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USB Headsets and Comrex Opal
To: crtech@crtech.org
Subject: USB Headsets and Comrex Opal
From: Rich Roszel <rich@creativegeniusproductions.com>
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:45:42 -0500
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I'm considering ordering one of the new Comrex Opal's for use with guests of our programs who are currently only available by phone. It works through a web interface and is compatible with computers as well as Android and iOS devices.  I'm wondering if a USB headset connected to a computer might yield better results than connecting via smartphone and just using the phone's built-in mic.

My thought was to buy several decent USB headsets and send them to booked guests in advance of our interviews.  After the interview, they would return them to us and we'd send them out to the next guest.  For regular guests, we might go with a more robust setup, but I'm trying to keep this as simple as possible.  Plug 'n' Play is ideal.

Does anyone have any recommendations for good USB headsets?  I'm not aware of any "broadcast" headsets that have a direct USB connection, but perhaps some of the gaming sets would sound reasonable.

My concern with the mics built into smartphones is that smartphones differ greatly AND the way people treat their smartphones differs greatly.  We produce a number of talkshows that have callers and the sound of most mobile phones is pretty bad these days.  I'm not sure if it's the build of the phone, or the fact that the caller dropped it in the sink while washing dishes.  Either way, using the built in mic with the Opal might just give us a higher quality garbled sound.

FYI, the Comrex Opal uses the Opus algorithm at 48kbps.  I've requested a demo unit and one of the things I'll be testing is cascading effect.  I did some pretty extensive tests awhile back with Luci Live and Luci Studio.  It sounds very good provided you can maintain a good data connection.  Unfortunately, it's pretty pricey.  Luci Live Lite is decent and cheap or free, but limited to G.722.  I think the Opal should sound better.

Thoughts?

Rich Roszel
Creative Genius Productions, Inc.

Follow-Ups: RE: USB Headsets and Comrex Opal
(Mike Shane <mshane@salemomaha.com>, 22 Nov 2017 00:46:13 -0000)
Re: USB Headsets and Comrex Opal
(Stu Engelke Lists <audiotoantenna@gmail.com>, 22 Nov 2017 14:06:27 -0000)
RE: USB Headsets and Comrex Opal
(Mark Murdock <mark@celebrationradio.com>, 22 Nov 2017 17:29:41 -0000)
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