Skype without a headset: you have several alternatives

So you would love to use Skype but you don't want to be tied down to a headset?You're not alone.
Written by Russell Shaw, Contributor

So you would love to use Skype but you don't want to be tied down to a headset?

You're not alone. Headsets can be uncomfortable and because their use most often means you will be tied down to a PC, headsets can be inconvenient.

If you've echoed that lament, you will be glad to know that Jim Courtney of Skype Journal offers a post describing several ways you can use Skype without a headset.

With the Skype 3.2 client, Skype's new voice engine does a very good job of echo cancellation; I often run Skype on my laptop using my Logitech webcam's mic and my laptop seakers along with the Skype softphone client. Sound quality's much better than some of the echo boxes I occasionally have to listen to at the other end! No headset required.

I can make a call using my evaluation Phillips 841 Dual Cordless phone (where "Dual" means Skype/SkypeOut or PSTN) with the option to (i) use the standard embedded speaker and hold it to my ear, (ii) put it on the speakerphone and listen anywhere in the room.or (iii) add a standard cordless phone earpiece or headset. Woops, the last option gets back into headsets -- sorry for the slip-up. Because it uses DECT cordless technology, I can actually take the call anywhere in the house. And for this type of call, I don't need to even start near my laptop -- only its base station needs to be near a cable/DSL router or connected Ethernet switch. Bottom line: Headset optional, calls taken anywhere in the house.

I also have an option to make VoIP calls on Truphone from any of the Nokia N80i or N95 equipped with WiFi. Again there are three options for listening: embedded handset speaker, loudspeaker or Bluetooth earipiece (which gets close to a headset). Just as with calling over the GSM network, simply look up a number, select it, tell it you want to go over the Internet (as opposed to the GSM voice service) and you have established a call. Look Ma! No Callback! Headset optional but WiFi required -- calls taken anywhere within 100m. of an authenticated WiFi access point.

Readers, have you used Skype without a headset? What kind of setup did you implement, and how did it work for you?

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