Updated on 02.17.10

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Headset Edition

Trent Hamm

For the last year and a half, I’ve used Skype for my business phone – through book edits and interviews and so on, it was used daily (if not more often). During that time, I’d been making calls using my computer’s speakers (for the audio) and my webcam (for the microphone).

Of course, this has a big drawback – namely, echo. It’s usually not bad at all provided that I sit in one particular spot and don’t move from that spot. However, if I move to even scratch my elbow or something like that, the echo can become overwhelming on the call.

After trying several different mic and speaker positions, I finally spent the money to buy a USB headset to handle the calls – and it’s made an enormous difference. Echo-free calling is much, much better.

Sometimes it’s worth it to spend $30 to fix a problem like that.

The Anatomy of a Sucker Some excellent musings on why people fall for scams. At the end, though, I disagree – he says “not all cons are illegal,” while I’d say “most cons are legal.” (@ pop economics)

Personal Branding: For Moguls, Morons or Megalomaniacs? Personal branding means that when people see your name, they think of something – preferably something that’s positive. What do people think of when they think of your name? (@ awake @ the wheel)

7 Financial Moves to Make in Your 20s I’m glad to see that there are a lot of things called “financial moves” that involve building interpersonal relationships on this list. (@ money ning)

Four Small Things You Can Do To Be An Exceptional Communicator More and more, I believe communication skills are the key to success in whatever you want to do in life. (@ dumb little man)

Keeping children’s toys from overwhelming a room This is a familiar problem at our house. Our key is toy rotation – limit the toys in the room, but keep some more of them in a tub elsewhere. Then, once in a while, rotate the toys, bringing some out of storage and putting most of the ones already out away. This keeps the toys fresh for the kids – meaning less need for new ones – plus it reduces the clutter in the room. (@ unclutterer)

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  1. So, the fancy shmancy headsets work???
    We have to do something because our Skpe situation sounds like crap.

  2. Mel says:

    I’m thinking about using only Skype for long-distance calls. But I’ve tried it a few times, and sounds fine for me but the echo is usually really bad on the other end.

    We also *need* to replace our portable phone asap, so I’ve been thinking of getting a Skype/landline combination (so far only looked at Skype’s offerings). Does anyone have any experience with them? Are they good? Bad?

  3. AnnJo says:

    The quality of telephonic communication has deteriorated hugely in the last 30 years. I suspect most people under 40 have no idea how crystal clear pure landline systems were and how much that sound clarity enhanced quality communication.

    I spend much of my day on the telephone, and find it truly exhausting to struggle with choppy sound, echoes, static, etc.

    As a matter of courtesy to your conversants, if nothing else, spring for the extra bucks to make it easy on them to hear what you are saying.

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