Review of FREETALK Everyman Skype USB Headset

If you follow my blog here on TechLore, you might know that I'm a big fan of the Skype VoIP product.  Frankly, I'm just not willing to get hooked up with a separate landline phone.  Not only does it feel... so... outdated, but it's rather expensive as well.  In addition, I can't simply use my cellphone as I have an old iPhone plan with limited minutes.  Once again, I pay enough for my cell, and don't feel like upping my plan.

So, how do you avoid bleeding your wallet dry by wasting your money on a landline?  Use Skype.  $2.95 a month gets you (virtually) unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada.   Of course, you have to use your PC or Mac to make calls, but for someone who is on the Internet almost everywaking hour, who cares?  Besides, you can get always-on WiFi Skype phones.

If you're going to use Skype the former way, though, you'll need a USB headset, and the FREETALK Everyman is a great, inexpensive choice that recently made its way onto my doorstep and into my daily life.

Unboxing the Everyman

FREETALk Everyman Skype USB HeadsetFREETALk Everyman Skype USB Headset

I was extremely impressed with the Everyman's packaging.  First of all, it arrived from Italy - the land of fast cars and gourmet living - how positively Euro!  The Skype Certified logo lends an air of authenticity.

FREETALk Everyman Skype USB Headset

I was also blown away by how economical the packaging was.  Absolutely nothing unnecessary was included in the box; no stupid clamshell garbage, no packing foam, nada.  Just the headphones safely secured by a cardboard insert and a simple, one page instruction sheet.  Not only Earth-conscious, but hassle-free as well.

Using the Everyman

FREETALk Everyman Skype USB Headset

This headset is truly straightforward and easy to use.  It folds up quite nicely into a neat, flat little space that I'm betting will make it easy to travel with.  The lightness and comfort of the set impressed me; I almost forgot I was wearing it.  The Everyman is easily adjustable to fit even my unusually large dome, so you should have no problem getting comfortable with it.

FREETALk Everyman Skype USB Headset

The small module you see that is attached to the headset allows you to either plug it in via USB, or detach the headphone jack to plug into an iPhone, MP3 player, or similar device.  On my Mac, I simply plugged it in and it was immediately recognized, simple as that.  I appreciated that it was actually recognized as a "FREETALK Everyman" rather than "Joe Schmo Generic Headset."

Audio Quality and Skype Use

The product page on Skype's website states that the "neodymium speakers provide rich full range stereo sound" and that it has "super wideband audio."  Most of you are saying "huh?"  Seriously, at a headset at this price, I wasn't too concerned about the specs.  I wanted it to sound clear on Skype, be comfortable, and be cheap.  Two out of three so far, but how does it sound?

Well, crystal clear, to be simple.  Audio through Skype is as clear as a Swarovski crystal.  It's awesome.  On several outgoing calls (SkypeOut) my call recipients reported excellent audio quality, far better than my previous headset.  I know that's hard to quantify, but trust me!

Music is a different story, however.  I wouldn't recommend these for serious music listening at all.  Their "clarity" makes music sound compressed, tinny, and shrill.  They provide very little bass response and I would not describe the audio output as "rich" one bit.  Although it isn't bad, I would compare the quality to entry level earbuds that come with most MP3 devices.


FREETALk Everyman Skype USB Headset

Overall, if you're looking for a headset that is cheap, comfortable, well-made, and virtually guaranteed to provide a great experience with Skype, the FREETALK Everyman is an excellent choice.  However, I would only recommend them as a dedicated VoIP headset than for music or gaming.  You can snag one for about $20 USD at the Skype Store.  (Note they take a little while to ship, about two weeks to the US.)


Peter, thanks for your review.

As of this past week (Dec.1-4), shipment of Everyman to U.S. customers is coming from a U.S. location and delivery times should now be less than seven days. The only holdup now could arise from keeping stock up to the constantly rising demand levels for the product.

As for music listening - one application where I use it is on my overseas flights for the entertainment centre where it sure beats using the little ear pads given out by Air Canada (who is promoting "keeping it green" by encouraging passengers to bring their own headsets). Let's me choose between my iPhone, BlackBerry or their entertainment centre for passing the time.

You're welcome. It's really a great headset. I can see how it would be very useful for traveling due to its lightness and how well it folds up.

It is a great headset if it works. Had mine for months. It still doesn't work. And, as far as I can tell, there is no tech support. The company did a great job pushing free headsets out to bloggers who would give it the thumbs up without realizing there is no support.

Freetalk did a great job of pushing headsets out to bloggers who gave their new free headset a thumbs up. What apparently they don't realize is that tech support is non-existent, and many who bought the headset have given up ever getting it to work.

@Billbo - What kind of technical problems were you having? The headset is pretty simple, and I would think that it either works or it doesn't. For me, it was plug and go, and has been working flawlessly since day one. I paid for it (they were on sale at the time, I think the total was $22 shipped or something like that) and it was worth every dime.

What kind of system are you on? Linux? Windows? On my Mac it just worked, and in fact, it is recognized as a Freetalk Everyman right off the bat, with no need to install any software. I never tested it on a Windows machine.

@Billbo Report your issue to FreeTalk Customer Support at; they will either ship a replacement (you don't have to send the original on back) or issue a credit at your discretion.

Note that there have been a few cases where the speaker jack was not pushed into the USB dongle far enough, if you have no audio on the headset.

I just ordered one from Skype to find out that......the microphone has a terrible background noise. It sounds like it was raining! It is not the first headset that I use. I would NOT recommend it. Returning it is a BIG hassle. Time consuming, and you will have to pay for the shipping label. Not worth it. Get one at a local store, where returning is not a big headache. Still haven't got a refund...

I have the Everyman Freetalk wireless model HS1000W-R. Got a little quik sheet with the unit written in many languages with very little information. I've looked all over the Internet trying to find some kind of a manual. Have written to the Freetalk people twice with NO reply. Any ideas?

There is no FREETALK Model HS1000-R. But you may have the FREETALK Everyman TALK-5195. You will find the instructions on the site at It's pretty straight forward, no driver or software installation required. Just plug it in, charge the headset, link the headset as shown in the instructions and Skype automatically recognizes it.

Follow-up on my comment from 10 months ago, where I could not get the FREETALK Everyman to work. As much as it hurts me to admit...I did not plug into the speaker jack at all. The instructions and other comments I've read gave me the impression that using the speaker jack was optional...that the USB port handles two-way audio. I accept blame for not carefully reading and interpreting. I also reserve some blame for FreeTalk's lack of clear and readily available customer service. If they are going to market to us dimwits beyond the techno crowd, then they need to do a better job of it.

Oh, and my apologies to Peter for infering that his opinion was colored by receiving a free headset. By his word, he paid for the product he evaluated. To be fair, he was evaluting the product, not the customer service.

The recently revised website now has more support information for all FREETALK Headsets and webcams (note: scroll down on the product pages and you will find a Support tab for each product with access to the Setup Guide and some FAQ's). Also if you fill in the form on the Contact Us page a customer service rep will get back to you within 24 to 48 hours.

With the FREETALK USB there was some confusion on the part of users as to what to plug into what... So for Skype (and other PC audio) plug the USB connector into a USB port; make sure the 3.5 mm stereo speaker plug is plugged into the "USB Converter" jack; it will be identified immediately as the headset to be used on Skype. On the other hand for listening to audio on your iPhone, iPod and BlackBerry, plug the 3.5 mm plug into the device.

(For iPad, provided you have the BlackBerry camera port accessory, there are reports that the Everyman USB will also work with Skype on the iPad. More at

When the USB connector is plugged in whether charging the head set or not I have no sound coming out of my speakers like it does when it isn't plugged in. Seems the plug cuts off the sound to the speakers when plugged in. With the sound off I'm missing the sound of incoming Skype calls. I'm using Windows 7.

i got everyman pro pack before a week, and i am very surprised with its quality/price tag. Though i didn't expect so late delivery (i am in india and i got it delivered after 30 days). The range of everyman wireless is quite good, i could move upto 20 meters without walls and it had same quality, after that it began to decrease. You can also pick up the call right from the headphone by pressing the link key, so no chaos when someone is calling and you're away. The quality of everyman hd camera was also good. Just i am concerned that i am a regular skype user, since this wireless uses rechargabe battery, how long it will last. It is clearly written that it is non-replacable. Any ideas?


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