Posts

Headset Compatibility is Important

Sennheiser MB 360 Banner

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.

Read more

Differences between CS500 and Savi Series Headsets – Video

 

Overview of the differences between these very popular models of headsets from Poly (formerly Plantronics). Let us know if you have any questions about these headsets!

Plantronics Savi 8220 – DECT Wireless Headset with ANC

By Danny Hayasaka

November 12, 2018

Plantronics has added the Savi 8200 Series to their lineup.

This solution is recommended for the connected executive, office collaborator and contact center supervisor who need to collaborate across multiple communication platforms (desk phone, softphone and mobile phone). They need a single headset system to seamlessly manage calls with the added flexibility to roam more freely in the enterprise office or contact center, focus in noisy environments with active noise canceling (ANC) and maintain the best audio on both sides of the call.

Read more

My USB headset isn’t working… “Have you updated the firmware?”

By Danny Hayasaka

January 21, 2016

We get lots of calls from customers who claim their USB headset isn’t working. One of the first questions we ask is, “Have you updated the firmware?” Most issues are corrected once customers download the software and update the firmware.

Yes, you need to download the appropriate software when you purchase a corded or wireless USB headset from Plantronics, Jabra, VXi and Sennheiser. Jabra and Plantronics also offer an Enterprise solution that allows IT to manage remotely versus going from station to station making changes.

Here are links that will direct you to the current software downloads:

Most also have software for Mac.

Here are some of the feature/functions that USB headset software offers (go to each link for specific details on the various software and supported devices and softphones):

    • Change device settings
    • Visible mute and battery status
    • Readiness Status
    • Device-level call control with call answer/end, mute, and volume adjust
    • Compatibility for a broad range of softphones
    • *Remote Call Control (Answer/End Call, mute, redial etc) from the headset
    • Readiness Status
    • And More!

Most of the software offers a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to “see” what you are connected to and status.

The GUI also allows the end-user to quickly make device setting changes.

You can quickly and easily make device setting changes with a few clicks.

The main point is if you are experiencing issues with your Plantronics, Jabra, Sennheiser or VXi USB headset and haven’t downloaded the software and updated firmware… that may be the issue.

 

“What is the best Bluetooth headset?”

May 28, 2015

By Danny Hayasaka

I’m often asked, “What is the best Bluetooth headset?” The answer is always, “That depends”.

Let’s first understand Bluetooth. Bluetooth isn’t a mystical, magical power. It’s short-range wireless technology. There are currently three main wireless range categories for Bluetooth.

  • Class 3 – up to 3ft range
  • Class 2 – up to 33ft range – Most commonly found in mobile devices
  • Class 1 – up to 300ft – certain commercial grade Bluetooth headsets offer this range

Additionally, there are various versions, profiles and protocol stacks. Perhaps in another blog, we can get into those. For now, let’s focus on Bluetooth headsets.

Like any other communications and collaboration device, the use case will determine which headset is most appropriate. Because our company focuses on B2B, I’ll narrow my options to commercial/professional grade products. There are a TON of consumer-grade Bluetooth headsets available. I focus on business communications devices.

We’ll need to understand the environment. Is user in private office, open office, car, airport, coffee shop, etc.? Additionally we’ll need to understand the application, is it FaceTime, Skype, Google + Hangouts or is it an enterprise-grade UC platform like Microsoft Skype for Business/Lync, Cisco Jabber, or other. In addition to a mobile device, will the user need to connect to a PC or laptop? What about a desk phone?

How, what, when and where to start to determine which Bluetooth headset will be the better fit. Additionally, personal wearing style preferences also help you to choose.

Here are some suggestions for Bluetooth headsets based on use case:

  • Commercial Drivers or users in very noisy areas will require strong noise canceling mics and extremely long talk times. There are no better than VXi when it comes to noise canceling mics and 20+Hrs of talk time:
    • VXi BlueParrott Bluetooth Headsets (single connectivity however you can order VXi BT2 USB Adapter for connectivity to PC/Laptop)
      • VXi B350-XT+ (24hrs talk time)
      • B250-XT+ (20+ hrs talk time)
    • Microsoft Skype for Business/Lync Mobile Users – Laptop and Mobile connectivity
      • Plantronics Voyager Edge UC-M (B255-M)
      • Plantronics Voyager Legend UC M (B235-M)
      • Jabra Stealth UC-MS
      • Jabra Motion UC-MS
      • Jabra Motion UC+ MS
      • Sennheiser Presence UC ML
    • Unified Communications (Cisco, Avaya, etc.) Mobile Users – Laptop and Mobile
      • Plantronics Voyager Edge UC (B255)
      • Plantronics Voyager Legend UC M (B235)
      • Jabra Stealth UC
      • Jabra Motion UC
      • Jabra Motion UC+
      • Sennheiser Presence UC
      • VXi VoxStar UC

Phone or Headset in Lync environment?

June 26, 2014

By Danny Hayasaka

I remember the planning days when we decided to make the switch from an old Inter-Tel phone system to Microsoft Lync. Even though we were using headsets attached to our desk phones, we still felt it necessary to provide employees with desk phones and headsets.

I believe it took about three months, before the majority of our employees removed the phones off their desk. In a 100% Lync environment, a headset and webcam are all you really need. Of course some folks still can’t make the transition so they must have a desk phone.

The key to knowing whether or not you provide a desk phone, is understanding employees’ roles and how they “work” on a daily basis. In addition to Lync, do they have mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) they have to connect to?

I personally get to test/evaluate many of the devices for Lync so my desk and book shelf are full of multiple products from various manufacturers (Yes, I love what I do).

The way I work, requires me to pair to my PC for Lync calls as well as my mobile phone. Great products that provide that connectivity are the Jabra Motion UC+ MS, Plantronics Voyager Legend UC-M (B235-M), Sennheiser Presence UC ML, and VXi VoxStar UC. All these models allow me to pair to my PC via Bluetooth USB Dongle and my mobile phone via Bluetooth. Regardless of where call comes from (PC or mobile) I can answer with one headset. Additionally, at the end of the day, I can drive home and use same headset for hands-free driving.

However, there are still areas of an organization that require something other than a headset. For example, conference rooms, training rooms, etc. require conference phones or conferencecams. Polycom and Logitech make great Lync optimized devices for those areas like the Polycom CX5100, CX5500 or even CXC8000. From Logitech you have the BCC 950 and CC3000e ConferenceCams.

As I mentioned earlier, some folks will NOT wear a headset and MUST have a phone. Fortunately there are Lync optimized IP phones available from Polycom, HP and Aastra. Then there are a host of Lync compatible phones from AudioCodes, Spectralink, Polycom and Snom that offer multiple features.

How each individual employee works should dictate which device is best. It’s important to seek out a device-centric vendor who specializes in Lync optimized/compatible devices that can guide you through the MANY options that are available and help with best practices. If the vendor uses Lync themselves, like Call One, Inc. it’s a plus!

Logitech Wireless Headset Dual H820e – Review

May 7, 2013

Received the New Logitech Wireless Headset Dual H820e – Optimized for Microsoft Lync

Set Up – Very easy. Only two cables: power and USB cables – The “W” and “N” is Wideband and Narrowband switch.

 

Use – Very simple design. The base is heavy and solid feeling.

  • Answer/Hang Up Button on the back of microphone boom – When engaged in a call, back of boom lights up to indicate in use
  • Mute switch also on the boom. When depressed, small red light on tip of Mic boom lights up red. Not certain how useful that is since when you are wearing the headset, it’s tough to see the tip of the mic
  • Volume Up and Down is two separate buttons and are shaped differently to help you differentiate. Nice feature
  • Lync Optimized – Software/Drivers install automatically – and becomes selectable audio device option via your Lync client
  • Audio Quality – The audio quality is good. I experienced no major issues – you can hear me breathing as I was walking up/down stairs. Noise canceling is “ok” however anyone speaking in normal tone nearby can be heard.

Concerns –

  • Weight – as I mentioned, the base is heavier than most wireless. I’m concerned as to what that will do to shipping costs for larger deployments/orders
  • Service – We haven’t been selling Logitech products long and to date, I’m not fully versed in their service offering. Basically, what happens if the headset breaks within the first 30 days, 30+ days and after the warranty expires
  • Accessories – Not currently aware if there are available accessories, i.e. spare headset, spare ear cushions, ac adapter, USB cable
  • Battery Life – Again, new to wireless line of headsets, not certain how long a battery life when it comes to Talk Time as well as just how long before the battery will need to be replaced – which goes back to accessories – also, does H820e series have field replaceable batteries?
  • Only Headband Style Options – No Convertible Model
  • Only USB connectivity – No multi-connectivity variant/s

Conclusion

This is simple to set up and use headset. Because it connects only via USB, you’re limited to PC only applications. While more and more businesses are shifting to VoIP softphones or UC platforms, there are still plenty of hybrid platforms out there with a desk phone and PC based voice applications. (and let’s not forget the mobile space of laptops, tablets & smartphones. This is not a mobile employee (road warrior) solution as it requires AC power to operate.

The range was good, the audio quality good. Easy to use.

The challenge is Plantronics and Jabra have been out there promoting, pushing complete UC portfolios for many years now so unlike the first couple of years where Plantronics and Jabra were relatively unknown in the IT space, they are now the top two UC device players when it comes to headsets, especially wireless.

Because Logitech is bigger than both Jabra and Plantronics, you certainly cannot dismiss their attempt at entry into the headset world.