How Noise-canceling Headsets Work


Noise-canceling Headset Parts
With new designer models like the Plantronics 925, your headset may be confused with the rest of your accessories.
With new designer models like the Plantronics 925, your headset may be confused with the rest of your accessories.
Courtesy of Plantronics

While the microphone is the most complicated part of a noise-canceling headset, there are other features to consider. The headset can either include a single earpiece, often with an ear hook for better stability, or a double earpiece similar to a set of headphones. The single earpiece allows a caller to be aware of what's going on outside the call -- most helpful when you're walking down a busy street. However, the double earpiece allows you to hear a call more clearly, which may be desired in an office setting.

Headset design has come a long way since its invention in 1910 [source: Utah History to Go]. Noise-canceling Bluetooth headsets are available for a variety of models. Sizes continue to shrink and adapt to the changing design needs of the consumer. The Jawbone Bluetooth-enabled headset, for example, is designed to look more like a hair accessory than a phone [source: Aliph Jawbone]. Similarly, the Plantronics Discovery 925 features a diamond-shaped earpiece that looks more like jewelry than a headset [source: Plantronics].

The earpieces in noise-canceling headsets work by sealing off your ear from outside noises. Noise-canceling headsets come with earpieces in a variety of sizes so that anyone can get a perfect ear seal. For more on how noise-canceling works in the earpiece, see How Noise-Canceling Headphones Work.

Most headsets have connectors and adapters, or they can be synced with your Bluetooth-enabled phone. Check with the manufacturer to ensure your phone will work with your headset.

The controls on a headset are typically minimal, since you would use it in conjunction with your regular phone. The controls are typically limited to a "talk" button and an on/off switch for the noise-canceling feature. The noise-canceling featu­re uses a little extra power, so some users can choose not to use it in every situation.­

­­­For more information on noise-canceling headsets, please see the links on the next page.