USB Dongle versus Pairing Headset

Why Do I Need a USB Dongle vs Pairing the Headset Directly to a Computer?

This is a frequently asked question on our channel so we decided to reach out to Jabra, Poly and EPOS for their response. While you can pair your headset directly to your PC or Mac, the primary reason to use a dongle is call control. Using the pre-paired dongle will support the headset user the ability to answer and end calls via headset controls vs platform GUI. Other reasons to use a USB dongle versus pairing headset to Bluetooth are improved audio quality, increased roaming range, and overall user experience.

Here is what they had to say:

Jabra

Using the included Jabra Link Bluetooth adapter with your Jabra device will ensure the following functionality:

  • Integration with computer softphone and software support with Jabra Direct
    Full integration between a Jabra device and a computer softphone usually works only when combined with a Jabra Link Bluetooth adapter. Connecting to a computer without a Jabra Link Bluetooth adapter may provide audio capability in the device but not call control for answering and ending calls.
  • Bluetooth range
    Jabra devices obtain the best possible range when they are used with a Jabra Link Bluetooth adapter and not the built-in Bluetooth in a computer. Bluetooth performance of a computer is usually limited to a range of 2-5 meters/ 6-50 feet in a typical office environment.
  • Factory pairing and installation
    The Jabra Link Bluetooth adapter and Jabra device come pre-paired in the box. The Jabra Link Bluetooth adapter supports plug-and-play functionality, without needing to install separate software drivers on the computer.
  • Identification as a soundcard
    When pairing with the Jabra Link Bluetooth adapter, the device is identified by the computer operating system as a soundcard and can be used for all audio purposes. If a device is paired with the built-in Bluetooth of a computer, the device is usually recognized by the computer as a headset and can only be used for communication purposes.

Poly

Why are BT600 USB bluetooth adapters needed vs. pairing the headset directly to the PC/MAC?

Poly Bluetooth UC devices are full-featured and designed for optimal user experience. To fully benefit from the advanced functionality and have the most reliable audio experience, it is required that the headset is paired via the BT600 USB Bluetooth adapter versus paired directly to the PC/MAC. Poly provides function and additional benefits through the BT600 USB adapter in the following ways:

  • PC/MAC Bluetooth systems can vary widely in design and capability. By providing a BT600 USB Bluetooth adapter, Poly can ensure a better experience because we control both ends of the wireless connection
  • The BT600 USB Bluetooth adapter functions as an audio processor, which assures the best audio experience through wideband audio support—providing the highest voice quality. If connected directly to the PC/MAC, wideband audio is not possible
  • Without the BT600 USB adapter, PC/MAC Bluetooth systems do not typically provide capability to use the call control from the headset. Calls must be managed from the PC/MAC GUI and the buttons on the headset do not function. This eliminates mobility and provides a poor user experience
  • The BT600 USB Bluetooth adapter supports Poly software which provides advanced features, customization, as well as firmware upgrade capability
  • PC/MACs typically do not support all the required Bluetooth profiles or may assign the wrong Bluetooth profile to an application. The result can be poor audio quality, loss of audio on microphone or earphone, and inconsistent operation
  • The BT600 USB Bluetooth adapters enumerates to the computer as an audio device and therefore cannot act as a USB storage device. That being said, BT600 adapters cannot be used to access data on the PC/MAC

EPOS | Sennheiser

It’s the same reason for us, along with being the key to Microsoft Certification. Both the headset and dongle together is what certifies the device for use with Teams, or Skype for users still using SFB. Using the dongle will give you improved audio performance and connectivity performance as opposed to pairing native to the machine which the BT chipset can vary and may not handle audio as well as other machines etc. This is why we recommend it for most users.

Summary

As you can see, through all three partners, they have similar options on using a USB Dongle versus pairing headset to Bluetooth. Having a USB dongle is critical for having a better sound, connection, and overall better experience. Want to learn more? Check out our latest video:

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