This is the same headset with microphone used by NBA courtside broadcasters. Yes, it’s around $250, but instead of the crappy sound from those $19 cheapies at OfficeMax, you’ll sound like a real pro; people will think you are on NPR! The mic travels with your head, making this ideal for people making audio info products, doing radio interviews, and of course generating podcasts.
For casual headset/mic use (like on the phone), I do not recommend this unit. The Beyer Dynamic DT290 is really a pro tool. You will have to understand all of the audio hook ins to sound cards, etc. Not exactly a plug-and-play solution. It is not all that difficult, but for novices, it would be problematic. It is really for those who want essentially pro-quality sound in their radio interviews, audio recordings, etc. It does take some effort and expense to get to the next level, but IMO it is well worth it. Especially if one wants to do lots of podcasts. You get the greatest improvement with upgrading the mic. (For the casual user, the best mic at the moment is the Plantronics DSP 500 — a USB digital headset with mic that gives great, even amazing quality.)
From time to time, you can find the DT290 on eBay. Comes with an XLR connection, but can be modified to use a 1/4 jack.