Different Types of Phone Headsets and How to Buy Them

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Different Types of Phone Headsets and How to Buy Them

A phone headset can be a very useful piece of equipment as it gives freedom to the user by enabling them to carry on using their mobile phone while doing something else. A handsfree Bluetooth headset is the only legal way to use a mobile phone while driving. Phone headsets are available in many different styles and will vary in price and size. It is worth considering each type of headset before deciding which one to buy. The conditions in which the headset will be used and personal choice about the style of the headset may be determining factors.


Phone headsets can be divided into four main types. The headsets are either positioned to sit on the ear, fit around the ear, are inserted into the outer ear or are inserted into the ear canal. Most people will have a preferred choice.

Circumaural Headsets

This type of headset has cushioned pads which fully surround each ear. They are sometimes also called earcup headsets because they cup each ear so that it is fully surrounded by a cushion. A circumaural headset will also have a mouthpiece with a microphone. Many models of circumaural headsets offer a noise cancellation feature to ensure that outside noise is not a distraction. The main advantage of a circumaural headset is that it will stay in place securely, be comfortable and will generally be very effective in reducing outside noise. The size of a circumaural headset is the only real disadvantage. It can be bulky to carry and may be heavy to wear for a long period of time.

Supra-aural Headsets

A supra-aural headset has one main feature that is different to circumaural headsets. The ear pads for a supra-aural headset sit on top of the ear. This can mean that they are less effective at shutting out noise as the ear is not fully surrounded but they will be very secure and stay in position. A supra-aural headset also has a separate mouthpiece with a microphone attached to it. This type of headset may also be described as an earpad headset. The size of a supra-aural headset means that it is not particularly portable and may feel heavy and uncomfortable after being worn for several hours.

Earbud Headsets

These are one of the smallest types of phone headsets available. The earbuds fit into the outside of the ear. There is no separate mouthpiece as the microphone is attached to the lead of the headset. This means it can be clipped to clothing to add security. The size of the earbud headset makes it extremely portable and a good choice for travelling, but some people may find the positioning of the earbuds difficult as they can be insecure.

Canal Earbud Headsets

Although similar in style to an earbud headset, a canal bud headset offers greater security to the user because the canal buds have to be pushed firmly into the actual ear canal. The canal buds are shaped like earplugs and function in a similar way by creating an acoustic plug in the ear canal to keep out any outside noise so that the user can concentrate on their phone calls. Although a canal earbud headset can be effective, some people may find it difficult to become accustomed to the fact that it has to be pushed so hard into the ear canal as this can feel uncomfortable. It is possible to have custom made canal earbuds where they are made specifically fit the measurements of an individual ear, but this may add a significant amount to the price.

Wireless and Bluetooth?

Before buying it is important to decide on the style of the phone headset but also to think about whether a Bluetooth wireless headset would be the best option. It is possible to buy a Bluetooth headset in a variety of styles and sizes. Many headsets aim to be as small and inconspicuous as possible and it is possible to buy one which will simply clip over one ear, but it is also possible to buy large ear-cup and earpad style headsets which also offer Bluetooth. One of the main advantages of using a Bluetooth headset is that it will enable the user to drive safely and legally as it is completely hand free. This may also make it easier to multi task while using the phone with a Bluetooth headset as both hands would be available. A Bluetooth headset does not need to be attached to the phone so this cuts out the need for an annoying cable that could become detached.

How to Buy a Phone Headset.

Phone Headsets are available from a multitude of high street retailers and also from many online sites. It can be useful to visit a retailer that sells phone headsets even if there is no intention to purchase there as it will provide the opportunity to try on different styles of headsets and find out which is the most comfortable. This should make it a lot easier to make an informed decision about which type of phone headset to purchase.


Phone headsets can be split into four main types. There are two types which sit on the ear and two types which fit in the ear. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type and personal choice and comfort may be a factor in making a decision about which type to buy. Many types of phone headsets are now equipped with Bluetooth and this can provide further freedom to the user by making their phone completely handsfree. Phone headsets are available from many retailers both on the high street and online with eBay proving the opportunity to buy many different models and types of headset.

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