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Webcam mic vs Headset

Old 08-14-05, 06:43 PM
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Webcam mic vs Headset

Because my wife and I are thinking of moving out of state in Feb., I want to be able to keep in touch with family and friends in a fun and inexpensive way.

Now that most IM programs allow both audio and video chat, I've been looking at buying a webcam and/or a headset (for audio chatting).

At first I was going to just get a headset for audio chatting and possibly get a webcam later, but I've noticed a lot of webcams come with built-in mics. Are these any good?

I get the impression that audio-chatting with a mic and speakers (instead of a headset) would result in a lot of echoing and just a poorer sound quality. Anyone know?

Should I buy a headset and a webcam or just get a webcam with a mic?
Old 08-14-05, 06:57 PM
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My old roommate used a separate mic and speakers and a webcam. The sound from the speakers sounded pretty good (might have to do some adjusting on the subwoofer) and the call was from Nigeria. So for now, I would say to buy a webcam w/ a mic (you should already have speakers), then if you're not satisfied with the built-in mic, you can buy one separately.

But if I wasn't going to get a webcam, I'd either get a mic or a headset.

In any case, I think you still will need to tweak the audio settings to your preferences.
Old 08-15-05, 09:24 AM
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Dude, a headset mic is the only way to go.

I use a headset with mic and when I talk to my friend who just uses the mic that came with her webcam and her speakers to talk to me it's a real pain. i can hear my voice coming from her speakers right after I speak and it's annoying and sometimes confusing. It's like calling into a radio show and listening to your radio when the show is in 7 second delay. That's why they tell you to turn down your radio when you call in. That's also why studio speakers are muted when the mic goes on because you'll hear feedback otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, webcam mics are decent but I think a Headset w/mic is a much better way to go. The alternative would be using just a headset w/o a mic to listen and the webcam mic to speak. This way, the other person won't hear their voice in your speakers on their end.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 08-15-05 at 11:05 AM.
Old 08-15-05, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Dude, a headset mic is the only way to go.

I use a headset with mic and when I talk to my friend who just uses the mic that came with her webcam and her speakers to talk to me it's a real pain. i can hear my voice coming from her speakers right after I speak and it's annoying and sometimes confusing. It's like calling into a radio show and listening to your radio when the show is in 7 second Delay. That's whay they tell you to turn down your radio when you call in. That's also why studio speakers are muted when the mic goes on because you'll hear feedback otherwise.

Don't get me wrong, webcam mics are decent but I think a Headset w/mic is a much better way to go. The alternative would be using just a headset w/o a mic to listen and the webcam mic to speak. This way, the other person won't hear their voice in your speakers on their end.
That's what I feared, that you'd get an echo. I think I might go with a headset w/ mic then.
Old 08-15-05, 04:15 PM
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Cool! Also, if you can "encourage" the folks on the other end to invest in some Headsets with a mic that would be good for all involved. My cheap ass friend has yet to do it and that's why I get voice slapback while talking to her. To be honest it isn't as bad when she turns her speakers down but sometimes it makes it harder for her to hear me so I just deal as best I can with the slapback. Anyway, I've only used YAHOO Messenger and MSN to talk online and I've found that MSN has the best Video and sound. Not nearly as choppy as Yahoo. But of course YMMV. I'm sure there are TONS of great free programs for this that I don't' know about so who knows.

By the way, I have these and I love them. They sound good with music coming from the computer too. They're like $25 and some change and I think that's a decent price. It's not cheapo headset but it's also not too expensive. Plus it folds up an and helps keep the clutter down in my computer area.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 08-15-05 at 04:20 PM.
Old 08-15-05, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Cool! Also, if you can "encourage" the folks on the other end to invest in some Headsets with a mic that would be good for all involved. My cheap ass friend has yet to do it and that's why I get voice slapback while talking to her. To be honest it isn't as bad when she turns her speakers down but sometimes it makes it harder for her to hear me so I just deal as best I can with the slapback. Anyway, I've only used YAHOO Messenger and MSN to talk online and I've found that MSN has the best Video and sound. Not nearly as choppy as Yahoo. But of course YMMV. I'm sure there are TONS of great free programs for this that I don't' know about so who knows.

By the way, I have these and I love them. They sound good with music coming from the computer too. They're like $25 and some change and I think that's a decent price. It's not cheapo headset but it's also not too expensive. Plus it folds up an and helps keep the clutter down in my computer area.
Cool. I know that Skype is also going to go video, which is good, because I've heard they have some of the best audio available.

I'm thinking I might spend the extra bucks for the USB headset because I have front USB, but not front Mic.
Old 08-15-05, 10:21 PM
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depends on what webcam you get, i've got a logitech and sent a couple out to friends across the country. they work great for the voice/picture no strange noise. but they're the 4000 pro cams also, so a cheapE cam probably would make nasty sounds!
Old 08-15-05, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BeanDip0001
depends on what webcam you get, i've got a logitech and sent a couple out to friends across the country. they work great for the voice/picture no strange noise. but they're the 4000 pro cams also, so a cheapE cam probably would make nasty sounds!
You've had no echoing? I'm curious, because it would seem that if two people are using mics and speakers, that like Giantrobo said, you'd hear yourself in the other person's speaker -- thereby giving an echo.
Old 08-16-05, 11:56 AM
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I suggest a bluetooth headset. It'll work with your cell phone and your computer, just need bluetooth on both of those things.

As for mic's, if you're not using a headset, then you need a Mic with noise cancellation/suppression hardware or software, or otherwise you get echo. And it's annoying as heck too.
Old 08-16-05, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
I suggest a bluetooth headset. It'll work with your cell phone and your computer, just need bluetooth on both of those things.
I have an antique cell phone. However, I'll think about it in the future.

then you need a Mic with noise cancellation/suppression hardware or software, or otherwise you get echo. And it's annoying as heck too.
Hmm.. I'll check that out. Any idea how the noise cancellation works? How does it know my voice should be picked up, but that other noises (especially the voice coming from my speaker) shouldn't be picked up?
Old 08-16-05, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DodgingCars
Hmm.. I'll check that out. Any idea how the noise cancellation works? How does it know my voice should be picked up, but that other noises (especially the voice coming from my speaker) shouldn't be picked up?
Several possible ways, but usually there's a circut in the thing that is actually taking the sound from your speaker (with a direct wired sort of thing), inverting it, then adding it to the noise from the microphone with a very slight delay.

In other words, you might be able to find a mic that you have to run both microphone and speakers into, then the speaker connection passes through to your actual speakers.
Old 08-18-05, 05:00 PM
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I think I'm going to get this when it's released:

http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/pr...&ad=hpb_fusion

It's boasts:

"QuickCam Fusion also features a built-in microphone with Logitech RightSound™ technology—to ensure that your audience can hear you as well as they see you. RightSound makes headset-free conversations a reality by canceling unwanted echoes that can occur during video calls. You can talk naturally to your friends and family without tangled wires getting in the way. A high quality stereo headset is also included, for privacy during important conversations."
Old 08-19-05, 07:46 AM
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Looks cool. :up;

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