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Video is great, Audio is Critical for Hybrid Work, Office Work, Work from Home

Regardless of the work model being implemented, video conferencing will be part of the equation. Over the past 17-18 months most of us have participated in a video call over Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, or some other video meeting platform. One thing we’ve learned is that it’s nice to have high-quality video but it’s more important to have great audio.  

Audio is Critical in Video Calls 

To have a productive video meeting, all participants need to be able to hear and be heard. In the early days of the pandemic, there was a massive shift to work from home. Once vaccines were introduced, businesses started developing plans to return to the office. Some leaders have made remote work permanent. While others have strong arguments for why employees need to be back in the office. And some are opting for a hybrid/flexible work model. As organizations navigate this topsy-turvy landscape, they need to focus on developing device standards that will work in the current and future environments.  

Employees need the right technology to stay connected. The challenge is one size does not fit all. Business and IT leaders need to consider a day in the life of the employees in their various roles and work environments. Today team members can join video calls from a dedicated office, an area in their home, a third space, or from pretty much anywhere. Whether or not they turn their video on, they will need to be able to hear what’s being said. And if they speak, they need to be heard by all participants.  

Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been in countless video meetings, mobile calls, listen-only webinars, and online training sessions. Audio has been the most critical part. Even with great video, poor audio quality or no audio can stop a meeting dead in its tracks. It’s critical to have great audio.  

My Setup

My wife and I both have dedicated offices in our home and HQ. After testing several webcams, my wife has selected the Logitech Brio webcam. She will not turn her video on unless she has her Logitech Brio. For audio, she’s been using the Poly Calisto 7200. It’s been discontinued and she’s waiting to switch to its replacement the Poly Sync 40. In the meantime, the Calisto 7200 is working great. I recently decluttered my home office workspace and now have a single 43” curved Samsung monitor. For audio and video, I have opted for the Poly Studio P15 video bar. This is a great option for my environment. The Poly Studio P15 includes everything I need to look and sound my best in video calls: 4K camera with auto-tracking, integrated privacy shutter, speakers, multi-microphone array and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and several nice features like Noise BlockAI and Acoustic Fence. Take a look at this video where I provide a Poly Studio P15 overview, video, and audio test!  

Different Work Environments 

What about different work environments? Call One, Inc. and Hello Direct, Inc. have team members working from our Headquarters in Cape Canaveral, FL, and remotely in different cities and states. We have open office environments, private offices, home environments, small to large meeting rooms, and an operations and warehouse facility. Audio and video device needs will be different depending on the team members’ roles and workspace. It’s not practical to use a speakerphone in an open office or noisy warehouse. First, we’ll take a look at desktop video options, and then we’ll discuss audio devices. 

Desktop Video 

There are multiple options available when it comes to desktop video and webcams. In my blog, Webcams for Business – What to consider I share a list of things to consider when choosing a webcam: Compatibility with Operating System, Supported Video Platforms, Windows Hello Face Support, Video Resolution, Field of View and Auto-Framing,  Autofocus and Auto-light correction, Built-in Microphones, Privacy Shutter, Mounting Options, USB Type Connectivity, and Cable length, Additional USB Ports, All-in-One Video Bars, Device Management, Warranty, and Price. On our YouTube channel, we have a playlist dedicated to Webcams / Video Collaboration Solutions. These videos allow you to learn more about the webcams and see them in action. We also have side-by-side comparison videos. 

Webcams for business

Value Business Webcams – Under $70 

Good/Better Business Webcams – Under $150 

Premium Business Webcams and All-in-One Devices 

Personal Speakerphones 

Speakerphones are great audio devices for team members who work in a private or home office space where their audio will not distract others. Most personal speakerphones are excellent for travel as they are small and portable. Some models include Bluetooth which allows you to pair with a mobile device. This is great for streaming music or having an ad-hoc small group conference call with others. Speakerphones can be connected to a computer via USB-A or USB-C. There are wireless options that provide flexibility as to where you position the speakerphone from the computer. Zoom and Microsoft Teams certified speakerphones are available. Take a look at these USB Speakerphone options available from Poly, Jabra, EPOS, Konftel, Yamaha UC, Yealink, and ClearOne. In our Business Personal and Small Group Speakerphones video playlist, we put these speakerphones to the test and share their features and audio quality performance.  

Two of my favorite personal speakerphones are the Jabra Speak 750 and Poly Sync 20. In this blog, I share my top 5 picks for USB speakerphones.  

Headsets 

At the beginning of the pandemic, we experienced a lot of panic-buying from customers of all sizes and industries as they transitioned from in-office to work from home. Many used “freemium” collaboration apps on their computers and there was a mad dash for any USB headset they could get their hands on. We now have over a year and a half of experience and lessons learned under our belt. What we learned is that our team members need better when it comes to headsets. Business and IT leaders need to understand team members communicate and collaborate in different ways based on their work styles and workspaces. Having the right headset fosters better communication, collaboration, and improves productivity. When team members can hear and be heard when in a voice or video call, work just flows. The first step is to identify what they are connecting their headsets to. Is it a desk phone? Which brand and model? Is it a computer? What softphone or UC platforms are being used? Do they need Zoom or Microsoft Teams certified headsets? Is it a mobile device? Does it support Bluetooth or a 3.5mm plug? Do they need to connect to a combination of those three devices?  

When I was able to travel and go on customer sites, it wasn’t uncommon to walk by a cubicle and see multiple headsets. When I inquired why they had so many headsets, the response often was, “This headset is for my desk phone. This headset is for my computer. And this is the headset I brought from home to pair with my mobile phone.”  

With so many team members working remotely, what are they using? Has it been tested? Is it compatible or certified with the platforms and applications your business is using? How do you know? This conversation can wait for another video and blog I’m working on. We’ll cover device management software and why it’s important for your business.  

Headset Connectivity

Today headsets support single and multi-connectivity. Here is a list of connectivity combinations headsets can support today:   

  • Desk Phone Only 
  • Computer Only
  • Computer + Mobile 
  • Desk Phone + Computer 
  • Desk Phone + Mobile 
  • Desk Phone + Computer + Mobile 

What connectivity do your team members need? Need help? Call One, Inc. can help you identify the right headsets based on connectivity, work environment, and use case. Contact us

Wireless Headsets 

Wireless headsets increase productivity by providing team members the ability to roam away from their workstations. They can answer and end calls right from their headset. This is beneficial in any environment. Those working from home will find being wireless especially beneficial. Wireless headsets allow you to get up and refill your coffee, tend to your children or pets, start a load of laundry, get a snack, get your deliveries, and more! There are multiple wireless operating frequencies in use today however, DECT and Bluetooth are the most prevalent when it comes to headsets. Which is best for your environment? If you need to go further, DECT headsets claim to offer a longer wireless range compared to Bluetooth headsets. Bluetooth headsets can pair to mobile phones which allows you to take calls on the go beyond your office or workspace. Poly Savi 8200 Office and Jabra Engage 65/75 Wireless headsets can easily be converted into hybrid work options. Take a look at this video to learn how

Plantronics Savi 8220 DECT

My Top Picks for DECT Wireless Headsets 

ANC Headsets

Noise continues to be a top distraction in the office and when working from home. A good set of Active Noise Canceling headphones is a great option to help you block out the noise. There are many consumer-grade options available like the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Microsoft Surface Headphones 2. The challenge is they are not designed to work with business communications and collaboration platforms. Leading manufacturers of professional-grade headsets have developed several ANC headset options that are optimized and certified to work with UC platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex. They are available corded or wireless and in multiple wearing styles to include circumaural, on-ear, and in-ear options. Some models even offer boomless-mic options so they look and feel more like consumer headphones. Take a look at this video comparing the mic performance of the Bose 700 UC, EPOS Adapt 660, Jabra Evolve2 85, and Poly Voyager 8200 UC. I feel that headsets with boom-mics provide better transmit audio quality. Check out this video comparing the Poly Voyager Focus 2 and Jabra Evolve 75!

My Top Picks for ANC Headsets 

 Backup Audio Device Recommended

Because work is being done from a variety of environments, employees no longer have immediate physical access to replacement units. I strongly recommend having a secondary/backup audio device wherever they are working. A corded USB headset is a good backup. A good choice would be a USB headset model that does not require software/firmware updates so employees have a truly plug-and-play experience should their primary audio device quit working. The JPL Commander-1, Commander-2, 400-USB Monaural, and 400-USB-Binaural are great inexpensive options as primary or backup headsets.  

Make Informed Purchasing Decisions 

We created our YouTube Channel to help you make more informed purchasing decisions by testing business-grade audio and video solutions in real-world environments. Check out some of our more popular video playlists:  

Conclusion

In the new normal of work from anywhere, hybrid meetings with a mix of in-person and remote participants will be prevalent. Video is awesome however, audio is critical. It’s important to have an audio device that allows the user to hear and be heard. The audio device should align with the individual team member’s work style and workspace. Since 1987, Call One, Inc. has been helping people do their business better. We are authorized resellers of Poly, Jabra, EPOS, Logitech, Cisco, JPL, Yealink, Konftel, and more. We help mid-to-large enterprise customers select the right audio and video devices for their team members. If you would like help, contact us.  

Poly Savi 7300 Office Series great solution for Return to Office

On March 5, 2021, we posted the Poly Savi 7300 Office Series Overview | NC Mic and Wireless Range Test video. It had been exactly a year since Call One, Inc. and Hello Direct, Inc. were sent to work from home due to the global pandemic. Today, we are getting requests for DECT Wireless headsets that achieve better density as some large organizations start heading back to the office.

Businesses are still reviewing and developing post-pandemic work models. Many will implement a hybrid work model that includes both in-office and remote work. For organizations that are going back full time and do not allow Bluetooth headsets on the premises, a dual connectivity DECT wireless headset that does not include Bluetooth is beneficial.

Desk Phone and Computer Connectivity

The Poly Savi 7300 Office Series offer desk phone and computer connectivity. They are compatible with existing EHS cables and Handset Lifter. Included in the box are both USB-A and USB-C cables for connecting to a computer’s USB-A or USB-C ports. The Savi 7300 Office Series are available in four models that include single and dual ear headband wearing styles. There are also Microsoft Teams Certified models.

What is the Savi 7300 Office Series?

The Savi 7300 Office Series is a new range of ultra-secure wireless DECT headsets for connection to a computer and/or desk phone. They do not replace any existing products. A key difference is security. The Savi 7300 Office Series headsets are designed to meet the highest level DECT Security Step C enhanced with Military level FIPS 140-2 listed features, such as 256-bit AES encryption. These are a great choice for financial, medical, government, contact centers, or anywhere sensitive conversations happen.

Acoustic Fence and Microsoft Teams Open Office

Additionally, the Savi 7300 Office Series headset uses a flexible noise-canceling microphone boom with Acoustic Fence technology, so conversations stay private. Acoustic Fence technology uses a second microphone on the ear cup to help identify and reduce background noise. The Savi 7300 Office Series meets the Microsoft Teams Open Office specification.

Microsoft Teams Certified

The Savi 7300 Office Series are the first Poly Microsoft Teams certified DECT™ headset with dedicated Microsoft Teams button. When pressed, the Teams button brings the Microsoft Teams desktop client to the front of the screen. If there is a message waiting or other notification the application will open to that screen – for a seamless Microsoft Teams experience.

Conference Feature for Training

Like all other Poly DECT Wireless headsets, the Savi 7300 Office Series supports multi headset conferencing. You can conference up to 3 additional headsets to a call in progress. This is a great feature for training Customer Service Representatives, contact center agents, or new team members. You can also mix desk phone and softphone calls together via Savi 7300 Office Series.

2x Better Density

The Savi 7300 Office Series makes more efficient use of the available spectrum by using the latest compression and modulation techniques as well as a new codec to provide up to 2x better density (compared to existing Poly and competitor devices) without impacting audio quality. There is no question that wireless headsets increase productivity. A challenge for large enterprises is deploying large numbers of wireless headsets without impacting performance. If you are looking to deploy large quantities of wireless headsets in single location, it’s best to contact an Authorized Poly Reseller like Call One, Inc. or Hello Direct to start a wireless density survey for your location/s.

Complete Audio and Video Solutions

The Savi 7300 Office Series are part of a comprehensive set of endpoints that support your businesses voice, video, and collaboration needs. Poly Solutions support personal and group audio and video devices to include headsets, speakerphones, video solutions, conference, and desktop phones as well as software and services. If you would like to learn which Poly solutions are best for your organization, contact a Call One, Inc. or Hello Direct team member today!

Savi 7300 Office Series Specifications

  • Connectivity: Desk Phone and Computer
  • Wireless Technology: DECT™ 6.0 – North America only
  • Wireless Range: Line of sight up to 590 ft/180 m; Typical office environment up to 180 ft/55 m
  • Security: Designed to meet Security step C – the highest level from the DECT™ Forum
  • Encryption: Military level FIPS 140-2 listed 256-AES encryption
  • Authentication: 128-bit AES
  • Density: Up to 2x more density than other DECT™ headsets
  • Power: Adaptive power control to maximize user density
  • Battery Type: Technician replaceable lithium-ion polymer
  • Talk time: up to 13 hours.
  • Charge time: two hours full charge
  • Standby time: up to 52 hours
  • Noise cancelling with Acoustic Fence Technology
  • Meets Microsoft Teams Open Office requirements
  • Call answer/end, mute volume +/-, power on/off
  • Combined call answer/end and Microsoft Teams button, mute volume +/-, power on/ off (Microsoft Teams version only)
  • In call indicator
  • Multiple voice prompts—chosen language configurable via software.
  • Desk phone, softphone selector buttons
  • Microsoft Teams button (Microsoft Teams version only)
  • Incoming call ringer (configured via software)
  • Plantronics Hub application on desktop
  • Plantronics Manager Pro (Asset Management and Adoption, Health and Safety Suites—see Supported Devices for full list of supported reports
  • Microsoft Teams Certified (Microsoft Teams versions only)
  • Headset Weight
    • Savi 7320 Over-the-head (binaural): 160 g /5.64 oz
    • Savi 7310 Office Over-the-head (monaural): 120 g /4.23 oz

Poly Voyager Focus 2 and Original Voyager Focus | What’s the Difference?

With the announcement of the Poly Voyager Focus 2, we immediately knew there would be requests for a side-by-side comparison with the original Voyager Focus UC. Other than putting a 2 at the end of it, what’s the difference between the original Voyager Focus UC and the new Voyager Focus 2?

The global pandemic has forever changed the workplace landscape. In a few short months, the adoption of cloud platforms and work from home accelerated at light speed. With those changes, came a new set of challenges. Unlike controlled office environments, home environments have children, pets, lawn service, kitchen sounds, loud televisions, and more!

Now enter in hybrid work. Organizations need solutions that will provide a consistent audio experience in the office and in remote location, wherever that may be. The NEW Poly Voyager Focus 2 rises to the challenge by increasing the connectivity options to provide users the options to connect to desk phones, computers, and mobile devices. You can now also use the Voyager Focus 2 via corded USB cable mode. Included is a carry case that allows users to easily transport the headset, dongle and USB charging cable between office and remote locations.

While the original Voyager Focus UC was an awesome solution, the new Voyager Focus 2 is purpose built to meet the challenges of today. Additionally, you can make the most of your meetings with Poly Lens Desktop. A single app for customizing your compatible personal devices to how you work, whether in the home or office. Staying up to date with the latest software is easy as a click, now, or when it suits your schedule. With built-in, customizable health and wellness reminders, you’ll feel better throughout the workday staying hydrated and active. Staying on-task is easier when you mask distractions with our focus audio. Rest easy knowing that help is no more than a click away with guides and contact information.

Poly Voyager Focus 2 Features

  • The ultra-comfortable headband with sling ensures that the weight of the headset is evenly spread across the head – making it comfortable for all day use
  • The plush ear cushions mold to the user’s ear for greater comfort
  • With up to 19 hours of talk time it can be used all day – for both work and leisure.
  • With the audio over USB mode – if users forget to charge their headset they can simply plug in and use as a corded headset – the best of both worlds.
  • The Digital Hybrid ANC reduces the background noise so users can stay focused on the task in hand and not be distracted.
  • The discreet microphone boom with acoustic fence technology ensures that any background noise is not heard by the far end. The noise-canceling works so well it meets the requirements of Microsoft Teams open office premium microphone specification.

Poly Voyager Focus UC Features

  • Works seamlessly across laptops, Bluetooth-enabled desk phones, mobile phones and tablets
  • Smart sensors answer calls by simply putting on the headset, mute by taking the headset off and pause/resume music
  • Enhanced voice alerts announce caller ID, mute and connection status, talk time level
  • Dynamic Mute Alert feature senses and alerts you when you try to talk when muted
  • Smart mic boom: wear on either side and maintain locations of R/L stereo and volume/track buttons
  • Precision tuned triple-mics with enhanced DSP for superior background noise canceling
  • On-demand active noise cancellation so you can focus on your call or work
  • High-quality stereo design provides hi-fi stereo sound and an immersive audio experience
  • OpenMic button allows you to hear your surroundings when you need to
Poly Solutions Voyager 2 Poly Voyager Foucs UC
NEW Voyager Focus 2 UCNEW Voyager Focus 2 OfficeVoyager Focus UC
IDEAL FORProfessionals on calls all day in noisy home or office environments looking for a premium solutionProfessionals on calls all day in noisy home or office environments
VARIANTSSeparate Microsoft Teams skus (with Teams button) and UC skusSeparate Microsoft and UC skus
WARRANTY2 YEARS
HEADSET TYPESTEREO BLUETOOTH HEADSET
CONNECTIVITY OPTIONSVoyager Focus 2 UC: Connects to PC/Mac via new BT700 USB-A or USB-C adapter and a mobile phone via Bluetooth v5.1Voyager Focus 2 Office: Connects to a desk phone (via telephone interface cable), computer (via USB-A cable) and mobile (via Bluetooth) with the Office base.UC version: Connects to mobile phone and PC
BLUETOOTH VERSIONBluetooth v 5.1Bluetooth v 4.0
USB CABLE MODEYESNO
BUSYLIGHTClear dual LED indicatorsLED Indicator
TALK TIMEUp to 19 hrsUp to 12 hrs
WIRELESS RANGEVoyager Focus 2 UC: up to 50 m / 164 ftVoyager Focus 2 Office: Up to 91 m / 300 ftUp to 30 m/98 ft
ANCDigital Hybrid ANC using two digital MEMS microphones and 2 analog ECM microphones with three user settings (Off/mid/high)Feedback ANC Technology
UC & Microsoft Teams CertifiedYes, MS Teams variants include dedicated buttonYes, S4B Upgrade, no dedicated Teams button
MSRPVoyager Focus 2 UC
• Without charge stand $329
• With charge stand $349
Voyager Focus 2 Office
• $459
Voyager Focus UC
• Without charge stand $279
• With charge stand $299
PART NUMBER213727-02 VFOCUS2-M
213726-02 VFOCUS2-M no stand
213727-01 VFOCUS2
213726-01 VFOCUS2 no stand
214432-01 VFOCUS2 USB-C no stand
214433-01 VFOCUS2 USB-C
Additional Skus
214432-02 VFOCUS2-M USB-C no stand
214433-02 VFOCUS2-M USB-C
Office Skus
213729-01 VFOCUS2 OFFICE
214260-01 VFOCUS2-M OFFICE
202652-102 B825-M
202652-104 B825-M no stand
202652-101 B825
202652-103 B825 no stand
211710-101 B825 USB-C no stand
211709-101 B825 USB-C

Conclusion

The Poly Voyager Focus 2 has more and improved features and functionality than its predecessor. This includes a dedicated Teams button on the Microsoft Teams certified variants. The new Focus 2 stereo Bluetooth headset is built to function in today’s new normal of hybrid work and can meet the challenges of the office or wherever you happen to work. Poly’s portfolio of solutions can support all areas of your business communications needs to include personal audio and video devices to include headsets, webcams, speakerphones, and desk phones. As well as all your audio and video device needs for all your meeting spaces! Contact us to learn more about Poly Solutions! Check out this video below where we compare the two headsets directly:

Poly Voyager Focus 2 | Engineered for Audio Perfection

The Poly Voyager Focus UC was launched in late 2015. It set the standard for enterprise headset by offering a comfortable headset with the headband and sling design along with including active noise canceling (ANC) speakers. The Voyager Focus UC has been an extremely popular and a favorite, top-selling headset. According to Persona Research October 2020 Factworks, 94% of workers experience ambient noise during calls – this is up from 71% in 2017. The new Poly Voyager Focus 2 headset creates a “focus zone” around the user thanks to the latest digital Hybrid ANC with three level settings that allow the user to select the right level of noise reduction based on their current environment. The pro-grade microphones with Poly’s Acoustic Fence technology provides 200% better transmit noise reduction compared to the Voyager Focus UC (according to Poly).

A great feature the new Poly Voyager Focus 2 provides is the ability to use as a corded USB audio device. However, with the extended talk time of up to 19hrs, not certain when that will be needed but it’s a nice option to have.

To provide even greater flexibility and connectivity options, Poly offers the Voyager Focus 2 Office variants that allow users to connect to a desk phone, computer, and mobile phone. The Voyager Focus 2 UC variants support computer and mobile phone connectivity.

These models are ideal for professionals on calls all day in noisy home or office environments looking for a premium solution.

Poly Voyager Focus 2 Features

  • The ultra-comfortable headband with sling ensures that the weight of the headset is evenly spread across the head – making it comfortable for all day use.
  • The plush ear cushions mold to the user’s ear for greater comfort
  • With up to 19 hours of talk time it can be used all day – for both work and leisure.
  • With the audio over USB mode – if users forget to charge their headset they can simply plug in and use as a corded headset – the best of both worlds.
  • The Digital Hybrid ANC reduces the background noise so users can stay focused on the task in hand and not be distracted.
  • The discreet microphone boom with acoustic fence technology ensures that any background noise is not heard by the far end. The noise-canceling works so well it meets the requirements of Microsoft Teams open office premium microphone specification.

Poly Voyager Focus 2 Specifications

  • Connectivity
    • Voyager Focus 2 UC: PC via included BT700 Bluetooth adapter or via USB cable; smartphone via Bluetooth
    • Voyager Focus 2 Office: PC via USB-A cable, desk phone via include cable; smartphone via Bluetooth. Headset can also connect to PC via included USB cable
  • Wireless
    • Bluetooth 5.1
      • Class 1, Multipoint connectivity, headset connect to two devices at the same time, remembers up to 8 devices
    • Supported Bluetooth profiles
      • A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
    • Range
      • Voyager Focus 2 UC: up to 50 m/164 ft
      • Voyager Focus 2 Office: Up to 91 m/300 ft
  • Wired
    • Connect to PC via included micro USB cable with audio over USB mode
  • ANC Technology
    • Digital Hybrid ANC using two digital MEMS microphones and 2 analog ECM microphones with three user settings (Off/low/high)
  • Talk/Listen Time
    • Talk Time: Up to 19 hours (ANC off), Up to 16 hours (ANC on)
    • Listening Time: up to 40 hours (ANC Off), up to 24 hours (ANC On)
    • Charge Time: 2 hours for a full charge
    • Standby Time: up to 30 days
  • Smart Sensors
    • Answer calls by simply putting on the headset, mute by taking the headset off and pause/resume music
  • Microphone and Technology
    • Discrete noise canceling boom with Acoustic Fence technology to Microsoft Teams Open Office Premium microphone.
    • Smart discrete microphone boom: wear on either side and maintain location of R/L stereo. Rotate boom up to mute and down to unmute.
  • Headset Controls and Lights
    • Call answer/end, mute, volume +/-, power ON/OFF/PAIRING, ANC: Off, low, high
    • Online Indicator – Two LED indicators on speaker housing shows in a call status.
  • Manageability
  • Certification
  • Warranty
    • 2-year limited warranty included
  • What’s in the box?
    • Voyager Focus 2 UC: Carry case, BT700 USB adapter and charging cable.
    • Voyager Focus 2 Office: Carry case, Office base, Telephone interface cable and USB-A cable
  • MSRP

Benefits

  • Stay comfortable during a full day of calls wearing an ultra-comfortable headband with sling and plush ear cushions
  • Enjoy the simplicity of an easy-to-use headset with smart sensors for answering calls, pausing music and instantly muting calls.
  • Give those around you a visual cue that you’re busy—an online ear cup indicator flashes when you’re on a call.
  • It just works—the smart microphone boom automatically maintains left and right audio no matter which side the headset is worn.

In Conclusion

Poly has done a great job of keeping up with the changing landscape of business communications. In today’s hybrid work world, noise can come colleagues in an open office or a blender in the kitchen from your home office. The need for a headset that will perform regardless of work environment is essential. The Poly Voyager Focus 2 with digital hybrid ANC speakers, microphone with Acoustic Fence technology, and the ability to support multi-connectivity is a solid choice. Watch the video below to see the Voyager Focus 2 in action in an office, on top of a tower and at the beach! To learn more about Poly Solutions for your various work environments, contact us!

Jabra Evolve Series

Jabra Evolve 30 II vs Evolve2 30 vs Evolve2 40 – Which of these headsets is best for your business?

Jabra is a leading device manufacturer for audio and video solutions for today’s work from anywhere world.

One of our YouTube viewers asked to compare the Jabra Evolve 30 II and new Evolve2 30. We took it one step further and included the Jabra Evolve2 40 as well. In the video below we provide a brief over of the differences between these three headset models and include a side-by-side mic test. Which headset do you think performed best?

All Jabra headsets listed in this blog are available in UC and Microsoft variants. The newer Evolve2 series Microsoft Teams certified models include a dedicated Teams button.

Add more value to your investment with future firmware upgrades through enterprise Jabra Xpress or individual desktop with Jabra Direct.

Jabra Evolve 30 II

First available in September of 2016, the Evolve 30 II provided USB and 3.5mm connectivity to support use with computer and mobile devices with 3.5mm headset jack. Due to it’s low cost, it was a favorite among organizations transitioning to unified communications platforms.

SKU#MODELMSRP
5393-823-309Jabra Evolve 30 II Mono MS$77.00
5399-823-309Jabra Evolve 30 II Stereo MS$83.00
5393-829-309Jabra Evolve 30 II UC Mono$77.00
5399-829-309Jabra Evolve 30 II UC Stereo$83.00

Features

  • Optimized for Unified Communication with USB adapter that enables easy integration with your PC.
  • 3.5 mm jack integrated into the control unit allows you to easily connect your headset to your PC, smartphone, and tablet.
  • Certified for Microsoft Teams via firmware update through Jabra Direct or Jabra Xpress
  • Leatherette ear cushions
  • Soft carry pouch included

Jabra Evolve2 30

The Jabra Evolve2 30 series were introduced March of 2021. The Jabra Evolve2 30 Series are engineered to keep you productive. Jabra measured hundreds of heads to engineer a headset that’s 27% lighter (Based on Jabra calculations, compared to Evolve 30.) and extremely comfortable, with reinforced steel headband and a new design that exerts gentle, evenly distributed pressure.

An advanced 2-microphone audio system captures you voice while simultaneously analyzing and reducing background noise, for 12% less background conversation noise on calls. Evolve2 30 meets premium Microsoft Open Office requirements. You must listen to believe it. My opinion based on my tests is that the Jabra Evolve2 30 provides stronger noise canceling mic performance compared to the Evolve 30 II and Evolve2 40.  Look at our initial Evolve2 30 Overview and Mic Test video!

SKU#MODELMSRP
23089-999-979Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-A, MS Stereo$99.00
23089-989-979Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-A, UC Stereo$99.00
23089-999-879Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-C, MS Stere$99.00
23089-989-879Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-C, UC Stereo$99.00
23089-899-979Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-A, MS Mono$89.00
23089-889-979Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-A, UC Mono$89.00
23089-899-879Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-C, MS Mono$89.00
23089-889-879Jabra Evolve2 30, USB-C, UC Mono$89.00

Features

  • Plug-and-play connectivity to your computer via USB-A or USB-C
  • Microsoft Teams certified variants meet Microsoft Teams Open Office requirements.
  • 2-microphone technology for great call performance
  • Professional grade 28mm speakers deliver great sound for an exceptional audio experience.
  • Integrated busylight turns on automatically when you’re on a call, acting as a do-not-disturb sign and protecting your focus.
  • Call management located on speaker. Answer/reject calls; increase/decrease speaker volume; mute (with compatible softphones and collaboration platforms – check compatibility with authorized Jabra Reseller)
  • Available in in stereo and mono variants. Microphone can only be used on right side.

Jabra Evolve2 40

The Jabra Evolve2 40 Series were engineered to keep you on task. In the comparison video below, you will see the Evolve2 40 speakers are larger than the Evolve 30 II and Evolve2 30. In this video you can see a “First Look & Mic Test” of the Jabra Evolve2 40. Put on your Evolve2 40 and feel the noise around you instantly fade. Memory foam oval ear cushions and pioneering new angled design cancel 48% more of the noise around you (Based on Jabra calculations, compared to Evolve 40).

SKU#MODELMSRP
24089-889-899Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-C, Mono UC$129.00
24089-889-999Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-A, Mono UC$129.00
24089-899-899Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-C, Mono MS$129.00
24089-899-999Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-A, Mono MS$129.00
24089-989-899Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-C, Stereo UC$139.00
24089-989-999Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-A, Stereo UC$139.00
24089-999-899Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-C, Stereo MS$139.00
24089-999-999Jabra Evolve2 40, USB-A, Stereo MS$139.00

Features

  • Plug-and-play connectivity to your computer or mobile device via USB-A or USB-C
  • 3-microphone technology for outstanding call performance
  • Noise isolating design. Instant noise isolation for improved focus in noisy surroundings
  • Software integration. Additional features available via Jabra Xpress and Jabra Direct
  • Powerful 40mm speakers deliver richer sound for a more immersive audio experience
  • 360° busylight on both earcups is visible from all angles, acting as a do-not-disturb sign and protecting your focus
  • Move boom arm up to mute or down to unmute or answer call
  • Call management located on speaker. Answer/reject calls; increase/decrease speaker volume; mute (with compatible softphones and collaboration platforms – check compatibility with authorized Jabra Reseller)
  • Available in in stereo and mono variants. Microphone can only be used on right side.

In conclusion

The Jabra Evolve, and now Evolve2 Series are solid headsets with strong audio performance that should be considered for mass deployments or as options in hybrid work environments for home, office, or anywhere work happens to be. To learn more about setting up a pilot or proof of concept with Jabra solutions, contact us! Check out the video below to see the Jabra Evolve 30 II, Evolve2 30 and Evolve2 40 in side-by-side mic tests!

Bluetooth Headsets Hybrid Work

My Top Picks for UC Bluetooth Headsets for Hybrid Work or Work from Anywhere

In our blog, Questions to ask when selecting audio and video devices for Hybrid Work we learned that organizations should understand if their team members setup is the same in their home as in their office.

If your team members use a computer (softphone) and mobile devices in both locations, here is a list of my top picks for UC Bluetooth Headsets for Hybrid Work, Work from Home, or Work from Anywhere. All models listed are compatible and/or certified with all major business communications and collaboration platforms to include Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco and more. All these headsets will pair to your mobile device via Bluetooth and your computer via included USB dongle. Check out this video below on Why you need a USB dongle:

UC Bluetooth Headsets with ANC Speakers

Based off my personal tests and our YouTube Channel viewer comments and feedback, here are my top picks based off overall audio quality, compatibility, ease of use, comfort, & portability. In no specific order:

You can find a complete list of ANC Headset Solutions from Poly, Cisco, EPOS, Jabra, Logitech, and Bose here.

Discreet UC Bluetooth Headsets

If you are looking for a discreet UC Bluetooth headset, here are some you may want to consider.

Poly Voyager Focus 5200 Bluetooth Headsets Hybrid Work

Budget-Friendly UC Bluetooth Headsets

If you are looking for a no-frills, get the job done, UC Bluetooth headsets starting at $159.95 USD, look at these options available in single or dual ear headband wearing styles from Poly and Jabra. Both series support corded USB mode if you forget to charge headset or are experiencing Bluetooth density problems. To help keep you productive and uninterrupted, both offer online indicator/busy lights to show you are in a call. Carry cases are included with all models to make it easy to transport between locations.

See the complete list of UC Bluetooth headsets designed for computer and mobile phone here!

If you would like to learn more about Hybrid Work audio and video devices for your team members, contact us directly Monday through Friday, 8 am – 5 pm ET at 1-800-749-3160 or fill out this form! Don’t forget to ask about our Agent in a Box Service that can help simplify deployments by shipping all the components your employees in need in a single box right to their doorstep anywhere in the US, business, or residential addresses!

DECT headsets Hybrid Work

How to use existing Poly and Jabra DECT wireless headsets for Hybrid Work

Organizations seeking to provide a consistent audio experience for their hybrid workforce have a few questions they need to answer like, “Is their setup the same in their home as their office? If not, what are the differences?” More questions to consider can be found in this blog: Questions to ask when selecting audio and video devices for Hybrid Work.

I will share a couple examples of how to convert headsets you may be using today into a hybrid work solution for audio. Starting with the Poly Savi 8200 Office Series and ending with the Jabra Engage 75/65 Series.

Poly Savi 8200 Office for Hybrid Work

Many organizations have deployed the Poly Savi 8200 Office. However, due to the Savi headset and base, phone interface cable or EHS cable connected to their desk phone, USB cable connected to their work computer, and AC power supply that’s part of the spaghetti of cables under their workstation, it’s not really designed to be “portable”.

The Poly D200 DECT Wireless Savi Adapter can be purchased separately as an accessory to enable PC connection. They are available in in USB-A, USB-C, UC, and Microsoft variants.

To see how to pair your Savi 8200 Series headset to the D200 DECT Wireless Savi Adapter, watch video below!

The other accessory you will need is a charger for the headset or battery depending on which Savi 8200 Office headset model you have.

Jabra Engage 65/75 Series for Hybrid Work

The DECT wireless Jabra Engage 75 and Engage 65 Series are top sellers deployed in thousands of offices nationwide. Enable your Jabra Engage 75/65 or Jabra Evolve USB wireless headset to work as a corded USB device with the Jabra USB-A Cable – 14201-26 that is included with the Jabra Engage 75/65 system. The cable is black with a length of 4.9 ft/ 1.5 m. Leave the Jabra Engage base, telephone interface cable or EHS cable, and AC power supply in the office and take the headset and USB cable to work from home or from anywhere!

If you prefer to leave set up in office intact and not disconnect existing USB cable from the Engage base, buy a spare USB cable for only $23.

There is a prerequisite, you must have installed firmware version 2.0.5 or later (Jabra Direct version 4.x or later is required to install the firmware update) so you can use your Jabra Engage 65/75 wireless headset as a wired USB audio device.

Please note when your headset is connected as a wired USB audio device, call controls and the busylight feature on the headset are not supported.

See the steps to use your headset as a wired USB audio device in the video below!

If you would like to learn more about audio and video solution for the hybrid workforce, please contact us directly. As authorized partners of Poly, Jabra, Logitech, JPL, Cisco, EPOS and more, we can help your business identify solutions to support the multiple use cases across your organization.

See the steps on how to pair a Savi 8220 headset to a D200 Savi Adapter (dongle) and the steps on how to convert an Engage 75 / 65 headset to a wired USB headset in video below!

Questions to ask when selecting audio and video devices for Hybrid Work

As businesses settle into the new normal, some are adopting hybrid and flexible work models where teams and departments split between working remotely and working in office. Models will vary depending on organization.

Due to the massive surge in demand for USB audio and video devices the first few months of the pandemic, established leading brands had a hard time keeping up. Many organizations and people purchased audio and video devices from lesser-known brands and vendors.

Companies are now beginning to establish audio and video device standards after a year of dealing with “whatever was in stock”. Supply Chain is ramping back up and the leaders in the personal business audio and video device space have product flowing once again.

Organizations are looking for high-quality devices that are durable, reliable, easy to set up and use, and are compatible across the major business communications and collaboration platforms. Some IT Teams are also looking into device management software to help them monitor and manage devices remotely.

When it comes to selecting audio and video devices for your team members, it is critical to understand the individual users’ role and their environments. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • Where will they be working? In the office? At home? A combination?
  • What are the noise levels? Quiet, standard Office, Loud? Check out our What’s the Decibel Level Blog and Video.
  • What will they be connecting to? Desk phone (brand & model), Computer, Mobile device, a combination of those, other?
  • If computer (Windows or MacOS, USB-A or USB-C), what communications and collaboration platforms are being used? What is the primary voice platform? Check out this blog and video on What’s the difference between UC and MS Headsets!
  • Is their setup the same in their home as their office? If not, what are the differences?
  • Will they get a set of audio and video devices for each location or are they expected to transport to and from home and office?
  • If at home and their audio or video device breaks or quits working, what is the expectation? Are there plans to supply a secondary or backup device?
  • Do they have ample USB ports?
  • DECT and Bluetooth wireless headsets provide connectivity flexibility and the benefit of mobility. What’s the difference between DECT and Bluetooth and which should you select? Check out this blog and video!
  • Do your IT teams need the ability to monitor and manage devices? Device manufacturers like Poly, Logitech, Jabra and others offer device management software solutions
Jabra Direct Xpress Selecting Devices for Hybrid Work

Authorized partners like Call One, Inc. with over 34 years of experience and a nationally certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Woman Owned Small Business can help narrow down your audio and video device choices. We work hand in hand with all the leading brands to include Poly, Jabra, Logitech, Yealink, JPL, EPOS, and more. Together we can develop customized solutions for your teams wherever they work. You can also take advantage of our Agent in a Box service and have the required components packed in one box delivered to the office or to individual residential addresses nationwide.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation to help you select the right audio and video devices for your organization!

Jabra Evolve2 30 | Outstanding Noise Canceling Headset

In today’s work from anywhere landscape, the Jabra Evolve2 30 is engineered to keep you productive. The headset is lightweight, portable, reliable, and comfortable. With the Evolve2 30, your team can look forward to outstanding calls, superior audio, all-day comfort and noise isolation for instant concentration anywhere.

The Evolve2 30 series is available in USB-A or USB-C, with single or dual ear headband wearing styles and UC or Microsoft Teams variants. There’s an integrated Busylight that turns on automatically when you’re on a call, and you can turn it on manually to signal ‘do not disturb’ mode. But how well does the noise cancelling mic perform? Stick around until the end for a link to our review video.


Jabra Evolve2 30 Features

  • Lightweight USB Business Headset available in UC and MS Teams Variants
  • Plug-and-play connectivity to your computer or mobile device via USB-A or USB-C
  • 2 built-in Microphones filters 12% more background conversation noise for clear, collaborative calls.
  • Integrated Busylight
  • 28mm Speakers for outstanding audio.
  • Future-proof tech that gets better with age thanks to an advanced digital chipset.
  • Noise Isolating Design
  • Reinforced Steel Headband Slider
  • Cable length – 1.5 m / 4.9 ft

Danny’s Opinion on the Jabra Evolve2 30 Series

I was thoroughly impressed with the latest addition to the Jabra Evolve2 Series of headsets and would recommend to anyone looking for a great value on a high-quality USB headset. The Jabra Evolve2 30 is great for use to work from anywhere including contact centers, work from home and in the office. Based on the low cost, light weight, comfort, strong audio performance, and compatibility across all major communications platforms, it’s a winner. The noise canceling mic performance of the Evolve2 30 was so impressive I will be creating another video comparing it to the older Evolve 30 II and new Evolve2 40. For now check out the video below to hear for yourselves how well it performed.

If you would like to discuss deploying Jabra Evolve2 30 in your business, contact center or home office, contact us!

Changes in Poly Contact Center

What Changes Has Poly Seen in the Contact Center?

We are heading into a year of living and working during a global pandemic. One industry that had to make significant changes is the Contact Center space. What changes has Poly seen in the Contact Center space over this past year?

Today we are joined by Richard Kenny, Sr Product Marketing Manager – Contact Center & Unified Communications for Poly (formerly Plantronics and Polycom) to learn about what they are seeing. Below are some excerpts from our discussion. Watch the video to hear the complete discussion.

Danny: What changes has Poly seen in the Contact Center space over the past year?

Richard: This is one of those significant years where a lot of the trends that we’ve been predicting for a while have suddenly accelerated. We’ve always talked about if you move to cloud and then we started talking a little bit about when you move to cloud. For contact centers that’s turned into two different ways of looking at that. There’s hybrid working from a technology point of view. So, you’re mixing your cloud solution and your on premises solution, and then you also you’re looking at hybrid working from a location view…”

Danny: Does Poly recommend different solutions if agents are working from home vs physical contact center?

Richard: So we think that the solutions that people have got in the office will work as well at home.

Danny: What about this one? (New Savi 7300 Series)

Richard: That would be an awesome one! 30% of call centers are in some sort of financial vertical, and they have a really big focus on security.

Danny: Has Poly seen a change in use of video in contact centers?

Richard: It’s huge, is the honest answer. You know, if you could have predicted a perfect timing for the merger of Plantronics and Polycom, that would have been it. The video is taken off extensively. And that video has been seen as a really big tool for helping keep teams engaged, helping keep teams together.

Danny: Has Poly seen an increase in the need for device management?

Richard: There’s twofold reasons for wanting device management. The first one is you sent everybody home so you can’t see what they’re using anymore. The call center has said they don’t want to be big brother but they do want to guarantee the audio quality…”

Danny: Why should contact centers chose Poly?

Richard: We used to ask about remote agents and you used to ask, “How far away is your furthest away agent?” and people would say, “like 50 miles 100 miles.” We’ve managed a headset that is over 200,000 miles away. So we put the headset on the moon with Neil Armstrong. If you think your agents are far away, we’ve done it further. And what that drives in Poly is this idea of durability, reliability, and audio quality. So if you want the best of those, we’ve proved it through the moon program…

To get all the great information Richard Kenny provided that is not in this blog, watch the entire video. If you would like to schedule a proof of concept or pilot of Poly solutions for your contact center, contact us!