Talk, Talk, Talk
While its name might sound like something a ditzy middle-schooler might say, the Airhead 1000 is actually a high-quality headset that can work with most classroom computers. It can make classroom audio – both listening and talking – more personal, quieting the entire room.
At 5.4 ounces, the black Airhead headset is light yet comes with everything needed to integrate audio (both speaking and listening) into school without a classroom cacophony. It comes with several cables, a USB transceiver and a black velour bag that the headset can be folded up and stored in.
Airhead is not only comfortable, but adjustable enough to accommodate a variety of different size heads from 10-year olds through high-school seniors. The entire device has an inviting soft rubberized coating and the ear cups are padded so kids can wear them for hours if needed. Unlike other headsets, Airhead’s stubby microphone doesn’t get in the way.
There are audio controls on the outside of the cups that makes using these headphones a snap to integrate into a lesson. It can take a little while to get used to how they work, though. In addition to raising and lowering the volume, I was able to control the media being played by stopping, playing and moving tracks back and forth.
The big breakthrough, however, is that it can be used wirelessly with the included 2.4GHz USB transceiver. There’s no software to load to get the Airhead to work. Just plug the USB transmitter into a computer and it’s ready to get to work. The device works just as well with PCs and with Mac computers. All told, it takes about two minutes to get the Airhead set up.
Inside there are 40mm speakers that can reproduce sound between 20- and 50,000-hertz with less than 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion. Using the wireless link, I was able to use the Airhead for Skype calls, recording personalized learning material and for language lab work. It works particularly well for a teacher roaming around the room while staying connected to a classroom public address system.
For listening, the audio of the Airhead is surprisingly strong, with solid midrange and bright high-end tones. On the downside, there’s a slight background hum that you can hear during silent periods and the audio sometimes breaks up when you’re near the limit of its range; roughly 30-feet.
The headset has its own rechargeable battery, but doesn’t come with an AC adapter. There is a cable for charging it with a computer’s USB slot, but the charging port on the headphones is too close and similar to the jack that’s used for a wired connection that it’s too easy to make a mistake and plug it into the wrong port. No harm done, but it’s unlikely to charge.
Also, I found that some notebooks don’t put out enough power to charge the headset. It ran for a little more than 6 hours of nonstop use, making it perfect for use during a school day in the classroom.
+ Comfortable and adjustable
+ 30-foot range
+ Surprisingly good audio
+ PC and Mac use
- No AC adapter
- Slight background hum