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Bluetooth headset and SL?


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Hi everyone

just contemplating a bluetooth headset for voicing on SL. At the moment I'm looking at the Plantronics Voyager Pro HD, but i've not ever used a bluetooth headset (I don't have a cellphone), but I am open to suggestions.

Main reason is portability, minor reason would be convenience. I've used various regular headsets and hate them passionately: My ears hurt after a few hours of talking.

Thanks for any feedback and experience anyone can provide.

Jenni

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I doubt this is very helpful, but FWIW, I've found that audio quality is not a very important consideration compared to comfort. The problem is that there's no obvious way to tell what's comfortable without trying them on, and I suspect comfortable fit is a very individual, idiosyncratic judgment.

Personally, I'm still using an ancient, decrepit Motorola HX550. As it started falling apart after years of hard use, I tried to replace it with a rather pricey and audibly superior Sennheiser, but that's stuck in a drawer now because I just never found it as comfortable.

I think, if I were to start over, I might try the Motorola Hint, although it probably won't meet your expectations for battery life.

In fact, battery life may be an important spec for you to consider, if you really expect more than a few hours of continuous use.

I'm taking a cue from that Plantronics model you mentioned and discussing monaural, in-ear bluetooth headsets here, but if you don't need real portability, you might instead want stereo earbuds or even over-the-ear cans. In SL, stereo spatial sound can be quite a compelling part of immersion, and you'd miss all that with a mono headset.

Assuming you want to speak as well as hear, there's a choice of whether you want the mic sticking out on a stem (as with that Plantronics) or not. I'm not sure there's enough difference in audio quality to justify a stem, but others may feel differently.

(Also, although most modern headsets do, you should be sure any you are considering will support the Bluetooth A2DP profile, not merely the Headset profile used for basic cell phone voice calls.)

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Thanks for the helpful pointers, Qie.

I do not plan on using it for anything other than voice, which I think makes A2DP irrelevant for my purpose? Most headsets seem to have it though.

Right now I'm using a Logitech wired behind-the-head headset which works well and sounds well, but it makes my ears hurt after a couple hours. I'm hoping a bluetooth headset would ease that, and of course portability would be much better. I would not be tethered to the desk as long as range is halfway decent. :)

Spatial sound for voice doesn't matter to me. I'd only put voice on the bluetooth headset and leave all other sounds on the regular speakers.

What worries me a bit is this: I'm not a native English speaker, and even with the crystal clear audio of the wired Logitech headset I often - VERY often - don't understand what people are saying, especially in local. Granted, that's partially because at least half of all people seem to have their mic settings messed up and/or have very poor mics. I'm fairly worried that a bluetooth headset might make things considerably worse for me if the audio from it would be either very low volume or simply noisy.

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SL voice quality is terrible no matter how you do it. No headset can fix LL's system. Worse, half the voice users in SL are connected via potato and using cups on strings for audio.

I've been using bluetooth for SL voice for a long time, works great when you're talking to someone else with a half decent setup.

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Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

Thanks for the helpful pointers, Qie.

I do not plan on using it for anything other than voice, which I think makes A2DP irrelevant for my purpose? Most headsets seem to have it though.

Right now I'm using a Logitech wired behind-the-head headset which works well and sounds well, but it makes my ears hurt after a couple hours. I'm hoping a bluetooth headset would ease that, and of course portability would be much better. I would not be tethered to the desk as long as range is halfway decent.
:)

You definately want an A2DP headset. A2DP allows you to pass audio through it to the device of choice and thus use it as a speaker and microphone. Cheaper or older bluetooth headsets do not have this, and can only be used with a phone to take calls. Most headsets now have A2DP (if they say anything about using Skype or listening to music, it uses A2DP), though you will want to be sure, since a non-A2DP headset will not work for what you want to do.

As for brands, I bought a Jabra headset from a computer store some time ago for online gaming. As Qie mentions, I can only get 3-4 hours of continuous use out of it and could really only be 10 or 20 feet from my computer before the signal quickly degraded, so you really will need to weigh your play time against your desire for portability. Most headsets not come with multiple earpieces so you can find the most comfortable one, though I still have to switch ears every hour or two (same with earbud headphones, my ears don't like foreign materials). There are also (usually more expensive) over the ear models which hook around your ear and sit ontop of it instead of resting inside of it.

I hope that helps you out. 

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Gadget Portal wrote:

SL voice quality is terrible no matter how you do it. No headset can fix LL's system. Worse, half the voice users in SL are connected via potato and using cups on strings for audio.

I've been using bluetooth for SL voice for a long time, works great when you're talking to someone else with a half decent setup.

Oh yes. With some, voice is lovely: Crystal clear, works well. With most it's like they never bothered to test their setup.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: I did get the Plantronics Voyager Pro as planned. It works beautifully.

Pairing with Linux was a breeze, range is quite decent - around 5m / 15' even through walls, roughly 20' if I don't go through walls. I can even use it on the treadmill if I want to.

SL voice is nice and clear, though the volume (both for mic and speaker) is lower than I am used to. I don't think I could use it in a noisy environment.

Talk time is about 5 hours, which is a bit low for me but it's usually ok. Recharges in less than 90 minutes and gives a voice warning when the battery is running low.

The buttons on the headset are too small and too hard to push for my liking, but that may be just me. I just keep the headset volume maxed and use PulseAudio for volume control.

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