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.

In the world of business grade headset manufacturers, there are three main players (Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser) with Plantronics and Jabra currently dominating the space globally.

They are the top vendors for these reasons:

  • Global presence
    • All three brands are available to customers globally through distributors and channel partners in their perspective regions.
    • Global, National and Territory reps
  • Compatibility with all major voice, UC, Contact Center, and collaboration platforms
    • All three manufacturers work hand in hand with the major platform providers to offer solutions that are compatible and include features and functions end users need for optimal experience
  • Service
    • Warranty service (1-3 year coverage) is available depending on brand and model
    • Varying turnaround options available
    • Additional services available for large and global enterprise customers
  • Support
    • Pre- and Post-Sales Support available directly and through channel partners
    • Demo/Eval/Proof of Concept units
    • Wireless Density Surveys
    • Mass deployment support
    • Onsite support
  • Accessories
    • Doesn’t seem like that big a deal, however, “shit happens”. The AC Adapter for your multi-connectivity wireless headset has an unfortunate vacuum cleaner incident which renders your headset useless. It’s important that you are able to purchase a replacement.
    • Some organizations “share” headsets. The ability to issue each employee their own set of ear cushions and headset cleaning towelettes is important
    • What about training-y’s, replacement interface cables, mic screens, voice tubes, charging cables, USB cables, ear tips, etc
  • Large Portfolio
    • One size does NOT fit all
    • Each brand works very hard to develop solutions to support the multiple Use Cases, Personas, Work Styles, User Types & Environments
    • Corded and Wireless Headset options
    • USB speakerphone options
    • Multi-Connectivity options
      • Brands offer solutions for any combination of Desk Phone, Softphone and/or Mobile device
      • DECT, Bluetooth, NFC, USB-A, USB-C, 3.5mm, RJ9 options
    • Different wearing styles
      • Single and dual headband options
      • Over the ear
      • In the ear
      • Behind the neck
      • Convertible options that include multiple wearing styles
    • Security
      • All three brands make security a priority. Government, Financial, Healthcare and other industries that require the highest levels of security can rely on Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser.
      • All are members of the DECT Forum and have solutions that are Security Certified
    • Support all budgets
      • All brands offer value to premium options
    • R&D
      • Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser are continuously investing heavily in R&D to produce better solutions beyond headsets to support the ever-evolving communications and collaboration landscape.
    • Headset Management Software
      • As headsets become more prevalent, it’s become more critical to manage them.
      • IT Help Desks are experiencing an increase in help desk tickets requesting support for headsets
      • Headset Management Software can help IT Departments mitigate many issues before they arise
      • Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser all offer Headset Management Software

Above are some of the reasons why Plantronics, Jabra, and Sennheiser are currently the top vendors however there are a plethora of other headset manufacturers/brands. Some notable brands: Logitech, Microsoft and most recently Cisco.

Other brands: Addasound, Accutone, Axtel, ClearOne, JPL, Yealink, VTech, Spracht

Point is there is no shortage of options however you should consider bullets I listed before you begin your journey to choosing the right headset for your organization…

 

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