Transcribing audio recordings of one person interviewing one or more persons is important for legal (witness interview, police interview), academic (interview with professors), business (business surveys, group discussions, marketing-based interviews) and medical purposes. Good sound clarity in the recordings is necessary to for accurate and timely interview transcription and this can be ensured only with quality headphones. Using headphones from an MP3 player or other device is not at all a good idea as they are optimized for music, not for human speech. Headphones made specifically for transcription can help you understand what the speaker is really saying – even if the speaker mumbled. Let’s take a look into different types of headphones available for transcribing an interview.
Headphones Based on Design
- Standard Transcription Headphones – These headphones have soft cushions (foam or rubber) that fit comfortably in the ear. They also have a lightweight frame that hangs below the chin and attach the headphones to a monitor. Standard transcription headphones provide excellent sound quality as well as user comfort.
- Noise-Cancelling Headphones – This type goes over top of your head like traditional headphones and entirely covers your ears. They come with a sophisticated electronic feedback system that counteracts external noises and make blot them out effectively, and that’s why they are called ‘noise-cancelling headphones’. These headphones are recommended for transcriptionists who find even minor background sounds problematic. Noise-cancelling headphones are very useful for intelligent verbatim transcription or edited transcription. However, noise-cancelling headphones are costlier than standard transcription headphones.
Headphones Based on Connection Types
- Audio Jack (Analog) Headphones – Analog headphones typically have a 3.5mm plug which can be plugged into the audio jack on the computer. Though it is very simple to use, it may be sometimes hard to spot audio jack located on the backside of your computer. You may have to unplug your speakers to plug this device into your computer. Speakers that include a second audio jack can overcome this problem.
- USB Headphones – These headphones can be connected to the USB port. The advantage of using USB headphones is that they are easy to plug in and unplug. Both the headset and speakers can be plugged into the computer at the same time. They often have noise-cancelling microphones, which cancel out background noise so that the speaker’s voice is clearer. Corded USB headsets are the ideal option when using voice recognition software as clear incoming sound is needed for such software to work properly. However, there are some disadvantages too. Once the device is plugged into the computer, it begins to work only after a slight delay. In case the device is unplugged while working, you would have to restart the entire application to get back the sound. Moreover, USB ports are often in short supply.