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Best type of headphones


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The best setup would be something you can plug into an external mic to get immediate feedback. If you have that then I would say open-back over-ear headphones of a good quality with no noise cancelling would be ideal.


Something like this is a good example of the kind of set-up I mean. He recommends it for shadowing purposes but I would say it's ideal for any time you need to hear your voice clearly while wearing headphones.



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Surely this is a matter of personal preference. 


I use an in-ear wired Sony phone headset with silicone ear-cups, as I find this kind the most comfortable. It has a small microphone on the cable.  I'm actually on my second one of these in 4 years of online lessons (I managed to trash the previous one when trying to clean it).


I also have a similar Sony Bluetooth headset which I've tried with Skype and found it hard to use.  I'm not sure if it's just my set-up (with a Mac), but when it's used in bidirectional mode (ie. listening and speaking rather than just listening), the extra delay on the audio added to the network delay in Skype or Zoom just tips it into the almost-unusable range.

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When I was newly arrived in Kunming and beginning to study Chinese, I asked my teacher for help in shopping for a headphone and microphone setup at a nearby electronics retailer. She said I needed to ask for a 有麦克风的耳机。I asked her to please write it down for me as a backup in the event they couldn't understand what was saying. 


"No problem. (She handed me the note with the Hanzi.)

"When you enter the store, just command the servant to find one of these for you."


I had to suppress a laugh. She was a bilingual teacher, Chinese and English. But her English clearly had some rough edges. 




I agree with the above posters that a set up which plugs in to a port on your laptop gives better performance than one which relies on Bluetooth, regardless of any other variables. 

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