Tag Archive for: Jabra

Video Enable All Meeting Spaces 

As business leaders wrestle with decisions to return to the office, remain remote or adopt a hybrid work model, the reality remains that how people work and collaborate has changed. Leading platform vendors like Microsoft and Zoom continue to evolve and introduce new features to improve collaboration regardless of whether people are in the room or remote.  

Video conferencing device manufacturers are also evolving and developing new solutions that make it easy to video enable all meeting spaces, small to large.  

From Your Desktop 

Team members who join meetings from desktops have several options, including corded and wireless headsets, speakerphones, webcams, and all-in-one audio/video devices.  

Wireless headsets are available in DECT or Bluetooth. DECT headsets offer stronger security and typically longer wireless range while Bluetooth headsets support connectivity to multiple devices. Corded USB headsets are a great option since they generally are plug-and-play and simple to use. 

ANC headsets are a great option if you work in a noisy environment. ANC headsets include true wireless earbuds, on-ear, and over-ear options. There are also different boom mic options, from boomless mics to retractable mics.   

USB Speakerphones can be simple or include a long list of features to support however you work. Speakerphones are an excellent alternative for whenever you don’t want to wear a headset. They are also portable, many support Bluetooth, and can connect with your computer and mobile device.  

Webcams are available to support all use cases and budgets. Things to consider when selecting a webcam include:  

  • Compatibility with the operating system 
  • Video platforms supported 
  • Windows Hello support 
  • Video resolution 
  • Field of View (Fixed or Adjustable) 
  • Auto-Framing 
  • Auto-Focus 
  • Light Correction 
  • Built-in Microphones 
  • Privacy Shutter 
  • Mounting Options 
  • USB-A or USB-C 
  • Cable length 
  • All-in-one 
  • Warranty 
  • Additional features 
  • Price 

Logi Dock for Desktop 

The Logitech Logi Dock is a new category of devices. Logitech describes this as an All-in-one docking station with meeting controls and a speakerphone. Used in conjunction with Logi Tune software, you have a powerful device that allows you to join meetings across different platforms at the press of a button. The Logi Dock is a must-have to help increase productivity in your home or independent office. Watch these videos to see the Logi Dock in action! There is nothing else on the market that compares.  

Video Enable All Meeting Spaces

All-In-One Solutions  

All-In-One video solutions are convenient, and an inexpensive way to video enable small to large rooms. All-In-One solutions are available as simple USB audio & video devices (imagine a big webcam with microphones and speakers) or can be used with an in-room PC or placed into Appliance mode, depending on the model. Your in-house teams can typically install these, saving money on installation fees. These solutions support the latest features available for Microsoft Teams Rooms and Zoom Rooms, including Microsoft Teams Room Front Row, Touch-enabled display solutions for Teams Rooms, Zoom Rooms for Touch, Digital whiteboarding, Zoom Smart Gallery, and more! 

Some models have a wide range of peripherals that can be attached to enhance the collaboration experience. Peripherals include analog whiteboard cameras, touchpads, extension mics, and more!  

Video Enable All Meeting Spaces

All-in-One devices have extended beyond a video bar. Brands like Poly, DTEN, and Neat offer solutions that include a camera, microphones, speakers, and a display for personal and group use.  

Contact an authorized reseller to schedule a virtual demonstration to see the solutions in action! 

Video Bundles 

Video bundles include all the necessary components as separate items to support placement flexibility depending on room size and configuration. Video bundles may include a camera, microphones, speakers or a camera, speakerphone (mics, speakers, dial pad), and extension microphones.  

Some use cases require an independent speakerphone that can be used in video meetings or support voice-only calls.  

Video bundles for personal use include a webcam+ (corded or wireless) headset or webcam + speakerphone. Video bundles are conveniently packaged in a single box to simplify deployments. Examples include the Konftel Personal Video Kit and Poly Studio P5 Kits.  

Microsoft Teams Room and Zoom Room Bundles 

Microsoft and Zoom have strong relationships with hardware partners who develop solutions designed to support a wide range of spaces with Microsoft Teams Rooms and Zoom Rooms licenses. It’s important to note that you must have the appropriate Microsoft Teams Rooms or Zoom Rooms Licenses and use recommended and certified Microsoft Teams Rooms or Zoom Rooms Hardware to access all the available features.  

Logitech Video Conferencing Video Enable All Meeting Spaces

Wireless Presentation and Conferencing  

Some solutions support wireless content sharing and conferencing and are compatible with most of the leading video conferencing device manufacturers. These solutions allow you to wirelessly share content, turn a dedicated platform meeting room into a BYOD space or take over the USB peripherals from your laptop. Examples of these solutions include ScreenBeam and ClickShare by Barco.  

Make it easy to join a meeting 

There are so many options to video-enable meeting spaces of all sizes. Ultimately, it comes down to what you want team members and partners to accomplish while in that space. The easier it is to use the technology in the room, the more productive meetings will be. Make it easy for anyone in your organization to join a meeting.  

Call One, Inc. has been in business since 1987. We entered the audio and video conferencing space in 2003. We partner with leading brands, including Logitech, Poly, Jabra, Konftel, Yealink, JPL, DTEN, Neat, and more, to help organizations video-enable all their meeting spaces so they can do their business better. How can we help?

Consumer vs. Business Audio and Video Devices

Consumer vs. Business Audio and Video Devices 

Regularly I’m asked to review a variety of audio and video devices, including consumer products. I often respond that the Call One, Inc. YouTube Channel focuses on solutions designed for use with business communications and collaboration platforms from Microsoft, Zoom, Cisco, 8×8, RingCentral, etc.  

Microsoft Teams Devices banner 2

Packaging, Warranty, & Multi-Connectivity 

Most people don’t realize there are differences between consumer and business audio and video devices. Some differences are subtle, like the packaging to support mass deployments and extended warranty periods. Another difference is the inclusion of a Bluetooth dongle with UC Bluetooth headsets to improve connection stability, audio quality, and compatibility and provide remote call control. Leading device manufacturers also offer multi-connectivity solutions to support a broad range of use cases.  

Consumer Business Audio Video Devices

Compatible and Certified 

Business audio and video device manufacturers work directly with leading business communications and collaboration platform providers to develop compatible and certified solutions, so end-users have a great experience with setup, use, and performance.  

Consumer Business Audio Video Devices

Device Management Software 

A critical difference that has become increasingly important in today’s remote and hybrid work world is device management software. Businesses spend thousands to millions of dollars on audio and video devices annually to empower and enable their employees to be productive wherever they are working. How do business leaders know where the devices are and if they are being used? Device management software allows IT teams to remotely provision, monitor, troubleshoot, and manage devices.  

Depending on the brand and suite of products, some device management software offers analytics and actionable insights that can be highly beneficial for understanding user adoption, call analytics, room usage, and more! 

Poly Lens devices Consumer Business Audio Video Devices

Organizations need to consider developing audio and video device standards that provide device management software from these leading global brands:  

Authorized Resellers 

Authorized Resellers like Call One, Inc. can help your organization select business-grade audio and video devices that the appropriate software can remotely manage.  

Call One, Inc. is a Nationally Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBENC) and Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), helping people do their business better since 1987. We are an authorized reseller of Poly, Jabra, Logitech, EPOS, Yealink, and other leading audio and video device brands. Contact us if you want more information or schedule a meeting to discuss your device management needs.  

Device Management Software Video Resources: 

Personal Audio and Video Devices for Hybrid Work in 2022 

Today hybrid work means working from anywhere. The goal of business and IT leaders is to ensure their teams have a consistent experience whether they are working from home, their corporate offices, or from wherever they choose to work. Professional-grade audio and video devices can aid in providing a consistent experience.  

Here is a list of factors business and IT leaders need to consider when selecting personal audio and video devices for their employees.  

Workstyles / Personas 

There are several roles or personas within an organization with different communication needs. Poly has studied workstyle evolution for nearly a decade and identified six distinct work styles, or personas, making up 92% of a typical enterprise: Office Communicator, Office Collaborator, Remote Collaborator, Flexible Worker, Road Warrior, and Connected Executive. Each persona uses a different set of communications tools. Take a look at the Get To Know Your Workforce – Personas Overview.

Connectivity 

Each persona utilizes different communications tools depending on their role and environment. They may need connectivity to a desk phone, computer, mobile device, or a combination. Audio devices have a wide range of connectivity options to support whatever connectivity combination your team needs. For example, teams returning to the office may require connectivity to desk phones and computers. Employees working from home may require connectivity to a laptop and mobile phone. Hybrid team members may need an audio device that supports connectivity to phones, computers, mobile devices and can easily transport between work locations.  

Platform 

Leading device manufacturers like Poly, Jabra, EPOS, Yealink, and others offer compatible solutions for all major platforms, including Zoom, Teams, and Webex. Some platforms like Microsoft have developed a peripherals certification program to ensure USB peripherals (such as headsets, speakerphones, webcams, and monitors) offer rich audio or video quality, are plug-and-play, and provide an excellent experience for end-users and administrators. An authorized partner can help with compatibility and identifying which variants are best for your business. Contact us

Environment 

Work environments can range from corporate offices, third spaces, home offices, remote locations, or on-the-go! Noise levels will vary. Today workers can experience noise from noisy open offices, traffic, construction, lawnmowers, blenders, children, barking dogs, and more! Knowing your team members’ work environments is essential when selecting devices. Battery life may be a factor if they are somewhere without access to an electrical outlet. Video calls and meetings have become standard during the past two years. When it comes to video, good enough is no longer acceptable. Video quality expectations have increased. Multiple personal and group video conferencing solutions offer high-quality audio and video for more engaging and productive meetings. Take a look at these desktop video solutions from Cisco, Huddly, Jabra, JPL, Konftel, Logitech, Poly, Yealink, and more! 

Fixed / Portable 

Hybrid work has made it necessary to transport devices between work locations. The Targus 2 Office Antimicrobial Backpack is made to fit laptops between 15 to 17.3 inches, a full-sized keyboard, and whatever you need to carry! Headsets include carrying cases made of different materials depending on the brand and model. The cases are designed to hold your headset, cables, and dongle. The Jabra PanaCast 20 and the Huddly ONE Work From Anywhere Kit are two cameras that include a travel case to contain the camera and the cable for secure storage during travel.   

One Size Does NOT Fit All 

There are multiple roles within an organization with varying levels of communication and collaboration internally and externally. A person who seldom takes or makes calls will need a different audio device than someone with a call-intensive role. The same is true for video. Some positions require being on video presenting and sharing content regularly, while some only join weekly or once a month. The point is, one size does NOT fit all. Business and IT leaders need to consider the above topics when developing standards.  

New Device Standards 

The global pandemic has forever changed how, when, and where work is done. Gone are the days of controlled office environments. Organizations need new audio and video device standards. The good news is there is no shortage of options. Leading device manufacturers like Jabra, EPOS, Logitech, JPL, Poly, Yealink, and more have a broad range of solutions to support hybrid and remote work. They are also developing new solutions in response to this new normal of work from anywhere.  

An Authorized Reseller like Call One, Inc., with over 35 years of experience and a focus on personal and group audio and video solutions, is a great choice to help you develop device standards. To help people and businesses make more informed purchasing decisions, they test most audio and video devices and share them via their YouTube Channel. Call One, Inc. also provides pre and post-sales support and can ship to commercial and residential locations anywhere in the United States. We specialize in supporting mid-market to large enterprises and are a nationally certified Women’s Business Enterprise. Contact us to learn how we can help.  

USB DECT Dongles for Hybrid Work

USB DECT Dongles for Hybrid Work

Organizations choose wireless headsets for many reasons, including increasing productivity by allowing employees to be hands-free and mobile. Bluetooth and DECT are the most prevalent wireless technologies and operating frequencies in professional-grade headsets. Industries and organizations that share sensitive or private information over voice calls typically opt for DECT wireless headsets due to their increased security. Click here to see a complete list of professional-grade Bluetooth and DECT wireless headsets! 

Depending on the brand and model, DECT Wireless Headsets usually include a base station that provides connectivity options to desk phones, computers, mobile devices, or combinations. These solutions typically use cables to connect to a desk phone, computer, and AC power. These were great pre-pandemic solutions as most worked in an office with most of their equipment fixed at a workstation.  

The Challenge 

The pandemic has shifted where and how people work. Hybrid and remote work models have increased dramatically. The benefits of DECT wireless headsets are substantial; however, their portability is not. It’s not practical to disconnect the cables, AC power, base, and headset to pack up and transport between work locations.  

The Solutions 

Fortunately, there are a few solutions.  

Good 

Use DECT Wireless headset as a corded USB audio device. Some DECT wireless headset models support using it as a corded USB headset. This is a good option that allows employees to use their existing equipment in the office and remote workspace with their laptops. While this is an excellent money-saving option, you lose the critical benefit of being wireless. If you have grown accustomed to a wireless headset and then need to go corded, there is a bit of a learning curve. When I’m testing corded headsets, I sometimes forget and try to get up and walk away and am quickly reminded I’m tethered to my laptop. The Jabra Engage 65 and 75 support this option. You can use the included Jabra USB-A Cable – 14201-26 or purchase a spare cable to keep at home.  

Jabra USB-A Cable

Better 

EPOS Impact SDW D1 USB DECT Dongle

USB DECT Dongles. This is not a new option. Poly (formerly Plantronics) introduced the D100 years ago with their Savi 400 Series. The latest, smaller D200 DECT Wireless Savi Adapter is available in USB-A, USB-C, and UC and Microsoft variants. The D200 DECT dongle will work with Poly Savi 8200 UC Series headsets. EPOS recently introduced the EPOS Impact SDW D1 USB DECT Dongle that works with the EPOS Impact SDW 5000 Series. It’s currently only available in USB-A. EPOS introduced three new SDW 5000 Series models designed for hybrid and remote work and include the SDW 5000 headset of choice, the dongle, charging cable, and carry case.  

EPOS Impact SDW 5000 Headset + DECT Dongle Portable Models 

D200 USB DECT Dongles 

Best 

Complete setups at each location is the best solution; however, budgets may not support this option. A setup at each location is optimal and relieves the worry about transporting equipment to and fro and potentially forgetting an item or breaking something in transit. I am fortunate enough to have solid setups in my dedicated home and corporate office. I have monitors, docking stations, webcams, audio devices, and other peripherals, making it highly convenient for hybrid work. The only thing I haul is my laptop.  

Audio is critical 

Whichever solution you choose, audio is critical in business communication. Ensure your team members have high-quality, purpose-built audio solutions designed for UC and Collaboration platforms. Do not fall into the trap of ordering inexpensive audio devices to help check a box on your to-do list. Engage a subject matter expert who can walk you through the various solutions that align with your organization’s needs and budget.  

Call One, Inc. is an authorized reseller of professional headsets by Jabra, Poly, EPOS, JPL, Logitech, Yealink, Cisco, Shokz, and more. How can we help?  

100 Miles with Jabra Elite 7 Active and Shokz Openrun

Happy New Year! In November 2021, I posted My Fitness Journey and Review of Ultimate Ears UE FITS vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t vs. Poly BackBeat Fit 2100, where I shared in 2014, I established an annual goal of 1,200 miles annually or 100 miles per month.  

Jabra was kind enough to send me the Jabra Elite 7 Active true wireless earbuds. Shokz (formerly Aftershokz) sent me a set of their Openrun (formerly Aeropex). My wife, Michelle, decided to go for 100 miles in December. She agreed to wear one of the headphones and share her feedback. Initially, she started with the Jabra Elite 7 Active and I with the Openrun. After the first day, she asked if she could switch.  

Like professional headsets, one size does not fit all for personal audio devices like headphones designed for fitness. Michelle has used the Powerbeats Pro and Apple Airpods Pro and assumed she would prefer in-ear earbuds. The ANC in the Jabra Elite 7 Active proved to be too much for her. She said it felt like she could hear and even feel her every step. So we switched.  

At the end of December 2021, I logged 127.4 miles and Michelle 100.1 miles. Before we share our thoughts, here are some tech specs and features of each.  

Jabra Elite 7 Active 

  • What you get in the box:  Elite 7 Earbuds, three sets of EarGels™, user documents, charging case, USB-C to USB-A cable, warranty, and warning leaflets.  
  • IP Rating: IP57 – This means the Elite 7 earbuds are perfect for outdoors and are waterproof, sweatproof, and workout-proof, and come with a 2-year warranty when you register your buds in the Jabra sound+ app
  • Active Noise Cancellation (ANC): Powerful adjustable Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) blocks distracting background noise instantly, at the touch of a button. Choose one of their five levels of noise cancellation in the Jabra Sound+ app, and stay focused on your workout, no matter what. 
  • HearThrough: When you need to be aware of your surroundings, tap the HearThrough button, and your buds use the internal mics to pick up the sounds around you. 
  • ShakeGrip™ is an innovative material that feels incredibly soft despite its firm grip. Made with a special Liquid Silicone Rubber compound that holds the buds more securely in the ear without the need for ear wings, ShakeGrip™ keeps your buds firmly in place, whether you’re walking, running, or repping.  
  • Battery Life: Elite 7 Active delivers up to 8 hours of non-stop listening with a re-engineered battery. Get up to an hour of power with a speedy 5-minute fast charge. Your buds are good for up to 30 hours with the charging case.  
  • Mono Mode: Mono mode lets you use either bud independently. 
  • Learn more! Jabra Elite 7 Active Technical Specifications and Datasheet 

Shokz Openrun 

  • What you get in the box: Openrun (formerly Aeropex) Headphones, Carrying Bag, Magnetic Charging Cable 
  • IP Rating: IP67 – An IP67 rating makes these completely sweat and waterproof to welcome intense workouts and extreme weather. A moisture detection alert ensures safe charging. Not intended for swimming. 
  • 8th Generation Bone Conduction Technology: Powered by patented 8th generation bone conduction, Bluetooth 5.1, and PremiumPitch™ 2.0+, OpenRun delivers clear sound, powerful volume, and rich bass. 
  • Open-Ear Comfort: Shokz (formerly Aftershokz) open-ear design, powered by bone conduction technology, allows for total awareness of surroundings and bud-free, comfortable listening. Available in 2 sizes to maximize comfort and ensure a secure fit. OpenRun Mini has a .5 inch shorter band size. 
  • Battery Life: With 8 hours of battery life and easy commands such as play, skip, pause, and back-a-track, you can enjoy music, calls, audiobooks, and podcasts all day long. OpenRun also features a 10-minute Quick Charge for up to 1.5 hours of battery life. 
  • Learn More! Shokz Openrun (formerly Aeropex) and User Guide 

Michelle’s Feedback on Shokz Openrun 

I asked Michelle, “What do you think about the Shokz Openrun?”. She responded, “I love them!” She elaborated a little more by stating that she loves the fit. Unlike other earbuds she’s tried, the Openrun didn’t hurt her ears after extended use because there is nothing in her ears. The sound quality was excellent, and she loves that she can hear all the sounds and notifications from her mobile phone just fine. As a Director of Human Resources, she receives emails, text messages, and calls all hours of the day and needs to be aware of them to assess and prioritize responses. The only con she had was when we walked on the side of an extremely busy road; she couldn’t hear her music, but she appreciated hearing the traffic. These have become her favorite headphones for when we’re doing our walks. She is also eyeballing the new Shokz Opencomm UC for use on her laptop for work! 

Danny’s Feedback on Jabra Elite 7 Active 

I’ve been on my fitness journey for much longer, so I’ve tried several fitness headphones over the past ten years. I recently used the Jabra Elite Active 75t and thought they performed well. Jabra was able to make improvements with the new Elite 7 Active. The audio quality of the Elite 7 Active is phenomenal when you consider their small size. The fit of the earbuds seems better and even more discreet. Walking near loud traffic was not an issue with ANC activated; it helped suppress the noise and allowed you to clearly hear the music. Beyond walking with my wife, I also do solo runs and strength training sessions. The new ShakeGrip™ buds kept the earbuds in my ears no matter what activity I was doing. Whenever Michelle and I were having a conversation, the HearThourgh feature was beneficial. I did have a phone call once using them and the other party seemed to hear me just fine. I never had to repeat anything and they didn’t complain about audio quality. I am excited to test the new Jabra Elite 7 Pro

Conclusion 

Many of you have made New Year’s Resolutions that include fitness. Music is a great way to stay motivated and go that extra mile or knock out those extra reps. When it comes to fitness headphones, you have options depending on your personal preferences. Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or are an elite athlete, brands like Jabra and Shokz (formerly Aftershokz) create solutions that align best with your needs.  

Best Bluetooth Headsets for Computer and Mobile Connectivity

Best Bluetooth Headsets for Computer and Mobile Connectivity

2022 is just around the corner, and many businesses are still in a state of uncertainty. Are they heading back to the office, staying remote, or adopting a hybrid work model? Regardless of the work model, employees need to communicate internally and externally to maintain business continuity.  

Today people work in various environments throughout their day or workweek. Many use collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Cisco Webex on laptops and mobile devices. Professional and business-grade headsets are a great way to ensure your team members can hear and be heard for more productive meetings and calls.  

Fortunately, there is no shortage of headset options that offer USB and Bluetooth connectivity. A primary difference between consumer and business Bluetooth headsets is a USB dongle. I am frequently asked, “Why do I need a USB dongle?” There are many reasons that I share in this blog post link. I have tested several Bluetooth headsets paired directly with my laptop. While most Bluetooth headsets will pair, I experienced connectivity stability issues, audio input, and output issues, and a lack of call control (answer/end, mute, volume up/down) from the headset when using popular business collaboration platforms. 

View all current models of professional headsets for mobile and softphone use here

You can see our headset mic tests and comparison videos below!  

Best Bluetooth Headsets for Computer and Mobile Connectivity

 

Jabra Evolve2 75 and Poly Voyager Focus 2 

These two headsets check all the boxes.  

  • ANC Speakers 
  • Strong Noise Canceling Mics 
  • Compatible and Certified with all major collaboration platforms 
  • Long Battery Life 
  • Use as Corded USB Audio Device 
  • Mute by rotating boom arm up 

See the Jabra Evolve2 75 in action! 

See the Poly Voyager Focus 2 in action!  

Buy from Authorized Resellers 

Suppose your business or organization is seeking headsets for your team members. In that case, I strongly recommend that you buy from an authorized reseller like Call One, Inc. who has almost 35 years of headset experience. They can help answer any questions, make unbiased recommendations, and ship anywhere in the US to include commercial and residential addresses. Contact us!   

Headsets with the best Noise Canceling Mics (For Now)

I’m not a fan of defining a single thing as “best.” Daily I get asked, “What’s the best headset?” my response is, “What is the use case? What are you trying to do? What are you connecting to? What’s your budget?” What is best for your use case may not necessarily be best for someone else. One size does NOT fit all when it comes to headsets. There are many factors to consider, including:  

  • Connectivity (desk phone, mobile phone, PC, Mac, a combination) 
  • Compatibility with your voice, video, and collaboration platforms (i.e., Zoom, Microsoft, Cisco, 8×8, etc.) 
  • Single or multiple work environments/locations  
  • Personal preferences (wearing styles, corded, wireless, etc.) 
  • Organizational restrictions (i.e., some companies restrict Bluetooth headsets) 
  • Support – Leading brands can offer global support  
  • Budget 
Headsets with the best Noise Canceling Mics

I have over twenty years in this industry and test models from all the leading brands of professional headsets like Jabra, Poly, EPOS, and Logitech and less-established and up-and-coming brands like JPL, Yealink, AfterShokz, and everything in between. To help people and businesses make more informed purchasing decisions, we share headset mic performance videos via the Call One, Inc. YouTube Channel. Contact an authorized reseller if you would like to discuss headset options for your business.  

There is a difference between consumer and business-grade headsets—my top picks for business-grade headsets with the best noise-canceling mics by various categories.  

Headsets with the best Noise Canceling Mics

My Top Picks 

Desk Phone + Computer + Mobile DECT Wireless Headsets

Desk Phone + Computer DECT Wireless Headsets 

Computer + Mobile Bluetooth Wireless Headsets with ANC Speakers and Boom Mic 

Computer + Mobile Bluetooth Wireless Headsets with ANC Speakers and Boomless Mic 

Computer + Mobile Bluetooth Wireless Headsets – Discreet On-the-go 

Desk Phone + Mobile Bluetooth Wireless Headset 

Desk Phone DECT Wireless 

Corded QD Contact Center Headsets (require separate interface/adapter/cable depending on what you are connecting to) 

Corded USB Contact Center Headsets 

Corded USB Office Headsets with ANC Speakers 

Corded USB Office Headsets 

Please note there are more categories available depending on your industry, work style, and workspace. I want to get across key points that one size does NOT fit all, and there is no “best” headset. Your individual or team members’ work style and workspace will determine which headset is best for them. If you need help, contact an authorized reseller like Call One, Inc., who has close to 35 years of experience and is a Nationally Certified Women’s Business Enterprise!  

My Fitness Journey and Review of Ultimate Ears UE FITS vs. Jabra Elite Active 75t vs. Poly BackBeat Fit 2100

My Fitness Journey 

I restarted my fitness journey on May 20, 2012. I went into my garage, laid down, and proceeded to do eight crunches. I thought I was going to die. That was my first workout after a Iong hiatus. I had always been in shape growing up. In my early years, I was a skateboarder and competitive martial artist. I participated in TaeKwonDo competitions to include three Jr. Olympic National Championships. In 1992 I joined the US Army, where PT (physical training) was a daily occurrence, and I continued training in martial arts. When I got out in 1999, I started work at Call One, Inc. as a Shipping/Receiving Clerk. I was on my feet all day in this role, and my body was constantly in motion.  

In 2000, I applied for a Sales role. This was completely different from my previous position. As a sales rep, I was seated for long periods and rarely did anything physical. To make things worse, I started getting pretty good at helping customers, and my sales began to improve, which helped increase my income. This increase supported eating out multiple times a week, having dessert after every meal, and having coffee with lots of cream and sugar. Not to mention the steady stream of sodas and energy drinks. Nightly, I would sit in my man-cave and play video games, eat chips, and drink beer into the wee hours of the night. 

By 2012, at age 39, I had reached a weight of 246lbs (I’m only 5’8”), and worse, my waistline had grown to size 42, and that was tight. Tying my shoes had become a major physical event to the point where I traded shoes with laces for more accessible slip-on shoes. I had had enough and decided to get fit by forty. I started slowly reducing the amount of food I was eating and did some bodyweight exercises daily. After eight weeks in, I started incorporating free weights and added walking on the weekends.  

I had always hated running. The first time I went for a walk, I struggled the first quarter-mile and was terrified at the realization I had to walk back the same distance to get home. I remained disciplined. My nutrition improved and my walks got longer.  

December 2013, I participated in a 100 Mile Month Challenge with a Facebook fitness group I was a member of. The longer my walks got, the more critical the need to listen to music to keep me motivated and energized. This was when I started the process of testing multiple earbuds and headphones. I tried so many, from corded to wireless Bluetooth models from various brands.  

In 2014, I started using the Poly (formerly Plantronics) BackBeat FIT. These became my Bluetooth headphones of choice. They were sweat and waterproof and had a battery life of up to 8 hours. They fit well, were comfortable, and, more importantly, allowed me to hear background noise around me like traffic while running. Yes, my walks had turned into runs. I then established an annual goal of 1,200 miles or 100 miles per month. I logged 1,356 miles in 2014 and 1,301 miles in 2015.  

Fitness Journey
Fitness Journey

October 2016, I somewhat fell off the wagon. Looking back, my body needed a break. I worked out seven days a week and often twice a day, including logging 100+ miles monthly. For three months (Oct-Dec 2016), I reduced workouts but continued eating like I was still training as intensely as I was. The weight and layers of fat quickly accumulated. I ended up logging 1,138 miles for 2016. In January 2017, I tried readjusting my training and food intake. Admittingly, I struggled and only logged 916.6 miles in 2017. In 2018 I started slow and improved my consistency. I twisted my ankle in April 2018, which slowed my progress. I experienced a devastating loss when my beloved Boxer, running, and workout partner, Loki, passed away unexpectedly on October 10, 2018. I didn’t know how I would move forward. For 2018, I logged 1,065 miles.

Otis joins our family!  

2019 started slow. I was depressed and didn’t feel like running or exercising. My wife sensed this and secretly went on the hunt for a new running partner. In March 2019, we traveled to the west coast of Florida to pick up Otis!!!  

Otis quickly warmed my heart and injected a new sense of joy and motivation to start working out again. Otis and I began doing everything together. He was allowed into select retail stores, the dry cleaners, and even to my bi-weekly haircuts. He started that first year slowly. Otis was soon walking and running with me as well! What began as a slow year finished strong. I ended up logging 972.5 miles in 2019.  

2020 started with a bang, and I logged 133.8 miles that January! I was doing well and then the global pandemic forced our companies to work from home in mid-March. The lack of commute actually helped fuel even more running. February through June I was logging 100+ miles monthly. July 2, I sprained my ankle pretty bad. Enough so that I only logged 25.2 miles that month. I came back strong in August, and by now, my wife had started walking in the morning with me! She, too, started very slow but now regularly walks three to six miles! She also tried a few headphones, including the Powerbeats Pro, Apple AirPods Pro, and currently the Jabra Elite 85t. I was happy to log 1,463 miles for 2020!  

This brings us to 2021. My nutrition has not been optimal. You could say I gained the COVID-19 pounds. I need to reduce my overall daily caloric intake, reduce or quit eating junk, and increase my strength training sessions. Fortunately, we’re still working from home, so my wife, Otis, and I have been able to walk together almost daily, and year to date (January 1 – November 7) I have logged 1,215 miles! My goal has changed from being fit by forty to having functional strength and mobility in my fifties and beyond. I turned forty-eight this year, and I have started thinking more about long-term health and physical fitness. Years of bad habits begin to catch up right about now. My wife and I must refocus on our nutrition and increase our workouts. She has signed up for her first virtual half-marathon this month. She went from the couch to her first 5K last year in October. In December 2020, she completed her first virtual 10K, and on September 11, 2021, she completed a 9.11 Mile Memorial Challenge! I am extremely proud of her.  

I shared my 100 miles per month goal on LinkedIn and received an overwhelming show of support from my connections and beyond. To include Logitech (Ultimate Ears) and Jabra who sent me a set of earbuds to test. The rest of this blog focuses on my personal opinion and review of the Ultimate Ears UE FITS, Jabra Elite Active 75t and the Poly (formerly Plantronics) BackBeat Fit 2100.  

Ultimate Ears UE FITS – MSRP $249 

In August of this year, I had an opportunity to test a set of Ultimate Ears UE FITS. I logged 123 miles wearing them. They offer unique True Custom Fit earbud tips via their patented Lightform Technology. Download the UE FITS app before you open the earbuds from their packaging; they are in like a cocoon. It’s not like any other headset or earbuds I’ve ever experienced. This is a wild process that I’ve never experienced before. The earbud tips light up, get warm, and mold to your ear for a perfect fit. In addition to their self-molding tips fitted to your unique earprint, they are sweat-resistant and offer up to 8 hours of battery life and 20 hours with the case. They never fell out of my ears while I was using them, and I was able to customize the function of the tap sensors to mimic what I had grown accustomed to with the BackBeat Fit 2100. You can also check battery life and edit your UE Signature sound via UE FITS app. They sound awesome! Many will appreciate that you can use the UE FITS earbuds at the same time or independently. Wear one or both depending on what you are doing. While I appreciate the tap sensors sometimes, sweat droplets would “tap” them and cause them to perform the function I set. Other than that, the UE FITS performed fantastically. Via the UE FITS app, you can also access the “Take a Selfie” feature, making the earbud tips glow for your photo!  

Jabra Elite Active 75t – MSRP $179 

In September 2021, I tested the Jabra Elite Active 75t earbuds, logging 135.2 miles wearing them. In terms of sound, when compared to the Poly BackBeat Fit 2100 and Ultimate Ears UE FITS, the Jabra Elite Active 75t hands down provided the best audio quality performance when streaming music. Download the Jabra Sound+ App to access the multiple features, functions, and customization available. These surprisingly never fell out during our walks, runs, strength training, or even heavy bag sessions. The Jabra Elite Active 75t have been specifically designed for an active lifestyle. An IP57-rating (IP57 verified to withstand fresh water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.) makes them fully waterproof and sweatproof. They also have Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) that helps keep you focused during workouts. A tremendous must-have included is the HearThrough feature which allows you to hear what’s going on around you. This is essential when running on busy public streets and need to listen for oncoming traffic, cyclist, golf carts, and other runners. There are three Sound Modes: Active Noise Cancellation, HearThrough, and ANC Off. You get up to 28 hours (earbud 7.5 hours and charging case 20.5 hours) with default settings and up to 24 hours (earbud 5.5 hours and charging case 18.5 hours) with ANC on. I prefer the tactile buttons the Jabra Elite Active 75t provides vs. touch or tap sensors. 

Poly BackBeat Fit 2100 

I have been using a version of the Poly BackBeat FIT since 2014. I have logged literally thousands and thousands of miles (Dec 2013 – November 7, 2021, I’ve logged a total of 9,526 miles) using them along with strength training sessions and trips to the grocery store and other places. I have replaced them only three times during that period. The BackBeat Fit 2100 just work, and I was sad to hear that Poly would no longer be manufacturing them. I have always appreciated their Always Aware ear tips that allowed me to hear my surroundings. They were comfortable, IP57-rated durable, sweat-proof, and waterproof, provided up to 7hrs of listen time, and never fell out of my ears. The Poly Backbeat Fit have been with me through multiple stages of my fitness journey. I applaud and appreciate them.

 

Ongoing Journey 

I have been extremely fortunate to have started my journey when I did. I have no idea how healthy I truly am. I haven’t been to a doctor since my post-Army physical back in 1999. What I know is how I feel. And I feel good, good, good! My goals today have nothing to do with my physique. However, it’s often a by-product of putting in work with your nutrition and overall fitness routine. I look towards my fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond if I happen to be so lucky. I started my journey at age 39 to be fit by forty. At 48, I now focus on functional strength and mobility. I take no supplements or vitamins and do my best to cook all our meals. Daily, my wife has been making green smoothies packed with leafy greens, fruits and vegetables. Feel free to follow me on social media! We’re hoping someday to have grandchildren and be able to play with them.

  

EHS Cable Wireless Headsets

What is an EHS Cable for Wireless Headsets?

What is an EHS Cable? 

An EHS (Electronic Hook Switch) cable is a solution that connects a DECT wireless headset base and a desk phone. The EHS cable enables remote answer and end call function from the headset. The ability to answer and end calls directly from your headset while at or away from your workstation is a highly beneficial function and a primary reason for getting a wireless headset.  

EHS Cables for Wireless Headsets

Jabra, Poly, EPOS, and JPL have a wide range of wireless headsets and EHS cables to support multiple desk phone brands and models. Contact us! A trained team member from an Authorized Reseller like Call One, Inc. can help. EHS Cables are NOT included with the purchase of a wireless headset due to the various combinations of wireless headsets and desk phones.  

EHS Cables by Brand: 

Not all phones support EHS Cables 

Before you get excited at the prospect of wireless freedom, you will enjoy using a wireless headset and EHS cable; make sure your phone supports it. Not all phones support EHS Cables. Contact an Authorized Reseller to check compatibility. Additionally, they can help identify alternatives like a handset lifter.  

Handset Lifters:

Poly hl10 EHS Cables for Wireless Headsets
Poly HL10

Check Compatibility 

Online compatibility guides are available. However, they may be challenging to navigate and understand if you are not familiar with them. It’s best to contact a subject matter expert to help you select the correct, compatible wireless headsets and EHS cables for your environment. There are hundreds of brands and thousands of individual phone models. You must know the desk phone brand and model whether you check compatibility on your own or contact an expert to help.  

Online Compatibility Guides 

Can EHS Cables be used with other devices? 

Poly and Jabra have developed audio adapters that provide multi-connectivity to corded USB headsets and Bluetooth headsets with the appropriate dongle. The Jabra link 950 and Poly MDA220 adapters connect compatible USB headsets to a desk phone and computer. These adapters can use select, compatible EHS cables to support remote answer/end call functions. It’s best to contact a subject matter expert or the manufacturer directly to check compatibility.  

Multi-Connectivity Adapters 

EHS Cables for Wireless Headsets

Conclusion 

EHS Cables provide the beneficial function of remote call control. The challenge is that not all phones support EHS cables, so it’s important to check compatibility online or contact a subject matter expert who can help you select the right solutions for your use case. Call One, Inc. is a Nationally Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBENC) and an Authorized Reseller of Jabra, JPL, EPOS, and Poly. We have over three decades of knowledge and experience and are happy to support you.  

Manufacturer Support 

Auuthorized Reseller

Why buy Certified Devices from Authorized Resellers

It can be highly convenient and budget-friendly to shop online; however, buyers beware. Many unscrupulous, unauthorized vendors selling audio and video devices online come with several risks attached.  

Potential Risks Buying from Unauthorized Resellers 

  • The product is of unknown origin, previously used, or counterfeit 
  • Unauthorized resellers often deal in grey-market goods- those designed for one region or market, but exported to another without the manufacturers’ approval. Since they are designed for other regions, they may have product information in foreign languages and different power accessories. 
  • The product may be resold as “unused” – which is not a new product 
  • Used or open-box product is often misrepresented and sold as new, shipped in bulk packaging, and may have missing documentation or accessories. Used goods are often found at Internet auctions or marketplaces like eBay and Amazon, and may be for sale at vastly lower prices. 
  • The product includes software that is no longer supported by the manufacturer & requires updates to prevent network vulnerability 
  • The product is missing key accessories or components required for your region to ensure the product will work as needed 
  • If the product does not work properly, you will not be able to obtain support or a replacement under warranty 
  • The product is not eligible to be supported by manufacturer services. 
  • The product is not eligible for any manufacturer trade-in promotional programs. 

Why Buy from Authorized Resellers 

Authorized Resellers like Call One, Inc. agree to adhere to manufacturers’ policies to ensure customers receive quality products and services designed for their geographic territory. Authorized Resellers undergo extensive education, training, and certification to meet the manufacturers’ requirements to position the appropriate solutions based on your organization’s use case. Contact us to learn more.   

Additional Benefits Buying from Authorized Resellers 

  • New product shipped in manufacturers’ original packaging with original manufacturer accessories and support documents. 
  • Manufacturers’ product warranty support. Warranties vary across manufacturers. Contact us to learn warranty terms for each brand. 
  • Pre-and Post-sales assistance from team members, who have the necessary qualifications and training, and who have access to additional manufacturer resources, sales, and technical personnel. 
  • Access to manufacturer promotions and special incentives available only to Authorized Resellers 
  • Direct access to a live person who can help via phone or email! 

What are we Authorized to Sell? 

Call One, Inc. can help customers with Office and Contact Center Headsets, Personal and Group Video Collaboration Solutions, Samsung Enterprise Mobility Solutions, UVC Light Disinfection DIY Solutions, and Services.  

We are a Poly Platinum Partner, Jabra One Premium Partner, Logitech Video Collaboration Gold Partner, JPL Authorized Reseller, Yealink Authorized Online Reseller, Cisco Premier Certified Partner, Samsung Mobility Titanium Authorized Reseller, EPOS Authorized Dealer, and more.  

Woman-Owned Business Certification 

Call One, Inc. has been in business since 1987 and has been a Nationally Certified Women’s Business Enterprise  and Woman-Owned Small Business by WBENC since 2001. These certifications provide further affirmation that we are a legitimate business. To become certified, business owners undergo a thorough vetting process, including review of business documentation and a site visit. 

Because of this thorough process, WBENC Certification is considered the gold standard for women-owned business certification and is accepted by more than 1,000 corporations, in addition to many states, cities, and other entities. 

Why Buy Certified Devices 

The global pandemic created a massive shift to work from home and the utilization of cloud-based collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, and others. After almost two years working remotely and in hybrid environments, many have learned there is a difference in user experience and performance quality when using a certified vs. a non-certified device. The reason is certified devices are developed and designed with a set of requirements set forth by the UC platforms. The peripherals certification program ensures USB peripherals (such as headsets, speakerphones, webcams, and monitors) offer rich audio or video quality. Certified devices work (plug & play) with no extra configuration required and offer call control. The products provide an excellent experience for end-users and administrators. 

Not all certifications are platform-specific. General UC certifications are issued to products that fulfill the basic requirements for professional use, such as multi-device connectivity, enhanced call quality, and remote call control.  

Additional Support 

You also get added product support from the UC partner and the peripheral or end-point provider when you have a certified device. This line of support between the peripheral manufacturer and the UC partner allows them to work together to solve any issues that may arise with a product or platform.  

Latest Feature Updates 

UC platforms are continuously providing system updates. When UC platforms provide updates, you can update all devices immediately, no matter where they are. In a hybrid world where teams are distributed between different locations, what would otherwise be a major IT challenge becomes a simple system update. An added benefit for IT teams is the remote device management capabilities of certified devices. Leading manufacturers offer device management software to support individuals with desktop applications as well as large global enterprises. Learn more in this blog and video featuring experts from EPOS, Jabra, Logitech, and Poly.  

Conclusion 

If the voice of your brand matters, it is essential to select certified audio and video devices. Certified devices will ensure your team members can hear, be heard, and be seen. To avoid the multiple potential risks, elect to purchase through an authorized reseller that supports your geographic territory. Leading brands like Jabra, Poly, and EPOS provide an online partner locator. Call One, Inc. is an Authorized Reseller that supports customers in the United States. How can we help? 

References:

Jabra – Why use a Certified device

https://www.jabra.com/wheretobuy/authorized

https://www.poly.com/us/en/partners/why-buy-authorized

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/devices/usb-devices

https://explore.zoom.us/docs/en-us/zoom-certified.html