For the last month or so, I’ve been reviewing an EPOS Sennheiser Adapt 230 headset. It’s wrong to call it a pair of headphones, because there’s only one, and it’s wrong to call it a set for the same reason, so I have to adjust my speech … but while I figure that out, I want to tell you a little about my experience of working from home headsets and how crap most are, and how great this one has been.
Anyone doing the work from home thing will tell you that video / audio calls have become a massive part of the working experience these days, and not necessarily a favourite one. My day is forever interrupted by video calls and, while slightly less disruptive than actual face to face meetings (plus, I don’t have to wear pants!) they still take a bit of finesse to get just right.
The key part of the equation, after a decent internet connection so you don’t wind up sounding like a Dalek, is great audio. I’ve tried using Bluetooth ear buds (most of which I won’t use again because they connect to my laptop or my phone, but not both), wired headsets (which are great because you don’t need to charge them, but suck because there’s cables everywhere), and wireless on-ear headphones (which are almost perfect, except they cover both ears and you either uncover one and wear it uncomfortably, or you can’t hear what’s going on around you).
This is where the EPOS Sennheiser Adapt 230 steps in.
It’s Bluetooth, so no cables. It connects to your phone and laptop at the same time, seamlessly switching audio between the two as video and phone calls take place. This is very handy.
It’s not a wired headset, so this means no cables across my already busy desk / work area. I can get up and walk around without ripping my headset off (or worse, pulling my laptop off the desk). Excellent.
It’s only got one earpiece, not two, so you can easily hear what’s going on around you while you’re on the phone. Got someone calling out from the next room or across the office? You’ll hear that. Need to check something with someone while you’re on a call? No worries – just pop on mute, have a chat, mute off and carry on. No need to move (or even touch) the headset. Ace.
One last thing – there’s also not super obvious noise cancellation which will protect your hearing for extended use. Despite that, there is good quality audio cleanup happening meaning that you and your other parties will hear speech clearly and accurately without being quiet or too loud. This is what you want.
For $169, this is an absolute no brainer. It’s so easy to set up, to charge (USB-C – yiew!), and to pair (just hold the pairing button and pair it up). It’s designed specifically to work well with Microsoft Teams, but it works just as well with regular phone calls, Facetime, Zoom, and whatever other video meeting apps you’re forced to endure.
The only tricky bit is buying one; while the product page has a lot of info about the headset, there aren’t a huge number of dealers in Australia. Being an enterprise focused product rather than consumer, per se, that’s not all that surprising, but the local dealers are easy to reach out to and you can order online for shipment straight to your place.
If this review unit is going back, I’m buying a set straight away, and you should too. Video calls suck, but the Adapt 230 makes them bearable.