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Computing

Sony’s InZone gaming headsets raise the bar for PS5 audio

Along with new gaming monitors, Sony has launched new InZone gaming headsets, designed to help take you to victory in your PC and PlayStation games. The range includes the flagship H9, the mid-range H7, and the budget-friendly H3. The headsets are priced at $300, $230, and $100, respectively.

At the core of these new headsets for PC and PlayStation 5 are three different things: sound, comfort, and noise cancellation. The H9, as the flagship headset, offers these at the highest level. They feature digital noise cancellation, a soft-fit leather material, and wireless and Bluetooth connectivity.

Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

Sony says the head cushions on the H9 are wide, soft, and thick, and the earpads are designed for stability and sound insulation, with low side pressure so you can game for hours. You can expect the same soft fit and noise cancellation from the H9 as seen and found on the popular Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones.

Battery life is rated at 32 hours on this flagship headset, and there’s even support for spatial audio. That can help for precise detection in games like CS: GO where tracking enemies is important. Ear mapping for the feature is done through a mobile app to create a personalized spatial sound field.

Like most newer headsets, the H9 one even sport support for simultaneous connection with gaming and chat or voice calls through Bluetooth and wireless. This is only on the H9 and H7, however.

And, if used on PlayStation 5, users will get a connection status indicator on the screen, showing volume levels, battery levels, mic status, as well as game and chat balance. Tempest 3D Audiotech is supported, too, especially for the PlayStation 5. And that built-in microphone? It’s fully adjustable, so the headset can better capture your voice.

The Sony InZone Gaming headsets sitting on a table
Arif Bacchus/ Digital Trends

The H7, they don’t feature the soft-fit leather of the H9 headset. Rather it’s more about the longer battery life of up to 40 hours. There’s also no digital noise cancellation, either. The H3, meanwhile, have the addition of a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and also a wired USB adapter, so battery is not of worry.

With all three headsets, users can download an app on Windows to control sound profiles and other settings.

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Computing

Meta just revealed how VR headsets could look in the future

Meta recently previewed a futuristic-looking VR headset concept in a metaverse promotional video. There’s no confirmation that this is an actual product in development, but the new device is clearly much more advanced than a Quest headset and even slimmer than the upcoming Cambria headset.

Fingertip sensors are also shown and might help to quickly identify finger location with great precision, as well as provide haptic feedback.

These glimpses of the future were found as part of Meta’s pattern of posting a few videos each month that represent some near-term hardware and others a bit further out to future VR headsets.

In the most futuristic video, Meta imagines a time when the metaverse might have rendering quality that’s indistinguishable from reality, or perhaps the company simply took artistic license. There’s little doubt that this will be possible someday but it’s hard to say when that might come to pass. Three practical examples of the metaverse were given in the video.

When attending a lecture that’s accessible via the metaverse, students will be able to either be physically present or teleport into a seat and the professor can manipulate virtual 3D objects such as a biological cell to discuss its metabolism. The cell can be tossed to a student and examined more closely as it’s in the process of dividing.

A bit further in, a medical student practices for surgery on a virtual patient using an advanced VR headset and fingertip sensors that might provide greater precision and haptic feedback. This type of training, which can be repeated hundreds or thousands of times, would be very useful before moving on to cadavers for hands-on experience.

Meta VR fingertip sensors shown on someone's hands.

Finally, Meta’s concept video demonstrates history coming to life with modern students visiting ancient Rome and watching Mark Antony engage in a debate over the flaws and merits of Julius Caesar as a ruler. The students can walk around and examine the scene as if actually there.

Another video illustrates the current state of VR and how a father and daughter can connect while fishing despite being separated by nearly 2,000 miles. Meta didn’t identify the app, however, it appears to be Real VR Fishing, a multiplayer fishing simulation that’s available right now for Quest and Quest 2 VR headsets for $20. That’s right, the metaverse is already here in some respects.

While the potential of the future metaverse is certainly very enticing, plenty of work must be done before this vision becomes a reality. The early versions of classrooms, hands-on training, and historical locations already exist in various apps and are well done within the limitations of the current hardware. The near future and what will become possible with more advanced headsets remains to be seen.

The wait won’t be long since Meta’s Cambria, a more expensive VR headset, is expected later this year. It will be interesting to see how well Meta’s Cambria can render the early metaverse and how immersive the experience might be.

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Game

Meta VR headsets won’t require a Facebook account to use

The Oculus name may be no more, but there is at least one piece of good news in Facebook’s decision to rebrand itself as Meta. You won’t need a Facebook account to use its Quest headsets. That tidbit of information was nestled in a post from soon-to-be Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth detailing what the rebranding means for the company’s various products.    

“We’re working on new ways to log into Quest that won’t require a Facebook account, landing sometime next year,” Bosworth said. “This is one of our highest priority areas of work internally.”

Meta announced in August 2020 it would eventually require all Oculus owners to log into their devices with a Facebook account. At the time, the company said people it would start prompting people to merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts starting in October 2020. Under that plan, Oculus owners would have had until January 1st, 2023 to continue using their headsets without a Facebook account. After that point, Meta said the devices would continue working, but warned some games and apps would not. Unsurprisingly, the Oculus community immediately hated the decision. “What the fuck,” said one of the more tame comments an Oculus owner posted in the comments section of the blog post detailing the policy change.  

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Game

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ and 7P+ gaming headsets boost battery, add USB-C

SteelSeries has announced an update to its popular Arctis 7 gaming headset with the new Arctis 7+ and Arctis 7P+ models. The two new Arctis options bring hotly-anticipated upgrades to the aging model, perhaps the best of which is finally swapping out the micro USB port for USB-C. The Arctis 7+ and 7P+ support just about every gaming platform except for the Xbox.

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 has been a popular headset among gamers for years and the new models aren’t likely to be an exception. The Arctis 7+ and 7P+ retain the company’s signature design and many of the features users love while building upon them with the latest hardware and functionality.

Both models support the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac, Oculus Quest 2, and mobile devices. The Xbox consoles, however, are notably absent from the list, meaning gamers who prefer Microsoft’s console will need to go with one of SteelSeries’ other models.

Both models bring high-end gaming audio features to the table, but the Arctis 7P+ is ideal for PS5 owners who want to leverage the console’s Tempest 3D AudioTech. SteelSeries says it designed the 7P+ specifically for the PlayStation 5, enabling gamers to hear the most subtle sounds in games and the direction from which the sounds originate in a simulated 3D audio environment.

Both models include a compact USB dongle for wireless audio support across various devices, as well as a battery boost of up to 30 hours on battery. Likewise, both Arctis headsets sport a ClearCast bidirectional noise-canceling microphone certified for use with Discord. The microphone is retractable and, for the Arctis 7P+ model specifically, offers the same noise cancellation tech found in headsets used by aircraft carrier deck crews.

The Arctis 7+, meanwhile, gives buyers early access to the company’s Sonar audio software, making it possible to hear the game in 7.1 surround sound, enable ChatMix, and other features. Both the 7+ and 7P+ feature 40mm neodymium drivers, a 20 to 20,000Hz frequency range, and an on-ear cup design.

Though this isn’t a huge update, it is a solid one that brings welcomed changes for PS5 owners and Arctis 7 fans who have grown tired of hanging on to their old micro USB chargers. The addition of USB-C makes fast charging possible, plus the overall battery life improvement means gamers won’t have to recharge their headsets daily to enjoy their favorite video games.

The SteelSeries Arctis 7+ and Arctis 7P+ are available now for $169.99 USD each.

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Game

SteelSeries updates its Arctis 7 headsets with longer battery life and USB-C

Since 2019, Engadget has the SteelSeries Arctis 7 as one of the best gaming headsets you can buy. At this point, it’s iconic but with a design that hasn’t changed much since 2016, it recently started to show its age. Thankfully, SteelSeries just announced the Arctis 7+ and Arctis 7P+.

The tweaks the company has made are modest, but they’re ones current Arctis 7 owners will appreciate. Most notably, SteelSeries has replaced the finicky micro USB port you used to charge the headset with a more modern USB-C connection. Using the new port, it’s possible to get three hours of uptime after 15 minutes of charging.

Arctis 7+

SteelSeries

On that note, battery life is also improved. SteelSeries claims you can get up to 30 hours of gameplay on a single charge, up from the approximately 24 hours you got from the previous version. As for the differences between the 7+ and 7P+, there aren’t many. You can buy the latter in both black and white colorways where the former is only available in black. Additionally, the 7P+ includes support for the PlayStation 4 and PS5’s 3D Audio functionality. That said, you can use both headsets with pretty much any system or device other than Xbox consoles.

The Arctis 7+ and Arctis 7P+ are available to buy today from the SteelSeries website. They’ll both set you back $170. That’s an increase from the $150 MSRP of Arctis 7 and 7P, but what’s an extra $20 when you don’t have to deal with micro USB anymore. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Game

Razer Kraken V3: Multisensory immersion gaming headsets in-effect

Razer revealed the Razer Kraken V3 this week, complete with multiple angles for easy entry. Kraken V3 is a headset – a set of headsets – made to deliver “the most immersive gaming audio experience possible” with multiple price points and multiple sets of features. This release also marks the first time a wireless Kraken was released by the company – complete with Razer HyperSense and an on-headset adjuster.

Included in the Razer Kraken V3 range are the Razer Kraken V3 X, Kraken V3, Kraken V3 Hypersense, and Kraken V3 Pro. The four different Razer Kraken V3 headsets work with a Microphone on/off toggle button and volume up/down controls – physical controls – on each headset. Each headset has Razer Chroma RGB lighting tech. From there, things start to get very different.

The least of these is the Kraken V3 X, a headset with 7.1 surround sound, Razer TriForce 40mm drivers, USB Type-A connectivity, a bendable HyperClear Cardioid microphone, Hybrid Fabric and Memory Foam Ear Cushions, and a price of approximately $70 USD.

The Razer Kraken V3 (no X) has THX Spatial Audio tech with Razer Triforce Titanium 50mm Drivers, Hybrid Fabric and Leatherette Memory Foam Cushions, and a Detachable HyperClear Cardiod mic. This headset also uses USB-A to connect and has a starting price at around $100 USD.

Razer calls the Kraken V3 HyperSense their new “flagship haptic headset.” This headset is one of two Kraken headsets to have Razer HyperSense tech inside. This means you’ve got haptic feedback – physical movement – inside the headphones to deliver an extra level of immersion in whatever the wearer is experiencing on-screen.

The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense works with Razer TriForce Titanium 50mm Drivers, THX Spatial Audio, a detachable HyperClear Cardiod Mic, Hybrid Fabric and Leatherette Memory Foam Cushions, and USB-A connectivity. This headset can be purchased for around $130 USD.

The most high-end Razer Kraken V3 Pro has everything the “HyperSense” model has – including Razer HyperSense tech – but it adds a few key components. This device has a Detachable HyperClear SUPERcardioid micrphone. It also has Razer HyperSpeed Wireless audio as well as an option for 3.5mm analog connectivity. The Razer Kraken V3 Pro can be purchased from Razer’s online store SOON, and it’ll cost around $200 USD.

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Game

The best VR headsets you can buy

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’ve been holding out for VR hardware to mature, you chose wisely. Headsets have come a long way since the launch of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive five years ago. Standalone devices like the Oculus Quest 2 let you hop into virtual reality anywhere, while also giving you the flexibility of streaming virtual reality from powerful PCs. And if you don’t care about dealing with a wired headset, there are a plethora of high-end options out there. Most importantly, there are plenty of memorable VR experiences like Vader Immortal and Half-LIfe: Alyx that you can’t experience outside of a headset.

So what makes a good VR headset?

I tend to judge them on a few basic criteria: Ergonomics, immersion and controls. It’s not that hard to shove a mobile display into a plastic headset and strap some cheap elastic headbands onto them. But it takes skill to craft something that’s well balanced and doesn’t feel uncomfortable after 30 minutes.

Immersion, meanwhile, comes from having high resolution screens with fast refresh rates, so everything looks sharp and smooth. Field of view is also a major element, as it describes how well VR screens can cover what you see. Having a low field of view makes it look like you’re looking through a pair of binoculars, which limits the sense of “presence” you can feel in VR. But a wide field of view can make it seem like you’re actually flying over the globe in Google Earth.

And when it comes to controllers, the best options fit naturally in your hands and offer accurate tracking. The industry has practically adopted the design of Oculus’s excellent touch controllers, but we’re also seeing intriguing leaps forward like Valve’s finger tracking gamepads.

Best VR headset for most people: Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2 VR headset

Engadget

Almost a year since its release, the Oculus Quest 2 remains the best VR option for the vast majority of consumers. It’s completely cordless, relatively inexpensive (starting at $299) and it’s comfortable to wear for long sessions. There’s also a huge library of titles that you can experience anywhere, and it’s bundled with Oculus’s great motion controllers. You can also connect the Quest 2 to a gaming PC to stream more complex VR experiences.

The Quest 2 features fast-switching LCDs with a resolution 1832×1920 per eye, the highest we’ve seen from Oculus. It also has a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, which is impressive for something running entirely on mobile hardware. The Quest 2’s field of view isn’t the best — it’s been measured at just around 90 degrees — but it’s still enough to enjoy most VR experiences. You can also use different face pads to increase its field of view a bit. And if you want an even more comfortable fit, you can snag Oculus’s Elite headstrap for $49 (or $129 with a built-in battery and case).

Facebook has recalled the foam inserts from the original model and is offering silicone covers to make the headset more comfortable. We didn’t experience any issues during our review, or during the past year of usage, but there have been enough complaints for Facebook to take action. The base $299 Quest 2 will also come with 128GB of storage when it returns to store shelves on August 24th. That’s double the storage of the original model, giving you even more room to cram in games and VR apps.

The Quest 2 may not offer the best overall VR experience, but it’s certainly the most accessible headset on the market.

Buy Oculus Quest 2 at Amazon – $299

Best PC VR headset under $600: HP Reverb G2

HP Reverb G2 VR headset

Engadget

If you don’t care about wireless VR, and you want to invest a bit more in a high-quality PC headset, HP’s $599 Reverb G2 is meant for you. It was developed in cooperation with Valve and has some of the best features from the pricier Index headset, like near-field speakers. The Reverb G2 also has sharp screens, offering 2,160 by 2,160 pixels per eye, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a relatively wide 114-degree field of view.

It’s also the first Windows Mixed Reality headset to include four tracking sensors, which helps to ensure more accurate VR tracking, especially during fast-paced games. I also give HP credit for making a headset that’s extremely comfortable thanks to its luxurious amount of cushioning around the eye-piece and rear strap.

The Reverb G2’s motion controllers weren’t my favorite, but they’re still a big step up from HP’s previous model. You could also upgrade it to use Valve’s finger-tracking controllers, but that involves snagging SteamVR sensors and a lot more setup. Still, it’s nice to have the upgrade path available.

Buy Reverb G2 at HP – $599

Best PC VR headset for gamers: Valve Index

Valve Index VR headset

Engadget

Valve’s Index kit remains one of the best high-end VR solutions on the market. For $999 you get the Index headset, Valve’s finger tracking controllers and two SteamVR base stations. While we’ve seen higher-resolution headsets arrive in the last two years, it’s still a very solid option, with a 1,440 by 1,600 pixel resolution, an eye-watering 144Hz refresh rate and a massive 130-degree field of view. I’d gladly lose a few pixels to get a smoother and more expansive screen, which are still far beyond any other consumer headset.

As a SteamVR product, the Index requires installing two sensors at opposite corners of your room. And of course, it’s wired to your PC. But that clunkiness is worth it for the higher refresh rate and more accurate tracking. Sure, it’s not as easy to use as the Quest 2, but at this price range, we assume you’ll suffer a bit of inconvenience to get a truly high-quality VR experience.

Valve’s finger tracking controllers are fantastic as well, with a convenient strap that locks them onto your hands. They make playing Half-Life: Alyx feel like a dream. It’s unfortunate that other VR games haven’t fully taken advantage of the finger tracking though.

Buy Index at Valve – $999

Best VR quality, no matter the cost: HTC Vive Pro 2

HTC Vive Pro 2

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

HTC’s Vive Pro 2 is the best-looking PC VR I’ve seen. It has an astoundingly sharp 5K screen and a solid 120Hz refresh rate. Just be prepared: the full kit, which includes the headset, two SteamVR sensors and wand controllers, costs $1,399. You can also buy the headset separately for $799 as an upgrade to the original Vive Pro, or the Valve Index.

For the price you get a well-balanced and supremely comfortable VR headset. The Pro 2 is a clear sign that Valve has practically perfected the art of making high-end hardware. I’m less impressed with the large wand controllers, which are exactly the same as the ones that came with the original HTC Vive in 2016. They’re functional, but they’re nowhere near as ergonomic as Oculus’s Touch Controllers.

I’m mainly recommending the Pro 2 here based on the astounding quality of the headset.

True VR fans may want to just grab that separately along with SteamVR base stations and Valve’s finger-tracking controllers. That way you can ensure you have the best experience while playing Half Life: Alyx.

Buy HTC Vive Pro 2 at Lenovo – $799

What about the PS VR?

We adored Sony’s PlayStation VR when it launched… but that was nearly five years ago. While it’s still a very comfortable headset, and it does magic with the PS4’s limited power, it’s not the smartest buy today. That’s particularly true when Sony has been eager to chat up its sequel VR headset for the PS5. We know that device will come with more modern controllers and have hardware similar to PC VR headsets. The only problem is that you’ll have to wait for it — Sony says it won’t be ready in 2021.

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Computing

How to Watch HTC ViveCon 2021 Live Stream: New VR Headsets Expected

HTC has been teasing that multiple new virtual reality headsets could be launching at ViveCon, the company’s VR conference, this year. Slated to take place virtually this year on May 11, HTC had announced its plan to “[unveil] game-changing VR headsets, software, and platforms to take your experience to another level” at the show. Depending on what’s announced, these new VR headsets sound like they could replace a number of options that are currently considered the best VR headsets you can buy.

While ViveCon is expected to be an enterprise-specific conference this year, those following the augmented, virtual, and mixed reality market could see how HTC is advancing the segment with its latest wares and platform to foster more innovation in the VR space.

How to watch ViveCon 2021 live stream

HTC Vive Cosmos
Chuong Nguyen/Digital Trends

HTC is billing ViveCon as “the most important VR event of the year.” And like most events and announcements that have taken place recently amid the global pandemic, ViveCon will be a virtual, rather than an in-person event. If you’re interested in the event, you can register for a free spot for the conference on HTC’s dedicated portal, and to date, some 44,000 fans have registered to attend.

Those interested should register now, as HTC intends to close down its free registration once ViveCon commences on May 11.

The virtual reality conference will be broken up into two days. The keynote, likely to be the most important event for most people, will take place at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 11. HTC is widely expected to announce at least two new enterprise-centric virtual reality headsets during its keynote presentations. The keynote will be livestreamed, and attendees should check the HTC portal for a link to the stream.

If you can’t view the ViveCon keynote, be sure to follow Digital Trends, as we’ll be reporting all the latest news and announcements coming from HTC.

Developers will want to stick around for the second day of ViveCon on May 12, where the company will feature sessions and panels dedicated to virtual reality. HTC has speakers dedicated to remote work through VR, a salient topic given that the pandemic has forced many companies to a work-from-home policy, as well as topics in health care.

What to expect at ViveCon

vive cosmos elite

HTC is widely expected to announce two new virtual reality headsets for enterprise use at ViveCon. HTC could use ViveCon as a platform to launch the HTC Vive Pro 2, a successor to the original HTC Vive Pro, and the Vive Focus 3 Business Edition.

The main difference between the two headsets is that while the HTC Vive Pro 2 is expected to be a PC-based virtual reality experience, the HTC Vive Focus 3 Business Edition is expected to be a stand-alone solution that doesn’t require the wearer to be tethered to a computer.

HTC’s teaser suggests that these headsets will be “game-changing,” so it will be interesting to see what features and specifications will be announced. Prior to ViveCon, HTC had teased a ViveAir headset that features a sportier design with a lightweight, breathable knit fabric cover, and promotional materials depicted a woman donning the headset in workout clothes lifting weights.

The headset, if adopted for consumer use, could feature training videos and guided workouts, but more recently HTC had confirmed that it has no intention of commercializing the Vive Air. Rather, the Vive Air is designed as a concept headset, with the company stating it hopes to incorporate elements from the design into other products in the future.

Ahead of ViveCon, Alzashop’s leaked listing for both headsets suggests that the Vive Pro 2 could be priced at $1,012, while the Vive Focus 3 Business Edition could come in at $1,770, according to UploadVR.

Editors’ Choice




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Tech News

HTC teams with iFixit to make repairing VIVE VR headsets easier

HTC VIVE has announced that it is teaming up with iFixit to make replacement components for its VR headsets available to consumers. Many may be familiar with iFixit. It’s a place that buys new gadgets and then rips them apart to make guides on repairing devices should they need repairs in the future. HTC VIVE has announced that iFixit will offer official VR system parts and accessories to allow customers to extend the life of their devices once the warranty expires.

VIVE says the availability of replacement parts will save time and costs associated with hardware repairs and help eliminate downtime for users. HTC said that it has heard from customers who love their original VIVE headsets and are still using them years after launch, but those users complain they occasionally need parts. The new partnership with iFixit is intended to meet the demands of long-time customers that want to repair and continue using their headsets when HTC no longer offers parts directly.

HTC teaming up with iFixit is a big deal as typically major electronics manufacturers don’t want iFixit to show repair guides or offer replacement components for their devices. iFixit says that it is “thrilled” to be able to help gamers fix their hardware, allowing them to continue enjoying cyberspace and virtual reality.

Customers in North America will be able to order specific replacement parts for the VIVE CE, VIVE Pro, VIVE Wireless Adapter, VIVE Tracker, and other peripherals like wall mounts and cables. HTC also notes that iFixit will offer repair guides for the headsets and original VIVE controllers. The complete list of available parts doesn’t appear to include any microchips but has a number of screws, straps, and available cables. The full list of parts can be seen here.

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Computing

The Best Headsets for Zoom

Have you suffered the embarrassment of having your generic headphones glitch out in the middle of a Zoom call, tried to message a colleague for the info, and got caught out? Does your PC’s built-in microphone suffer from feedback, distortion, and other audio errors that impact everyone else on the call? Are the roofers across the street making your co-workers think you’re practicing for an impromptu Stomp performance?

Whether you work from home full-time or are just looking to upgrade your workplace setup, having a comfortable and functional headset while providing consistent, high-quality audio is crucial. We’ve taken the time and found you a curated selection of the best headsets for Zoom and other video conferencing services to suit a variety of preferences and budgets. Learn more about our picks and how they can serve you well for years to come.

Logitech H150 Stereo Headset ($40)

Daniel Martin/Screenshot

As the Logitech H150 proves, a headset doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to work reliably and provide high-quality audio. Only costing a modest $40, this headset was created with online learning and services Zoom in mind and designed so that users can hear every word of the conversation, stay in the loop and control your side of the conversation.

As such, this headset comes with a variety of built-in features, including an adjustable headband, in-line controls for audio, foam earcups, and a rotating microphone arm. Additionally, the noise-canceling functions of the Logitech H150 ensure that your fellow Zoom participants can hear you clearly without any interference.

Jabra Evolve 80 UC Duo ($241)

Image of Jabra Evolve 80 UC Duo
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Zoom callers who prefer a premium product but also prefer a bargain will be well served with the Jabra Evolve 80 UC Duo at around $250. With noise-canceling features specifically designed to mute the office environment’s noise, you can rest assured that the noise of boisterous children or chatty coworkers will not intrude on your meeting (always remember to lock your doors, though).

With large leatherette ear cushions, a fully-adjustable headband, in-line call answering, closing, jacks for both 3.5mm and USB-A, and a “busy” light to inform colleagues that you’re on a call, users can enjoy plug-and-play convenience in an attractive package. Avaya, CISCO, and Microsoft also certify the Jabra Evolve 80 UC Duo and offer seamless integration with many Unified Communications vendors, making it ideal for personal and professional applications.

Apple AirPods Pro ($200 – $250)

Image of Apple Airpods Pro
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Sought after by devotees of Apple and regular consumers alike, it’s clear that these genuinely wireless headphones have become prized possessions for both their utility and their position as a status symbol. However, Apple AirPods Pro is also ideal for Zoom calls and other telecommunications by providing decent noise-cancellation, superb call quality, and enhanced bass output to boost overall audio quality.

Users can wear an earbud in one or both ears and quickly answer and close calls with a simple double-pinch while enjoying the freedom of superior wireless connectivity.  These earbuds work well with both MacOS and Windows PCs, though it’s worth noting that the Airpods Pro excels at switching back and forth between devices connect via iCloud.

Sony WH-1000XM4 ($350)

Image of Sony WH-1000XM4
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

Offering significant improvements on an already impressive series of headsets, the WH-1000XM4 costs a pretty penny. Still, in this case, you certainly get what you pay for — five microphones for calls, the ability to integrate Alexa or Google Assistant, and up to 30 hours of noise-canceling and wireless functionality doesn’t come cheaply. In addition to the previous generation’s sensors that auto-calibrated the headset based on head size and whether you wear glasses, a new sensor in the left earcup detects when the headphones are worn and automatically pauses the audio when removed.

The new and improved Bluetooth upgrades features include multi-point pairing, allowing users to connect to two devices simultaneously and instantly switch between them as needed. It also has a “quick attention” mode that lets you pause your audio and have a conversation by cupping the right earphone, which will resume when you remove your hand. The headphones can even detect when you start speaking to someone IRL and pause the audio for between 15 seconds and a minute, or until you manually resume it.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 ($379)

Image of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Daniel Martin/Screenshot

It’s said that silence is golden — the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 only prove just how true that statement can be. If you want to experience 11 noise-cancellation settings from full transparency to complete noise cancelation, follow the Bose Music app’s instructions for iOS and Android for a guided setup and easy pairing with a digital assistant of your choice.

For those who prefer a genuinely customizable level of noise cancelation, you can adjust your ANC manually via the left earphone. You can also set up a cycle of your three favorite settings, determine how much of your voice you can hear on a call, change the language of verbal prompts, or disable them entirely. A remarkably sensitive microphone allows users to perform voice commands with ease and delivers exceptional call quality while offering intuitive tap-and-hold answering, muting, and call declining functions via the right earphone. All in all, the Bose 700 is an impressive — if expensive — headset that will be the envy of the office in more ways than one.

Editors’ Choice




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