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What’s the difference between ANC and NC?

By Danny Hayasaka

August 14, 2019

Every day I hear customers requesting “ANC” or “NC” headsets. Some know the difference however many don’t. It’s kind of like “Bluetooth”. To some, “Bluetooth” simply means “wireless”. Whether it’s DECT, 2.4Ghz, 900Mhz is irrelevant to them. They want a “Bluetooth (Wireless)” headset. For this blog, I’m talking about headsets for professional use by Poly (formerly Plantronics), Jabra & Sennheiser.

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Open Office Headset Solutions

By Danny Hayasaka

Noise is a major distraction in open offices today. It becomes extremely challenging for employees to focus on their work. Plus co-worker interruption causes a decrease in productivity as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task.

How many times throughout the day are you interrupted or distracted?

One simple solution is to use an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headset that helps reduce or completely block out background noise (if streaming audio/music).

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How do you choose the right headsets for your organization? Part I

Series by Danny Hayasaka

7/9/18

Having been in this industry for over 19 years I’ve had the opportunity to see the evolution of headsets. Some dismiss headsets as commodities however they are becoming increasingly critical to an organizations business processes and their overall business communications and collaboration strategies.

The headset is how your company’s voice is transmitted to the world. In addition to customers and partners, clear communications are also important internally amongst peers and colleagues. More emphasis should be placed on selecting the right headset if listening to your customers and being able to be heard clearly matters to you and your business.

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Open Office Headset Solutions

By Danny Hayasaka

Original August 23, 2017

Updated Feb 28, 2018

Noise is a major distraction in open offices today. It becomes extremely challenging for employees to focus on their work. Plus co-worker interruption causes a decrease in productivity as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task.

How many times throughout the day are you interrupted or distracted?

One simple solution is to use an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headset that helps reduce or completely block out background noise (if streaming audio/music).

There are different options from multiple manufacturers. All brands offer ANC headsets that are certified/optimized/compatible with all major UC platforms like Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, 8×8, RingCentral, and more!

Each brand puts their own spin on the various models from SmartSensor technology to integrated BusyLight to Boom-less mic options. They also have corded USB variants as well as completely wireless headsets.

Asset Management is becoming increasingly more important. Jabra, Plantronics and Sennheiser all offer Enterprise Headset Management software.

Plantronics Manager Pro (Subscription Service)

Jabra Xpress (Free)

Sennheiser HeadSetup Pro Manager (Subscription Service)

Speak with Call One, Inc. Account Executive to help you identify which model is best for your use case!

These ANC headsets are all USB models. If you would like to use on your “desk phone”, Plantronics models can be connected to desk phone via the MDA 220.

Let’s take a closer look at the individual models

Plantronics ANC Headsets:

NEW Voyager 6200 UC

 

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling earbuds
  • Neckband with Earbuds Wearing Style
    • Single and dual ear options (right and/or left ear use)
    • Have both earbuds out if needed
  • Vibrating Neckband signals incoming calls
  • Up to 9hrs of talk time, 16hrs of Listen Time
  • Dynamic Mute alert feature senses and alerts user when talking while muted
  • Supported via Plantronics Hub and Plantronics Manager Pro
  • Class 1 Bluetooth – up to 98ft wireless range
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Charge base included
  • Connect to PC/Laptop via USB Dongle and mobile devices (Tablet/Smartphone) via Bluetooth
  • Multipurpose button to answer/hang up, play/pause, next track, go back a track

What’s bad?

  • At the moment I’m having a hard time finding something I don’t like

Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC

Variants

What’s good?

  • Dual Mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Boomless Mic
  • Mobile and PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220
  • Listen Time: Up to 24 hours
  • Talk Time: Up to 20 hours
  • Standby Time: Up to 1 month
  • Roaming Range: Up to 98 feet
  • 5mm audio cable connectivity
  • Carrying pouch for portability

What’s bad?

  • 5mm audio cable listen only
  • No USB cable connectivity option

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Wireless Headset

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Talk Time: Up to 12 hours (10 ANC on)
  • Listening Time: Up to 15 hours (12 ANC on)
  • Roaming Range: Up to 150 feet with adaptive power (with Class 1 supported devices)
  • Carrying case for portability
  • PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • No cable connectivity option (i.e. in flight connectivity option, or USB cable connectivity)

Blackwire 725 Corded USB Headset

 

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Connect to Desk Phone and PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth

Jabra ANC Headsets:

Jabra Evolve 75e

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling earbuds
  • Neckband with Earbuds Wearing Style
  • Single and dual ear options
  • Have both earbuds out if needed
  • Listen-in feature
  • Vibrating Neckband signals incoming calls
  • Up to 13hrs of talk time, 14hrs of Listen Time
    • 2hr Charge Time
  • Sweat & water resistant Yes, IP54
  • Integrated red light on the microphone box, activated when on a call or manually by the user when busy, to act as a “do not disturb” signal
  • One tap access to “MS Cortana, Apple Siri®, Google Now™” on the mute/voice button
  • Up to 100 ft. with PCs, up to 33ft with smartphones
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Connect to PC/Laptop via USB Dongle and mobile devices (Tablet/Smartphone) via Bluetooth
  • Multipurpose button to answer/hang up, play/pause, next track, go back a track
  • Magnets in earbuds
    • For easy and comfortable position around the neck. When the earbuds are connected, your music will pause or your call will be ended.

What’s bad?

  • Must be worn in right ear when making calls
  • There have been some audio quality issues when used with Link 370
    • We identified if we connect Link 370 to USB Extension cable it minimizes/solves audio issue

 

Jabra Evolve 80 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • USB and 3.5mm corded connectivity
  • Busy Light (can be manually activated)
  • Microphone boom arm can be integrated into the headband when not on a call or simply listening to music
  • Microphone mute on boom arm
  • Soft pouch included for portability
  • Listen in feature

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth

Jabra Evolve 75 UC & Microsoft variants with or without stand

Variants

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Dual Bluetooth connectivity to Mobile and PC/Laptop
  • USB Cable connectivity supports both receive/transmit and charges at same time
  • Up to 15hrs battery life
  • Hi-Fi Audio
  • Boom arm can be clipped to headband when not in use (also acts as mute switch when boom arm up)
  • Listen-In button
  • Integrated Busy Light
  • First Skype for Business certified headset meeting the requirements for Open Office and Outdoor
  • Great Noise Canceling Mic

What’s bad?

  • Boom can only be on right side

 

Sennheiser ANC Headset

Sennheiser MB 660 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants

What’s good?

  • Dual mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Boomless mic
  • Multiple connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, Audio cable with answer/end button (2.5 mm and 3.5 mm jack plugs), USB cable with micro-USB connector, BT800 USB dongle
  • Battery life: Up to 30 hours
  • Standby time: Up to 15 days
  • Range: Up to 82ft
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Sound Effect modes (via free Captunes App): Club, Movie, Speech, Director – User defined)
  • Nice hard cover carry case for portability
  • Audio quality when streaming music or watching movies via mobile device is awesome!

What’s bad?

  • On/Off done by folding speakers flat
  • I wasn’t a fan of the touch sensors, I like prominent buttons but that’s me

 

Open Office Headset Solutions

By Danny Hayasaka

August 23, 2017

Noise is a major distraction in open offices today. It becomes extremely challenging for employees to focus on their work. Plus co-worker interruption causes a decrease in productivity as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task.

How many times throughout the day are you interrupted or distracted?

One simple solution is to use an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headset that helps reduce or completely block out background noise (especially if streaming music).

There are different options from multiple manufacturers. All brands offer ANC headsets that are certified/optimized/compatible with all major UC platforms like Cisco, Microsoft & Avaya.

Each brand puts their own spin on the various models from SmartSensor technology to integrated BusyLight to Boom-less mic options. They also have corded USB variants as well as completely wireless headsets.

Speak with Call One, Inc. Account Executive to help you identify which model is best for your use case!

These ANC headsets are all USB models. If you would like to use on your “desk phone”, Plantronics models can be connected to desk phone via the MDA 220.

Let’s take a closer look at the individual models

Plantronics ANC Headsets:

Blackwire 725 Corded USB Headset

 

Variants:

  • 202580-01 Blackwire 725, Standard
  • 202581-01 Blackwire 725, Microsoft

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Connect to Desk Phone and PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Wireless Headset

Variants:

  • PLT-202652-01-006 Plantronics B825 Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth Headset with Stand
  • PLT-202652-02-006 Plantronics B825-M Voyager Focus UC Lync Bluetooth Headset with Stand
  • PLT-202652-03-006 Plantronics B825 Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth Headset (No Stand)
  • PLT-202652-04-006 Plantronics B825-M Voyager Focus UC Lync Bluetooth Headset (No Stand)

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Talk Time: Up to 12 hours (10 ANC on)
  • Listening Time: Up to 15 hours (12 ANC on)
  • Roaming Range: Up to 150 feet with adaptive power (with Class 1 supported devices)
  • Carrying case for portability
  • PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • No cable connectivity option (i.e. in flight connectivity option, or USB cable connectivity)

Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC

Variants

  • PLT-208769-01-006 Plantronics 8200 UC Black Bluetooth Headset
  • PLT-208769-02 Plantronics 8200 UC White Bluetooth Headset

What’s good?

  • Dual Mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Boomless Mic
  • Mobile and PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220
  • Listen Time: Up to 24 hours
  • Talk Time: Up to 20 hours
  • Standby Time: Up to 1 month
  • Roaming Range: Up to 98 feet
  • 5mm audio cable connectivity
  • Carrying pouch for portability

What’s bad?

  • 5mm audio cable listen only
  • No USB cable connectivity

Jabra ANC Headsets:

Jabra Evolve 80 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants:

  • JBR-7899-823-109-003 Jabra EVOLVE 80 MS USB Stereo Headset with ANC
  • JBR-7899-829-209-001 Jabra EVOLVE 80 UC USB Stereo Headset with ANC

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • USB and 3.5mm corded connectivity
  • Busy Light (can be manually activated)
  • Microphone boom arm can be integrated into the headband when not on a call or simply listening to music
  • Microphone mute on boom arm
  • Soft pouch included for portability
  • Listen in feature

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth
  • Hefty price tag

Jabra Evolve 75 UC & Microsoft variants with or without stand

Variants

  • JBR-7599-832-109-002 Jabra Evolve 75 MS Bundle including Link 370
  • JBR-7599-832-199-002 Jabra Evolve 75 MS Bundle with Charging Stand
  • JBR-7599-838-109-002 Jabra Evolve 75 Stereo UC Bundle including Link 370
  • JBR-7599-838-199-002 Jabra Evolve 75 UC Bundle with Charging Stand

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Dual Bluetooth connectivity to Mobile and PC/Laptop
  • USB Cable connectivity supports both receive/transmit and charges at same time
  • Up to 15hrs battery life
  • Hi-Fi Audio
  • Boom arm can be clipped to headband when not in use (also acts as mute switch when boom arm up)
  • Listen-In button
  • Integrated Busy Light
  • First Skype for Business certified headset meeting the requirements for Open Office and Outdoor

What’s bad?

  • Boom can only be on right side

 

Sennheiser ANC Headset

Sennheiser MB 660 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants

  • SEN-507092-006 Sennheiser MB 660 UC
  • SEN-507093-006 Sennheiser MB 660 UC MS

What’s good?

  • Dual mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Boomless mic
  • Multiple connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, Audio cable with answer/end button (2.5 mm and 3.5 mm jack plugs), USB cable with micro-USB connector, BT800 USB dongle
  • Battery life: Up to 30 hours
  • Standby time: Up to 15 days
  • Range: Up to 82ft
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Sound Effect modes (via free Captunes App): Club, Movie, Speech, Director – User defined)
  • Nice hard cover carry case for portability

What’s bad?

  • On/Off done by folding speakers flat
  • Hefty price tag

 

Jabra Evolve 75

By Danny Hayasaka

May 2, 2017

It’s no secret that noise and interruptions negatively impact productivity. Especially in open office environments. The chatter from neighboring colleagues can sometimes be too much when you are trying to complete a project.

Enter the Jabra Evolve 75. This wireless headset comes in four variants:

  • 7599-832-199 Jabra Evolve 75 MS Stereo with Charging Stand
  • 7599-838-199 Jabra Evolve 75 UC Stereo with Charging Stand
  • 7599-832-109 Jabra Evolve 75 headset MS Stereo
  • 7599-838-109 Jabra Evolve 75 headset UC Stereo

What’s in the box (Charging Stand Variant): Quick Start Guide, Evolve 75 headset, Jabra Link 370 USB adapter, charging stand*, protective travel case, USB cord (allowing for use while charging)

Set Up and Use on PC: Setting up the Evolve 75 was very simple. Please note microphone can only be worn on the right side. First, charge unit 2.5hrs. Download Free Jabra Direct software (Individual desktop), Jabra Suite for Mac or Jabra Xpress (mass deployment). Plug Jabra Link 370 USB dongle to a PC USB port (allow device drivers to install). Turn on the Jabra Evolve 75 headset. Should connect almost immediately. You can adjust settings via Jabra Direct:

You can also check the status of Link 370 Dongle via Jabra Direct.

To pair to a mobile device via Bluetooth. First, go to your mobile device Bluetooth menu and place into discovery mode. Slide and hold on/off/Bluetooth switch on Jabra Evolve 75 to Bluetooth symbol for 3 seconds to place Evolve 75 into pairing mode. Select Jabra Evolve 75. You should be “Connected”.

 

To mute Evolve 75 simply lift boom arm up. There’s a little button with microphone icon on right speaker towards the top. When I pressed this button, it activated Siri on my Apple iPhone.

Active Noise Cancellation button allows you to eliminate unwanted background noise. The Listen-in feature allows you to listen to your surroundings without taking your headset off. To activate “Listen-in”, press button on the left speaker.

There is an integrated busy light that kicks on when you are in a call. It’s important to educate employees and inform them that when lit up red, the person is “busy” and should not be disturbed. You can manually activate busy light by pressing volume up/down buttons simultaneously. If you are not on a call but need to concentrate.

 

 

I’ve toured some “open office” environments and a solution like the Jabra Evolve 75 is a must in many use cases.

One way to reduce distracting noise in your office… Jabra Noise Guide

By Danny Hayasaka

October 20, 2016

Open offices are great for improved team work and collaboration however with that comes an increase in noise! Yes, sometimes your colleagues become your biggest distractions.

Jabra introduces the Jabra Noise Guide with SoundEar®3 software. It’s a portable device that monitors noise levels and provides visual feedback so coworkers are more aware immediately that they may be distracting others.

There are three light color schemes:

  • Green = acceptable noise levels
  • Yellow = warning noise levels are getting high
  • Red = unacceptable noise levels
  • (Of course it can work in reverse if you want higher noise levels ie. Sales Floor, Green could indicate not enough noise going on)

The SoundEar software defaults to preset “Noisy Office” noise levels. You can also select from “Normal Office” to “Quiet Office” depending on acceptable level of noise in your space. Additionally you can customize and set it to what is best for your office.

The Jabra Noise Guide includes: Noise Guide, USB Key with software, Power Adapter with EU, US & UK plugs, USB Adapter Cable (A-plug to micro-B).

Your office environment will determine whether you obtain a Table Stand or Cubicle Mount.

How does the Noise Guide work?

Noise Guide provides you with 2 types of measurements, simultaneously. The ear symbol indicates the state of the current noise level while the LED panel at the bottom of the device indicates the average noise level over the past 15 minutes.

Software Setup

You will find the software on the included USB Key. When you have installed the software, make sure to check for software updates to ensure that you are always updated with the latest version.

You have three standard settings to choose from:

  1. Noisy Office (Default)
    1. The device is lit green when the noise level is below 60 dB.
    2. The device is lit yellow when the noise level ranges from 60 dB to 70 dB.
    3. The device is lit red when the noise level exceeds 70 dB.Normal Office
  2. Normal Office
    1. The device is lit green when the noise level is below 55 dB.
    2. The device is lit yellow when the noise level ranges from 55 dB to 65 dB.
    3. The device is lit red when the noise level exceeds 65 dB.
  3. Quiet Office
    1. The device is lit green when the noise level is below 50 dB.
    2. The device is lit yellow when the noise level ranges from 50 dB to 60 dB.
    3. The device is lit red when the noise level exceeds 60 dB.
  4. Customized Settings
    1. Allows you to customize settings

There are many options from this GUI in addition to Quick Setup:

  • Setup
    • Device Info
    • Light Settings
    • User Manual
    • About Jabra Noise Guide
  • Measurement Data
    • Live Measurment
    • Measurement Library
    • Import Data From USB

You can now review for peak noisiest hours and depending on where you position units, you can pinpoint which areas of your office are noisiest and when.

I think this is a really cool tool for any business looking to monitor noise levels in their office space.

To learn more go to http://www.jabra.com/business/office-headsets/jabra-noise-guide