A stereo headset is a headset that is capable of playing stereo sound. A headset will include earphones or headphones that go over or in the ear to deliver sound directly to the wearer. In some cases, the headsets may be multi-use devices as well, such as those designed for cell phones, which may include a microphone for having conversations.
The stereo headset offers one major advantage over mono headsets and that has to deal with sound quality. While a good headset may cost considerably more than a cheaper mono set, the difference is very noticeable. To understand the difference between this type of headset and other types, it is first necessary to understand what stereo sound is.
Stereo sound is basically is sound recorded simultaneously on two different channels, which are then fed to a system capable of differentiating those channels. A stereo headset has this capability. The result is to create a more natural, live sound. Once this is accomplished, a number of other effects can also be done to provide a much more interesting audio presentation, including the capability of a limited surround sound effect.
Most headsets in use today are capable of handling stereo sound, so the designation is not as important as it once was when a stereo headset was a rather rare device. Still, it is important for the consumer to understand what they are buying. Stereo devices will usually say so somewhere on the packaging.
The one case where a headset is more likely not to be in stereo is in headsets designed for use with mobile phones. Due to the fact that these headsets are mainly used for conversations, which do not need to be in stereo, the headsets may not be set up for stereo sound. However, many phones also double as MP3 players or players of other media types. Due to this dual use, many may prefer a stereo headset to get the maximum amount of enjoyment from the device.
in order to enjoy a stereo headset, it is necessary to have the headset being used in both ears. Many may prefer to only put an earphone in one ear to have the other ear free. While this is certainly an option and personal preference, it will not provide stereo sound, as stereo requires two different speakers. In the case of a stereo headset, the only two speakers available are those going into different ears.