A headset is headphones combined with a microphone, or one headphone with a microphone. Headsets provide the equivalent functionality of a telephone handset but with hands-free operation. Headsets typically have only one speaker driver, but may also have a speaker for each ear. They have many uses including in call centers and other telephone-intensive jobs and for anybody wishing to have both hands free during a telephone conversation.
Interpreters use high-quality, sound-proof and light-weight headsets during simultaneous interpreting. Some headsets have a build-in microphone – a pilot mic while others only have ear pieces. Conference equipment rental companies make sure that interpreter headsets are properly cleaned after each event. Some interpreters carry their personal headsets with them for hygeine purposes.
Digital headsets are recommended for remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI). Each RSI platform provider has its own short list of best performing headsets.