I thought I would do a review on various headset/microphones that I  own. There are an enormous amount on the market which cost from £5 to nearly £100. If you are planning on using your headset/microphone on speech recognition, then take my advice and choose your product very carefully. I have found that some work better than others. If you want to use your headset for listening to music then you may have to pay a little more to get the quality required. I found all of the below headsets easy, or very easy to put on.

Standard Headset Microphone

Dragon NaturallySpeaking have been a little more generous with the latest DNS 11 offering. The headset microphone that was provided with earlier versions was a one earpiece headset that was very uncomfortable if you happen to have a slightly larger head like me. However, they are now providing a double earpiece headset which is very comfortable and light. The headset doesn't appear to have manufacturers name anywhere on the headset so I couldn't tell you who makes them. All I can say is they work extremely well with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11. So before you go out and buy an expensive pair of Plantronics, or Logitech, try out the microphone that comes with your version of DNS 11, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. If I am going to be a trifle pedantic then the only criticism I have with this microphone is the boom becomes a little loose on the adjustments, so sometimes you find it falling down around your chin rather than having it in front of your mouth, but that could be just my particular pair of headphones, it is certainly nothing to get concerned about. Even the sponge protectors on the earpieces have lasted a lot longer than I would have thought, they are still going strong three years after getting them, although I must admit the sponges are starting to go. 

Dragon NaturallySpeaking are on Facebook and will answer any questions you may have https://www.facebook.com/dragonnaturallyspeaking


Andrea NC 61 - This headset came with earlier versions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The headset works extremely well with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The construction is okay but I have found the boom to be rather flimsy. Also, this headset is not particularly comfortable if you happen to have a large head, in fact I would go as far as to say it can hurt the side of your head if you were it for long periods of time. It does have a tendency to not hold its position when you take it off and put it back on again. It can be purchased for less than £20 which is a bonus.



Plantronics DSP 400 headset microphonePlantronics DSP 400 - Excellent! Works really well on Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Sound quality is excellent through the headphones.  These are by far my favourite headset microphones. The USB version is a little more expensive than the ones that have an audio and Mike Jack, although they do come with a USB connector as well. I just wish that I could get hold of the sponges that go on the ear pieces because these parish or wear out in a year or two if you use the microphones on a regular basis.

It is worth mentioning that the Plantronics DSP 400 headset microphone come in two versions, jack plugs with a USB adapter, and just USB. Basically, the cheaper version have an audio and microphone jack plug, however included is a USB adapter which is very handy if you want to plug your microphone into the USB. I found that the DSP 400 USB only microphone is a little bit more expensive. However, as for performance, I can't tell the difference between them, they are both very good.  I have found the cheapest and easiest place to purchase these microphones is from Amazon.co.uk. You can normally get free postage and packaging and they arrive within a couple of days.

I have included a link to both the jack plug variety, and the USB version of the microphone headset

Purchase Plantronics DSP 400 with jack plugs and USB adapter

Purchase Plantronics DSP 400 with the USB connector only


Plantronics DSP 100 - these are basically the same as the DSP 400 apart from just having one earpiece. Like most Plantronics microphones, performance is superb when used with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. These microphones are very comfortable and also work very well on Skype if you like video conferencing. All in all, 10 out of 10 for these microphones.




Plantronics C60 Wireless headset - If you hate wires and want to find a headset that doesn't utilise them, then look no further than these. They use radio signals in the place of a wire. I bought them for use on Skype, I didn't want to be stuck in front of the computer, especially in the summer. They really are the bees knees. They work exceptionally well on Skype. I am able to get outside and still hold a conversation without any interference or breaks in the signal. I have also found them to work extremely well in Dragon NaturallySpeaking. The battery life is supposed to be around nine hours so that is plenty of time as you will not be sitting in front of the computer for nine hours nonstop. I have found there to be only one drawback with this sort of headset. If you are a wheelchair user like myself and drop them, you are pretty much snookered until someone picks them up for you. Apart from that, they are truly fantastic. They carry quite a high price tag which is rather unfortunate. I certainly don't regret buying them for one instant. The only gripe I have about this articular product is that you have to be very careful that when you put the headset back on its docking Station. You must make sure that the charging light comes on, if it doesn't come on you may not have put the headset in properly which means it won't charge. I have found that sometimes you have to move the headset around a little in the docking station. I hope that Plantronics know about this and will do something about it. This particular microphone is very useful, however it's not the sort of microphone I would want to use on a daily basis, extremely good if you are using Skype or MSM and you want to talk and move around the room, but not really the best for using with DNS, there are much better microphones available.