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Headset Buying Guide

Learn about the most important aspects of buying a headset for your IP phone.

Cradling a telephone handset between your ear and shoulder can cause tension and soreness to build up in your neck, shoulder, and upper back. If prolonged, this tension and soreness may result in repetitive strain injuries. Using a headset has obvious comfort and productivity benefits but there are several options to consider when buying one. The following buying guide will answer some common questions that get asked when shopping for a headset.

Voice tube or noise canceling?
Voice tube headsets provide the best clarity but they have a few draw backs. They do not include noise cancellation and the voice tubes have to be replaced every 6 to 9 months. Voice tube headsets are best used in areas with medium to low background noise.

Noise canceling headsets include a filtering technology to remove background noise but don't quite have the crystal clarity as voice tube headsets. Unlike voice tube headsets, the tube on noise canceling headsets does not need to be replaced every 6 to 9 months. Noise canceling headsets are best used in areas with high to medium background noise.

Single ear or dual ear?
Single ear headsets are best for areas with low background noise or where the user must be able to hear off-call information. Some single ear models do not require a headband or neckband, they are worn "over the ear".

Dual ear headsets are best for areas with high background noise or where the user needs to focus entirely on the call. Most dual ear headsets require an over-the-head band but a few can be purchased with behind-the-neck band.

Wired or wireless?
This depends on how productive is mobility in the work setting? In many office environments mobility is tremendously productive. Account managers can now walk over to accounting while on the phone with a client. Being placed on hold is no longer unproductive, wasted time because you are not tied to your desk. Most wireless headsets also have the added benefit of a built in amplifier. It is approximately three times as expensive to go wireless over wired if you do not need an amplifier. If you do require an amplifier it is generally twice as expensive to go wireless over wired.

How are wired headsets installed?
Actually installing a wired headset is straight forward. Ensuring you have the proper lower cable for your specific phone can be the problem. Voiplink has mapped out the compatibility for most common IP Phone handset manufacturers, so if you purchase from out Headsets category we will deliver the correct lower cable for your phone. Once you receive the headset and lower cable from your shipment, you must connect them at the Quick Disconnect connection, then plug the cable into your headset port on the phone.

Here is the order things are usually connected:

HEADSET ==> LOWER CABLE ==> HEADSET PORT ON PHONE

It is important to remember that this is correct for *most* phones. If your phone doesn't have a headset port, you may have to get a special cable and plug the headset into the handset port and not have handset usage (headset only).

How are wireless headsets installed?
Installing a wireless headset for the first time can be intimidating but its actually very easy. The hardest thing to do is to keep the cords from getting tangled.

Here is the order things are usually connected:

HANDSET ==> HEADSET BASE STAND ==> HANDSET PORT ON PHONE

With or without an amplifier?
This is a tricky one because depends largely on what specific phone model you are using and what area you are using it in. You can never really go wrong by deciding to go with an amplifier but they are expensive and sometimes unnecessary. Most of the higher end phone models from leading manufacturers (Cisco/Polycom/Aastra) have a built in amp or loud enough natural volume to not require an amp. Lower end phone models and manufactures do not typically have built in amps and may or may not have loud enough natural volume to support a headset.

Background noise also comes into play here. You may be able to get away with a lower end phone and no amp on the headset if it's only 3 people in a large room with low call volume. But low end phones with with no amp in a 30 person call center cubicle farm is not such a good idea.

Does your phone have a plug or modular connection? If it's a plug (think iPod) it's probably a lower end phone with no built in amp. If it's modular (think phone handset cord) it's probably a better phone and may or may not have a built in amp.

What cord do I need?
That depends entirely on what phone model you have. It may even require knowing what specific version of what phone model you have. Voiplink has mapped out the correct cable for most of the popular IP phones on the market today. Use the Headsets section of our website to select the correct model number of your IP phone. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! 866-987-8647