Blue Response Emergency Services Headset review

Blue Response Emergency Services Headset Review

The New Blue Response – Emergency Services Headset Review

You could argue that every business call is potentially a form of critical communication, quite possibly the difference between closing a deal and losing a deal in some cases. Take that one step further to include the emergency services communication rooms and its guaranteed that every call is of a critical nature.

Quite literally the difference between life and death in most cases. We would argue that this area has been lacking historically when it comes to emergency services headsets.

“i.e. using headsets as they are an essential tool but more often than not, a sub-standard or poorly designed product”

After all you don’t know what you don’t know – until you do!

In our experience people tend to go for the leading brands like Plantronics, nothing wrong in that but like all things in life, there are always better options.

And when we say better options, we mean headsets specifically designed for one job and one job only:

And that is to:
Ensure that any critical communication call is relayed in a reliable & clear manner (oh and provides world class noise cancellation too)

At Headsets4business we have the opportunity to work with so many of these critical communication sectors covering everyone from the Police, Fire & Ambulance services through to NHS 111 contact centres & other NHS/Government areas. (at the time or writing this, these guys have been busy on a level never seen before so they seriously need the best possible help they can get and the last thing they need are poor standard headsets)

Thankfully the feedback we receive from these emergency sectors, in turn, helps us work with headset manufacturers to create better products.

So much so that we are excited to inform you that we now have a product which covers the most important things you tell us are needed in a headset for this critical sector.

Introducing

The Blue Response Professional Emergency Services Headset

blue response critical communications headset

Buy the Blue Response Ultra Noise cancelling headset here

Watch our You Tube Video Review Below:

Blue Response Video Review on You Tube

Your feedback in those essential sectors enabled us to produce a product which solved the problems that some of you have experienced with other headsets.

These are the solutions to those problems based on your requirements!

They are:

Dependability -You need your headsets to last,  they must be up to the rigors of the day but at the same time, be robust BUT without compromising on weight and comfort.

How have we achieved that with the Blue Response headset?

By incorporating a premium Grade Aluminium Housing (see image below) which provides your headset with an outstanding and solid build quality. This then ensures that all components are held securely in place by using only the highest quality materials.

commercial grade aluminium housing

Headsets – Effective in reducing noise:

The Ultra noise cancelling microphone on the Blue Response uses the latest surround shield technology. This tech helps to further increase the effectiveness of the noise cancelling microphone. Resulting in a much lower detection of ambient office background noise for the caller. The second an emergency contact centre workers asks “What did you say or Can you repeat that?” adds critical time to the process. The surround shield helps to prevent the user of having to repeat themselves.

surround shield noise cancellation technology

Emergency Services Headsets have to be Practical:

One of the single biggest problems with Aesthetically pleasing headsets is they may look good with super small ear cushions but often don’t fit on the ear properly, don’t provide any extra sound cushioning so we made sure every Blue Response headset is fitted with large 70mm soft leatherette ear pads.

sound cushion emergency services headset

This is a 40 percent increase in size compared to a standard 50mm ear pad. And using larger ear pads helps to reduce the level of ambient background noise surrounding the headset wearer which in turn, aids concentration and improves the call clarity.

And by simply increasing the size of ear pads means the headsets weight is distributed over a larger area. Making it extremely comfortable, especially for continual use over long shift periods that emergency comm’s staff are known to do.

So what else is so unique about the new Blue Response Emergency Services Headset?

Well let’s take a look at the management side of things, every communications room manager or IT manager in a contact centre environment will tell you “continuity” of firmware & updates are a particular headache where some headset manufacturers are basically saying, you need to have another system to look after these things to ensure everyone is on the same firmware at the same time etc

Introducing the Hero USB cable/lead

hero usb cable for blue response headsets

For those using softphone platforms (a growing trend in some contact centres) this very clever USB doesn’t need updating using third party software, its plug n play and that’s it, always on, always up to date to leave your agents to get on with the job without all those potential updating headaches!

Note* The Blue Response headset comes with a QD “quick disconnect” lead so regardless of the desk phone or softphone you are connecting to, we have a lead/cable compatible with your device!

And finally:

As we know, we live in uncertain times and you never know what virus or disease the world will throw at us next. So how about a simple fix to a problem that has been highlighted so often lately

The simple answer to Hygiene

The Blue Response headset come with a protective hygienic case designed to provide secure and safe storage for your headset before and after your shift has finished. How we work will probably never be the same again with Health, hygiene and safety in the workplace now paramount.

open hygienic carry case for blue response headsets

So make the Blue Response locker case an integral part of your PPE! – You heavily invest time and money in your staff so help protect them as well in a simple but highly effective solution.

 

Like a trial of the Blue Response – Emergency Services Headset?

Headsets4business are offering any critical sector organisation the opportunity to see the Blue Response in action (so to speak) we know words are cheap and it’s the product that needs to be up to the job so if you or your organisation would like a free trial of this exciting new product then please feel free to call us Mon-Fri 9-5pm on 0800 644 0424 or email us

Our customers have always said that free trials are the only true way to ensure you get the right headset for the right job, so take advantage and organise your free trial of the Blue Response Headset today

Have a question? – call us on UK 0800 644 0424

 

see the main Blue Response headset website

 

EPOS expand 80 80T bluetooth speakerphone

EPOS Expand 80 Speakerphone Review

EPOS Expand 80 USB Bluetooth Speakerphone Review

So yet again those very clever people at EPOS Audio (some of you know them better as Sennheiser) have come up trumps with the new Epos Expand 80 Speakerphone from the ever expanding  EPOS Expand “no pun intended” range of speakerphones.

With all that’s going on in the world at this time, it seems an opportune moment for EPOS Sennheiser to bring out a higher end USB Bluetooth speakerphone like the EPOS Expand 80 and Expand 80T Speakerphone for MS Teams.

Epos Audio have produced 2 variants of their new Bluetooth speakerphone, very similar to other products in the new EPOS stable.

The EPOS Expand 80 Speakerphone variants are:
Expand 80 UC
standard edition Unified Communications to fit all the major platforms!

the Expand 80T
for the ever popular Microsoft Teams version which may end up being the best seller as so many people are collaborating and conferencing on MS teams these days!

Note*
I know you will likely be wanting answers to many questions re this product so I will add them in where I see fit, if you don’t see the question you need answering – contact Headsets4business

So here is the first Q&A

What will the EPOS Expand 80 connect to?

The expand 80 speakerphone is no slouch when it comes to connection possibilities offering four ways to connect your devices:

  1. USB cable for connection to PC/Mac (included in the box)
  2. Bluetooth via NFC (“Near Far Communication”) for smartphone/tablet etc
  3. Bluetooth on its own (smartphone/tablet etc)
  4. Bluetooth via the Sennheiser BTD 800 USB dongle (for PC) which is also included.

What is a dongle?
a simple tiny plugin USB device for making any USB compatible device connect via Bluetooth. Its easy to use, set up and a very reliable way to enable Bluetooth.

The next main thing most people will want to know is:

How many people or participants can the Expand 80 cover?

Ok so its important to let you know here that this “high-end” Bluetooth speakerphone is very expandable with the optional Expand 80 Expansion Microphone (see image 1 below) and you can add up to 2 of these to the main speakerphone (see image 3).

Image 1:
Expansion microphone for Expand 80

EPOS Expand 80 - 80T Expansion Microphone

Image 2:
The Expand 80/80T Speakerphone

EPOS expand 80 80T bluetooth speakerphone

Image 3:
Expanding the EPOS Expand 80 speakerphone with expansion speakers

epos expand 80 speakerphone with expansion microphones

On its own without mics – the Expand 80T variant will cover 7 people
On its own without mics  – the Expand 80 UC variant will cover 16 people

Then we add the mics…

EXPAND 80 Mic With EXPAND 80T Speakerphone
Participants with 1 Mic: up to 11
Participants with 2 Mics: up to 18

EXPAND 80 Mic With EXPAND 80 UC Speakerphone
Participants with 1 Mic: up to 24
Participants with 2 Mics: up to 32

*In summary and much simpler:
on MS Teams version 7-18 people
on UC version 11-32 people and all from this very clever speakerphone. Pretty impressive hey? We haven’t tried that many people but if EPOS say its doable, they mean it!

How far realistically is the Bluetooth transmission range?

EPOS says:
EXPAND 80 Bluetooth® transmission range and media playback is only possible in the Bluetooth transmission range of the devices. The transmission range largely depends on environmental conditions such as wall thickness, wall composition etc. With a free line of sight, the transmission range of most mobile phones and Bluetooth devices is up to 25 meters.

We say:
Let’s face it no one should be trying to have a full blown conference call 25 metres from a speakerphone so don’t even try it, even if social distancing is required you can sit apart or stand apart relatively close to the expand 80, it wont let you down, the mics used cover 360 degrees and are amazing at pick up!

What happens if you leave the Bluetooth zone?
no problem, the minute you come back into it, the expand 80 will reconnect your device

How many Bluetooth devices can be paired to the Expand 80 speakerphone?

you can pair up to 7 devices to the Expand 80 and it will remember all of them in its memory so no need to keep re-pairing your device

How do I keep it safe? (after all this isnt a cheap device)
The Expand 80 speakerphone has a Kensington Lock connection on the reverse which is a very effective way of ensuring no “light fingered” employee or other individual takes a fancy to this high tech piece of kit.

Ok so what is a Kensington Lock?
A Kensington lock is a security device that attaches a cable from a computer to a stationary object such as table. It is similar to a bicycle lock that attaches a bicycle securely to a railing.

What is the sound like on the EPOS Expand 80 & 80T speakerphone?

Its from EPOS Audio folks, the sound is of the highest clarity and quality as you would expect from a collaboration of Sennheiser and EPOS who both come from a sound tech background.

The bigger question, is the expand 80 easy to set up?

Absolutely, EPOS have made it about as fool proof as they can with simple instructions on there very helpful easy set up guide here (that’s for those people who actually read them that is, for the rest they will call us and pretend they haven’t seen the instruction booklet hmmm!!!)

Can I listen to music through the expand 80 speakerphone?

Yes if you want to kick back after a stressful conference call listening to crystal clear music from EPOS Audio’s perfectly balanced speakers (yes we are biased) then it’s a simple button press!

The EPOS Expand 80 – In summary:

If you are looking for professional higher end USB / Bluetooth enabled Speakerphone for as little as 6 people or up to an impressive 32 (with expansion mics) then the EPOS Expand 80 is definitely worth the investment, mainly due to the fact it’s the best in class in a space that has some speakerphones which “do the job” but don’t always deliver on call quality or connection options – the Expand 80 covers all these bases and some.

EPOS Audio are fast standing out in the crowd to show the other brands that for those people who care about call quality, clarity and connectivity there should only be only one choice.

And on to your investment…..

What does the Expand 80 speakerphone cost?
Both variants (80 UC & 80T) cost the same
EPOS expand 80 80T bluetooth speakerphone
EPOS Expand 80 – 80T Speakerphone £569 plus VAT – buy it here


EPOS Expand 80 Expansion Speakers are £160 plus VAT – buy it here

And one last thing…..
All the Expand products have access to EPOS Connect which helps you manage pretty much everything like:

Updates to firmware, changing audio settings and changes to the system.

examples of supported settings and configurations in EPOS Connect for the Expand 80 are:
•Bluetooth on/off,
•Device name
•Personal/shared mode,
•Manage pairing list
•Sounds and notifications including voice prompt language
•Factory reset

We hope this review of the EPOS Expand 80 Bluetooth speakerphone has covered most things you are likely to ask but feel free to call us or contact us if you need an answer not covered in the review

see our main EPOS Sennheiser Page here

see the EPOS Sennheiser Expand 80 official page here

Epos adapt headsets

Top 5 EPOS Adapt Headsets

Unless you’ve been sitting under a rock somewhere you will probably be aware that one of the world’s best headset manufacturers Sennheiser have now changed their name to EPOS Sennheiser Headsets and have brought out 4 new headset series:
They are:
Epos Adapt headsets – Impact – Expand – Command

without doubt the main Emphasis is on the EPOS Adapt range mainly due to the fact it’s a predominantly new wireless selection of Bluetooth USB headsets and some modifications to the SC USB range of wired headsets.

With the ever increasing popularity of working remotely or working from home becoming the new norm around the world and especially in these difficult times EPOS Sennheiser’s timing seems to have been “On the Money” as more and more people are looking for what could best be described as “crossover headsets”.

What are Sennheiser Adapt Crossover headsets?

Crossover headsets are where they can be used for both pleasure i.e. gaming or listening to music etc through to the professional business use associated with headset use, high quality calls via Bluetooth but also UC (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Skype for buisness) or VOIP telephony.

The EPOS adapt range covers both these domestic and business bases really well, mainly through the latest Audio technology and improvements in Bluetooth (Adapt use Bluetooth 5 connectivity)

Before we get into the top 5 EPOS Adapt lets look at:

What makes the EPOS Adapt range so special?

For business users, it has to be connectivity, not only via the latest Bluetooth 5 technology for mobile phone use and other compatible devices but also all the ADAPT range are Certified for use on Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business and work seamlessly on just about every other softphone platform.

Secondly, noise cancelling! Not just your “run of the mill” noise cancelling but the Adapt 460, Adapt 560 and Adapt 660 (the flagship product) all have the latest in ANC or “Active Noise Cancellation” this helps eliminate noise for the caller AND you, the wearer. Even though ANC is not new, no one does noise cancellation like EPOS Sennheiser in our professional opinion.

Comfort, The fit & Wearing style

The new wireless Adapt headsets come in 2 wearing styles over the ear, super padded and extremely comfortable type (Adapt 360,560, 660) but also a more concealed and aesthetically pleasing neck band style in the Adapt 460 & Adapt 460T (the T version is for MS teams)

And thirdly there is Adapt Presence which has been around for a while but has now been improved with MS Teams certification in the UC version and a simple Presence business for straight Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity.

The top 5 (in reverse order) are based on current sales, personal choice based on comfort, connectivity and value for money

5 – The EPOS Adapt Presence UC version

epos sennheiser presence UC version
mainly due to the fact its amazing at noise cancellation when you are out and about but more than capable when connected to your computer for softphone use

4 – The EPOS Adapt 560 Wireless

EPOS Sennheiser Adapt 560 Wireless Headset
This is the bigger brother to the Adapt 360, where both provide super crisp and clear conversations but the Adapt 560 has the added advantage of ANC noise cancellation and is well worth the extra money in our view.

3 – The Epos Adapt SC 165 USB wired Headset

yealink sennheiser sc 165 usb headset
In these difficult times, this SC 165 has proven so popular that we couldn’t keep up with the orders or people wanting this product over the already super popular SC range. Plus its really adaptable with a choice of 3 connections in one headset – USB A, USB C & 3.5mm round pin (for mobile phones)

2- The Epos Adapt 460T wireless headset

EPOS Sennheiser Adapt 460 Wireless USB Headset BT ANC MS UC

Not everyone likes a full cup “over the ear” type of headset so although EPOS have competition in the neck band style of headset (with Jabra offering a similar product) the Adapt wins hands down in speech quality and ANC noise cancellation plus MS teams certified as well!

1 – The Epos Adapt 660 wireless headset

EPOS Sennheiser Adapt 660 Wireless Headset

I personally have owned and used the older version of this (the MB 660) and used it for long haul plane use (it was far better than a Bose Quiet comfort at noise cancelling too) through to Skype for business and it never failed me, in fact I didn’t think you could improve on it but I was so wrong!

Not only did they improve it but they rebuilt it from bottom to the top, kept the great bits and added the new technology that EPOS are famous for: Bluetooth 5 technology, Hybrid Adaptive Active Noise Cancellation, NFC, touch pad control on side of headset and the list goes on plus Microsoft Teams certified. It may be the highest cost but if you want the best then Adapt 660 will NOT disappoint.

 

So there you have it, our top 5 of EPOS Sennheiser Adapt headsets, if you have a question about the EPOS Adapt range, contact Headsets4business here

See the whole range of EPOS Sennheiser headsets here

visit the official EPOS Audio site

what is the best microsoft teams headset?

What’s the best Microsoft Teams headset?

Microsoft Teams software has become the new standard for professional collaboration in every corner of the office and of the world, Microsoft say Chat, Meet, Call and Collaborate from anywhere. If you’re actively using MS teams in your office or workplace then you are highly likely to need a compatible headset.

The main question being:

Which Microsoft Teams certified headset is right for you and your particular needs?

some of the other important questions we’re going to answer are…..

  1. Are you mainly office bound sat at your desk?
  2. Are you sometimes in the office and sometimes working from home working remotely?
  3. Are you permanently working remotely?
  4. Do you prefer wired or wireless when accessing Microsoft Teams?
  5. Whats the best way to connect, Bluetooth, DECT, USB-A or USB-C, 3.5mm?

Your choice of Microsoft Teams certified & compatible headsets depend on the answers to the questions above. most modern office software or collaboration software like Zoom 8×8 and Skype for business etc are morphing the commercial sector with the consumer sector so it’s not uncommon for people to want a headset that will cross both those areas , eg a headset that sounds fantastic when listening to music when your chilling but can quite easily switch to being an advanced business tool went on a Microsoft Teams chat or conferencing call.

As technology moves forward in this area of conferencing collaboration and chat etc more and more requirements are required of headsets and the of the people who buy them (You!)

Lets answer those questions and provide some product recommendations

Are you mainly office bound sat at your desk?

If you are lucky enough to be back in the office (Covid-19 still an issue at time of writing this) and you are actively sat at a desk for the main part then a decent quality wired headset is the way to go.

Pros & Cons of wired Microsoft team headsets – the main pro is simplicity, any wired headset that is certified for MST will do the job admirably as its gone through the whole testing process to ensure it just works and works well. Brand wise the top 2 brands for MST are: EPOS Sennheiser & Jabra.

Both these brands offer quality and are very affordable plus some (especially EPOS Sennheiser) offer the choice of “tri” connectivity i.e. the ability to connect USB-A (the larger original USB), USB-C (the smaller newer USB) & 3.5mm (for mobile, smart phones etc)

Here are 2 recommendations for EPOS Sennheiser & Jabra

SC 135
Sennheiser / EPOS SC 135 USB hwired headset

SC 165
sennheiser sc 165 usb c headset

Cons: well none really apart from lack of manoeuvrability compared to wireless but if your desk bound mainly, its not an issue is it?

Are you sometimes in the office and sometimes working from home working remotely?

This is where the cross over starts from consumer to commercial use, so you will probably be wanting something that you can watch Netflix with or something to listen to your latest music choice then back in the office with a seamless connection to the office and Microsoft Teams collaboration -yes?
Well its got to be wireless (predominantly) for this choice, its where the market is going and the likes of the new EPOS Sennheiser ADAPT range is designed specifically for that and all MS Teams certified but will happily work on every other platform

EPOS Sennheiser ADAPT
The ADAPT range are: 300, 400, 500 & 600 series but for the purpose of this recommendation we are going to choose just 3 based on budget conscious, middle ground and high end (hopefully that covers most of the bases and price points)

EPOS Sennheiser ADAPT 460

Sennheiser ADAPT 460 wireless headset

EPOS Sennheiser ADAPT 560
EPOS ADAPT 560 wireless Bluetooth headset

EPOS Sennheiser ADAPT 660
EPOS Sennheiser ADAPT 660 wireless Bluetooth headset

Pros of ADAPT:
The ability to connect to multiple media devices (up to 8) Quality, Amazing sound (BOSE, listen up here!) Call quality, Build & construction is second to none and finally the noise cancellation is cutting edge (the higher end adapt are NC and ANC) oh and of course they are all Microsoft Teams compatible headsets.

Cons: Cost is the main thing but this kind of cutting edge quality is never going to be cheap is it? With EPOS, you get what you pay for! They invest millions in R&D to ensure you get the best possible experience.

Are you permanently working remotely?

This is down to a combination of the answers already provided and comes down to personal preference, requirements and cost obviously. The same caveat applies: if you are mainly desk bound and are budget conscious then go wired headsets, if you are constantly up and about and want the flexibility of connecting multiple media devices then it has to be wireless

Do you prefer wired or wireless headsets when accessing MS teams?

Up to now (+ historically) the likes of Jabra and EPOS Sennheiser have worked on the basis that wired are for the office workers and wireless are for the bosses but all that has changed, that crossover is here and most people want flexibility and the ability to connect their headset to any number of multi media devices either via USB-A or USB-C or Bluetooth or all 3 so its only natural that products should reflect that and Jabra & EPOS Sennheiser do that in spades.

Here are 2 Jabra wireless headsets compatible with Microsoft Teams collaboration software that we recommend;

Jabra Engage 75 mono
Jabra Engage 75 wireless headset Mono version
Jabra Engage 75 Duo

And here are the best selling EPOS Sennheiser multi media headsets

EPOS Sennheiser SDW 5016
EPOS Sennheiser SDW 5016

Whats the best way to connect, via Bluetooth, DECT, USB-A or USB-C, 3.5mm?

The short answer is “it depends” and the more types of device you need connectivity with, then the more you will pay (thats technology for you!) the only headsets that will acheive that are MS Teams certified wireless headsets.  Consequently if you only require a PC connection like USB then you can get a basic wired straight through USB wired headsets

 

Do you have a question about this post? – contact us here or call UK 0161 830 6818, we will do our best to answer your queries.

 

work from home headsets

Work from home headsets

Working remotely has become the new normal….

At the time of writing this post, it seems the whole world is working from home or wants to. And everyone seems to be looking for work from home headsets.
What used to be seen as a bit of a luxury for some employees has become the new normal. Affecting every employee from the corporate world down to small local businesses in every sector of business life.

At first it seemed like working remotely from home, away from colleagues, friends and that whole day time socialising just wouldn’t work but the opposite has happened in so many cases. The larger UK businesses are letting thousands of employees, not only work remotely but after all this madness ends (and it will) then as many as 50% will most likely be staying there.

Why is this?
Basically because it works!, it’s been proven that people can be more productive. Less interference (think office gossip, endless meetings, waiting for decision makers etc) and other time sucking events are a thing of the past or at least, massively reduced.

So after all that what is the most important thing about working remotely from your own home?

Communication!

In a nut shell, that’s the one thing that still needs to be crystal clear ,continuous, the one thing we all need to be able to do on a regular basis to keep work flowing (and the profit that pays our wages). Lets face it, we are so used to instant communication in the shape of Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp & Instagram etc that working remotely has to work the same way we have been used to, as a minimum right?.

At Headsets4business we have been inundated with requests to help transfer all those office dwellers (and none office dwellers too) to work at the kitchen table, the back bedroom or sat in the lounge with a laptop on your knee. And now the communication has shifted to the likes of Microsoft Teams, Zoom meetings, Slack, and Skype for Business etc

Professional communications require professional tools to help and headsets are one of the best ways to ensure that productivity is not compromised.

So what are the most important things you (or your bosses) should consider before buying a headset for home working?

The first is…..

The device or devices you are connecting to:
We are living in a connected world now and devices are all morphing (all be it slowly) into one, with the likes of Bluetooth headsets being the obvious choice for working with mobile phones. The question is: are Bluetooth headsets the best option? If you are only using a smart phone to communicate then yes probably! But read the whole post to see if there is a better option for your particular needs.

Bluetooth headsets – the ideal work at home headsets

We would recommend the following if your mainly using a smart phone:

EPOS – Sennheiser Presence – something small and truly mobile!
Sennheiser / EPOS Prescence Headset
price from £85 + VAT
see it here

For those who want the minimal look but no compromise on quality (that’s call quality, noise cancellation and build quality) then the Sennheiser Presence is a great choice plus if you are allowed out side then this can easily come with you, on a walk, a run or driving in the car!

Looking for something a little more like your headset at work?

Then try:

The Sennheiser DW MB Pro – professional end bluetooth

sennheiser MB pro 2 base station and charging unit
price £105 + VAT
see it here

Same quality as the previous Bluetooth headset but designed specifically for commercial all day use with a battery to match

Jabra Evolve 65 – super looks and ability to match

Jabra Evolve 65 2 ear wireless bluetooth headset

Price from £105 + VAT

The Evolve range of wireless come with a simple bluetooth dongle to plug into your laptop, computer or tablet even.

see it here

Jabra Evolve 75 – Amazing sound & Noise cancellation ability
Jabra Evolve 75 wireless bluetooth ANC headset

Price £175 + VAT
see it here

This headset has both noise cancelling (for the caller) and Active noise cancelling or ANC (for you the wearer!)

Computer headsets for home working

It’s probably fair to say that the vast majority of you will be on PC or a Laptop mainly due to the fact so many of us require access to the many programs we use every day and working from home should be no different should it?

For computer/Laptop use there are 2 types of headset to consider:

1. Wired USB headsets (USB-A & USB-C)
2. Wireless headsets which connect via USB, Bluetooth (see the recommendations for bluetooth above)
and DECT
3. The 3.5mm round pin headsets which you can plug direct into a smart phone via the headphone jack or

Working from Home – Wired:
First of all lets talk about the actual connection to your PC or laptop, the older computers/laptops etc have the large USB-Type A plug and the newer ones have the USB-C mini plug, the products below cover all 3 options USB-A, USB-C and 3.5mm.

EPOS Sennheiser SC range (USB wired straight through)

Sennheiser EPOS SC 165
SC 165 cisco jabber compatible usb headset
price from £69 + VAT
connections: USB-A (image above), USB-C and 3.5mm
see it here

Sennhesier EPOS SC 130
Sennheiser / EPOS SC 130 USB wired headset for Cisco Jabber
price from £49 + VAT
connections: USB-A (image above), USB-C
see it here

Sennheiser EPOS SC 630
Sennheiser / EPOS SC630 optimised for MS Lync
price from £120 + VAT
connections: USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm, Desk phone
see it here

A word about the different types of wired headsets:
There are basically 2 types of wired headsets, headsets that are “wired straight through” which means the cable from the headset to the plug is a single wire with removable section. The second type and arguably the best is to get a wired headset that has a “QD” or quick disconnect plug half way down the wire.

Why are QD’s better?
Well if you want to take your headset back to work and use it on another device, typically a desk phone then its highly likely you would need a different type of plug as desk phones usually have a square RJ11 type plug, so if you have a wired straight through type of headset then you have a problem.

With a QD wired headset you don’t need to replace the whole thing, you just replace the bottom cable with the correct type of plug.

Plus if you decide to work between the office and home then you just swap the bottom cable – simples!

Here are 2 recommended wired headsets with QD

Streamline ProVX

Streamline ProVX-M professional telephone headset

price from £70 + VAT
see it here

Streamline ProV

price from £50 + VAT
see it here

Wireless:

No issues with connection here and you could go for either Bluetooth if your PC or laptop has it (you can also buy a Bluetooth dongle if it doesn’t – see bluetooth section above)

or DECT wireless that uses the same technology as a cordless phone in the home which are great if door bell goes and your on the other side of the house as DECT nearly always have a greater coverage than Bluetooth.

In fact if wireless is a “must” then DECT should be too. Especially if you want to connect to multiple types of devices

Example:
You are working from home and you use your smart phone, your PC & a desk phone. Well your in luck as the higher end wireless are multi media compliant and will connect to all 3 devices. But don’t worry if its just 1 device there is a wireless headset for you too!

Here are 2 DECT wireless we recommend for working at home

Sennheiser DW Office

Sennheiser / EPOS DW Office wirless headset

what it connects to: PC only, PC & Desk, desk only
price from £166 + VAT
see it here

Sennheiser DW Pro1 and Pro2

Sennheiser / EPOS Pro 2 Duo professional wireless headset

what it connects to: PC only, PC & Desk, desk only
Price from £195 + VAT
see it here

Sennhesier SDW 5016

Sennheiser / EPOS SDW 5015 wireless headset from the SDW 5000 range

what it connects to: PC Laptop – Desk phone & Mobile phone
Price from £195 + VAT
see it here

DECT are a true wireless headset BUT be aware that the base station (what it sits on and acts as a charger when not in use) has to plug into your PC or laptop via a wire or cable and that, in turn plugs into a main socket. The actual wireless connection is created between the base station and the headset you are wearing.

The pluses far outweigh the minuses though

Benefits of wireless DECT headsets

  • potential for connecting multiple different devices (at the same time)
  • The call quality is nearly always better than pure Bluetooth
  • You probably wont forget to charge it as it slots back into the base station after use and instantly starts re-charging the battery
  • greater distance than Bluetooth (caveat: if you live in an old building with 4 foot thick walls even the best wireless may struggle but that’s going to be the minority isnt it?)

And to finish there are other things to take into consideration when choosing the right headset for you or your employees:

Budget
we don’t sell cheap headsets and we are definitely not sorry about that because in the headset world you get what you pay for, the likes of Streamline, EPOS Sennheiser, Jabra etc spend millions in R&D to ensure you get a quality product that will stand up to the riggers of work life. So don’t buy cheap headsets if you care about the rest of these benefits.

Sound quality

Modern professional headsets offer superb sound quality and clarity regardless of working at home or in your office. All the headset recommended above have been tested out in the field and proven to offer great sound quality

Noise cancellation
This has become more important than ever and the one thing or benefit most requested, any technology that remove and reduces background noise for the person calling in (think dog barking, babies crying, kids arguing when working remotely) is a good thing. All our headsets are noise cancelling and some are Ultra noise cancelling!

Build quality & Reliability
It doesn’t matter where you are working, it doesn’t matter how long you are working for and in what type of environment if you have a headset that’s been specifically designed to withstand the riggers of the working day and all our recommended headset are robustly built and have proven themselves as reliable so you can get on with the job in hand

Communicating……

We hope you have found this quick guide to the best types of headsets for working from home useful?

Have a question – call us on 0161 830 6818 or contact us

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to set up Polycom VVX Phone electronic hook switch for Sennheiser EPOS wireless headsets?

 

Setting up a Polycom VVX phone electronic hook switch or “EHS” lead for EPOS / Sennheiser wireless headsets is super easy

Most Polycom VVX models are EHS or “electronic hook switch” compatible. Put simply and without using the “headset techno jargon”

It simply allows you to remotely answer any phone call, via your EPOS Sennheiser wireless headset, when you are away from your desk.

Here is a list of Polycom VVX phones which are EHS compatible with wireless headsets
Polycom VVX 1500 Polycom VVX 500 Polycom VVX 600 Polycom VVX 400 Polycom VVX 410
Polycom VVX 310 Polycom VVX 300 Polycom VVX 101 Polycom VVX 201 Polycom VVX 411
Polycom VVX 301 Polycom VVX 401 Polycom VVX 501 Polycom VVX 601 Polycom VVX 311
Polycom VVX 611 Polycom VVX D60 Polycom VVX 501 HD Polycom VVX 150
Polycom VVX 250 Polycom VVX 350 Polycom VVX 450

So..let’s set up Polycom VVX Phone electronic hook switch

What will you need?
1. An EPOS / Sennheiser wireless headset (we love the DW Office and SDW wireless but its up to you obviously)
2. The correct EPOS Sennheiser EHS lead/cable which is the CEHS-PO 01
CEHS-PO 01 electronic hook switch for polycom vvx ip phones
By the way….With this CEHS-PO 01 lead you can:

  • Answer and end calls
  • Ring tone in headset
  • Mute Control from headset
  • Converts Polycom EHS commandos into DHSG standard used in Secom wireless products

Before we start you are going to have need the correct settings for your EPOS / sennheiser wireless headset which are found on the back/underneath of the base station or charger station

Underneath it looks like this (or similar)

epos sennheiser wireless settings

The Dip switch (that’s the long row of tiny white switches) MUST be set to number 1 switch to the down position (tip* use the end of  pen to do this) – all the rest should be in the up position.

The ABC switch set to A (hey there is only 3 to choose from so you wont mess it up)

Polycom VVX Phone EHS settings are found using the phones actual display

  1. Access the main menu and choose “Settings” see below (it has a COG icon in Orange)

choose settings on vvx phone

2. Select “Basic” (its the first one on the list)

choose basic in settings

3. Select “Preferences”

choose preferences

4. Select “headset”

choose headset

5. Choose “Headset memory” and ensure its “Enabled”

6. Click the back button (bottom right) to take you back one step (move to step 7)

choose memory

 

7. Select “Hookswitch mode” (middle one)

choose hookswitch mode

8. And finally select EPOS / Sennheiser

choose sennheiser

So how easy was that to set up Polycom VVX Phone electronic hook switch? Really easy hey!

>>>>>>>>>> Need advice on any EHS or wireless headset related issues, cant find what you are looking for – call us UK/IRE (only) Mon-Friday 9-5 on 0161 830 6818

Headsets4business have a dedicated page showing all types of compatible wired and wireless headsets for the Polycom VVX Phones

Have a look at the official EPOS/Sennheiser website on this subject here

 

How to connect a headset to a phone with no headset port

How to connect a headset to a phone with no headset port?

How to connect a headset to a phone with no headset port – jack?

In this modern age of High Tec telephony, IP phones, SIP phones etc, it may surprise you that at headsets4business we are still asked on a regular basis:

How do I connect a headset to my phone if it doesn’t have a headset jack?
Basically somewhere to plug the headset into if there is no dedicated jack or port.

how to connect a headset to a phone with no headset port

The common myth out there is you simply cannot connect a headset to a phone like that BUT this is complete rubbish, it may be a great way for some unscrupulous telecoms suppliers to get them to upgrade to a more modern phone, I don’t know?

So why would the phone manufacturers make a phone that doesn’t accept a headset?

Well on the commercial side of things, AKA Business Phones what tends to happen is they will bring out a range of phones from bog standard basic often used for a hotel lobby or in a hardly used room through to high end “all singing all dancing” top of the range for CEO’s etc

So…it’s probably no surprise that the cheaper end are often snapped up by employers thinking they can put them anywhere and will work the same.

And yes they will, up to a point. Until someone wants to connect a headset. So there you have it

Lets get back to the How rather than the Why?

How do I connect a wired headset to a phone with no headset jack/port?

  1. Simply unplug the curly cord (the one that has the receiver on the end) from its socket under or at the back of the phone and place the receiver & cord on the desk (you will still need it, even though its just been disconnected)
  2. Plug your wired headset into the same socket that the curly cord was plugged into
  3. Now place the receiver back on the phone
    (Why do this? Because the button on the phone that the receiver sits on needs to be held down to connect/answer a call)
  4. Ok so you have 2 things: your receiver sat back on the phone as normal (but not plugged into anything & your headset plugged in to the same jack)
  5. To answer any incoming call while wearing the headset, once the phone rings: lift the receiver as you would normally BUT put it down on the desk at the side.
  6. This will depress the button on the phone & connect the call to your headset
  7. To make a call while wearing the headset, lift the receiver off the phone and as the headset is now acting as the receiver, you will hear the dial tone, dial as normal and replace the receiver back down once you have finished

OK if that doesn’t make sense, David Whitehead from Headsets4business has made you a quick instructional video on how to just that:

This video is also available now on You Tube here

So after all that you may now need a headset after all for that new phone with no headset jack right?

Quickest way is our main wired headset department, every headset comes with the correct bottom lead required to connect to your phone (with or without a headset jack/port)

or if you prefer wireless headset then go here

FAQ’s on this subject:

  1. My wired headset has a USB jack on the end but wont fit in the square type plug, what do I do?
    Answer: If your wired headset has a QD or quick dissconnect plug half way down the wire then you can simply disconnect it and get an RJ45 bottom cable/lead with a square plug from us. If it doesnt then you will need to purchase a headset that does.
    Top tip* always choose a Quick Disconnect type connection headset if possible, that way if you ever change the phone, you only need to change the bottom lead and NOT the whole headset!
  2. Which headset is better, wired or wireless?
    Answer: completely depends on your requirements. For instance if you are always away from your desk then wireless, if not then wired will suit your needs just as well & its usually cheaper!
  3. Can I just swap out my phone for a model that has a dedicated headset jack?
    Answer: Absolutely, just ensure that the headset bottom lead or cable is the correct one for your new phone. You can have a square type jack/plug but it may be configured differently – use the headset finder here to ensure you have the correct lead.

Got a question on connecting a headset to a phone? – call us on 0800 644 0424 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

poly losing market share?

Why has Plantronics (Poly) market share started to crumble?

Plantronics as you may or may not know were recently bought out by Polycom, famous for their VVX IP desk phones, conferencing technology & unified communications platforms.

In the headset industry, Plantronics for the last 25 years have held the Top spot and market share worldwide for business headsets

….until now!

Plantronics may have been bought out by Polycom but as a brand their market share in our view & our personal opinion has started to wane.

So…

Why have Plantronics started to lose so much market traction?

The obvious answer would be increased competition from other manufacturers especially the likes of Jabra, Sennheiser / EPOS & Streamline headsets who in our opinion often offer a much higher quality product or at a minimum, an equivalent product with better features and more importantly, increased benefits to the end consumer, namely you!

Plantronics have always dominated the contact centre space but again increased competition, has over the last 5 years been eating away at their dominance in that sector . Many of the Contact centres And I T managers have now realised that there are alternative products which offer far greater build quality, something which is paramount in a contact centre environment due to the very nature and rugged way headsets are often handled by agents.

And the new products are also highly price competitive compared with Plantronics.

The two single biggest problems that any Call centre or IT manager looking after a contact centre will tell you are:

  1. Noise cancelling for the person calling in (I’m sure we’ve all heard what other agents are talking about when you call a large call centre rather than the agent themselves
  2. Secondly due to the sheer peripheral noise that surrounds any contact centre agent it makes it very difficult for them to concentrate on a call.

In our experience these 2 major problems have only been partially answered, mainly the first one of better noise cancelling in the microphone of the headset wearer which basically filters out ( or should do) The noise of other agents in the call centre for the people calling in.

You could argue that this is more important as there is nothing worse than trying to listen to a contact centre agent but the constant noise surrounding them doesn’t help a conversation flow .

At Headsets 4 business we know after talking to hundreds of contact centre & IT managers that keeping their agents productive and happy goes a long way to ensuring they not only stay in the job as it’s considered a very transient type of employment in some cases.

But providing them with quality headsets that help reduce peripheral noise around them & protecting them from their own environment will also go a long way 2 ensuring they can concentrate on our calls when we ring in to that call centre.

In our opinion Plantronics or Poly products have failed to cover both these major issues, especially with wired headsets , Whereas the New Streamline ProV-XL ultra-noise cancelling headset will help to reduce both these issues and is price competitive against Plantronics equivalent contact centre models.

The all new Ultra Noise Cancelling ProV-XL

ProV-XL cisco jabber compatible headset

 

The feedback has been super positive, from contact centre and IT managers & the agents who are wearing them (often all day) and the ultra-noise cancelling microphone makes light work of cancelling out any peripheral noise for the caller – job done

The Streamline ProV-XL wired contact centre headset has increased the size, shape and design of the ear cushions In such a way that it helps to reduce noise for the wearer. Arguably a first in headset technology.

On the wireless side of things, no manufacturer not Plantronics not Jabra, in fact, nobody comes close to the sheer build quality, noise cancellation and longevity of Sennheiser / EPOS wireless headsets. As more and more large scale contact centres & large office environments move over to a UC softphone base we are seeing an upsurge in enquiries for wireless headsets and every time without fail we recommend Sennheiser / EPOS.

The Sennheiser / EPOS DW Pro1 Wireless

Sennheiser / EPOS DW Pro single ear wireless headset

Sennheiser / EPOS have proved themselves time and time again in the field, as a company they are consistently tweaking and improving not only their noise cancelling technology but also the ability to connect to multiple devices across multiple platforms at the same time.

When we have surveyed contact centre and IT managers about their use of Plantronics products alike, it’s very rare they say:

“we use them because they are the best”

rather we use them because….”well we have always done”

So basically it’s become a learned behaviour or a culture in some contact centres to only use Plantronics or Poly headsets.

To finish off then, I’m sure if we asked the question:

if we could provide you with a wired and or wireless headset with better noise cancelling in the microphone and better reduction of peripheral noise for the wearer,

Would that be of interest to you?

They typically you would say yes.

if that’s you, then why not take advantage of a free no obligation trial of the Streamline ProV-XL or the selected group of Sennheiser / EPOS wireless products we recommend. It’s the simplest & quickest way to ensure you get the right headset for the right job.

Interested?
Click here now to set up your free trial

Have a question that needs answering? – call us on 0800 644 0424 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm

Previous Post:
Has Plantronics completely lost the plot?

looking for noise cancelling headsets that do the job?

Polycom & plantronics now Poly

Have Plantronics, now Poly, completely lost the plot?

Have Plantronics, now known as “Poly” – completely lost the plot?

So unless you have been living under a rock you may be well aware that Polycom one of the world’s best desk phone manufacturers and IP telephony specialists have purchased Plantronics, the once Big headset giant.

They have renamed this joint venture (well, takeover really) and combined both names to come up with:

Wait for it …….”Poly”

As a brand name to cover both Polycom and Plantronics going forward.

OK so we know this happens all the time in our sector of telecoms but most takeovers or growth through acquisition have the sense to keep those acquired brand names that have taken years to establish and have become household names . If you take Plantronics for instance they have been in the headset market since headsets were first invented.

It’s a brand synonymous with a very rich history of products only to find themselves now being completely rebranded as “Poly”

I mean if you telephone Rolls Royce, they answer the phone as “Rolls Royce” not BMW who they have been owned by since 1998. In fairness to Plantronics, they may not have been part of that decision or conversation, as they were the ones being bought out.

Despite all that, the internet search results are abound with the phrase:

Polycom – Now Poly!

On the other side of the fence Polycom have also carved out a very nice section of the IP Phone sector for themselves mainly due to the fact they are extremely good at producing high quality IP  desk phones, Conferencing technology & UC platforms around the world.

In fact, it’s fair to say that at headsets 4 business we probably sell more wired & wireless headsets for Polycom’s extremely popular VVX model IP phones than any other brand. So it looks like these will also be rebranded as Poly overtime .

Typically when this happens in our market sector they would keep the brand name like Plantronics and simply put part of the Polycom group under the name so as not to diminish or reduce all that brand awareness that they have built up over so many years.

But that’s not to be and from now on, its Poly!

What are your thoughts on this?

see the official blurb at Poly here

The highs and lows of noise cancelling headsets

The highs and lows of noise cancelling headsets

The headset solution(s) for desk phone & Computer headset wearers who need to reduce background noise!

Ok so we started this with highs and lows, that means price because although all the headsets we sell at headsets 4 business are “noise cancelling” there are only 2 “stand outs” One for the highs in price as you would expect, and one for the lows, well lower really, much lower.

See below but both…..

Answer the biggest problems with headsets today:

How do you help eliminate noise for the headset wearer and provide noise cancellation for the caller at the same time?

Not surprisingly Sennheiser / EPOS have entered the arena with the first NC (noise cancelling) and ANC (active noise cancellation) wired headset but its USB only

Its the Sennheiser / EPOS SC 660-ANC wired headset

£165 plus VAT – see it here

A truly professional office USB headset that has both ultra noise cancelling microphone & ANC or “active noise cancelling” The Sennheiser / EPOS SC660 is a 2 ear headset which is highly suited to all day Contact centre use or any noisy environment as it not only will filter out back ground noise for the caller but with ANC, it now filters out background noise for the wearer.

This is a first for Sennheiser / EPOS and the Century SC 660 ANC usb wired headset may not be the cheapest headset around but it certainly is the best!

So if you’re in a noisy environment and you require some “peace” while working then the Sennheiser / EPOS SC660 is the headset for you.

In summary if you need the highest possible quality in NC and ANC then the Sennheiser / EPOS SC 660 is your best choice

BUT….

If value for money is your choice and would like a headset thats ultra noise cancelling & is designed to reduce back ground noise then….

I’d like to introduce you to the Streamline “ProV-XL” Ultra Noise Cancelling Headset

So what’s so special? (apart from the price) and it works on every desk phone, computer, laptop, mobile phone

  • Up to a 40% reduction in ambient noise with the ProV-XL for the wearer
  • It has an Ultra noise cancelling microphone so the caller doesnt hear people around you
  • A real boost in volume
  • Clearer and crisp conversation

Streamline ProV-XL Ultra noise cancelling headset

Streamline ProVX-L £79 + VAT see it here

The Streamline ProV-XL has been designed to help solve your noisy environment!
How does it do that?
Simply by adding a sound cushioned and much larger ear pad (see image above) significantly helps reduce peripheral noise for the wearer. Then the ultra noise cancelling microphone using the latest technology kicks in to help the caller.

And what makes this headset even better?

You can concentrate on those important calls now and…. it’s half the price of the SC 660

Have a look at the new ProV-XL Ultra Noise Cancelling Headset Here…..

Take advantage of a “no obligation” free headset trial
Our customers tell us it’s the quickest & easiest way to ensure you get a headset that’s right for you

Organize your free headset trial here

 

Have a look at our main noise cancelling headset page