Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've noticed that the mayority of the well-known brands (Sennheiser, Logitech, Plantronics, Razer, SteelSeries, Audio-Technica, Phillips, etc) tend to make headsets with the microphone on the left, is there any UX related reason for that tendency? If not, what's the reason of that choice?

The position of the mic would be equidistant to the the mouth when placed on the right side, so there's no difference when recording.

My improbable theories:

1) Maybe it could be useful for people who eat (or make something using with their right hand and mouth, like smoking) while wearing their headphones, supposing that the person is right-handed(what it's true in most cases) and the mic is neither in front nor too close to their mouth.

2) I think we usually align our body more to the left side of the keyboard (centered between 'g' and 'h' keys or so, and probably to center of monitor too, to avoid neck tension) for writing comfortably, and right-handed ones place the mouse on the right, so the mic on the left could go along with the "left side weight" and avoiding the possible sensation of the microphone "being in the middle". This theory is enhanced in the case that the cable is not divided in two to reach each side and just reach the side where the microphone is placed, so the cord will hang closer to that side and not centered to your body.

share|improve this question
Apple earbuds, one of the most-worn headphones [citation needed] with mic have it on the right. –  msparer Jul 3 at 10:14
rewobs, as worded right now this question is likely to generate a lot of discussion and not many useful answers. Is there a specific problem you are facing regarding the placement of microphones on headsets? –  Joshua Barron Jul 3 at 13:50
my headphones have mic on right. haha. –  colmcq Jul 3 at 15:11
Related meta discussion: meta.ux.stackexchange.com/q/1650/24775 –  Chris Jul 3 at 16:08
It is an industry standard to feed the cables from the left side, maybe that includes the microphone? I mean, given that the mic wire would have to run extra distance if it were placed on the right, it would make sense for it to be on the same side as the rest of the wires. –  JOhkobrew Jul 3 at 16:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.