In my post, “FREETALK® Everyman for Skype: Not “Just Another Headset”!, outlining the background leading to the production of this headset, I mentioned that the most important feature of any headset is the user experience. But reporting on the user experience has to rely on feedback from a cross section of independent evaluators who can try it out under different conditions on both Windows and Mac PC’s.
My major criteria for inclusion in this post is that there have been an actual reported user experience; posts that simply repeat the specifications do not qualify.
The first full review came from Tom Keating at TMCnet who reports on its “fold flat” feature, apparent durability and of course his Skype calling experience; Tom concludes with:
I made some test Skype calls and the audio quality was excellent. I also connected my iPhone using the 3.5mm jack and was able to play music using the iPod application on the iPhone. Slightly better bass response than my iPhone ear buds due to the larger speakers. All in all, a pretty good Skype headset.
Neil Thompson at Spoken Like a Geek provides a brief history of his experience with previous Skype phone handsets and then gets into his feedback:
The call quality was excellent both for me and the other party who commented on how much better it was than usual. The headset makes use of what Skype calls super wideband audio which is included in v4 and improves call quality even at low bandwidth. Having your ears covered means that there is no distraction from external noise which obviously also makes things better.
Neil likes the fold flat feature; he then went out and bought a pencil case for storing it in his laptop bag; he concludes with: “So, to summarise, the Freetalk headset is a recommended device, particularly for those on the move who want good quality combined with portability.”
TechCraver.com’s Jason Harris, in The Everyman Headset for Skype: Killer Audio, Sweet Price, outlines “a few things that set it apart from the rest of the pack” and tried three different calling tests:
In all three cases, I was absolutely blown away by the Everyman. If the manufacturer of this headset was looking to make a reasonably priced headset that sounds perfect and was comfortable to wear, they absolutely nailed it. After about 2 hours of wearing the Everyman, I was impressed with it’s comfort and how it felt on my head.
Jason goes on to describe his experience listening to his iPod and points out that “it’s great for those who talk into your computer for creating training videos or video-conferencing”.
Ken Camp at Stardust Global Ventures, in “The headset for Everyman, woman and child – FREETALK Everyman USB Headset”, starts out with “I’ve been using Skype since the beginning.I can’t count the number of different headsets I’ve used. This one is the only one that’s made me step back and say wow.”
He then goes on to discuss the comfort level, the benefits of supporting Skype’s SILK codec and why road warriors should like the “fold flat” feature. Ken concludes with:
Gadgets are sometimes a dime a dozen. Headsets aren’t often something to get excited about. The FREETALK Everyman headset is absolutely different. It’s worth every penny of the $22.88 price in the online Skype store. Go check it out and order yours here. It’s an investment you’ll get more than full value from.
In a comment on Voice On The Web “Skype In Your Business” Public Chat, Hudson Barton, whose Borderless Communicator tracks Skype statistics, stated:
I can confirm that this is a nice piece of hardware. One thing that I have not seen pointed out elsewhere is the fact that the “Everyman” headset is light and comfortable. I had given up on my former headset for this reason because I want to have it on whenever I’m at my computer, and that can be for hours at a time. (You can quote me on that if you wish.)
Dameon (PhoneBoy) Welch-Abernathy, in Every Man, Woman or Child on Skype Needs an Everyman Headset, provides a brief background on the evolution of audio support on PC’s and outlines why FREETALK Everyman is different. He concludes with:
When you consider the price: under $23 shipped to your door, purchasing this headset is absolutely a no-brainer. It will be one of the best investments you can make to improve your calling experience with Skype.
Joel Evans, producer of the Geek.com podcasts, appears to have been frustrated with microphones and the quality of his recordings. So he gave the FREETALK Everyman a trial:
For my tests I used the FREETALK Everyman Headset in Skype, Quicktime and iChat. In all tests it performed perfectly and even my chat partners commented on how clear I sounded. The design of the headset allows for adjusting the boom and even the position of the microphone, so it did take a bit of fine tuning, which I did while recording tests in Quicktime. Once it was adjusted, though, it sounded great and I’ve been using it for voice chats, and even used it to record the Podcast that will be going live tomorrow.
Bottom line: the reviews speak for themselves. I’ll add more reviews to this post as they become available.
Full disclosure: In Store Solutions has become a client of Denali InterConneXions, publisher of Voice On The Web, building on the author’s previous business development experience with establishing partnerships that can assist with the promotion of a primary vendor’s offerings. A more complete statement will follow shortly.
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