UPDATED - 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 socializing 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?
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!
price from £99 + 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
price £113 + 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
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
Price £210 + 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 Adapt 165T (Microsoft Teams Version) & 165 (standard UC version)
price from £59 + VAT connections: USB-A, USB-C and 3.5mm + 3.5mm only versions see it here
Sennheiser EPOS Adapt 130T (Microsoft Teams Version) & 130 (standard UC version)
price from £45 + VAT connections: USB-C (image above), USB-A see it here
Sennheiser EPOS SC 630
price from £130 + 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
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
what it connects to: PC only, PC & Desk, desk only price from £166 + VAT see it here
Sennheiser DW Pro1 and Pro2 what it connects to: PC only, PC & Desk, desk only Price from £195 + VAT see it here
Sennheiser SDW 5016
what it connects to: PC Laptop - Desk phone & Mobile phone
Price from £242 + 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 isn't 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