Seeking suggestions regarding headsets for conference interpreters
Thread poster: jenbikkal (X)

jenbikkal (X)

Local time: 18:19
French to English
+ ...
Oct 31, 2012

Hi,

I'm a conference interpreter and I'm thinking of investing in my own headset.

What headset do you recommend?

Anything to look out for? Anything I should know before buying?

Thanks!

-Jen

[Edited at 2012-10-31 20:20 GMT]


 

Lennart Luhtaru  Identity Verified
United States
Member
English to Estonian
+ ...
Sennheiser Nov 1, 2012

First, I'm not an interpreter, so take anything I say with a grain of salt.

1) When I used to work in AV, we used to install and sell Sennheiser wireless solutions a lot. You can probably find something from them (headsets, transmitters, receivers). http://en-de.sennheiser.com/wireless-microphones-broadcast-eng-film

2) I also saw http://conferencerental.com/ booth at ATA conference.

3) I think all manufacturers who make conference or monitoring systems, have solutions for you (Sennheiser, AKG, Audio Technica etc.)


 

ParlInt
Local time: 00:19
Bang and Olufsen Nov 6, 2012

This is the brand that most of my colleagues prefer...pricey, but they are good. I prefer earphones to headphones, but ones which can fold back rather than being intra-ear. The advantage with this is that you can open them up a bit to regulate sound (as an alternative to volume control), meaning that you can have one ear at high volume (folded into the ear) and another at a lower volume, allowing you to control output properly. I use standard-issue headphones on one ear only, but simply because I've bought and lost about 20 sets of earphones over the years...I'm a bit absent-minded.

 

jenbikkal (X)

Local time: 18:19
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 6, 2012

thanks ParlInt...

I did hear from some other colleagues that Bang and Olufson was the best, I'm a little nervous about getting used to earphones vs. headphones as I like having the entire ear covered, but am willing to give it a try.

Thanks again for the advice!


 

Cyril Flerov
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Russian
+ ...
Headset designed specifically for interpreters Jan 31, 2013

http://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/shop/ct/conference-technology/product-line/interpreter-systems/sis-interpreter-system/accessories/dt-394-sis.html

I ll be posting a review of the headset in a few weeks in my group Teaching Simultaneous Interpretation on LinkedIn

Cyril


 

jenbikkal (X)

Local time: 18:19
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Cyril Jan 31, 2013

Thanks Cyril, I'll look into that group on LinkedIn. In the meantime I bought these. Haven't used them yet, but a colleague interpreters has them and moves them which is wjhy I got them.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Beyerdynamic-DT-770-PRO-80-Ohms-Headband-Headphones-Gray-/160954449739?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK:MEDWX:IT&nma=true&si=SziOl82h10CfnRzdMLfqBdjjE%2BA%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc


 

Cyril Flerov
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Russian
+ ...
not bad Feb 1, 2013

Not bad. However, it is closed back. Semi-open headset is usually recommended for simul otherwise you ll not be able to hear your voice properly and may be talking too loud. Moreover closed back headsets usually press harder against your ears and may be less comfortable over long periods of time.

 

Cyril Flerov
United States
Local time: 15:19
English to Russian
+ ...
Beyerdynamic Headset review Oct 6, 2013

Here is the link to my review.
https://app.box.com/s/e7i3swljqknzrv3ojpxo

I have had a chance to use it a bit. It is a wonderful headset. I am extremely impressed. I did a conference where the client used automatic gain mics and poor sound quality was very noticeable. Moreover, all mics were either handheld (and held too close to the mouth of the speaker or too far) or lapel mics. It resulted with a lot of hissing and popping sounds as well as "gain" at the end of words. I compared the standard issue headset and BD headset. 1) a lot of high and especially low frequency hissing is gone. 2) BD sounds more "muffled" but in a very pleasant way. 3) You do not need to increase volume too much to understand speech (also important to protect hearing if mic is dropped or bumped). 4) speech is more intelligible especially if the speaker has an accent 5) "gain" almost gone. I used the standard issue headset and started getting headache in a few minutes. So the headset is HIGHLY recommended. I cannot say much about the headset mic because not all consoles have an XLR connector it is compatible with but I have had no complaints yet.

Compared to Band and Olufsen: I assume you are talking about this headset. http://reviews.cnet.com/headphones/bang-olufsen-a8-black/4505-7877_7-31310136.html I have not had a chance to test B&O yet, but – hypothetically speaking – I have a few issues with it: 1) in-ear earphones or ear buds are not usually recommended for professional use for a long period of time. They may become uncomfortable, be a source of ear infection (bacterial or fungi) if not cleaned properly or spread MRSA if cleaned too often. Being uncomfortable is one of the cons mentioned by the link above, as well as its being potentially fragile. Some say that in earbuds and in-ear phones the driver is too close to the ear and there is more potential for hearing damage if a mic is dropped or bumped (hi to all the delegates who tap the hot mic to test if it is working!) or if you put on the headset and the volume is accidentally too loud 2) compared to larger headsets the sound emitting membrane of the ear buds is too small to produce rich sound (compare your regular headset and a large subwoofer for low frequencies, for example). The bigger the membrane the better the sound, no matter what manufacturers claim. 3) the position of the headset depends on the correct use of ear loops and there is a chance (remote as it may be) that one or both earpieces may fall off during interpretation. 4) It happened to me a few times (guilty as charged) that I get up and try to get out of the booth with the headset still on (shall we call it the “simultaneous interpreter syndrome”?). In that case, if I had B&O the headset d be simply ripped off and out of my ears, while with a regular headset it d just slide off or stay in place depending on the size of the headset. Incidentally, you forget easier that you have a headset on with a smaller headset. 5) I am not sure if B&O is really semi-open and to what degree it can be adjusted. 6) BD has huge flat ear cups very comfortable for your ears. It is not a tiny thing creating one single pressure point as in B&O 7) B&O is only earphones and not a headset so you are stuck if you do not have a tabletop mic. You cannot wear B&O and a regular mic headset at the same time 8) B&O is promoted as wide frequency response headset, which may be great for your IPhone. Wide frequency reproduction range may not be a good thing in interpreter headsets, however. We only need the range of human speech i.e. 80 Hz to 1100 Hz. Everything else is garbage as far as an interpreter is concerned. If I am not able to hear the splendor of rock music in a 2 minute video they play at a conference I am probably going to be OK, if I can hear the voice over. The whole point of BD is that it removes or muffles somehow frequencies not used for human speech and makes speech stand out.
Something is telling me B&O is just a fad in the interpreter community (fancy name, expensive, mentioned on interpreter websites), but without testing it extensively I cannot claim that. Of course, an alternative can be Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay H6 ($400) http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9240249/Bang_Olufsen_shows_off_first_new_headphones_in_25_years?pageNumber=1 but I d still have a problem with TOO wide frequency response (20Hz to 22kHz) and, honestly, for $400 I’d rather buy a headset specifically designed for simul and microphone sound and not something designed for "young, urban tech types -- maybe the guy in the software business". Thank you, I am cool enough 


 

mjbjosh
Local time: 00:19
English to Latvian
+ ...
No way Oct 21, 2013

Cyril Flerov wrote:

http://north-america.beyerdynamic.com/shop/ct/conference-technology/product-line/interpreter-systems/sis-interpreter-system/accessories/dt-394-sis.html

I ll be posting a review of the headset in a few weeks in my group Teaching Simultaneous Interpretation on LinkedIn

Cyril


Cyril, this can't be used in EU settings, we need to speek into the microphone of the console. ParlInt is right, if colleagues use own headsets at all, they are always B&O. I happen to see something else once in a while, but it's less then 1% of the cases.


 

vmariead
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:19
English to French
Also looking for a headset Jan 14, 2014

Hi there,

I am very interested in this thread. Thanks for opening it.

I am also looking for a headset for interpreting but I would be interested in some headset that is using blue tooth, any suggestions?

Also are you using some device to amplify sound? I have worked in the Crown Court and it is difficult to hear in the defender's box.

Many thanks.

[Edited at 2014-01-14 16:52 GMT]


 


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