April 20, 2021 5 min read

Headphones and headsets are a great asset for in-class and remote learning. Come and see which are the best for your class.

 

Source - Unsplash

Source - Unsplash

Headphones and headsets a crucial part of the modern classroom. Headphones and headsets can help all students to make the most in an educational environment. Whether this is helping young students at workstations using their tablets, or headphones helping students to interact with the teacher in remote settings, headphones and headsets can be an invaluable addition to any school environment. But which ones are best for your classroom?

The Functions of Headphones

Headphones are what most people are aware of. When we are talking about headphones in the traditional sense, they are usually two “cans” that people wear on the ears, either connected to a device by a wire or can come in “wireless” forms. Headphones in the classroom environment can help in numerous ways. Headphones allow you to play multiple pieces of content. Therefore, it accommodates a wider range of comprehension within the classroom. In addition, headphones can provide a wide variety of support in different scenarios. For example, if you need quiet in the media center, you can use a set of headphones to help students focus on their activities.

As an educator, you are more than aware of how easy it can be to distract students. In the modern classroom, there are an array of devices and computers. When students need to listen to audio speakers with a number of other devices playing different pieces of content, it can be difficult to focus.

The Functions of Headsets

In one respect, headsets are similar to headphones, but the difference is that headsets have a microphone attached. Headsets are now a necessary piece of equipment in online classes as they are a great way for students and teachers to communicate with clarity. In an online environment, using headsets can improve the level of interaction between teacher and student. The best type of learning occurs when teachers and students are able to give and receive information with clarity, and headsets provide this.

Headsets come with a built-in microphone, and some headsets will suppress background noise. Headsets are similar to headphones but come with an added microphone. There are benefits to having headsets over headphones. While a classroom already has headphones, this would mean purchasing microphones as a separate device which could be an awkward setup. In addition, if you incorporate extra microphones, they would act like a speakerphone, which picks up a variety of noises and voices, which can cause confusion. A headset has a microphone, called a boom mic, that can be moved closer to the mouth, therefore limiting the amount of background noise.

What Are the Differences Between Headphones and Headsets?

There are two key differences between headphones and headsets:

Headsets Use a Microphone

Headsets have an integrated microphone, which will be effective in a variety of environments. Without a mic, it is impossible for the teachers and students to interact. The microphones usually two different types, boom microphones, and inline microphones.

Boom microphones are when the mic is attached to the end of a boom, this will allow for perfect positioning to the user's mouth. Everybody speaks in different timbres and volumes. When you are able to position the microphone to the perfect proximity to your mouth, this will provide the best quality and most accurate sound. In a classroom environment, the advantage of a boom mic is that it will move with the user. If somebody turns their head, the mic will stay in the perfect position to pick up their voice. Boom mics are built to last, however they are easily damaged if not handled correctly. A boom mic can cost more than an inline mic, however, it holds up with prolonged use.

Inline microphones are built into a cable that hangs between the chin and chest. Inline microphones are more durable in this respect because there is nothing for the student to grab or to bend, unlike boom microphones. Therefore, these microphones are cheaper. However, with an inline mic comes lower quality sounds. As the cord of the microphone is between the chin and chest, the microphone doesn't move with the individual. For example, if the user turns their head, the microphone will not, resulting in the voice fading in and out. Whatsmore, inline microphones will pick up background noise, as it is not in closer proximity to the user's voice. It is not able to tell the difference between the user and someone else who is close to the user.

Headsets and Headphones Have Differing Sound Quality

When when we are purchasing headphones or headsets, we need to choose the right one for the purpose. As far as sound quality is concerned, there is a big difference between the two devices. Audio quality is essential, however, a good headset allows you to hear your students during any video call while also providing good quality audio while watching content from a device.

Which Is Best for Students?

When looking for the best headphones and headsets, there are key things to consider:

Comfort

As you're potentially wearing a headset for an entire day, using something light in weight with breathable earpads is best.

The Design

Headsets will come in different designs, as do headphones. The style of the headset will affect the individual’s comfort. Neckband, on-ear, or over the ear are common designs. It's important that when choosing a headset or headphone but it is built for comfort. This can be a minor factor in comparison to audio quality.

Audio Quality

This is the key factor to consider in choosing headphones or a headset. It's not necessary to have top-grade devices, but it's important to remember that if you invest in high-quality devices, they should last longer.

Noise Cancellation Features

For online teaching, a built-in noise-canceling feature will help to suppress background noise, so students do not get distracted.

Price

Headphones and headsets of the highest quality can be expensive. There are many good-quality headsets available that can meet all of your teaching needs.

What Is Best for Your Students?

As you can see, when you are choosing education headphones, there are some differences between headsets and headphones. Deciding what is best for you and your class is crucial because when you compare headphones and headsets, you need to understand how they will benefit your class now, but also how they will be suitable in the future. If there is going to be more distance learning, a headset will be better. However, if you need devices purely to play audio, headphones will be suitable.

Sienna Smith
Sienna Smith


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