Wireless headsets for use with computers, and mobile devices are very popular today, and the truth is, you have more buying options than ever before. But you know, not everyone wants, or can afford to pay some of the prices that today’s wireless headsets cost.
The Anker H500 is designed to connect to mobile devices via Bluetooth, and to computers via the included USB-A adapter.
A lot of wireless headsets, especially budget oriented wireless headsets, don’t always come with a USB Adapter. Even some models that are regarded as mid-grade, or even premium, don’t always come with one. So what’s the big deal about having a USB Adapter?
- You can connect the H500 headset to computers that aren’t Bluetooth enabled. Though most of the computers purchased today are Bluetooth enabled, some computers in use aren’t. For those computers, the H500 would be compatible.
- The other thing is when you use a USB Adapter versus using Bluetooth, you will often get better sound quality, a more stable wireless connection,and in some cases, you might even get a longer wireless range.
- And for those wireless headsets that are optimized for use with UC platforms, you may be able to get the highly popular feature of remote call answering. Although that’s not a feature you can get with this headset.
So if you have the choice of using a headset with a USB Adapter, or using one without, you’ll want to choose the USB Adapter 10 times out of 10. This is particularly true for those models that are optimized for use with the leading UC platforms, such as Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, or Zoom for example.
Being optimized for use with these applications means you can step away from your desk, but still be able to take a call using the headset. The H500 isn’t one of these headsets unfortunately. You can still use it with these applications, but you just won’t have the remote call answering feature.
And while on the subject of connectivity, the Anker H500 can connect to two devices at the same time, so you can seamlessly switch between them. So if you’re using the headset with the computer, and you want to switch to using it with your mobile phone, no problem because the handoff is seamless and automatic.
Battery, and talk time
The Anker H500 comes with a battery that’s rated up to 24 hours of talk time with transparency off which is much more than what a typical DECT wireless headset provides.
But at 24 hours, this is about average for what other Bluetooth headsets offer. Bluetooth headsets typically require more battery life because they pretty much do double duty. They can be used for business, and they can be used for entertainment which requires that they have a longer battery life based on extended usage like this.
You also get up to 35 hours of battery life for listening to music, with the transparency feature off.
With the Anker H500 you get 3 hours of battery life with a short 5 minutes on the charger. I am always amazed when I learn about headsets that can do this. Five minutes on a charger isn’t very long, yet you can squeeze 3 hours of battery life in that short span of charge time? Amazing. Or maybe I’m just easily amazed.
A full battery charge takes one hour and forty minutes.
This headset weighs 6.4 ounces which places it in the middle of the pack in terms of headset weight. Some weigh less, while others weigh more, and weight is a contributing factor in how comfortable a headset is. Design of course matters as does the headband fit and adjustability, and the type of ear cushions, which by the way, are both nicely padded.
So you get a headset that isn’t overly heavy, and a headset that has a padded headband, and soft ear cushions all designed to enhance the wearing comfort.
3 ways to mute
The Anker H500 microphone can be muted three ways:
- You can raise the microphone boom arm into the upper position to mute, and lower it to the home position to unmute.
- You can also mute the microphone by lifting the mic side ear cup away from your ear, and return it to your ear to unmute.
- Finally, you can mute the microphone in a traditional way by pressing the mute button found on the headset earpiece.
I didn’t expect this headset to give you these three different ways to mute. Typically, there’s a button to mute the microphone, which this has. But, it also allows you to raise the boom arm to mute, which isn’t highly uncommon, though you don’t see it in a lot of other headsets.
But this headset gives you a third way by easing off the ear speaker which I honestly didn’t expect, and I’d add that muting that way isn’t something I’ve seen but I was pleasantly surprised by it.
And while on the subject of the microphone, the mic on the H500 is noise canceling. This means it’s designed to remove unwanted background noise. Anker refers to this as VoiceShield. So how did the Anker H500 do to remove unwanted background noise? I have to say, pretty well.
We challenged it with office sounds, dogs barking and of course our noisy blender test. In each test, the H500 not only did a good job to remove the noise, but it maintained the voice audio quality while doing so. This is always a challenge for any headset really, and this one did pretty well overall.
The H500 comes with a feature called transparency mode. This is a feature that’s designed to solve a problem. You see, when you’re wearing a headset, and someone wants to talk to you, you have to remove the headset to have that face-to-face talk.
With Transparency mode, you simply press a button on the headset and it allows you to hear your surroundings which means no need to remove the headset. Problem solved!
2 Variants available
The Anker H500 comes in two configurations. One variant is the H500 with a desktop charging base, and the other is the H500 without the charging base.
If you get the one with the base, the H500 rests in the cradle, and recharges the battery when docked there.
When you get the version without the charging base, the battery recharges via the included USB C cable.
Speaker sound quality
Although the H500 comes with 40mm ear speakers, the sound quality, when playing music, is average. There’s no threat to Bose or Sony going on here for sure.
Yes, you can use this headset for listening to your favorite music, listening to a Podcast, or even a movie. But, in doing so, you shouldn’t expect audio fidelity to rival any of the popular headphones. The speakers are good enough to get the job done, but don’t expect great.
Anker offers downloadable software which they call AnkerWork. This software allows you to do several things such as firmware updates, sidetone adjustments, audio preferences and more.
If your company doesn’t allow you to download software due to security concerns, then you may have to find an alternative way to download it if you’re interested in the functionality that this software offers.
One way that some employees go is to download the software onto their personal computers, and then update the headset from there rather than from the company computer.
Whatever workaround you might use, you’ll probably find the AnkerWork software worthwhile when it comes to using, and managing your headset.
Overall, I think this is a headset worth your time to consider. Here’s the reasons why I say that:
- This is a headset that sounds professional, and it eliminates unwanted background noise every bit as good as headsets that cost much more. So if you want that noise eliminated, this headset will do a decent job.
- It’s a headset that is fairly lightweight, and comes with a headband that’s nicely padded for a comfortable fit, and the ear cushions are soft and add to the comfort of the headset.
- It comes with a USB Adapter for better audio quality and a more stable connection over Bluetooth alone, and there’s the potential for longer wireless range when using this too.
- You have downloadable software for performing firmware updates, and for making adjustments to sidetone and headset audio qualities. 5. You have three uniquely different ways you can mute the microphone that include raising the boom arm, moving the ear speaker and of course, through a traditional press of a mute button.
- For the level of comfort, sound, and noise reduction, you don’t pay a premium price because it’s priced around $100.00 - $120.00, which is very fair and reasonable for a wireless headset like this.
Not the right headset for you, or do you need some help?
Maybe the Anker H500 isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. If so,contact us here at Headset Advisor and one of our California based Advisors will be happy to help you find the headset that’s right for you.
We’ve assisted customers with tailored recommendations since 1994, and I’m confident that we can help you as well. Even if you just have a headset question, or maybe need some help getting your headsets set up, we’re here to help