In-ear headsets are designed to be worn in the ear. They unavoidably come into contact with secretions from glands in the ears, which is why in-ear headphones are regarded as a sanitary product and thus are subject to different regulations than standard headphones. As soon as a pack of in-ear headphones has been opened, you should assume that it has been worn for a short time and therefore cannot be returned. This is not a problem if the headset is faulty.
In contrast, standard headphones only sit on the ear and do not come into contact with the inner ear. There is therefore no risk of contamination. Replacement is thus not a problem.
Hygiene with rented headsets
To solve the issue of hygiene when renting or buying, we recently started offering our TOM-Audio PH-04 as disposable headsets. They are very popular as they are distributed once and do not need to be collected and treated. Your guests can either dispose of them or continue to use them for some time. However, the disadvantage of these products is that they produce waste and consume resources unnecessarily. The audio quality of these headsets is also limited. As we are committed to sustainability, we prefer to rely on reusable headsets. They generate no waste and the audio quality is noticeably better. Following the rental of our Tour Guide Systems the on-ear handphones and headsets are professionally cleaned and disinfected after use. If our rented tour guide systems will be used for multiple guided tours, we supply alcohol-free disinfectant wipes specifically designed for use with headsets. They can thus be disinfected between uses.
Conclusion: not all headsets are hygienic products. It depends on the type of headset.