Friday, October 20, 2017

Headphone and Speaker Headaches

Choices of headsets and speakers present a dizzying array.  Bluetooth adds to the confusion.

Bluetooth is named for King Harald Bluetooth who united North European tribes.  But Bluetooth does not offer a universally reliable interface.   Not every device can pair with every other device.

So here are some things to think about when getting ready buy a headset or speaker.

Headsets and speakers connect in various ways.  There is the old plug still universally used in cell phones.

A newer way is a USB connection. That USB connection may or may not power the headphone or speaker and may or may not amplify the sound.

There are also the old RCA plugs.

And there are converters.

Which of these will work in a device is often a matter of trial and error.

Fortunately good devices are not necessarily expensive.

I found a Billboard headset at $20 which had very good sound though a bit uncomfortable to wear.    

This particular headset worked both wired with Bluetooth and wireless, but not all Bluetooth.

Another headset worked wired and had amplification, but sometimes only on USB.

A third was an RF type a less than  $30 which did work well with TV,

Another device simply worked as a Bluetooth transmitter which had the ability  to deliver TV sound to Bluetooth headsets which happened to be compatible.

For TV the standard for me has always been the Sennheiser headset which looks cheap but is extremely comfortable and has outstanding sound. It is expensive.

The Pinebrook laptop presented a great challenge. Amplified devices selectively did work well with it, once the proper driver was selected.

In general smart phones work well with most headsets and speakers.

A sraightaway USB plug in speaker worked widely.

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