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.
A word of caution here. I bought the Epos Adapt 360 and am going to send them back. I bought them because they are supposed to connect to phone and PC at the same time. The sound is excellent, but unfortunately the connection is very flaky. What often happens (every day) is that a call comes in and the PC connection is then stuffed and won’t work any more. Or vice versa. So the use case I bought them for (phone calls and PC video calls with one headset) doesn’t work. Maybe the 260 is different, but if not, and… Read more »
Hey Phill, good feedback. I think I had that issue once in about four to six weeks (I forget exactly) of using them pretty much every work day. Definitely not something that’s happened more than that. C
Thanks Chris. These aren’t for me because I like headphones that cover both ears, but it’s great of have a review of headphones specifically for video conferencing. There are plenty of headphones out there for online gaming or music, but decent headphones that work nicely with MS Teams are either like hens teeth or simply not described as such.
Thank you for your kind words Adam! If I’m looking for a good music experience, I want in ear buds or very good / comfortable over ears. This is a headset purely designed for all-day wear in an online / by video / by phone environment which many workplaces have become. They work so well with Teams, Zoom, and plain old phone calls, that they really just can’t be beaten in the category.
On possible minor correction: I think that $169 price is in USD? I can’t seem to find them anywhere close to that in AUD.
The ADAPT 260 look a pretty good option for both ear coverage, although I find on-ear headphones get uncomfortable with my glasses after an hour or so. I’m looking pretty hard at the ADAPT 360 as a result.
Ahhhh you’re right, that’s my bad. $169 is the USD price. Aussie dollars it’s usually around the $220 price.
Hi Adam, the Epos Adapt 360 cover both ears. But see my other post here before you rush out and buy.
Thanks Phill, good feedback. I’m really only looking for a Teams-compatible headset so that issue may not be quite so applicable for me, but useful to know.