I am back to working from home as a default recently after having a split operations arrangement for some time now.
And while I’m not unfamiliar with working from home because of two months of Circuit Breaker last year, I find that I had to re-equip my home with work-from-home solutions, such as better headphones because the number of conference calls went up again since Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) started.
And if you’re looking for a great equipment you can use for music and video conferences, consider the newly launched Audio-Technica ATGM1-USB pack that I’ve recently tried.
Audio-Technica ATGM1-USB pack review
This pack consists of the ATH-250M Headphones and ATGM1-USB Microphone.
The ATH-250M Headphones is lightweight, which makes it great if you need to travel occasionally to the office or a different location for calls because it’s so portable.
As headphones for music, it definitely wouldn’t match that of audio equipment that is designed for great music experience – you know, the kind that gives you with good highs and basses – but it delivers clear audio, which is great for daily listening if you don’t consider yourself an audiophile.
The closed-back headphones also ensure minimal leakage of sound, so while you don’t get a full noise-cancellation experience, you definitely won’t find your environment disruptive when you have these headphones on.
A minor complaint that I have is that it’s not wireless – a small inconvenience for someone who’s used to using wireless headphones. But it comes with a 2-metre cable that you can connect to any desktop or laptop, so it actually isn’t bad at all if you don’t mind removing the headphones when you need to grab a glass of water or head to the toilet.
A bigger complaint, though? Because of the design around the ears, it can get slightly uncomfortable after hours of listening. This is definitely not the set of headphones you’d want to wear for an entire day – you’ll need to take breaks in between.
What’s probably more unique about the Audio-Technica ATGM1-USB pack is the ATGM1-USB Microphone it comes with.
This is a compact directional USB microphone that you can keep away if you don’t need the microphone function.
I really like this feature because it’s what makes it a truly great work-conference tool. I’ve tried a number of earbuds and headphones that either come with poor voice pick-up or have no microphone function, or those that have an attached microphone that kind of stands in your way when you’re not using the microphone function.
With the directional microphone in this pack, I can easily put it away when I don’t need it and take out the lightweight microphone when I have a conference call to attend.
Most importantly, the condenser microphone is extremely clear. After doing some comparison and asking for feedback from those who are on the call with me, I get the general consensus that the voice quality that the microphone delivered was crisp, clear, and free from environmental noises. This means I’ll no longer get the annoying “Sorry, can you repeat that?” comment when I use this microphone.
The microphone uses a USB output so it’s also easy to fix up and connect to any desktop and laptop. And while it’s not wireless, it’s easy to set up and is very stable, so there won’t be any delay when I need to attend a last-minute call.
Conclusion: Will I recommend it?
The Audio-Technica ATGM1 Pack retails for just S$78, making it one of the most affordable headphones you can find in the market that offers a very comprehensive suite of features that you’ll need as a work-from-home tool.
I find that it delivers on your basic needs for music-listening and you’d be satisfied if you’re not an audiophile or need to spend an entire day listening to music while you work. However, while it’s not the best when it comes to delivering a superb music experience, it definitely gives you crisp and clear audio when you’re on a conference call.
I’d certainly recommend it if you’re looking for a good headphone-and-microphone set for work conferences that don’t break the bank and is lightweight and small enough so your table remains clutter-free.
The Audio-Technica ATGM1 PACK retails for S$78 and is available at the following locations and online stores: