What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Headsets with Playback Control?

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What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Headsets with Playback Control?

The headsets for mobile phones have advanced significantly in technology and are no longer limited to the traditional style of the over the head model with the separate mouthpiece that is solely used as a way to listen to music from a phone. Now it is possible to choose from a wide variety of different styles of headsets. The technology which is contained inside the headsets has also made great advances. Many headsets no longer act as simply an audio device to transmit the sound, but will also have controls over the playback of the sound from the phone. This can include muting the playback, pausing it or forwarding the playback. There are several reasons to consider buying a headset which has playback control, but there are also some issues which may mean that playback control may not be a suitable option for all people.


There are several clear advantages to buying a headset which has playback controls, proving why investing in one would be highly beneficial.

Ease of Use

Changing the playback of music from a phone by using controls that are situated on the headset can be much simpler. This is particularly the case when travelling on public transport or walking outside. Most people would keep their phone in a pocket so playback controls on the headset removes the need to have to get the phone out of their pocket, unlock the screen, go to the music application and then perform the required action. Using playback controls would generally simply involve pushing a button which is situated on a control box. This control box would normally be situated somewhere on the lead of the headset and, therefore, would be easily accessible.


Being able to alter the playback by using controls on a headset is considerably quicker than having to use the same commands on the actual phone to alter the playback. This could be particularly useful when travelling if it is suddenly necessary to mute or to pause the playback.


Many headsets that have playback controls actually have the control box as a separate unit. This means that the headset lead plugs into the control box which in turn is then plugged into the phone. The advantage of buying a headset with this type of separate control box is that it gives greater versatility to the user. Any type of compatible headset can then be plugged into the control box and used with the device.


Despite the fact that using playback controls on a headset may be quicker and easier, there are still several potential disadvantages to their use.


A headset which has a full range of playback controls will generally be more expensive than a standard headset, so this should be borne in mind if cost could be a potential issue. Generally speaking, though, shopping around and consulting online resources may help save in this instance.


A headset which has playback controls will need to be powered by a battery. In many cases, the headset has an inbuilt rechargeable battery. This does means that the headset will need to be charged on a regular basis. The need to charge the headset could potentially be a problem if it is needed to be used for a long period of time when travelling. Some headset models may also require charging through a USB port on a computer and not through a mains charger.. These models of headsets would be difficult to use abroad. If the need to recharge the headset could be a potential issue, then it could be worth buying a headset with playback controls which is powered by removable batteries such as AAs or AAAs. This would have the advantage of the user being able to carry spare batteries with them for any lengthy trips instead of having to attempt to charge the headset from a mains connection or through a computer.

Changes to the Sound

There have been some concerns expressed that using a headset which has playback control may have a detrimental effect on the quality of sound. This is because the sound produced by the mobile phone has to be re-encoded to suit the additional audio controls of the headset, which may have a possible impact on the pitch of the sound.

Confusing Functions

The majority of headsets which have playback control will enable the user to carry out a range of actions. This could include skipping tracks, volume control, pausing the sound, and replaying a track. It is very unlikely that the control box on the headset will have a separate button or switch for each of these functions as the size of the control box would then become unmanageable. Manufacturers have tried to keep the size of the control box as small as possible so buttons on the box are often assigned multiple functions. This could mean pushing a button once to perform one function and pushing the same button twice in order to perform a different function. The disadvantage of buttons which have multiple functions is that this has the potential to be confusing. The user is required to remember each time how often they need to push a button in order to carry out a particular function.

To Find a Headset With Playback Controls on eBay

In order to find the headsets which have playback controls that are for sale on eBay, it is necessary to find the category in which this type of headset is listed. This can be done by searching the list of eBay categories and the first step is to click on the Shop by category link. It is possible to find this link by opening the eBay home page. A link to See all categories will be revealed on the next page and once this is clicked it is simple to browse through all of the categories and then click on Mobile Phones & Communication.. The category is broken down into groups including one for Mobile phone & PDA Accessories which needs to be clicked. The next screen will display a list of all of the sub categories and the next step is to click on the sub category Headsets.. A list of various sub menus which enable the search to be refined will be displayed on the left of screen. The final step is to click on the Features menu and then tick the box for playback controls. A list of every type of headset which has playback control will then be displayed. Another easy way to search for a headset with playback control is to use the eBay search bar. It is possible to find the search bar at the top of the screen on every page on eBay. All that has to be done in order to perform the search is to type some keywords into the search bar. An example of this is that typing in "Sony ear pad headset playback control" would fetch a list of every headset that met that description and was listed for sale on eBay.


The use of a headset which has playback control can make it significantly easier for the user to perform many functions quickly and simply particularly when travelling. Headsets which have the controls in a separate removable box may offer added flexibility. The only disadvantages to consider before purchasing are that a headset with playback control may be more expensive than a standard headset. It could also be confusing if the controls have multiple functions assigned to each button and the headset may need recharging on a regular basis which could be inconvenient for long journeys, prolonged use, and travel abroad.

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