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):

BlueParrott Reveal Review

BlueParrott is already known for having the best noise canceling mics in the Bluetooth world with their BlueParrott B250, B20-XT+, and new B350-XT. However, some folks aren’t fans of those larger, headband style only Bluetooth headsets.

I actually had a glimpse of a beta unit a while back so I was excited to finally receive my BlueParrott Reveal.

BlueParrott Reveal Review

What’s in the box? Reveal Bluetooth Headset, Carrying Case, USB Cable, Car Charger, 4 ear buds, 2 earhooks, and a User’s Guide.

At first glance: The BlueParrott Reveal is very different form factor from what I’m accustomed to from VXi. It’s smaller than any other Bluetooth headset VXi has produced.

BlueParrott Reveal Review

Set Up & Use: The VXi Reveal offers Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. I have an iPhone 6 Plus so I paired via Bluetooth. When you first turn on headset, it goes into pair mode. Go to Bluetooth menu on phone and select Reveal.

You have four contoured ear buds to choose from plus a couple ear hooks. I tried all and settled on the small bud with ear hook. For me, that was the most comfortable.





BlueParrott Reveal offers these features and functions:

  • Volume Up/Mute
  • Volume Down
  • Extendable Microphone Boom
  • On/Off Switch
  • Indicator Lights
  • Multifunction Button
  • NFC Zone

BlueParrott Reveal Review

When it came to using on calls, BlueParrott Reveal didn’t disappoint with the noise canceling mic. One of the cool features is the ability to extend the mic when in noisier conditions however, the noise canceling capability was pretty good even with mic boom not extended. The speaker quality is very good as well. I can hear clearly and it’s loud enough.

The BlueParrott Reveal  offers over 7hrs of talk time, supports streaming music or GPS directions and allows you to connect to two Bluetooth devices so like your smartphone and tablet.

Make your phone a walkie-talkie with the free BlueParrott Push-to-Talk App (Android/iOS).

I have been digging this new Bluetooth headset by BlueParrott. Happy to see they were able to reduce the size of the headset and still maintain a strong noise canceling mic.


BlueParrott B350-XT Bluetooth Headset

BlueParrott B350-XT Bluetooth Headset

Whenever I’m asked for a Bluetooth headset with the “best” noise canceling mic. Only one brand comes to mind: BlueParrott. Hands down, based on the multiple Bluetooth headsets I’ve evaluated, BlueParrott’s Bluetooth headsets have the best noise canceling mics and the BlueParrott B350-XT Bluetooth Headset in no exception. Typically the “truckers” headset of choice, however, more and more folks need really good noise canceling mics.

BlueParrott B350-XT Bluetooth Headset Review

BlueParrott B350-XT Bluetooth Headset Review

The BlueParrott B350-XT Bluetooth Headset does not disappoint!What’s in the box? B350-XT™ Headset with Leatherette Ear Cushion, Spare Foam Ear Cushion, Spare Microphone Windscreen, USB Charging Cable, AC/DC Wall Charger, Auto (DC) Adapter, Quick-Start Guide, Warranty and Compliance Document (not pictured)

VXi CC Pro Review

Received VXi CC Pro 4010G Monaural Headset with Jabra QD.

In the Bag: Yes, this product does not come in a product box but in a bubble wrap bag much like the Plantronics C300 Series. Inside you have the CC Pro 4010G headset and VXi CC Pro Headset Instructions


Initial thoughts: Looks like solid contact center headset with clearly large foam ear cushion.

Set Up: Basically you place headset on headband style with one ear covered. Connect QD portion to appropriate compatible QD cable/amplifier/adapter.

I received “G” variant of CC Pro so I connected to Link 265 and my PC with Microsoft Lync.

I must say headband is a bit snug on initial wear however you can remove headband and gently stretch headband to loosen it up a bit.

Because I’m using Jabra Link 265, it was plug and play with Microsoft Lync. Lync client recognizes Link 265 and I have all the feature functionality: answer/hang up, mute, volume up/down

Audio Quality: Had several test calls including one fairly long conference call and audio was good. There were no complaints from persons I was calling and the audio on my end was very good. The noise canceling appears to be very good. On one of the test calls I played music in the background and slowly increased volume. I had the volume up loud (not maxed out but then even I wouldn’t be able to hear myself). Person on other end had to be told there was music playing however they couldn’t really distinguish song and it seemed to cut out when I was talking.


VXi CC ProVXi CC Pro

VXi CC Pro

VXi CC Pro

Closing Comments: This is a fairly priced contact center headset the competes with Plantronics SupraPlus, Jabra GN 2000 Series and Sennheiser’s SH 300 Series. Key selling point is that like other VXi QD headsets, you have the options of Jabra, Plantronics and VXi Quick Disconnect variants to easily transition from those brands to VXi.

VXi ConneXt – Review

By Danny Hayasaka

February 26, 2014

Received my VXi ConneXt Deskphone/PC Switch

In the Box: ConneXt switch box, Phone to ConneXt cable, ConneXt to USB cable, QD cable (VXi, Plantronics and Jabra QD variants available), Headset Stand, User Guide, Warranty Info card

Set Up: Easy. Attach headset stand to the base. Connect QD coil cord to the base and run along the cord management system on the underside of base. Connect base to phone patch cable. Connect the USB cable to base.

There are A, B and C switch settings on side of ConneXt depending on the phone you are connecting to. “A” switch setting is the most common (Polycom, ShoreTel, Panasonic, and others). “B” for Cisco 6900, 7900, 8900 and 9900 Series and “C” for Avaya 1600, 9600 and 96×1 Series.

Additionally, there is a built-in microphone boost. There are 8 settings (1-8). Position #1 (default) is when no additional boost is needed. Position #8 is for maximum microphone boost.


I have no desk phone so I was only able to connect to my PC with Microsoft Lync. Lync recognized the device as VXi 2-Wary Switch V1.0

If I was connected to the desk phone, I would use the toggle switch on ConneXt to switch back and forth between desk phone and PC.

Making calls. I used my Microsoft Lync client to make calls. The audio quality was really good on my end. There was a delay in “answering” a Lync call however after I went into Control Panel à Sound and made VXi 2-Way Switch default, there was no delay.

VXi VoxStar UC – Review

By Danny Hayasaka

December 17, 2013 – January 14, 2014

Received the new VXi VoxStar UC Bluetooth Headset and USB Dongle

In The Box: VoxStar Bluetooth headset, USB Bluetooth Dongle, ear hook, ear cushions and rings, headband, neckband, USB to micro USB cable, AC power adapter with USB port, VXi VoxStar UC Quick Start Guide

Set Up: Charging is simple. Connect micro USB connection to back of VoxStar headset. Connect USB plug to AC Power Adapter or to USB port on PC. Headset charging, the LED will illuminate red and blue when fully charged.

To turn headset on, hold multi-function button (MFB) for 2-3 seconds, if you are wearing headset, headset will state, “Power On”. To power off, hold MFB for 3-4 seconds and you will hear, “Power off”.

When you first connect USB dongle to PC, a series of drivers install before device is ready for use. VoxStar automatically pairs to USB Dongle when VoxStar is turned on and USB dongle is connected to PC.

You can also go to for more info on configuring your specific operating system.

To pair headset to mobile device, from headset turned off, press and hold MFB for 5-15 second, it will state “Discovering”. Place your mobile device into Bluetooth pairing mode. Select VXi VoxStar as your device. Once connected/paired, it will state “Your headset is connected”.

You can make and take calls via Lync. The only negative is that you can NOT answer Lync calls remotely. However I hear VXi is “working on that”. Folks may overlook lack of remote answer capability once they realize how good the noise canceling mic is. I have three different comparable Lync optimized audio devices and the VXi VoxStar provides much better noise canceling mic ability.

Conclusion: VXi has produced a pretty great product. There are currently other Bluetooth headsets that allow you to pair to mobile and PC/Laptop via USB dongle however, the great noise canceling mic really takes this product to another level. Plus the three included wearing styles and multiple charging options are very nice features. I would definitely recommend this product to those in need of a Bluetooth with exceptional noise canceling mic.

VXi BlueParrott Xpress Review

Dates: 5/22-5/23 2012

by Danny Hayasaka

Received the VXi BlueParrott Xpress, 5/22/12. It is “retail” packaged. Here is link to “unboxing” video posted on CallOneInc YouTube Channel:

What’s In the Box: Xpress headset with Ear Hook and Medium Eartip, Large and Small Ear Tip, USB Charging Cable, DC Car Charger.

First Impression: Larger than most “Bluetooth” headsets on the market however still pretty sleek looking. Extremely lightweight.

Wearing: Headset can be worn on the left or right ear. Easy to change ear hook. Still debating whether or not I like the ear tip.

Pairing: After charging via USB. I paired to my phone which was fairly simple to do. If headset is “off”, simply press the multi-function button (MFB) until light flashes blue rapidly. On my iPhone I navigated to Bluetooth menu and made certain iPhone Bluetooth function is “on” and “discoverable”. The option for the VXi Xpress appeared, I selected and Xpress and iPhone were paired. Fairly standard process.

Use: The headset does have voice prompt feature. For example you hear “Power On” when headset is turned on and “Discovering” when in pairing mode. “Power Off” when headset is shut off. I was eager to see how well the noise canceling mic worked. Up until now, the VXi B250-XT has the best noise canceling mic. I made a few phone calls plus left myself a message to “hear” how well the noise canceling mic worked. First I made call with car off. Next I started car and started driving. In city traffic, audio quality was great. Next I got on the highway. First I cranked up the stereo to all the way up to volume level 36 (Level 16-22 is a good strong volume level. 40 is max volume level for my car stereo). Next at speeds of 55+ MPH I lowered the windows in the car, first the driver’s side and then all four windows. Even with all the noise, the person on the other end was able to hear me just fine. They claim at they could hear that music was playing and could hear “wind” sounds however, when I spoke, they heard me just fine. I called left myself voice message. The noise canceling mic on the Xpress headset definitely works extremely well. Additionally, the speaker volume was good. I could hear the other caller fairly well in the extreme conditions.

Closing Comments: I would definitely recommend the VXi Xpress Bluetooth headset to anyone who requires a best in class noise canceling mic. I still believe the B250-XT has the best noise canceling mic however this is almost on the same level. The upside to the Xpress is that it offers a great nc mic in a much sleeker, more attractive form factor.

Received VXi UC Proset 10V

Date: 1/6/12-1/13/12

By Danny Hayasaka

The launch box I received was very cool. Included the headset, letter from Mike Ferguson (President & CEO), sell sheets, sticky note pad, a chrome-VXi-labeled yo-yo and I received a bottle of champagne which is a nice touch. You can never have enough champagne and reason to celebrate.

What’s In the Box: UC Proset 10V headset, Leatherette ear cushion on headset, spare foam ear cushion and mic screen, lapel clip and instructions.

First Impression: At first glance, I said “Wow!” This is completely different than any other VXi headset. It looks like a very cool headset. It’s very light weight. Also, the cable is different than most other corded headset cables. It appears to be  a woven fabric of some sort. Like a nylon rope.

Wearing: Okay, I get a little critical here. I know it’s “new” so there is the “new” stiffness however it seems very “tight” on my head. Additionally, it doesn’t seem to be sitting comfortably on my head. I attribute that to there not being enough mobility in ear piece (speaker). I’ve worn for about an hour now and the tightness on my head is a bit uncomfortable. We use Microsoft Lync so I’m connected to my PC via the VXi X200 USB adapter. My PC tower is located under my desk. So I have to connect the X200 USB cable basically on the floor and the X200 seems to “pull” on the headset causing discomfort. I disconnected the X200 and that appears to be a major cause to the level of wearing discomfort I was feeling.

Possible breakpoint

Sound Quality: Received call via Lync. I was able to use the X200 inline control to answer call. It also changed my presence status when I was “in a call”. The sound quality was very good. I was also able to mute using the X200 inline control. My transmission level was good according to the caller.  My receive volume was pretty good. So pretty good sound quality.

Additional Comments:  I noticed a potential break point. It’s actually already breaking a little where the headband slides in and out. There seems to be an area of stress there. There is no give at ear piece. I’ll continue wearing for at least rest of day and report in later.

End of Day: The headset does lose its “stiffness” after a couple hours of use. The sound quality has remained steady and good so far.

Day 2: Again, the initial stiffness seems to have gone away.  The mic is not like their traditional mics in terms of placement. It seems further away and I can’t seem to “move” it. It’s pretty fixed. However, I haven’t had any complaints in terms of my transmit quality and volume level.

Day 4: All is well. The sound quality is still good. The comfort level has improved  (or I’ve just gotten use to it).

Day 6: After about a week of use the headset definitely feels more comfortable. I really like the woven fabric cable and wonder if they can make other cables using that same material. The headset continued to work well with our Microsoft Lync client. Because I have grown so accustomed to wireless, I’d reach up to the ear piece to answer whenever I would get a call. Even after a week of using, I still do that. Also, it was hard for me to get use to the cord and I realized quickly why I like being wireless so much more.

Closing Comments: The VXI UC Proset should be well received in contact centers who already use corded headsets. In the office space, if there are employees using corded headsets, this may be a nice option based on its appearance. It’s going to be critical to inform customers that headset will take a few days to “loosen up”. I utilized with Microsoft Lync and it worked well. No issues with sound (Receive or Transmit). I really like the material and feel of the cable. It is a “cool” looking headset. Pricing seems to be competitive.  This product definitely needs to be sent out to customers to “try”.

VXi V100 & L50 Handset

VXi V100 & L50 Handset

Packaging – For the VXi V100 & L50 Handset, I have a beta unit so I’m not certain if the actual production models will be packaged in plain white boxes however, in order to keep costs down, it may.

Included in the V100 box was the V100 base station, headset, ear hook, headband, neckband, telephone line splitter, base jack cable (mod to mod), tel wall jack cable (fat mod plugs), ac power supply and standard patch cable (mod to mod).

Included in the L50 box was the lifter, ring detector and anti slip pad.

Set Up – With the VXi V100 & L50 Handset, I normally don’t read through the instructions (I try and behave like the majority of typical customers) however all the various cables and unique design of the lifter had me scratching my head so I briefly skimmed through the instruction manuals.

Initially I tried to set up like all the other current wireless headsets on the market. The “base jack” cable did NOT work. I used the standard patch cable and also had to go through the switch settings and found that on our InterTel phones, Switch Settings B and D seem to work.

The L50 Lifter is very different when compared to the current handset lifters in the market. Instead of “lifting” the handset, it’s a plunger that presses the hookswitch button on the phone. There are a couple moving parts so it took some trials and adjusting to get it just right. I will say that it appears to work much faster than current lifters on the market.

Wearing Styles – When using the VXi V100 & L50 Handset, I personally prefer the neckband wearing style. The earpiece can be changed to be worn on the left or right ear. Not certain if the production model will be better built but after a few changes from the left to right, the earpiece no longer stays in place and pops right out.  It seems to have worn out the groove that holds it in place. The headband is fairly standard and works like it should, it’s easily adjusted for left or right ear wear. The earhook is okay however I’m not certain it will be for everyone since there is a non-removable tip that enters the ear. When I wore over the ear, it was comfortable at first however after a few hours the eartip portion began to cause some pain & discomfort.

Test Calls – A test call to an internal extension yielded the switch setting results of B and D. I made a call to an outside line to simple test if I could hear and be heard. I did make some adjustment to the mic volume via the controls on the base unit.

Range – I was able to go throughout the entire 2nd Floor of our building. I literally walked to each corner on the top floor and was still able to hear and be heard. I lost connection when I went into our Shipping Dept which is on the 1st floor of this building.

Normal Work Day Use – The battery life is sufficient to last the entire day. While I am away from desk, I do get an audible beeping when my phone rings and can answer remotely with no problems. The sound quality is good in both receive and transmit. I haven’t lost any calls and I can’t stress how “fast” the lifter answers and hangs up. It’s the fastest one I’ve used to date.

Final Thoughts – In terms of competing in the today’s marketplace, the VXi V100 & L50 Handset appears to be a direct competitor to the very popular Plantronics CS55. In a side by side comparison, the VXi V100 appears to be the better value/choice.

CS55 & HL10 V100 & L50
MSRP: $379.95 MSRP: $350.00
Operating Frequency: 1.9GHz DECT Operating Frequency: 1.9GHz DECT
Talk Time: Up to 10hrs Talk Time: Up to 10hrs
Standby Time: Up to 50hrs Standby Time: Up to 120hrs
Range: Up to 300ft Range: Up to 300ft
Wearing Styles: Over the ear, headband, (Optional neckband sold separately @ $19.95ea) Wearing Styles: Over the ear, headband & neckband all included
Conference Capability: none Conference Capability: Ability to conference two headsets on one base station