Emoji Proposal: Headset

Did you know they just let anyone submit an emoji?

They (The Unicode Consortium) do. And it's pretty simple as well. I decided that in 2020 I would submit something as a personal project. The next time I found myself searching for an emoji that didn't exist, I would just make it myself as practice. This ended up being a combination microphone/headphone audio headset. 

An original image is not actually required to submit an emoji proposal, and many successful proposals use public domain or royalty free images. What is actually proposed is a slot in the Unicode standard where vendors (facebook, apple, etc) can socket in their image. If the is approved for the next emoji release, my icon likely wont appear anywhere. However, I thought it would be an interesting challenge to create an archetypal representation of a modern object.

More information on submitting emoji proposals.

Left: Reference images,  photos and current emoji

Below: Preliminary sketching to get an interesting an recognizable shape


The following is the text submission to UTC, slightly modified.

Proposal for Emoji: HEADSET

Submitted by: COLIN BRANNAN (chat@colinbrannan.ca)

Date: 28 February 2020

This proposal requests the addition of new object emoji to represent the modern audio headset. Headsets are a piece of electronic equipment featuring hands-free listening & speaking hardware for the wearer. They are a common communication tool in both professional and private spaces, and have only increased in use technology enabled communication. The uses of a headset cannot be communicated with current similar emoji.


CLDR Keywords: Headset | Microphone | Headphones | Handsfree


[The image is provided in colour and black & white at 72 x 72px and 18 x 18px sizes]

Sort Location


Objects: phone

Emoji it should come after in that category

After TELEPHONE RECEIVER 📞 (U+1F4DE) and before PAGER 📟 (U+1F4DF)

Selection Factors — Inclusion

1. Frequency
The headset is a common item among a wide breadth of communities where people need to communicate without inhibiting their hands and blocking out surrounding noise. In the professional world it’s common across call centres, aviation, and event staff. We also see the headset as on the sidelines of sports entertainment and is the iconic accessory of online streamers.

2. Multiple Uses
The headset can be used to represent the many roles where they are often used  (see Use in Sequence), as well as the act of online communication.

3. Use in Sequences
Sports Coach (HEADSET + 🏈, HEADSET + ⚽, HEADSET + 🏀).
Person wearing HEADSET (HEADSET + 😀).
Game Streamer (HEADSET + 🎮).

4. Breaking New Ground
Yes, although existing emojis contain a microphone (🎙) and headphones (🎧), these objects have discrete purposes which don’t directly overlap with the headset. Specifically these don’t cover the industrial and professional uses of a headset.

5. Distinctiveness
Modern headsets have distinct uses from a traditional telephone receiver (📞), and current emoji for headphones (🎧) and microphones (🎤 and 🎙) only communicate listening or speaking, but not both together. Specifically these microphone emoji represent an audio performance, but not a dialogue or conversation. In reality, audio headsets come in a variety of styles including 1- and 2-speaker setups, or behind- and over-the-head styles. Headsets can also widely vary in style by use as a home computer accessory or piece of industrial equipment.

6. Completeness
Inclusion of the headset would continue to fill out a series of common home-computer accessories alongside KEYBOARD⌨️,  MOUSE 🖱️, TRACKBALL🖲️, PRINTER 🖨️,  VIDEO GAME 🎮, and OPTICAL DISK💿

Selection Factors — Exclusion

1. Overly specific
A headset emoji would be representative of numerous different brands & styles of headset for a breath of different uses.

2. Open-ended
This emoji would be an archetypal representation of a real object, which gives a reliable space for its use.

3. Already representable
Although the headset contains concepts from other emoji, it has separate and distinct uses which are not accurately communicate by those emoji alone or together

4. Logos, brands, UI icons, signage, specific people, specific landmarks, deities
Any occurrence of the headsets in these places is purely coincidental, as it is such an important part of many people’s daily lives. It is not associated with any specific people, places or characters.

5. Transient
The audio headset has existed for decades, being traced back to , but has become even more popular in recent years with their affordability and shifts in how much time we spend communicating over technology.

6. Faulty comparison
This proposal justifies the existence of headset on its own merits as an important item and does not rely on any existing emoji.

7.  Exact Images
This emoji is not an exact image.

Using Format