Hello Direct Virtuoso Multimedia Headset System
by Charlie Schick
A single headset for phone and PC applications
Advanced computer-based voice applications are increasing the
demand for quality PC headsets. Often a PC sound system is well
suited for music, but is inadequate for any other sound application.
In addition, with computers playing a greater role in telephony
applications, there is greater demand for seamless integration
between PC and telephone headsets. The Hello Direct
VirtuosoTM was designed to solve this problem. This new
headset amplifier is multimedia capable to seamlessly integrate your
telephone with multimedia devices including your PC, tape recorders,
CD players, and virtually any other sound source.
One headset for everything
Hello Direct headsets are designed with noise-canceling
microphones and high-quality speakers for hands-free telephony. These
headsets are also ideal for computer-based audio applications, such
as speech recognition and internet telephony. Older "switching"
headset amplifiers included a 2-position switch letting you alternate
your headset between your PC and your telephone. The new Hello Direct
Virtuoso multimedia amplifier additionally supports a third class of
applications: simultaneous phone and multimedia connections.
Multimedia Headset System includes a sophisticated telephone
headset amplifier and a multimedia adapter switch. The 3-position switch
controls the connection to a second audio device, such as a PC, recorder, or CD player.
It lets you adapt your headset to a wide range of tasks with a
flip of a switch. In the first position, the headset is connected
to a multimedia device such as a PC for speech recognition, internet
telephony, or multimedia training applications. In the second
position, the headset is connected to the telephone, allowing you to
use your headset for normal phone calls. Additionally, the telephone
conversation can be sent to the multimedia device, for example, where you can
record it. In the third position, your headset is still connected to
the phone, but the Virtuoso adds your multimedia device's audio
output to the phone conversation so you can listen together. You can do
all this without having to invest in separate headsets for your
telephone and PC.
New applications with the Virtuoso
Virtuoso's ability to unite the telephone with multimedia devices
offers new applications not possible with older switching
amplifiers. For example, while you are on the telephone, you can
record your conversation on your PC (or any tape recorder) for later
review. Or, you might have a PC-based audio file demonstrating a new
product that you would like to play for a customer. With Virtuoso,
the two of you can listen together and then follow up when the
recording is over—a nice touch for better customer service.
What are the typical applications for a multimedia headset
Speech recognition. The latest speech recognition software
products, such as IBM's ViaVoice, Philips' FreeSpeech, and L&H's
Voice Xpress (they also purchased Dragon Systems with their popular
NaturallySpeaking product), have finally made continuous speech
recognition practical for a wide range of applications. With speech
recognition you can dictate text and control PC software by voice,
without having to touch the keyboard or mouse. This frees your hands
for other tasks, and reduces the risk of repetitive stress injuries.
Speech recognition also makes computers more accessible to the
Speech recognition programs require high-quality noise-canceling
microphones for optimum speech recognition accuracy. Many PCs come
with a microphone and speakers, which are sufficient for sound output
and some sound recording, but not for accurate speech recognition.
Therefore, a noise-canceling microphone is usually included when you
purchase speech recognition software. Now, instead of requiring a
separate mic or a dedicated mic headset for speech recognition
applications, the Hello Direct Virtuoso lets you use a single headset
for all your needs, switching on the fly from phone to PC.
Internet telephony. Various PC-based applications, such as
internet telephony and teleconferencing, allow people to communicate
by voice over the internet. For example, you could set up a web-based
conference using Microsoft's NetMeeting, speaking to the participants
over the internet, through their PCs. Internet-based telephony and
teleconferencing can save on telephone and travel costs.
As with speech recognition, you will need the best possible sound
input device to provide the best sound quality. A regular PC speaker
and microphone can be disastrous during an internet phone call. The
microphone picks up the speaker output, causing an echo or even
howling. Ordinary PC microphones pick up ambient sounds that can make
it impossible to understand the participants. For the best internet
telephony voice quality, you'll need a headset with a noise-canceling
microphone and a high-quality speaker.
Computer-based multimedia. The standard PC is a multimedia
machine. The multimedia component in PC-based applications increases
productivity. Using a PC, it's now possible to play educational
recordings or movies, record conversations, or manage your voice
mail. These multimedia applications call for a headset with
high-quality speakers that is comfortable enough to be worn for
extended periods of time. Hello Direct offers a selection of six
different styles of professional quality headsets so that you can
choose the style that best fits your personal preferences.
Multimedia and telephone integration with Virtuoso
Many PC-based multimedia applications require noise-canceling
microphones and high-quality speakers. The Hello Direct
with Multiplier connects the same headset to your
telephone and PC or other audio device, at the same time. This
eliminates the cost and clutter of separate headsets for different
audio devices, seamlessly integrating telephony and multimedia
applications. The Hello Direct Virtuoso is a versatile multimedia
headset system that lets you use a single headset for
all your telephony and multimedia needs.