style.  This headset has worked on every system that I've tried. 

Alternative

The joy and pain of Bluetooth

Bluetooth headsets are great with their wire-free and multi-device capabilities.  They become less great when they run out of batteries or when they switch over to another call in the middle of a video conference.  Everyone has seen someone have to switch from their Bluetooth headset or seen them disappear from a multi-device paired headset that switched to another device.  

I love Bluetooth for listening to music. Not so much when on multiple daily conference sessions.

Webcam microphone monitor speakers

Webcam microphones and Webcam microphones work pretty well and make a good pairing with monitor or laptop speakers.  They can't be used in public places or in rooms with other people. Sometimes they can also echo or other weird feedback behavior because of the time delay differences between the two devices.

Created 2020 11 04

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