Does Buying a Chromebook Headphones with A Microphone Worth the Extra Cost?

You are probably vaguely familiar with Chromebooks, Google powered netbooks that cost the same amount as a low end smartphone. If you are a ‘power user’ then you may have dismissed the entire Chromebook species as unworthy of anything other than posting a couple of tweets and checking your email. If you are in this group, let’s look at a couple of reasons why you should buy a Chromebook before we talk about separate headsets for your Chromebook.

Why Buy a Chromebook

You shouldn’t be too quick to judge though. There are dozens of reasons why all major laptop manufacturers have jumped on the Chromebook bandwagon. These Chromebooks come with decent hardware specs, and amazing performance levels. And the good news is, with a few hundred dollars, you can own one. That’s a fraction of the cost you’d pay for an Apple or a Windows laptop.

  1. Chrome OS Runs Doesn’t Gobble Up Computer Resources

The reason why Chromebooks are so cheap is because they Google’s Chrome OS. The OS uses fewer resources, unlike other OSes. That means manufacturers can stick cheap hardware on Chromebooks and sell them for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a traditional laptop.

Does cheaper hardware mean poor performance? In the case of Chromebooks, the answer is a definite no. Chrome OS is basically a modified version of the Chrome browser. That means the OS doesn’t require vast system resources to get things done. In fact, low-end Chromebooks boot instantly, which you cannot say for other laptops. The downside however is, you have to connect your Chromebook to the internet to accomplish most tasks.

  1. Instant Access to Online Apps

Google and other third parties have done a lot improve on this with more and more apps supporting offline use. These apps later synchronize with their respective web services once you reconnect to the internet, so that’s not too much of a disadvantage. Also, the newest version of Chrome OS will support Android applications later on this year.

Therefore, if you find yourself doing most of your work on the internet, it’s very advisable to invest in a Chromebook costing a couple of hundred dollars than buying a laptop that costs thousands more.

Those are just two reasons why you should buy a Chromebook. There are lots of other reasons but hopefully these will convince you Chrome OS is a serious contender. Now, let’s move on to the real meat of the article: Do you need to buy a separate headphones and microphone for your Chromebook?



You Should Invest in a Headset

Most Chromebooks come with an in-built camera, microphone and speaker. Most of the time they go about their job very well, allowing you to take advantage of Google Hangouts and other voice and video conferencing platforms.

However, some circumstances call for a dedicated pair of headphones and a microphone. Take the following situations for example.

  1. You are on the road and someone calls you on Google Hangouts. Obviously, the built-in microphone and speakers won’t help you very much here because of the noise interference. A separate microphone and mic with noise cancellation allows you to hold your end of the conversation.
  2. You are in the library and you don’t want to disturb others around you. If you use the built-in speaker and microphone pair, everyone around you will shush you. A separate microphone and headphone makes allows you to have discrete conversations without being disturbed or getting on the nerves of everyone else around you.
  3. For teachers and educators, separate headphones and microphones can increase productivity levels in the classroom. A teacher can control the volume settings selecting which audio track students listen too. That may very well put an end to classroom distractions where several speakers talk at once.
  4. You are attending a virtual class. The beauty about virtual classes, or online learning, is that you can study from anywhere. During your lunch break, you can jump into one of these classes and get in an hour of class time. Using the built-in speakers and microphone won’t do you a great deal of service, but a separate headphone and microphone will.

Again, those are some of the benefits of buying separate headphones and microphones with Chromebooks. There are lots of other situation-specific reasons to do this, but it’s worth the extra cost. Also, if you are conscious about how traditional headsets look (at times you look like a lost air traffic controller), there are discreetly designed audio systems that don’t have a protruding microphone.

Can Bluetooth be Hooked up for Headphones on a Chromebook?

Most Chromebooks are Bluetooth-enabled, meaning they can work with all kinds of wireless accessories including earphones. In order to use your wireless earphones, first, check if your Chromebook is Bluetooth enabled. Then you have to pair your Chromebook with your wireless earphones.

Checking Bluetooth support

To check if your Chromebook supports Bluetooth accessories, click on your account profile picture. If your menu shows the ‘Bluetooth on’ or ‘Bluetooth off’ sign then you have a device that can use wireless earphones. This means you can initiate the process of pairing your wireless headphones with your Chromebook.

Pairing a Bluetooth earphone

Before you can use your wireless earphones, first you need to pair it with your Chromebook. Do this by following the steps listed here:

  • Turn on your Chromebook and sign in.
  • Click on your account profile picture.
  • Look for the Bluetooth icon and click on it.
  • You might find that the Bluetooth is on or off. If it is off, click on the Bluetooth icon followed by ‘Enable Bluetooth’.
  • Pick your wireless earphones from the list of accessories to pair with and click ‘Connect’.
  • Follow any instructions given to finish the pairing of the Chromebook with your wireless earphones.

You need to check if your wireless earphones are paired with your Chromebook by looking at the status area. If you can see it listed there, then the pairing is complete.

However, if you are turning on your Chromebook for the first time close to Bluetooth earphones that are turned on, the Chromebook will detect the earphones automatically and help you pair with it.

Troubleshooting Bluetooth problems

You may find you have problems while trying to use your wireless headphones with your Chromebook. To troubleshoot the problem, follow the steps below:

  • First, check that your Chromebook supports your wireless headphones.
  • Turn off the Bluetooth earphones and on again.
  • Turn off your Chromebook and on again.

You should be having a connection by now.

What are the advantages of Bluetooth earphones?

The following are some of the reasons why you should consider investing in wireless headphones:

  • Wireless connectivity

Bluetooth headphones give you the ability to be cord-free and cord-free for ultimate mobility. You don’t have to be afraid of having cables caught up on something, ripping the ear buds from your ears, or pulling them from your pocket and finding jumbled wires. What you get is zero fuss, and no hassle of unwinding the knots they made in your pocket. If you are a person who runs or works out to music, then wireless earphones are all you need.

  • Sound quality

With wireless headphones, you do not lose your sound quality with ripped-off cables. Many of the wireless headphones available on the market come with bass-boosting technology and are designed to isolate noise. With a pair of these, you get to feel the beat as you listen to your favourite music. Sound quality may have been an issue when wireless headphones first appeared on the market. Not anymore. Today, you get the same sound quality with wireless headphones as with wired ones.

  • Keeps you on the move

It doesn’t matter what activity you are engaged in. whether you are at home doing chores or on the move, you don’t have to hold your phone. This leaves your hands free to do other tasks you may have. This freedom provided by Bluetooth headphones can make even the simplest task easier. If you receive a call while listening to music, you can just touch a button to receive the call. To end the call and turn on your music, you only need to push the button again. Yet, the functionality of the Bluetooth earphones does not end there. Take driving, for example – while it is hard and illegal to drive a vehicle with your phone in hand, with Bluetooth earphones you can still take your call while still driving.

  • Stylish

Bluetooth earphones are sophisticated and stylish. Most of them have a sporty design since they are made to stay firmly in place when you are busy working out or running for long distances. Even casual users get to enjoy the sleek design of most wireless headphones on the market.

  • Affordability

The fact that these devices are wireless doesn’t mean that they should be expensive. Most of the headphones cost less than $70, and may even come with a Bluetooth transmitter just in case your phone isn’t Bluetooth enabled.

  • Multi-functionality

Wireless headphones work with more than just mobile phones and MP3 players. As technology advances, devices such as computers and TVs are being manufactured with Bluetooth abilities. With Bluetooth enabled TVs, pairing with your wireless headphones allows you to listen to your favourite shows without bothering other people in the house. If you have music saved on your computer, you can pair it with your Bluetooth headphones so that you can move around the house without missing a beat.

So, why not go get yourself a pair of Bluetooth earphones?

What Makes Chromebook Headphones Different from other Headphones?

The Chromebook comes with Google Voice and Google Hangouts, features that many users find themselves using quite often. Yet, you might not entirely rely on onboard microphones which have limitations. You can use them for a quick call to a friend but they do not just have the quality for professional or continuous use. The sound quality is undoubtedly wanting. If you are not using your Chromebook to make internet calls, you might just be the sort of person who likes listening to lots of music. Online audio files, videos, and movies are also a great attraction for the quintessential Chromebook owner. Why are Chromebook headphones differently superior to the other types of headphones? Here are the reasons:

  • Volume control

Your ears are not meant to be exposed to a volume beyond a certain limit. Anything above 85 decibels (dB) can be damaging to kids eardrums, just as well as some adults. Chromebook headphones have a volume control sub-feature and an audio-limiting cable that ensure the sound level you get is not damaging to your ears. If you find yourself in a place where you need to crank up the volume a little, then you can just turn it up and you are good to go.

  • Adjustable headband

Chromebook headphones come with an adjustable headband that can fit any size of a head, be it a child or adult. Unlike other adult headphones whose bands do not adjust enough to fit on a child’s head, the Chromebook headphones give just the perfect fit for people of all sizes.

  • Compatible audio jack

The Chromebook has the standard 3.5mm TRRS audio jack. This is the jack size used on most other devices such as iPads, iPods, and most tablets, laptops, and smartphones on the market. This means the Chromebook headphones can be used on various other devices, not just the Chromebook. So, you can use it on your other devices without incurring the extra cost of buying a new one.

  • Ear cup size

It is not enough that Chromebook headphones can fit on heads of sizes, they are designed with small ears in mind. So, they are not just for the average adult’s ears but can be worn to a perfect fit by children too. What this means is that you do not have to spend money to get a separate pair for your kids.

  • They come in two types

Chromebook headphones of the first type are the On the Ear Headphones which go on top of the ear. They are quite comfortable on how they sit on top of the ear. However, they fail in cancelling out the ambient noise from outside meaning you have to crank up the volume to, clearly, hear the music.

Over-the-ear Chromebook headphones are known to plug the whole ear. In effect, they provide an excellent sound experience by blocking out the ambient noise from the environment. They, therefore, allow for a lower volume setting. If you are listening to your music in a place with some noise, this is just the perfect Chromebook headphones for you.

  • Noise cancelling feature

Headphones with the noise cancelling feature are hard to come by. With the Chromebook headphones, you have a sound device that does not allow noise from the environment from jamming your favourite music. At school or when travelling, these headphones can be used to block out noise distraction for easier learning and concentration.

  • Have a microphone

Some Chromebook headphones come with a mic, allowing you to make your calls on Hangouts and Skype. With these, you don’t have to rely on the Chromebook speakers and microphone. These may have come with your device but cannot be trusted to give the best sound quality. Say, making a call in crystal-clear stereo sound!

  • Combo headphone/mic jack

The Chromebook has a combo headphone/mic jack that allows you to connect your headphones that come with a mic. So, you do not need to have a separate jack for a microphone. All you need to do is jack the headphones into the combo jack and you have headphones working together with a mic.

  • USB port connectivity

If you are stuck to the traditional 3.5mm jack, it’s time to change to Chromebook headphones with USB connectivity. This type of headphones allows you to make calls on Skype and hangouts, as well as listen to music, video, and movies. If the 3.5mm jack offers analogue sound, the USB jack produces crisp digital stereo. What you get are crystal-clear calls that have no interference from the environment.

  • Rotating boom mic

The most advanced Chromebook headsets come with the noise-reducing, rotating boom microphone. The advantage of this is that your friends, family, and business associates get to hear you clearly when you make that call.

  • Mute indicator light

There are times when you may find yourself speaking into a muted microphone on your headset. Chromebook headphones have a mute indicator light which, when turned on, the microphone if muted and you won’t be heard speaking to your friends and relatives. When you see this, simply turn on or off the mute control switch on your ears and you are good to go.

Why not Chromebook headphones?