Are Chromebook Headphones Uncomfortable or the Best-Kept Secret in Tech?

New ideas are popping up in our technology-oriented world every day, and Chromebooks are one of the rising trends observed lately. Though Chromebooks are very much similar to other laptops and netbooks, what differentiates it from others is the OS. Chromebooks use the Chrome OS. The OS is developed by Google, with the aim of running everything on its platform. Though the features are similar to those in Windows or Mac laptops, the twist is that cloud computing is essential. The consequence is that you have to be online for almost all Chromebook activities.

But on the positive side, with the support of cloud computing technology, all your files can be accessed on any other device as well. Also, they are available at a comparatively better price as the Chrome OS uses a lesser amount of resources. However, no compromise is made on the speed, with the device booting up almost instantly as you power it on. Good battery life of at least ten hours in a single go adds to the joy. Chromebooks are gaining popularity due to all these reasons.

What is the significance of Chromebook headphones, you may ask? Though Chromebooks have numerous plus points, its onboard microphones are not up to the mark regarding quality and clarity. An additional accessory needs to be obtained to resolve the issue, the Chromebook headphones. Though they may look similar to other headphones, it provides exceptional service when used with Chromebooks.

A Chromebook has only one audio jack, to be used as both audio transmitter and receiver. So if you intend to use those regular headphones with Chromebook, you may have issues in listening and talking at the same time. For wireless headphones, there are no issues as they work perfectly fine when connected through Bluetooth. But if you are particular about using wired headphones, and need good quality audio, then Chromebook headphones are a must have accessory.

The Pros

Aspects in which the Chromebook headphones are superior to the other types.

Available in two types

Chromebook headphones are available as both On the Ear and Over the Ear types. Even though On the Ear headphones are fitting on top of the ear, they are not so good at ambient noise cancellation that is most common nowadays. On the contrary, Over the Ear Headphones provide excellent audio isolation from outside, and therefore if you are someone who needs to listen to music or something in noisy surroundings, Over the Ear Headphones best suits you.

Rotating boom mic

Rotating boom microphones with an addition of effective noise reduction is a feature that comes with the high-end Chromebook headsets. The result is that the person at the other end of your call too can enjoy good quality audio.

USB connectivity

Chromebook headphones come with USB port connectivity, as opposed to the traditional 3.5mm audio jack. The USB jack is a gem as it offers crisp digital stereo resulting in impressively clear sound.

Volume control

Obviously, the sound quality is a necessity while it comes to headphones. Besides providing excellent audio quality, the Chromebook headphones have an audio limiting cable to ensure that the noise level is not above the comfortable limits for human ears. But if you want to crank it up a little, you can only turn the volume up.

Efficient noise cancellation

The noise reduction from the surroundings is a hard-to-get feature when it comes to headphones. Chromebook headphones provide you this luxury as well, with its unique noise cancellation feature.

Device compatibility

Your Chromebook headphone is good to go with you other devices as well. Though the best fit is with Chromebooks, you can use it efficiently on your laptop as well. Every device has the same basic connectivity feature after all.

The downside

Even though there are a lot of merits for Chromebook headphones, it has its demerits too. Though it offers compatibility with any device, sometimes the headphones fail to do so. The requirement of a net connection is another black mark on the Chromebook as a whole. The possibilities of offline utilities are limited, which may frustrate you sometimes. Also, it’s a big thumbs-down while considering gaming needs, especially for hardcore gamers.

Reviews point out that sometimes it is hard for the headphones to get going as some of the Chromebooks require a somewhat rude push for the headphones to get into the Jack. Opting for a Chromebook eventually prompts you to go for Chromebook headphone also. Though they might be uncomfortable for some users, they have a reputation for delivering quality service and the tempting technology is a well-kept secret in the industry.

The Rise of Chromebook Headphones: Why Are They So Popular?

A cursory glance at Google trends reveals Chromebooks to be a very popular search topic. Lots of people across the world are looking to learn a few things about Chromebooks, with search phrases hitting the 100 mark almost every year in the last 3 years or so.

The popularity of Chromebooks has also lead to another product getting a lot of attention – Chromebook headphones. Every year, more and more people search for Chromebook headphones according to Google Trends. They are essentially one of the must have Chromebook accessories, and for good reason.

Most Chromebooks ship out with built-in microphones and speakers, but there are situations where the built-in audio system might not work out so well. Like when you are in a coffee shop and you want to catch a video on YouTube. You can’t shush everyone to in order to listen to your video. What you can do is get yourself a nice pair of headphones to use with your Chromebook.

Top Audio Equipment Manufacturers Are Getting In on The Game

Another sign that Chromebook headphones are the new popular kid on the block is the fact that top headphone brands have a line of dedicated Chromebook headphones. Bose, Beyerdynamic, Sony and Life is Good (LG) Electronics all have audio solutions for Chromebooks.

But the popularity of Chromebook headphones is all down to the popularity of the platform. To understand why these headphones are so popular, we should look at why Chromebooks are popular in the first place.

Attractive Pricing

The success of Chromebooks, and the Chrome OS is well documented. For starters, most people jump on the Chromebook bandwagon because of the price tag. Before Chromebooks, owning a decent laptop meant parting with more than $500.

Not today though because you can get a laptop powered by Chrome OS for half of that. That’s the same price for a medium range smartphone!

Performance

Once the price draws you in and you buy your first Chromebook, you don’t expect much from it. The hardware specs are not that impressive with some laptops running Celeron processors while their Windows counterparts run the latest core i7 processors with tons of RAM.

You’re however pleasantly surprised to see that your low-spec Chromebook boots a whole lot faster than any high end laptop. In fact, Chromebooks boot almost instantly when you turn press the power button.

That’s because they run on Chrome OS, an operating system made from Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome OS uses relatively few computer resources to get work done, unlike other platforms that require heaps of RAM and CPU cycles just to open a browser.

If you are coming from Windows, you probably know the Chrome browser takes up a lot of resources. Trying opening many tabs at once and you run the danger of having the whole computer freezing up on you.

That doesn’t happen on Chrome OS though. You can open as many tabs as you want without degrading performance. In fact, even if you open 20 tabs concurrently, the system doesn’t even show signs of lagging.

Remember, you are getting all that performance from a computer with very limited resources here, so that’s quite impressive.

Battery Life

Another thing that draws you to make a Chromebook your main computer is the battery life. Most laptops that run on Chrome OS clock more than 10 hours on a single charge. Benchmark tests show that even intensive use such as watching videos online or heavy web browsing doesn’t degrade the battery performance.

Online Apps

Traditionally, you had to purchase or download an application, install it on your computer and run it. With Chromebooks, you don’t have to. All your apps such as word processors, spreadsheets, email, and a whole slew of tools can be accessed through the internet. That means there’s no need to download any apps on your Chromebook. Just connect to the internet and you can do almost everything.

However, even if you are not connected to the internet, you can use some apps offline and later sync them to when you get an internet connection. Google also hinted that later in 2017, new versions of Chromebooks will be able to run Android apps natively. That means you’ll be able to do a whole lot more on your Chromebook.

Those are some of the reasons why people are falling in love with Chromebooks. These reasons also contribute to the popularity of Chromebook headphones. Better get yours today.

How do you Diagnose a Chromebook Headphone Audio Problem?

How do you diagnose a Chromebook headphone audio problem?

Some users of the Chromebook have reported having audio issues. They have reported completely silent sound or one that’s cutting out without warning. For both the sound from the speakers and headphones, there are a variety of problems that can cause this. There are a number of things you can do to diagnose and fix Chromebook headphone audio problems. Here are steps you can follow:

  • Check that the headphones are securely plugged in.

For many, this might seem a silly and obvious solution but you might be having sound problems because you have not plugged into your headphone jack into the Chromebook fully. So, ensure you push the headphones jack in. A mild push won’t help. Give it a good push until you hear a click as the jack settles in.

  • Try using a different set of headphones or ear-buds.

If you are not hearing any sound through your headphones, it might just be that your headphones are faulty. Your headphones might be broken and not the Chromebook. The solution is as simple as trying a different set of headphones to see if it works.

  • Closing the lid of the Chromebook.

If your headphones are not working it could be that your Chromebook is not recognizing your audio devices. So unplug the headphones from the jack on the Chromebook. Close the lid of the Chromebook and wait for ten seconds. Plug the headphones back into the jack. When you open the lid, the Chromebook will rescan your audio devices. You can be sure your headphones will be found among the list of devices.

If that doesn’t work, unplug the headphones and turn off the Chromebook. Plug the headphones back into the jack and turn on the Chromebook again. The Chromebook should be able to rescan your audio devices on start-up. Your headphones are, certainly, going to be on the list of discovered devices.

  • Check your sound settings.

To see your sound settings, check the right corner of your screen where you will see a series of icons. Click on your account profile picture at the very right so as to reveal a window showing information about the Chromebook. Ensure the audio volume is at a high volume. Unmute is if it’s unmuted. Also, check that the output settings are right. It should show ‘headphones’ if you are listening through your headphones. Similarly, change it to ‘speakers’ if you want to listen through the Chromebook speakers.

  • Clear the cache.

If you are having audio issues, you can resolve some of them by clearing the cache. To clear the cache, follow these easy steps:

  • Start by clicking on the chrome settings button in your browser. It looks like three horizontal lines at the top right corner of your screen.
  • Click on ‘Tools’ followed by ‘Clear Browsing Data’.
  • Select the option of clearing information ‘From the Beginning of time’.
  • Ensure that you only select the ‘Empty the Cache’ option.
  • Click on ‘Clear Browsing Data’.

Once you have cleared the cache, turn the Chromebook off and back on again. Try the sound now. Is it working? If it isn’t resolved, move to the next step.

  • Disable all extensions.

The sound issues on your Chromebook could be the result of some faulty extensions. To solve this problem, you should disable all extensions and check if the sound is now working. If it is, then the problem was one of the extensions. Next re-enable each of these extensions, one-by-one as you check its effect on the sound. If one of your enabled extensions cause a break in the sound, there you have your culprit. Find instructions on how to disable your extensions on the Chromebook support page online. However, if turning off your extensions doesn’t work, turn all of them back on before moving to the next step.

  • Browse as a guest.

First, turn off your Chromebook, wait till it’s completely off, and turn it on again. When you see the login screen, select ‘Browse as Guest’. With this, you will be able to run the Chromebook without any special settings that you might have added. While here, try to play the sound again. If it works, you are having some broken setting or component in your normal login. You need to fix this completely by resetting your Chromebook.

  • Reset your Chromebook

By going through this step, you are going to wipe out all the data from your Chromebook. You, therefore, first need to run a data backup. Follow the following steps to bring your Chromebook back to the state it was when you bought it:

  • Click on your account profile picture in the lower right corner of your screen.
  • Click on ‘Settings’ to open a window showing various options.
  • Look at the bottom of this window and click on ‘Show Advanced Settings’.
  • Look for the ‘Powerwash’ label and when you find it click on ‘Reset’.
  • A window will open. Look for ‘Restart’ and click on it.

The Chromebook should be able to restart. In the set-up window, enter your Google account information. When you are done, try playing a sound. If it works, congratulations!

Well, go on and fix your Chromebook’s sound problems.