This is a reprint of part of an article in the NY Times by ANNE EISENBERG titled “With New Software, Headsets Are Outsmarting Phones”, with some additional commentary by yours truly.
HEADSETS are staples for call-center workers, travel agents and many other people who have to talk frequently on the phone. With a headset to listen and speak through, both hands are free to work, and a shoulder needn’t stiffen to cradle the phone.
Plantronics Savi 430 DECT Wireless Headset - up to 300 foot range
Plantronics Savi Go Bluetooth Wireless
Now, headsets could make many office landline phones unnecessary, as businesses decide to route calls through their office computers.
Companies can save money by installing softphones as part of their unified communications system, and providing USB headsets instead of desktop phones.
The computers common in most offices aren’t ideal for conducting a conversation, as desktop computers with built-in microphones and speakers can distract people in nearby cubicles, just like those on speaker phones.
Plantronics Blackwire C620 Corded USB Headset with Call Control
Plantronics Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth Headset for PC Softphone and Mobile
There are various computer headsets available, ranging from the Plantronics Blackwire C620 corded headset to the Savi 430 , Savi Go, Savi Office and Voyager Pro UC.
These all connect to your PC or laptop, and are supported by Plantronics Software offering Call Control (call answer/end).
Be aware that all softphones do not necessarily interface with headset manufacturer software, which is necessary to support remote call answer/end from the buttons on the headset. Softphones such as Avaya, Cisco, IBM Sametime, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Office Communicator, ShoreTel and Skype are supported, but some other softphone applications may not be unless they have specifically incorporated the interface into their software.
Plantronics Savi Office WO100 DECT Convertible Wireless
Plantronics Savi Office WO350 DECT Wireless Binaural Headset
A quick survey of Plantronics PC headsets for voice/softphone applications:
Savi 430 DECT wireless headset for dedicated PC communications. Up to 300 foot range with excellent voice quality and barrier penetration.
Savi Go Bluetooth Class 1 wireless headset for PC as well as Bluetooth-enabled PDA/cell phones. Convertible headset with headband and earhook, Bluetooth-quality* voice communications, 80-100 foot range from your PC. Not great for barrier penetration.
* DECT is better.
**NEW in 2011** Plantronics Savi 730 DECT/Bluetooth for PC Softphone, Desk Phone and PDA
Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth wireless headset for PC and mobile communications. Features dual noise-canceling microphones on the boom, AudioIQ² technology, and three layers of WindSmart® technology.
Savi Office WO100 Wireless DECT headset for desk phone and PC softphone. Convertible headset with up to 350 foot range.
Savi Office WO300 and WO350 Wireless DECT headset for desk phone and PC softphone. Monaural and Binaural headband versions with up to 350 foot range for noisy environments.
Blackwire C600 series corded USB headsets with UC Call Control.
Savi 730 DECT/Bluetooth headset will be released in 2011, providing interface to PC softphones, desk phones as well as mobile/cell phones.
For more information on headsets for Unified Communications (UC), visit the Comfort Telecom Canada website at www.comfortcanada.com, or contact our Calgary, Alberta office at 403-239-8414.
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