Headsets are headphones with a microphone attached, making a device that you can wear on your head to easily hear and record sound. Their popularity has risen sharply with the recent growth of voice chat on the Internet, both on Internet phone services such as Skype and in online games such as Xbox Live.
As a consequence, most electronics shops now sell headsets. As most headsets at the cheap end of the market are unbranded, however, it can be very difficult to know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
As a rule, you should try to avoid buying headsets from the big High Street electronics retailers, as they will generally sell very cheap headsets for much more than they’re worth. Smaller computer shops are a better bet, as are independent music stores and games shops. The best place to buy a headset, though, is one where you can compare features objectively – and right now, the only place you can really do that is on the Internet.
Since you can’t see or touch the products on the Internet, shops have to go to a bit more effort to provide you with technical specifications, which allows you to compare what you’re getting for your money across different sites. On shopping sites like Amazon that have reviews, you can read opinions from people who have actually used the headset already, which saves you the fear of buying a dud, and will often give you information about what the package does and doesn’t contain that no other source will tell you.
The best way to buy a headset, though, is probably to compare them at the big shopping sites first, and then write down the model number of the one you like best and try to find it at a discount on auction sites like eBay. This way you get the headset you want for the best price.