Tool #17: Headset

When your students are learning languages with the web, they will need to listen to sounds and to speak into a microphone. The easiest way to do this is to buy a headset, which is a set of headphones with a microphone coming out one of the earpieces. There are hundreds of models, and they aren’t very expensive, ranging from Y1,000 to about Y10,000.

This headset is made by Plantronics

This headset is made by Plantronics

Many manufacturers make models that are good enough for language learning for about 3,000 to 5,000 yen ($30-50).

A few simple things you should pay attention to when buying:

1) Get stereo, ones with speakers on both ears, not just one.

2) Get a noise canceling microphone if you can, it helps when you are in a noisy room.

3) Get a USB model, one that plugs in using the USB. The quality of sounds is better than the old fashioned ones with the “regular” plug.

Sony makes decent ones, but they are usually overpriced. I like Plantronics, and people I know in the radio business like them for podcasting too.

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