(from NECC 2005)
Califone has introduced a new line of USB-enabled headsets for desktop and laptop computers. The headsets, which plug directly into the computer’s USB port, feature durable plastic construction, reinforced connectors, adjustable headbands, and replaceable leatherette ear cushions to withstand the rigors of daily instructional use. Califone made the move to USB-enabled headsets after it realized that several computer manufacturers, including Dell and Apple, had discontinued installing conventional 3.5mm plugs in favor of USB ports, because data can be transferred more quickly and efficiently. According to company executives, direct USB 2.0 connectivity offers schools true plug-and-play performance, and no sound card is needed. The USB headsets are supported under Windows 98, 2000, or XP and under Mac OS 9 or X. They retail for between $39 and $53, the company said.