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Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by amenity, Feb 10, 2013.
  1. Amenity
    I'm not an "audiophile", which is basically why I came to see you experts, since you know what you're talking about (I don't). Bear with me...

    Well I went and bought a headset for VOIP and the quality is great, but I have two big issues. I will be using the headset for cold calling and taking calls. Here are my issues:

    1) Just outside my window there's noise every now and then, like car horns, dogs barking, kids screaming and all that. It's not incredibly loud, but my current VOIP picks it up, even if it's faint. If I click my fingers across the other side of the room, the headset still picks it up very clearly.

    2) Sometimes the noise outside is actually genuinely irritating and while using the headset it can be pretty distracting with a dog barking or whatever in the background, sometimes I lose my train of thought.

    So my question is: is it possible to get a high quality headset that...

    a) cancels out all sounds except from my voice (so it only captures sound that's very close and immediate to the mic)

    and b) prevents all background noise from getting to my ears, so I don't have to listen to everything going on outside.

    I'd prefer not to spend loads of money but I guess it'd be money well spent if I can sort out those two issues above. Is it possible to deal with those two issues and to what extent?
    Headset recommendations would also be appreciated!

  2. MagnaCumLaude
    This doesn't sound like a headphone issue to me.  I believe it is the microphone that is causing 90% of your problem...  If there a way that you can connect an external mic to your VOIP system/ computer then do it! I would avoid using the generic computer mic because it can get noisy.  Look for a uni-directional (or something similar ) microphone that will isolate your voice.  I use a Shure SM-57 to record my voice.  Also, maybe look into getting some sort of barrier to isolate  yourself. 
    I realize you are looking for a mic/headphone combo, but it will be better in the long run if you get only a mic and an other pair of headphones...in my opinion.   Look for "closed" headphones, so you can be isolated from your noise that surrounds you. 
    Good Luck,
  3. Amenity
    Thank you very much.
    OK I'll look into unidirectional microphones, but can I ask if it will block sound from all around me?
    Most of the sound actually comes from my window which is directly behind me and the mic will obviously be facing me (which means it'll also technically be facing the noise, albeit through me!
    Will it still work? Do you think it'd eliminate a dog barking in the background and other noises?
    I also need a hands-off one, I don't think your Shure is hands-off is it? I need both hands free to use mouse/keyboard.
  4. MagnaCumLaude
    Hmmmm....the mic does pick up some sound from far away (like your window).  There isn't much you can do except try to isolate your microphone by using a blanket behind you or something like that.  And there is always the option of moving your computer...but that takes time.  If you are going to do calls for a long time i would suggest moving into a office space or your guest room(if you have one).  
    It is not free standing, but I use an inexpensive mic stand which does the job quite well.  Both hands will be free. 
    Good luck again,
  5. Bagheera
    Not sure what your budget is, but I believe the Creative Sound Blaster (Recon3D and Z series) come with a "beamforming" microphone that is designed to only pick up your voice and filter out outside noise (including noisy roommates - it's made for gamer voice communication after all)
    Not sure if you want to dump money into a soundcard/mic combo - but reviews say it works fairly well (not sure how expensive uni-directional mics are by themselves; go with whichever solution is cheaper I guess)
    As for headphones, any closed-back headphone should provide decent enough noise isolation for your use. But if you are willing to spend the money, there are some noise-canceling headphones that will actively detect ambient noise (via a built-in mic) and cancel out the noise by generating an inverted waveform. These types of headphones are usually more expensive, though.

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