I'm a big fan and a personal user of the Sennheiser OfficeRunner. This is a wireless USB microphone headset for your computer that can also connect to a phone line, so it is perfect for a wide variety of personal and business uses.
I use the OfficeRunner on my computer for online webinars, video recordings for YouTube, audio voiceovers, and Skype calls. However, it would also be perfect for a call center work environment, even if computers are not used because it can plug into a normal phone jack (there are even accessories great for that type of usage, like auto-pickup and dialer devices). This easy and flexible connectibility was a major buying point for me - many other professional microphones use complicated audio hookups and not a simple phone jack or USB connection like this headset.
Audio Quality & Noise Cancellation
When I was originally shopping for a microphone for my computer to use for videos and webinars, two of the major things that I was looking for was high audio quality and noise cancellation / reduction for background sounds.
I had previously used a USB headset that was not wireless and had a lot of issues with stray sounds. Speaking S's and T's caused loud, unwanted noise. Even worse, you could hear everything going on in the background. I work at home, am married, and have three kids, so there is a lot of noise in my house. I wanted to be able to do videos in the middle of the day without worrying about background noise, screaming kids, etc ending up on my recording.
The Sennheiser OfficeRunner was well worth the cost because it solved these problems for me and then some.
In fact, there is only ONE downside to the audio quality for this wireless headset, but this drawback can actually be fixed with a $1 accessory! I'm talking about a microphone boom - just a tiny piece of round foam that fits over the end of the mouthpiece where the mic is located. You can see one of these in the very end of my video on the tip of the headset. You can buy these extremely cheap, but you also may have one already. I got mine from my XBox headset, and it fits and works perfectly.
Sennheiser OfficeRunner vs Blue Yeti Microphone
One of the most popular, professional computer microphones is the Blue Yeti, which is a tabletop mic and stand. The audio quality is great with the Yeti as well, so how do you pick between that and the OfficeRunner?
Personally, there were two main reasons I went with the OfficeRunner over the Yeti.
#1. Mobility. I wanted to be able to move around while I talked and even go outside if I wanted. The Yeti simply can't do this but the OfficeRunner can do it with flying colors. This is great for phone / Skype calls when you don't need to be at your desk.
#2. Sound. One thing I've noticed with the Blue Yeti is that it will pick up little sounds in your office, like typing on a keyboard. For this reason, if you're doing recordings on your computer or things like webinars, you might be better off with the headset because the typing won't get picked up nearly as much.
With these two points made, the Blue Yeti and OfficeRunner are likely useful for two different kinds of video makers. If you are going to be on-screen in your videos and don't want people to see your microphone, Blue Yeti is the way to go. Otherwise, I would stick with the wireless headset.
One of the things that I love about the Sennheiser OfficeRunner is the long battery life and fast charge time. I've used USB headsets before that were not wireless, and the limitation of being attached by a cord was annoying plus the cord would bump against my desk during recordings causing clicks in the audio. With the OfficeRunner, I don't have to worry about cords or stray sounds because the headset itself is wireless. Other wireless headsets are extremely limited by their battery life - even headsets that cost $200+ often only carry a 2-3 hour battery. The Sennheiser OfficeRunner can actively be used for 8-12 hours on a single battery charge, plus it will recharge from dead in about 30-60 minutes! This means that you can use it all day long, even if you forget to charge it from a previous use. For those that run live webinars like me, there is nothing worse than your battery dying in the middle of a presentation, but I have NEVER had that happen using this microphone headset.
Wireless Talk Range
Another excellent feature is the long range. You are not confined to your desk with this headset. In my home office, I can actually walk around my entire house outside without losing signal. This is great for long business phone calls or even Skype calls. I believe the official range is 400 feet, but heavy construction buildings can reduce that amount. However, I have easily been able to go a couple hundred feet with mine in a real environment.
Headset & Earpiece Options
When it comes to earpieces, I am a bit picky and particular. I have big ears that are also a bit sensitive to loud sounds, so I am not a big fan of earbud speakers or headsets that wrap around the ear to hold it on your head.
The Sennheiser OfficeRunner does come with the ear wraps and earbuds, which many people do like, but it also comes with an adjustable headset with a padded speaker, which is my preferred option.
Since I use GotoWebinar and often do 2-3 hour long webinar presentations, I need something that is going to be comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. The headset and speaker fit the bill perfectly, as I have never experienced any discomfort from wearing it too long.
Auto-Answer & Adjustable Speaker Volume
There are some days when I am on and off a lot of Skype calls, or I may be waiting on a call from someone particular at an unspecified time. With the OfficeRunner, I can wear the headset around the house while I wait, and then I can actually answer the call without returning to the computer or base.
The power button on the side of the headset allows you to answer a call away from the base. There is a volume lever on the backside of the earpiece. Press it up or down to adjust the volume of the speaker. If you click it in, it will put you on mute and even give you a little beep every minute to remind you that you are muted.
Double Swivel Headpiece
The microphone is on a swivel so you can adjust it up or down to fit you perfectly. Since I use the adjustable headpiece, I also get a second swivel on it that allows it to rotate left or right.
With these two swivels, I can position the mic in just the right spot to avoid unwanted sounds from breathing or scratching against my beard. Personally, I like to put it 2-3 inches to the right of my nose. I have a loud, deep voice so it sounds abrasive with the micrphone right next to my mouth. With it up near my nose but still away from it, I avoid unwanted breathing noises and get my voice across at a reasonable volume level.
Where to Buy Sennheiser OfficeRunner Online?
The company that sells this wireless headset is Headsets.Com, but they also sell it through Amazon.com. Personally, I like Amazon and especially the buyer protection they offer, so I prefer to order through them.
Another reason to buy through Amazon is that you'll get super-fast shipping and a lower price. In fact, this headset is discounted as much as 25% off on Amazon.com ONLY!