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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

Device Management Software Panal

Device Management Software Panel Discussion

The global pandemic accelerated many organizations’ transition to remote work models. Heading into our second year of living in a continued state of uncertainty, organizations have made significant changes to how their employees communicate and collaborate. Cloud-based communications are being adopted and used. Business and IT leaders are developing new audio and video device standards to support the new normal of hybrid work or permanent remote work models.

The Challenge

How do organizations deploy, monitor, and manage devices for a dispersed workforce? How do organizations know if their employees are utilizing approved devices? How can IT teams better support a remote workforce and mitigate potential issues and reduce help desk ticket submissions?

The Solution

Device Management Software. The leading device manufacturers have developed device management software that is free or as a paid subscription. They also offer different delivery methods.

The Panelists:

The Questions:

  • Please provide a brief overview of your solution and share a real-world example of how it has benefited a client.
  • What’s the difference between enterprise and individual desktop software? Do they need both?
  • One of the objections IT has for not supporting device management software is “security.” Security is certainly a legitimate concern, does your software have built-in security measures? What is your response to IT teams who express security concerns?
  • What do you see in the future for device management software?
Jabra Direct Xpress

Watch the video to hear the complete discussion.

Question #1: Please provide a brief overview of your solution and share a real-world example of how it has benefited a client.

Each panelist provides real-world examples of how device management software has benefited clients.

Marty with Poly shares how their software helped a large school district in southern California deploy tens of thousands of Poly Studio USB devices.

Trevor of Logitech shares how their software helped a large insurance company manage their meeting room devices remotely. This saved time and the need for IT team members to go room to room to ensure the devices were up and running.

Scott of EPOS shares several insurance institutions in Connecticut have been doing a hard phone removal. They utilize their software to ensure that headset firmware is updated and in high turnover scenarios, ensuring they are not repeating headsets.

Tim with Jabra shares how a multinational agriculture company in the Midwest uses their software to mass deploy updates to more than 25,000 devices including USB headsets, DECT wireless headsets, and video devices.

To hear their complete stories, watch the video!

What EPOS is Seeing in This New Normal

Question #2: What’s the difference between enterprise and individual desktop software? Do they need both?

Each partner offers device management software. The software allows IT teams to deploy, monitor, and manage audio and video devices. There are also desktop apps that provide end-users the ability to customize their device experience based on their preferences.

Watch the video to hear from the experts the differences between their enterprise software and the desktop app.

Question #3: One of the objections IT has for not supporting device management software is “security.” Security is certainly a legitimate concern, does your software have built-in security measures? What is your response to IT teams who express security concerns?

Each panelist expresses that security is a concern, and they have developed their software with that in mind. They are more than happy to share their certifications and allow your IT teams to test their software. Some also have white papers on privacy and security they are pleased to share.

Watch the video to hear their complete remarks regarding security and the measures they take.  

Question #4: What do you see in the future for device management software?

Each panelist shares their thoughts on the future of device management software and devices as a whole. Some mention “smarter” people are working that on that.

Watch the video to hear their complete comments.

Conclusion

Almost two years have passed, and we’re all still working and living with the pandemic. It’s safe to say work will never return to a pre-pandemic state. The exciting part is how quickly new work norms have accelerated. EPOS, Jabra, Logitech, and Poly are global leaders for multiple reasons. Key reasons are their ability to service and support customers on a global scale. Additionally, they are constantly innovating and developing new technology and devices to help people do their business better regardless of where they work. Business and IT leaders need to look at these new work norms and develop device standards based on their employees’ work styles and workspaces. If you would like to learn more or set up a proof of concept or pilot with any of these leading partners, contact us! And bring it all together by implementing device management software, so team members are more productive.

DECT Headsets

Highest Security Level DECT Wireless Headsets

What is DECT? 

Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT™) is the European Telecommunications Standards Institute’s (ESTI) standard for short-range cordless communications, adapted for voice, data, and networking applications. DECT technology has become the global standard for secure residential and business cordless phone communications. More than 110 countries have adopted the DECT system, with more than 100 million new devices sold annually. 

DECT Security Certification 

To meet the increased demand for secure communications, the DECT Forum, the international association of the wireless home and enterprise communication industry, has established the DECT Security Certification program. The certification program consists of requirements and security features, which, when implemented in a product, are validated by an accredited and independent test laboratory to show compliance. (DECT Security Certified products listed here)

3 Steps in the DECT™ Security Chain 

The DECT™ security chain is made up of three steps, as shown below:  

Pairing 

The first and vital step in the process is to bind the headset with the base. Pairing can be done over the air or for greater security by physically docking the headset into the base. This ensures the secret key shared during the process is exchanged via the charging contacts and not over the air.  

Authentication  

The secret key shared during the pairing process is used for each call to establish authentication between the subscribed headset and the base. A non-paired headset will not work with the base.  

Encryption 

The audio between the headset and the base is encrypted for each call so that intruders cannot read it – the encryption keys are regenerated every 60 seconds. 

DECT™ Security Evolution 

DECT security has evolved from the original security definition to new enhanced definitions called Step A, B, and C, each step offers increased security over the previous step. Each new security level includes all features of the prior level.  

  • DECT security – Authentication (DSAA)*, Encryption (DSC, 64 bit keys) 
  • DECT security step A – New features which correct certain vulnerabilities. Secure DECT certification. 
  • DECT security step B – New authentication using strong AES 128 bit encryption (DSAA2)* 
  • DECT security step C – Strong encryption of audio stream using AES 128 bit keys (DSC2)* 

* DSAA and DSC are the authentication and encryption algorithms defined in the DECT security standard ETSI EN 300 175-7 applicable for DECT security and DECT security step A. DSAA2 and DSC2 are the equivalent updated security algorithms for the next steps of DECT security, steps B and C. 

FIPS 140-2 

The Federal Information Processing Standard Publication 140-2 (FIPS 140-2) is a U.S. government computer and security standard used to approve cryptographic modules. Select DECT wireless headsets go one step further and utilize encryption algorithms (Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit encryption) listed in FIPS 140-2 standards required by the US military and government. This level of security goes beyond DECT level C.  

Who Needs DECT Security Step C or FIPS 140-2 Level Security? 

Any industry that shares sensitive or private information over voice calls should strongly consider DECT wireless headsets with a higher level of security to include Financial, Banking, Healthcare, Insurance, Government, and Contact Centers.  

Secure DECT Wireless Headsets  

EPOS has a Protected Pairing process which transfers sensitive pairing data via the charging terminal of the IMPACT SDW 5000 base station instead of ‘over the air’. The security of the pairing process is further enhanced by the authentication algorithm (DSAA2), which uses AES-128-bit keys. The EPOS Impact SDW 5000 Series has reached step B in the DECT security level by implementing this enhanced algorithm. There are multiple wearing styles and connectivity options available to support individual preferences. Contact us for help in selecting the right EPOS Impact SDW 5000 model! Security Features in the IMPACT SDW 5000 Headset Series

Yealink WH6X Series utilize DECT security level step C: Authentication – DSAA2, Encryption – DSC2 (128bit) and Cordless Advanced Technology: CAT-iq 2.0. They are available as stand alone DECT wireless headsets that connect to a computer or compatible IP phones that support USB headsets and they also have a new category of audio devices with their Yealink UC Workstation series.  

AES-128 encryption ensures secured communication when using Cisco Headset 560 Series available with a Standard or a Multibase. The Standard base supports single connectivity to a desk phone or a computer. The Multibase supports connectivity to a desk phone, computer, and mobile phone.

Military Grade Security 

These DECT wireless solutions utilize AES 256-bit keys for the very strongest level of encryption in professional headsets. The Jabra Engage 75 Series and Poly Savi 7300 Office models are also available in multiple wearing styles and connectivity options to support your team members regardless of work style and workspace. Contact us if you need help selecting the right wireless headsets for your team. 

Conclusion 

Cybercrime is on the rise, and in a business environment where customer calls are evermore sensitive, making valuable conversations secure is vital. Protect sensitive information by using secure DECT wireless headsets from EPOS, Jabra, Poly, and Yealink. Call One, Inc. helps mid-to-large organizations, including Financial, Banking, Healthcare, Insurance, Government, and Contact Centers, do their business better by providing professional-grade audio and video solutions. 

 

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.