There’s been a lot of buzz in the last couple of years about wireless headsets. With so many people using Zoom, RingCentral, Microsoft Teams and all the other popular communications platforms, there’s been a huge interest, and need for headsets.
And though wireless headsets are cool, not everyone needs one. That could be due to a limitation on funds, or it could be that having that wireless freedom isn’t something that’s needed.
This isn’t a blog for those looking for information on wireless headsets, but it is one for those who are shopping for a decent wired USB headset for use on business calls.
In this blog, I’ll be discussing, and comparing two good quality wired USB headsets from the Discover line. Specifically, I’ll be comparing the Discover D712U to the Discover D722U models.
Review Video + Mic Test Comparisons
How they’re worn
Both of these headsets are worn over the head, and cover both ears. This wearing style is sometimes referred to as a “duo” headset, “double ear” headset, or “binaural” All refer to the headset having two ear speakers.
Ear cushions are all the same, right? Not so fast!
- The D712U has smaller ear cushions that rest against the ear, and when you purchase the headset, it comes with two different types of ear cushions; foam, and leatherette
- The D722U features ear cushions that completely encircle the ear. This helps to passively reduce unwanted background noise, and allows you to hear better when compared to ear cushions that don't fully cover the ears.
Also, the ear cushions on the D722U are soft and moldable to your ear because they are made from memory foam. These ear cushions are also infused with a cooling gel to help keep your ears cool which is meaningful especially when on long calls, or when wearing a headset throughout the day.
Who doesn’t like a little padding on a headband?
Both headbands are padded, though the way in which they are, does differ. The D712U has three rubberized pads that are placed next to each other. The D722U headband is one long, generously padded cushion that spans most of the headband surface area. So, any part of the headband that meets your head will be met with some nice padding.
And speaking of the headbands, the one on the D712U can be expanded or contracted so you can find the right amount of pressure for comfort and fit. This same headband can be practically twisted into a knot because it’s that flexible.
So if you need to adjust the headband for a better fit, rest assured that you’re likely not going to break it even if the adjustments being made are somewhat extreme.
How does the sound quality compare?
Sound quality is one of the biggest areas of interest for most people who are shopping for a headset, especially if the headset will be used for business purposes. We all want to sound good, and we all don’t want our callers to hear any distracting noise going on around us.
So how do these headsets sound, how much noise do they reduce, and how do these headsets compare in these two key areas? Well, we did run both of them through some sound tests that included:
- Office Noise
- Dogs barking
- And the dreaded, Vitamix blender test
Up front I’ll say that opinions about sound are somewhat subjective. What sounds good to me, might not sound all that great to you. So, with that said, I’m casting my vote for the D722U sound quality over that of its little brother, the D712U.
Both headsets sound professional, and unquestionably are acceptable for use within any business setting, but the sound of the D722U, to me, was richer and higher quality sounding.
As for reducing noise, in all the tests noted above, the D722U reduced more of the noise. Both reduced it, but the D722U reduced it more. This means that if you’re someone who works in a noisy office, at home with the kids or Canine making noise, or even making calls poolside with a beverage blending, the D722U would be your better choice.
While on the subject of the microphone, both headsets allow you to position the microphone on the right or left side. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who prefer to place the microphone on one side or the other. And you might be surprised to learn that not all headsets give you this flexibility.
Some restrict the placement of the microphone to one side only, so it’s nice that both of these models give you the choice. Lastly, on an educational note, the correct placement for a microphone is two fingers width from the corner of your mouth.
Placing the microphone too close can cause poor audio such as garbled sound or distortion. Placing the microphone too far away from the corner of your mouth can make you hard to hear. So again, two fingers away from the corner of your mouth, and then a pinch below your lower lip.
Inline controllers aren’t all the same
Most all wired USB headsets these days come with an inline controller. These controllers, that are located in the middle of the headset cord, allow you to do a few things:
- You can turn up your hearing volume
- You can turn down the hearing volume
- You can mute the microphone
- And, you can unmute the microphone
- There’s typically a call answer/end button too
The Discover D712U and the Discover D722U both have an inline controller with these common, and basic feature adjustments. However, there is one key difference when it comes to the inline controller on the Discover D722U.
It has a built-in speaker on the back. You might be asking yourself why would you need a speaker on the inline controller? Well, that would be a good question considering this is something no other wired headset comes with.
Here’s the reason why the built in speaker is not only unique, but useful:
- If you have a need to train someone and you’d like them to hear the conversation, this integrated speaker allows that to happen. 2. Some computers don’t come with speakers. If that’s the case for you, then having a speaker on the headset controller can help make up for that.
- You might be someone who just wants to hear the sound of an incoming call. If so, that sound can come through this speaker. 4. Maybe you want to listen to some background music while you work.
These are a few of the possible uses. So as you can see, this could be a very useful feature in certain situations.
One last thing about the controller on the D722U, and then we’ll move on. There’s a way to turn on, and turn off the sidetone feature on the D722U through the inline controller.
Sidetone, if you’re unfamiliar with this term, is you being able to hear yourself in your headset. Not being able to hear yourself will normally be somewhat disorienting, and can lead to confusion as to what level to speak at. The D722U allows you to turn this feature on and off which helps to make it more unique.
Soft case, hard case, which do you get?
The D712U comes with a hard case for transporting it. The D722U comes with a soft case. Some people prefer one over the other, but this is what they both come with. As I’m writing this I paused, and for a moment, related this to tacos. Some prefer soft tacos, while others prefer hard or crunchy. But, I digress.
How’s the audio quality when listening to music?
Simply put, they’re ok, but these aren’t Bose or Sony. Can you listen to music with them? Absolutely. But, when listening to music it would be a good call not to have high expectations. You’ll be able to listen to music just fine, but if you’re an audiophile, and great audio is what you’re looking for, you’ll want to pass on both of these.
For everyone else, like those who just want to casually listen (without lofty audio expectations), then both of these headsets will work just fine.
So which of these two headsets comes out on top? If I had to choose one over the other, I’d likely choose the D722U for these reasons:
- The audio voice quality, to me, sounded better than the D712U 2. The D722U removed more background noise
- You get a speaker in the inline controller
- You can activate or deactivate the sidetone feature
- The ear cushions fully cover the ears, and are made with memory foam, and cooling gel.
With that said, you might be someone who doesn’t like having their ears fully covered. If that’s the case, then the D712U would be a better option. You also might be someone who prefers a headset with a smaller footprint than the D722U, which would again lead you to the D712U. And, your workspace might not be noisy which minimizes the value of the better noise canceling feature on the D722U.
So whether you need good noise reduction, or prefer a smaller headset, both of these models will do a great job when on Zoom, Teams, RingCentral or any of the other popular communication applications. And you won’t have to take out a second mortgage on your home to buy one of these headsets either.
Discover D712U - $90.98
Discover D722U - $99.99