USB Plug and Play Headset
by the Gadget Gals
This Gadget Gal loves gadgets that don't take lots of fussing over, and the new USB Headset, 4100 from Califone had her listening and recording for hours. All she did to install it on her computer was to insert the USB plug on the headset into a USB port on her keyboard. That's it. It was ready to work and work it did. She could have, of course, put the plug into a USB port on the back of her computer (you may have ports on the side or front of your computer), but whipping it into the keyboard slot meant she didn't have to go into the usual contortions necessary find the plugs in the back of her computer. There was no software to load and there were no sound cards to worry over. It was plug and play.
The headset features two-way communication; you can listen to sounds and you can record or send sounds. It's perfect for school language and computer labs, and at home you'll find it not only saves your family from the noise and excitement of your children's computer interaction, but also has the ability to allow them to add their own sounds and voices to multimedia projects. If your kids love to make slide shows, PowerPoint presentations, and digital videos, they'll want flip the headset on to properly narrate their creations. But kids aren't the only ones who will appreciate this Califone headset. Once you try it, you'll be spending time, like this Gadget Gal, experimenting to see what it can do.
Besides being mega useful, the USB Headset features excellent sound quality so downloaded audio files from the Internet come through loud and clear. The USB connection makes it so. For those of you who are into specifications, you'll want to know that the frequency range for the headphones is 30-20000 Hz and for the microphone it's 70-20000 Hz. The earcup and headband construction are soft molded ABS, the cord is double reinforced, and the microphone is uni-directional. For ease of use, the headset includes in-line (one the wire) mute and volume controls.
You may want to try it out by adding sound to one of your PowerPoint presentations. Just open your presentation and the slide where you want the sound, select Insert, Movies and Sound, and Record Sound. The sound will go directly onto the page and will be ready for your presentation.
If you enjoy making digital movies, and your software allows for audio input, use the headset to add original sound. In Apple's iMovie, for example, just select Audio and click on the red button by the word microphone. Then click the red button once more to end the recording. The sound you recorded is ready to place wherever you want it in your movie.
Of course, you could add sound with a computer microphone, but few computers today make it easy to record sound. You usually have to purchase a microphone to go with your computer. The USB connection provides not only ease of use, but significantly enhanced bandwidth for faster downloading and more balanced sound.
The headset worked fine the first time this Gadget Gal tried it, but if you have problems, you'll probably want to check the level of the sound on your computer. If it's set too low or turned off, the microphone may be working, but you won't know it. If adjusting the sound doesn't solve your problems, go to your sound system files and click on the USB microphone as your input device. It's both Mac and Windows compatible.
This Gadget Gal is off to discover what else she can do with the USB headset. Now who can I call over the web?
Mac and PC compatible
Cord Length 10 ft.
Weight 10 ounces
Operating Volt typical 5 volt with USB
21300 Superior Street
Chatsworth, California 91311
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