Wireless Headset for VOIP With No 30-Minute Dalek Timebomb
A lot of my work is done remotely, with colleagues and customers. Five years ago I bought a Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 which plugged into the USB port on my Mac. It did the job kinda fine, with two gripes:
- it wasn’t wireless. I like to wander whilst I chat, and I didn’t like being tethered. But this in itself wasn’t a reason to ditch it
- After c.30 minutes on a call, my voice would turn into a dalek. or rather, my voice wouldn’t but the audio that others heard was. This happened regardless of platform (Hangouts / Zoom / Skype / etc). I figured it must be a software or network issue. Never got to the bottom of it, until I switched to using a Snowball microphone for some proper voice recording - and any calls I happened to also make on it no longer had the Dalek problem.
So I switched, on a colleague’s recommendation, to the Logitech H600. I love it. The wireless works flawlessly, and no dalek effect. Gripes? Well there’s no pleasing some people. The audio quality is great for calls, but for music I switch back to my wireless Avantree Auditions. The Logitech headset also feels a bit plastic, which I don’t care about unless I’m back here in six months complaining that it’s broken….
Apple Watch 2 plus Bluetooth Headphones
Eighteen months ago I took up running, since for the past 37 years I’d done all I could to avoid exercise, and with my fondness for [beer]() and [fryups](), it was time to do something to try and influence the statistics of health problems back in my favour…
Being a geek, I obviously had to track my runs, which I did at first with MapMyRun on my iPhone, eventually investing in a Polar M400. It’s a great phone for tracking running, and synced nicely with Strava - but it didn’t do anything else as a ‘smart watch’. It mirrored notifications from my iPhone but in a fairly lame way. Then along came Apple Watch 2, which unlike the original Apple Watch has in-built GPS meaning that you can track your runs without needing to have a phone - and being an Apple Watch does lots of very cool ‘smart watch’ stuff.
On my runs I listen to podcasts, and previously had done this using an old Nexus 4 that I had, with a pair of MPow Swift Bluetooth Headphones. This worked great. Then I realised that the Apple Watch 2 can pair directly with headphones! At first it refused to pair with the MPow Swift, but after a bit of Googling I found that by first deleting the pairing from my Nexus 4 to the headphones, I could then pair them fine to the Apple Watch 2. Following this convoluted method I can get podcasts on my Apple Watch 2 …
So my little tech win is being able to go for a run with just my Apple Watch 2 and MPow Swift headphones, track my run with GPS (using Strava’s new support for Watch-only tracking), and listen to podcasts!
Little technology fail : I’ve actually reverted to going running with my Nexus 4, because I got fed up manually trying to sync podcasts to my watch. For the benefit of not carrying a phone, it just wasn’t worth it. The Podcast Addict app on the Nexus does a great job of automatically downloading new episodes so that they’re just there and ready for me to listen to when I go out.
(Photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@dsoodmand)