Who knew I could sound so cool so easily. Many corded headsets on the market do a fine job providing a high-quality listening experience but not as many provide a good voice recording experience. If you Skype, record your own podcasts, use speech-to-text software, or just sing along to karaoke, you could do worse than to look at Andrea Electronics SuperBeam earbuds and mic.

Aesthetically, it’s a big step forward. The mics (two of them!) are actually built into the earpieces, eliminating the old-style boom mics or the ones that hang down mid-cord, and they have a built-in DSP that bypasses your computer’s regular microphone and sound. No cumbersome mic sticking in your nose, and they are easy to wear with glasses. The earbuds are quite comfortable (as my long flight from LA to NY made clear).

The dual inputs offer a really nice surround sound: what the company calls “3D surround sound” lets you actually hear where the sound comes from directionally. A mini attachment is available for single jack devices like mobile phones and tablets.

To get the most out of this device, you’ll want to download the Audio Commander, Andrea’s audio mixing software that offers a range of options, from a programmable 20-band graphic EQ to a simple “record” button that handles noise cancellation and 3D sound automatically.

Bottom line: if you’re just listening to music, there are others that will do the trick with less effort, but if you talk to your machines a lot this is a real breakthrough device. For some great technical information and testing read Laptop Magazine’s review.

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