Using a USB headset for Google Meet calls is finally getting simpler
Published: August 16, 2022
Hooking up a USB accessory such as a headset or microphone for a Google Meet call is set to get a lot easier at last thanks to a new update to the service.
The video conferencing platform has revealed changes that will allow users to have much greater functionality whilst using such devices.
Going forward, users will be able to toggle between mute and unmute using headsets, speaker microphones, and other USB peripheral devices.
Users can also employ LED color changes on a USB device to determine whether they are or aren’t muted, hopefully removing any chance of accidental hot-mic utterances.
The feature is only available in Chrome or Chromium-based browsers, so along with Google's own browser, the likes of Microsoft Edge, Brave, Vivaldi and Opera will also be supported.
Sadly Bluetooth devices aren't supported just yet, and Google does note that user experience "may differ from device to device". The company did provide a list of Meet-certified headers and speaker microphones, with products from Poly, Jabra, Anker and Bose among the extensive list.
"Video conferencing has become a cornerstone of the hybrid work experience, with Google Meet boosting communication and collaboration for teams of all sizes," the company noted in a blog post(opens in new tab) announcing the update. "This also means people consider the use of peripheral devices—from headsets, speaker mics, mute buttons, and more—essential to their video meeting experience."
Google added that this upgrade is only the first in what it hopes is a series of new changes to Meet, saying that it plans to expand the functionality to muting video, ending a meeting, and more in the future.
Rolling out now, the change is available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers.
The update should bring Google Meet slightly closer to its great rival Microsoft Teams as the battle for video call supremacy continues.
Microsoft recently revealed users can now use a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone to answer or end a Teams call, as well as answer, end, or put the call on hold during the initial rollout - all without needing a USB dongle.
My Take: This is something that should have been sorted out a long time ago.