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What’s the difference between ANC and NC?

By Danny Hayasaka

August 14, 2019

Every day I hear customers requesting “ANC” or “NC” headsets. Some know the difference however many don’t. It’s kind of like “Bluetooth”. To some, “Bluetooth” simply means “wireless”. Whether it’s DECT, 2.4Ghz, 900Mhz is irrelevant to them. They want a “Bluetooth (Wireless)” headset. For this blog, I’m talking about headsets for professional use by Poly (formerly Plantronics), Jabra & Sennheiser.

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Open Office Headset Solutions

By Danny Hayasaka

Noise is a major distraction in open offices today. It becomes extremely challenging for employees to focus on their work. Plus co-worker interruption causes a decrease in productivity as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task.

How many times throughout the day are you interrupted or distracted?

One simple solution is to use an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headset that helps reduce or completely block out background noise (if streaming audio/music).

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How do you choose the right headsets for your organization? Part I

Series by Danny Hayasaka

7/9/18

Having been in this industry for over 19 years I’ve had the opportunity to see the evolution of headsets. Some dismiss headsets as commodities however they are becoming increasingly critical to an organizations business processes and their overall business communications and collaboration strategies.

The headset is how your company’s voice is transmitted to the world. In addition to customers and partners, clear communications are also important internally amongst peers and colleagues. More emphasis should be placed on selecting the right headset if listening to your customers and being able to be heard clearly matters to you and your business.

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Open Office Headset Solutions

By Danny Hayasaka

Original August 23, 2017

Updated Feb 28, 2018

Noise is a major distraction in open offices today. It becomes extremely challenging for employees to focus on their work. Plus co-worker interruption causes a decrease in productivity as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task.

How many times throughout the day are you interrupted or distracted?

One simple solution is to use an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headset that helps reduce or completely block out background noise (if streaming audio/music).

There are different options from multiple manufacturers. All brands offer ANC headsets that are certified/optimized/compatible with all major UC platforms like Cisco, Microsoft, Avaya, 8×8, RingCentral, and more!

Each brand puts their own spin on the various models from SmartSensor technology to integrated BusyLight to Boom-less mic options. They also have corded USB variants as well as completely wireless headsets.

Asset Management is becoming increasingly more important. Jabra, Plantronics and Sennheiser all offer Enterprise Headset Management software.

Plantronics Manager Pro (Subscription Service)

Jabra Xpress (Free)

Sennheiser HeadSetup Pro Manager (Subscription Service)

Speak with Call One, Inc. Account Executive to help you identify which model is best for your use case!

These ANC headsets are all USB models. If you would like to use on your “desk phone”, Plantronics models can be connected to desk phone via the MDA 220.

Let’s take a closer look at the individual models

Plantronics ANC Headsets:

NEW Voyager 6200 UC

 

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling earbuds
  • Neckband with Earbuds Wearing Style
    • Single and dual ear options (right and/or left ear use)
    • Have both earbuds out if needed
  • Vibrating Neckband signals incoming calls
  • Up to 9hrs of talk time, 16hrs of Listen Time
  • Dynamic Mute alert feature senses and alerts user when talking while muted
  • Supported via Plantronics Hub and Plantronics Manager Pro
  • Class 1 Bluetooth – up to 98ft wireless range
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Charge base included
  • Connect to PC/Laptop via USB Dongle and mobile devices (Tablet/Smartphone) via Bluetooth
  • Multipurpose button to answer/hang up, play/pause, next track, go back a track

What’s bad?

  • At the moment I’m having a hard time finding something I don’t like

Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC

Variants

What’s good?

  • Dual Mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Boomless Mic
  • Mobile and PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220
  • Listen Time: Up to 24 hours
  • Talk Time: Up to 20 hours
  • Standby Time: Up to 1 month
  • Roaming Range: Up to 98 feet
  • 5mm audio cable connectivity
  • Carrying pouch for portability

What’s bad?

  • 5mm audio cable listen only
  • No USB cable connectivity option

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Wireless Headset

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Talk Time: Up to 12 hours (10 ANC on)
  • Listening Time: Up to 15 hours (12 ANC on)
  • Roaming Range: Up to 150 feet with adaptive power (with Class 1 supported devices)
  • Carrying case for portability
  • PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • No cable connectivity option (i.e. in flight connectivity option, or USB cable connectivity)

Blackwire 725 Corded USB Headset

 

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Connect to Desk Phone and PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth

Jabra ANC Headsets:

Jabra Evolve 75e

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling earbuds
  • Neckband with Earbuds Wearing Style
  • Single and dual ear options
  • Have both earbuds out if needed
  • Listen-in feature
  • Vibrating Neckband signals incoming calls
  • Up to 13hrs of talk time, 14hrs of Listen Time
    • 2hr Charge Time
  • Sweat & water resistant Yes, IP54
  • Integrated red light on the microphone box, activated when on a call or manually by the user when busy, to act as a “do not disturb” signal
  • One tap access to “MS Cortana, Apple Siri®, Google Now™” on the mute/voice button
  • Up to 100 ft. with PCs, up to 33ft with smartphones
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Connect to PC/Laptop via USB Dongle and mobile devices (Tablet/Smartphone) via Bluetooth
  • Multipurpose button to answer/hang up, play/pause, next track, go back a track
  • Magnets in earbuds
    • For easy and comfortable position around the neck. When the earbuds are connected, your music will pause or your call will be ended.

What’s bad?

  • Must be worn in right ear when making calls
  • There have been some audio quality issues when used with Link 370
    • We identified if we connect Link 370 to USB Extension cable it minimizes/solves audio issue

 

Jabra Evolve 80 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants:

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • USB and 3.5mm corded connectivity
  • Busy Light (can be manually activated)
  • Microphone boom arm can be integrated into the headband when not on a call or simply listening to music
  • Microphone mute on boom arm
  • Soft pouch included for portability
  • Listen in feature

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth

Jabra Evolve 75 UC & Microsoft variants with or without stand

Variants

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Dual Bluetooth connectivity to Mobile and PC/Laptop
  • USB Cable connectivity supports both receive/transmit and charges at same time
  • Up to 15hrs battery life
  • Hi-Fi Audio
  • Boom arm can be clipped to headband when not in use (also acts as mute switch when boom arm up)
  • Listen-In button
  • Integrated Busy Light
  • First Skype for Business certified headset meeting the requirements for Open Office and Outdoor
  • Great Noise Canceling Mic

What’s bad?

  • Boom can only be on right side

 

Sennheiser ANC Headset

Sennheiser MB 660 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants

What’s good?

  • Dual mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Boomless mic
  • Multiple connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, Audio cable with answer/end button (2.5 mm and 3.5 mm jack plugs), USB cable with micro-USB connector, BT800 USB dongle
  • Battery life: Up to 30 hours
  • Standby time: Up to 15 days
  • Range: Up to 82ft
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Sound Effect modes (via free Captunes App): Club, Movie, Speech, Director – User defined)
  • Nice hard cover carry case for portability
  • Audio quality when streaming music or watching movies via mobile device is awesome!

What’s bad?

  • On/Off done by folding speakers flat
  • I wasn’t a fan of the touch sensors, I like prominent buttons but that’s me

 

Open Office Headset Solutions

By Danny Hayasaka

August 23, 2017

Noise is a major distraction in open offices today. It becomes extremely challenging for employees to focus on their work. Plus co-worker interruption causes a decrease in productivity as it takes an average of 23 minutes to get back on task.

How many times throughout the day are you interrupted or distracted?

One simple solution is to use an Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headset that helps reduce or completely block out background noise (especially if streaming music).

There are different options from multiple manufacturers. All brands offer ANC headsets that are certified/optimized/compatible with all major UC platforms like Cisco, Microsoft & Avaya.

Each brand puts their own spin on the various models from SmartSensor technology to integrated BusyLight to Boom-less mic options. They also have corded USB variants as well as completely wireless headsets.

Speak with Call One, Inc. Account Executive to help you identify which model is best for your use case!

These ANC headsets are all USB models. If you would like to use on your “desk phone”, Plantronics models can be connected to desk phone via the MDA 220.

Let’s take a closer look at the individual models

Plantronics ANC Headsets:

Blackwire 725 Corded USB Headset

 

Variants:

  • 202580-01 Blackwire 725, Standard
  • 202581-01 Blackwire 725, Microsoft

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Portable – durable carrying case included
  • Connect to Desk Phone and PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Wireless Headset

Variants:

  • PLT-202652-01-006 Plantronics B825 Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth Headset with Stand
  • PLT-202652-02-006 Plantronics B825-M Voyager Focus UC Lync Bluetooth Headset with Stand
  • PLT-202652-03-006 Plantronics B825 Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth Headset (No Stand)
  • PLT-202652-04-006 Plantronics B825-M Voyager Focus UC Lync Bluetooth Headset (No Stand)

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Hi-Fi Stereo
  • Very comfortable
  • Talk Time: Up to 12 hours (10 ANC on)
  • Listening Time: Up to 15 hours (12 ANC on)
  • Roaming Range: Up to 150 feet with adaptive power (with Class 1 supported devices)
  • Carrying case for portability
  • PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220

What’s bad?

  • No cable connectivity option (i.e. in flight connectivity option, or USB cable connectivity)

Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC

Variants

  • PLT-208769-01-006 Plantronics 8200 UC Black Bluetooth Headset
  • PLT-208769-02 Plantronics 8200 UC White Bluetooth Headset

What’s good?

  • Dual Mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Plantronics Smart Sensor Technology
  • Boomless Mic
  • Mobile and PC/Laptop connectivity
  • Connectivity to Desk Phone/PC via MDA 220
  • Listen Time: Up to 24 hours
  • Talk Time: Up to 20 hours
  • Standby Time: Up to 1 month
  • Roaming Range: Up to 98 feet
  • 5mm audio cable connectivity
  • Carrying pouch for portability

What’s bad?

  • 5mm audio cable listen only
  • No USB cable connectivity

Jabra ANC Headsets:

Jabra Evolve 80 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants:

  • JBR-7899-823-109-003 Jabra EVOLVE 80 MS USB Stereo Headset with ANC
  • JBR-7899-829-209-001 Jabra EVOLVE 80 UC USB Stereo Headset with ANC

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • USB and 3.5mm corded connectivity
  • Busy Light (can be manually activated)
  • Microphone boom arm can be integrated into the headband when not on a call or simply listening to music
  • Microphone mute on boom arm
  • Soft pouch included for portability
  • Listen in feature

What’s bad?

  • Doesn’t support Bluetooth
  • Hefty price tag

Jabra Evolve 75 UC & Microsoft variants with or without stand

Variants

  • JBR-7599-832-109-002 Jabra Evolve 75 MS Bundle including Link 370
  • JBR-7599-832-199-002 Jabra Evolve 75 MS Bundle with Charging Stand
  • JBR-7599-838-109-002 Jabra Evolve 75 Stereo UC Bundle including Link 370
  • JBR-7599-838-199-002 Jabra Evolve 75 UC Bundle with Charging Stand

What’s good?

  • Active Noise Canceling
  • Dual Bluetooth connectivity to Mobile and PC/Laptop
  • USB Cable connectivity supports both receive/transmit and charges at same time
  • Up to 15hrs battery life
  • Hi-Fi Audio
  • Boom arm can be clipped to headband when not in use (also acts as mute switch when boom arm up)
  • Listen-In button
  • Integrated Busy Light
  • First Skype for Business certified headset meeting the requirements for Open Office and Outdoor

What’s bad?

  • Boom can only be on right side

 

Sennheiser ANC Headset

Sennheiser MB 660 UC and Microsoft variants

Variants

  • SEN-507092-006 Sennheiser MB 660 UC
  • SEN-507093-006 Sennheiser MB 660 UC MS

What’s good?

  • Dual mode Active Noise Canceling
  • Boomless mic
  • Multiple connectivity options: Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, Audio cable with answer/end button (2.5 mm and 3.5 mm jack plugs), USB cable with micro-USB connector, BT800 USB dongle
  • Battery life: Up to 30 hours
  • Standby time: Up to 15 days
  • Range: Up to 82ft
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Sound Effect modes (via free Captunes App): Club, Movie, Speech, Director – User defined)
  • Nice hard cover carry case for portability

What’s bad?

  • On/Off done by folding speakers flat
  • Hefty price tag

 

New ear hook give Sennheiser wireless headsets a whole new feel…

May 17, 2016

By Danny Hayasaka

One major complaint customers had who have used Sennheiser wireless headsets is the over-the-ear wearing style just wasn’t good.

Sennheiser has introduced a new ear hook accessory HSA 20 that is designed to offer an improved, flexible and perfect fit to the already existing SD Office and D10 wireless headsets.

A click-on adapter fitting the SD Office and D10 headsets is used for mounting the new improved ear hook featuring a soft leatherette sleeve.

Improved noise isolation and a secure fit are offered with in-ear earbuds in three different sizes (S, M, L) that are mounted on the adapter for the perfect individual fit and optimal wearing comfort.

I was fortunate enough to actually get some of these hooks to test for myself. Of course, I couldn’t write or talk about my experience until now.

Initial thoughts… why didn’t they do this sooner? I’m not huge over the ear fan but I tell you what… this was a very comfortable fit. The SD Office and D10 headsets are super light as it is, the stability this new ear hook accessory HSA 20 offered was very nice.

It’s funny how when people test wearing style stability people shake their heads around like they’re at a metal concert but really? Who does that in an office environment? Don’t answer that. I did bend over to pick something up off the floor and other normal daily movements. The headset stayed in place.

I was able to wear all day comfortably. Really like the soft leatherette sleeve. You don’t think it makes that big a difference, but it does.

 

And yes you can easily switch out the hook for right or left ear wear.

If you have a Sennheiser SD Office or D10 wireless headset but weren’t too keen on the over the ear wearing style… you may want to consider the new ear hook accessory HSA 20.

How I extend the range of my Bluetooth headset in a Microsoft Lync/SfB UC environment

By Danny Hayasaka

January 11, 2016

I’m speaking for Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business only, however, I’m certain many UC platforms support this feature.

Plantronics, Jabra, Sennheiser, and VXi all produce multi-connectivity Bluetooth headsets that allow end-users to pair Bluetooth headset to their mobile device as well as their PC/Laptop via USB Bluetooth dongle.

Despite many of the UC Bluetooth headsets supporting Class 1 range (up to 100ft range), many users would like more range.

The majority if not all professionals have a mobile device (Smartphone/Tablet) at all times.

Here’s a tip I have used to increase the wireless roaming range within an office space. I simply utilize the “Simultaneously Ring” and “Call Forwarding” features of our Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business client. I have all Lync/SfB calls forwarded to my mobile device if I’m going to be away from my desk. This allows all calls to ring on my mobile device, whether I’m on the Sales Floor, Admin, IT, Operations area downstairs or even on my way to lunch! I don’t miss a call as I have my mobile headset paired to my mobile phone.

In Lync/SfB you have the options to forward calls to: Voice Mail, Mobile, Home (phone), New Number or Contact, or My Delegates. You have the same options for the Simultaneously Ring feature.

For more detailed info on these Microsoft Lync/SfB Features go to: Set Call Forwarding options

I am currently using the Plantronics Voyager Edge UC however I have evaluated tons of Microsoft Lync/SfB Optimized/certified/compatible UC Bluetooth headsets to include: Plantronics Voyager Legend UC, Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, Jabra Motion UC, Jabra Stealth UC, Jabra Evolve 65 UC, Sennheiser Presence UC, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 and 2 UC & VXi Voxstar UC.

There are many options available when it comes to multi-connectivity Bluetooth headsets depending on your use case and wearing style preferences. You can choose from single ear, dual ear, over the ear, in the ear, and over the ear. The Plantronics Voyager  Focus UC offers Active Noise Canceling speaker option. The Jabra Stealth UC offers remote access to Siri /Google Now voice assistant. Each model offers a different list of feature functionality as well as varying talk times. Contact a UC headset specialist to help guide you in making the right choice for your business communications needs.

Here is a list of Mobile & Softphone Connectivity Headsets (These Bluetooth headsets pair to your mobile phone/tablet as well PC/Laptop via USB Bluetooth Dongle):

Sennheiser MB Pro 2 UC ML – Product Review

July 29, 2014

By Danny Hayasaka

Sennheiser was here the other day and left me this little gem of a product, the Sennheiser MB Pro 2 UC ML.

What you get in the box: Headset, Dongle, USB charging stand, Safety guide, InCompliance leaflet, Quick guide

Set Up: Like most USB headsets today, it’s important to download Sennheiser software especially HeadSetUp and Sennheiser Updater. For connection to PC, insert USB dongle into USB port. Device drivers will install. Appears to automatically pair to USB dongle. Connect Charging Stand via USB to PC. Allow headset to charge

  • 40 min fast charge for 7.5hrs of talk time
  • 2hr 30 min complete charge cycle for 15hrs of talk time

You can check battery charge level by pressing multi-function button and voice prompt tells you “Above 10 hrs talk time”. You can also place headset on charge stand and watch the blue LED light. Red light blinks once if below 1hr talk time. Blue light blinks four times if above 10 hrs of talk time.

To pair to mobile device place headset into Bluetooth Pairing mode

  • Turn headset off by pressing multi-function button for like two seconds
  • Press and hold multi-function button until you hear “Pairing” about 6 seconds
  • Place mobile device into pairing mode
  • Select “Sennheiser MB Pro..”
  • Should pair right up

Pretty standard pairing procedure, you will hear voice prompt telling “Pairing successful” plus if paired to dongle it will let you know you are paired to dongle as well.

Volume and Mute Control Switch – forwards and back to increase/decrease volume. Press in to mute during call and press again to unmute.

Actual use: We use Microsoft Lync here so I was able to select Sennheiser from list of audio devices (I have several Lync devices connected to my PC) I made a few test calls via Lync and was surprised at the range I received. I can roam basically throughout our entire 2nd floor. Please note we have open floor plan except for a few offices around the perimeter and conf room in the middle. Audio quality was pretty poor in stairwell and when I went to the furthest corner of building. That was expected however, it did NOT disconnect the call.

Audio quality of standard call was really good and the noise canceling mic appears to work well and better than most standard NC mics.

Here’s where it gets good. The headset seems “to know” when you are streaming music and the volume level and audio quality seem to improve to support music. STREAMING MUSIC SOUNDS REALLY GOOD!!! As we know,  most Bluetooth headsets that support PC/Mobile connectivity (Voyager Legend UC, Motion UC, VoxStar UC, Presence UC)  are “single ear” and music sounds, “okay” at best when being streamed. Music pumping through both speakers is like being in your own little world at work. If a call comes through, you can answer. When you hang up, you go right back to the music. And…with the crazy battery life of the MB Pro 2, you are assured uninterrupted music and talking during your work day.

Conclusion: The Sennheiser MB Pro 2 is a nice addition to the Sennheiser portfolio. If you are an individual who requires dual connectivity (PC/Laptop and Mobile device), and wants to drown the outside world by streaming music or you just prefer dual ear coverage with a very good noise canceling mic, then the MB Pro 2 is for you. It comes in two variants:

  1. SEN-506045-006 Optimized for major softphone and UC brands, the headsets are designed for UC business professionals who demand wireless communication freedom, brilliant sound quality, and exceptional wearing comfort.
  2. SEN-506046-006 Optimized for Microsoft Lync, the headsets are designed for UC business professionals who demand wireless communication freedom, brilliant sound quality, and exceptional wearing comfort.