What is a Telephone Headset?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
A telephone headset allows a person to speak on the phone without using their hands.
A telephone headset allows a person to speak on the phone without using their hands.

A telephone headset is a device designed to allow a person to speak on the telephone while keeping his hands free. Often resembling headphones used to listen to portable audio devices, such as iPods and CD players, telephone headsets were often used in the past in call centers and by people who had to work on the phone frequently, such as receptionists and telemarketers. Today, however, they enjoy popularity not just in business settings, but also at home where people prize multitasking.

Telephone headsets are often used by people who work on the phone, such as receptionists.
Telephone headsets are often used by people who work on the phone, such as receptionists.

A telephone headset may be designed for use with ordinary telephones that plug into a wall jack. Often, these telephones have a jack for the headphones already built in, making attaching a telephone headset a quick and easy process. Unfortunately, this type of setup doesn't allow a person to move about easily and may not be as convenient for someone who has a lot of hands-on tasks to perform while speaking on the telephone. To meet the needs of those with the desire to be mobile, manufacturers make telephone headsets that can be used with cordless telephones. In fact, some manufacturers have designed cordless phones with a telephone headset already attached.

Telemarketers often use headsets, as they spend most of the day on the phone.
Telemarketers often use headsets, as they spend most of the day on the phone.

Today's telephone communicator doesn't just spend time on the telephone at home. Often, people carry cell phones with them while they're traveling, shopping, running errands, and even exercising. There are telephone headsets designed for working with cell phones, allowing a person to drive her car without having to hold the telephone, and walk down the street without holding it up to her ear. Instead, a telephone headset can be placed on her ear or over her head, allowing her to clip her cell phone to her belt, keep it in her purse, or even store it in her pocket. There are even wireless headsets that allow the user an even greater amount of freedom, as she can just clip one onto her ear or over her head and go, without trailing wires to become tangled or get in the way.

Receptionists who must multi-task may benefit from wearing a telephone headset.
Receptionists who must multi-task may benefit from wearing a telephone headset.

Today's telephone headset comes with a variety of features, especially those that are more expensive. For example, a person may buy a headset that is noise canceling to help him carry on a regular conversation, even in a very noisy environment. Different headsets offer varying levels of sound quality, with more expensive models often offering better quality, though this is not always the case. Consumers can choose between over-the-head and over-the-ear models, and there are even some convertible headsets that allow users to switch between wearing them over the head and over the ear and that may be adjusted for comfort.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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    • A telephone headset allows a person to speak on the phone without using their hands.
      A telephone headset allows a person to speak on the phone without using their hands.
    • Telephone headsets are often used by people who work on the phone, such as receptionists.
      Telephone headsets are often used by people who work on the phone, such as receptionists.
    • Telemarketers often use headsets, as they spend most of the day on the phone.
      Telemarketers often use headsets, as they spend most of the day on the phone.
    • Receptionists who must multi-task may benefit from wearing a telephone headset.
      Receptionists who must multi-task may benefit from wearing a telephone headset.