Different types of wireless stereo headsets can be defined by their shape, their function, or their means of transmitting sound to and from the headset. This kind of headset differs from a non-stereo headset because it broadcasts two channels of audio to both ears, instead of broadcasting only a single-channel mono feed to one ear. Wireless stereo headsets can be used to transmit audio using wireless signals sent between a headphone and a receiver. This technology allows a properly-equipped user to listen to music, to record voice audio, or to have a conversation without wires connecting him to the audio source. Types of transmission technology in stereo-capable wireless headsets include Bluetooth®, infrared, and radio frequency (RF).
Wireless stereo headsets are different from wireless headphones because they come equipped with microphones. This allows the user to listen to audio transmitted from a receiver and supply speech or audio in reply using a built-in microphone. Wireless stereo headsets are most often used when having a conversation over a wireless audio connection, often using a cellular Bluetooth® headset or through a computer audio chat program. Stereo headsets are also used for applications requiring the user to listen to and speak to the program, like in language practice programs or with voice-activated computer controls. Workers in customer-service call centers can also benefit from wireless stereo headset technology.
A shopper looking to buy wireless stereo headsets may also consider the manufacturer's brand when classifying these types of headphones. Popular manufacturers of wireless stereo headsets include Plantronics®, Sony® and IOGEAR®. These headsets can be designed to go over the ear or in the ear depending on the needs and preferences of the user.
Over-the-ear headsets, the most common wireless headset shape, have the advantages of shielding the user from outside noise. The microphone to the headset is typically positioned like an arm in front of the user's mouth. Some headset users find in-ear stereo headsets, often called earbuds, more comfortable than over-the-ear stereo headsets, but this shape is less common in wireless headsets. Stereo earbud headsets generally have microphones that hang or clip near the audio source.
Wireless stereo headsets generally refer to headphones that receive data without the use of cables from a transmitter that is not touching the object. It can also describe a hands-free wireless device like a two-ear Bluetooth® wireless cell phone headset. Rarely, wireless stereo headsets can be wired headsets used for hands-free stereo speech and audio on a wireless cell phone. This type of headset is more commonly called a cell phone headset because it does not transmit the audio to the headset using wireless methods.