NEW EncorePro Digital Series – What are the main changes?

By Danny Hayasaka

November 21, 2016

Plantronics introduced their new Plantronics EncorePro Digital Series, EncorePro USB Series headsets and the DA90 USB to 6pin QD adapter. I finally got my hands on some. To see what they are all about.

These are all the current available EncorePro variants:

At first glance they look like exactly like the current EncorePro Series variants so what’s the difference? What are the main changes?

 

  • Digital Memory
    • Model Number
    • Serial Number
    • Headset Inventory management support when used with Plantronics Manager Pro software (subscription service)
  • 6 Pin QD Connector (EncorePro Digital variants)
  • True Stereo for binaural models

One of the main points you need to be aware of is that currently, the NEW EncorePro Digital Series have a 6-Pin QD which currently only connects to DA90.

There are some accessories coming that will allow end-users to connect standard EncorePro Series to DA90 (4 to 6 Pin Adapter) and NEW EncorePro Digital series to connect to DA70/80 (6 to 4 pin adapter). Plus there is a 6-Pin Training-Y Cable on the way.

More and more companies are adopting/deploying softphones or web-based collaboration tools that require USB headsets. Someone has to support those devices. Because of the applications/platforms being used, it typically falls on IT to manage and support those assets.

I think Plantronics is on the right track as they look forward. These new EncorePro Digital Series along with the DA90 and Plantronics Manager Pro empowers IT Managers with easy-to-use tools to monitor, manage, and maintain every Plantronics headset across the enterprise.

 

What devices do I use to communicate and collaborate?

By Danny Hayasaka

November 17, 2016

I write a lot about multiple devices and solutions and I am often asked, “Since you get to choose whatever you want…what do you use?”

The answer… it depends on which Partner is onsite visiting. J

Seriously though, I do get to try multiple devices from multiple brands/partners and I do have my pick. First, let me talk about my communications and collaboration environment.

I have a private office but I also spend time out on the sales floor. My main modes of communication are my Dell PC with wireless Logitech K350 Wave keyboard/ MX Master mouse and Mobile phone (Apple iPhone 6s Plus). You’d be amazed at what a difference a good keyboard and mouse can do to improve/increase productivity. I use Microsoft Lync/SfB on PC for voice and video calls. Additionally, I have access to Skype, Google Hangouts, Fuze, RingCentral, Zoom and others.

I have Sennheiser SP10 ML USB, Jabra Speak 510 and Konftel Ego speakerphones but currently using the Sennheiser SP10 ML for speakerphone calls.

I have been using the Plantronics Voyager 5200 UC for my mobile calls and when I switch from speakerphone to headset.

I flip between Logitech C930e and Microsoft LifeCam Cinema webcams. I also have the new Logitech C925e but I stick between the C930e and Cinema. Main difference between those two models? Field of view. The Logitech C930e offers a 90 degree field of view. The Microsoft LifeCam Cinema offers a 73 degree field of view. If I am having video call and I have 3-5 other people in my office, I use the Logitech C930e. If I’m the only one on video, I’ll use the Microsoft LifeCam Cinema.

When I leave the office, my mobile phone is my primary communication device which means the Plantronics Voyager 5200 UC goes with me. The four-mic array and adaptive DSP along with six layers of Plantronics unique WindSmart technology have greatly improved noise cancelling feature compared to past models. Whether I’m walking the sales floor, in my car or in a noisy airport my voice can be heard.

So there you have it. For the moment here’s what I use:

Plantronics MDA100 QD – connect Plantronics Headsets to Desk phone AND PC

By Danny Hayasaka

November 17, 2016

Let’s get right into it. First I’m happy Plantronics FINALLY developed their own Desk Phone/PC switch. The MDA100 QD allows Plantronics QD headsets to connect to a desk phone and PC. In today’s world it’s absolutely essential to have dual connectivity. We do so many things on our PC’s now. Many organizations have hybrid voice and UC platforms meaning they have desk phones as well as soft phones and other web based applications that require audio like streaming media, webinars, and video calls.

Plantronics MDA100 QD 205255-01

What’s in the box: MDA100 QD Switch, Desk Phone Cable, USB Cable, 10 foot Coil Plantronics QD (Quick Disconnect) Cable, Set Up Guide

Set Up and Use: Set up is fairly straight forward. Connect desk phone cable to desk phone port on MDA100 QD and the other to either the “headset” port on your desk phone or directly into the handset port. Next connect the USB cable to the micro USB port on MDA100 QD and the USB cable to a USB port on your PC. (Make certain to go into your PC’s Control Panel > Sound > MDA100 > Make Default > Default Communication Device > Apply – For a Mac: System Preference > Hardware > Sound > Output/Input/Sound Effects > MDA100). Connect modular portion of 10 foot coil cable to headset port on MDA100 QD and connect Plantronics QD headset to QD connection.

There are six switch settings on the no-slip bottom of the MDA100 QD. (A, B, C, D, E, F). Select through the switch settings until you hear dial tone on phone. Make certain switch is switched to desk phone.

In order to get audio from PC, select PC on MDA100 QD.

Other nice feature is the Mute Button.

This works great with Plantronics QD headsets. Also tried with Plantronics CS540. Although it works, you will not have remote answer/hang up option. You must answer/hang up via desk phone. If you are in need of Desk Phone and PC connectivity with remote answer/hang up option, go with Savi 700 Series and optional EHS Cables or Handset Lifter.

The MDA100 QD is compatible with all major desk phones and softphones, PCs and Macs. PLUS if you have Plantronics Manager Pro subscription you can manage your MDA100 QD inventory.

 

 

Logitech B910 HD Webcam Review

By Danny Hayasaka

November 2, 2016

Logitech produces multiple models of webcams. They offer “consumer” models as well as “business” models.

For this series, I will focus on “Business” models as our company focuses on providing solutions to businesses.

Logitech offers these four webcams plus the PTZ Pro for Business applications.

Yes, many of the “consumer” models look identical to the “business” models so what’s the difference?