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Looking for Headset Help

I could use a little advice from the crowd, if you have a minute.  Basically, I need a new phone headset for my office landline, and maybe a new phone as well.  My current headset, an aging Plantronics Vista model, is generating this really loud buzz that I can only fix by forcibly contorting the boom mike, and even then the fix isn’t always permanent.  I’ve tried fiddling with the ‘channel’ and gain settings, and then only way to avoid the buzz is to make myself completely inaudible.

All I really want is a nice comfortable headset that has good sound quality.  I’ve looked at headsets that are just 2.5mm plugins, and at ones that have the little amplifier box.  I probably will want an over-the-head set, since the over-the-ear Vista I have makes my ear ache on event moderately long calls.  And a corded set is fine; I don’t really need a cordless headset.  In my specific case, any disincentive to stand up and pace while talking is probably a good thing.

Also, I’m not at all adverse to replacing my phone, which is also old and clunky.  It still works okay (and is not the source of the buzz—I checked) but it’s nothing spectacular.  If there’s a really good headset-and-phone combo out there, I’m completely open to that.

So anyway, if anyone has recommendations they’d like to make, either pro or con, please fire away.  Thanks!

14 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Wed 19 Apr 2006
    • 1754
    John wrote in to say...

    You might want to look at http://headsetinnovations.com. When I was looking for a headset for a POTS phone, they were all I could find. I’ve been happy with the one I got (which was basically the cheapest thing I could find there).

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Wed 19 Apr 2006
    • 1812
    Randy Walker wrote in to say...

    Er… mobile or landline phone?

    [ Sorry: landline. I'll edit the post to make that a bit more clear. -E. ]

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Wed 19 Apr 2006
    • 1855
    quis wrote in to say...

    Actually, standing up whilst on the phone makes you sound more enthused and assertive. On the other hand, wandering around finding distractions might counter this…

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Wed 19 Apr 2006
    • 1951
    Kris Hull wrote in to say...

    The plantronics headset made for xbox live (with the halo logo on it) is awesome. seriously. The best headset I have ever used.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Wed 19 Apr 2006
    • 2108
    tab wrote in to say...

    Folks in our office who are on the phone all day every day swear by Plantronics over-the-head headset phones. They’re currently using the Plantronics CT12 model.

    It looks like you can get the headset alone, but without the in-use light.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Wed 19 Apr 2006
    • 2209
    Duderonomy wrote in to say...

    I have been pleased with the Plaintronics CT12. It is very small. Almost too small. Functional. Not too uncomfortable for long conference calls. Mute button. Probably has loads of features I’m not using.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Thu 20 Apr 2006
    • 0716
    Peter Murray wrote in to say...

    The best combination I’ve found of both phone and headset is a relatively inexpensive standard cordless phone with a 2.5mm plug and whatever “cell phone” headset feels comfortable. The cordless handset works great as an amplifier; I’m not sure why Plantronics and company charge an-arm-and-a-leg for amplifiers that have less functionality than your average cordless phone.

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Thu 20 Apr 2006
    • 0816
    • #9
    • Comment
    • Thu 20 Apr 2006
    • 1001
    Casey wrote in to say...

    Well, I don’t know what they have in the way of headsets, however I do have a pair of Sennheiser open-air headphones that are very comfortable and have great sound quality. You may want to see what they have.

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Thu 20 Apr 2006
    • 1405
    Frederik Raabye wrote in to say...

    Perhaps you should have a look at some of the products of Danish GN Netcom (The producers of the Jabra BT headsets): http://www.gnnetcom.com/US/EN/LeftMenu/Solutions+for/Office+Professionals

    I haven’t tried their recent models but they are known to provide great and reliable products.

    Some of their new wireless/BT units looks interesting!?

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Sun 23 Apr 2006
    • 1815
    Dave S wrote in to say...

    I recently worked in a team responsible for equipping the call centres of one of the UK’s largest telecommunications companies and we recently completed a move from Plantronics headsets to Sennheiser models.

    I’m afraid I don’t have model references for you, but I’d certainly recommend looking at Sennheiser’s range.

    • #12
    • Comment
    • Sun 7 May 2006
    • 2057
    Jim Swayze wrote in to say...

    Eric –

    I would recommend the Plantronics CS50 Wireless headset system.

    Here at Headset Innovations, we can use any headset we want, and we all use the CS50 except for the boss, who uses a Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth headset because he’s always switching between his landline and cell phone, and the 510 lets him use both with just the one headset.

    If range is a factor, I’d go with the CS50 (over 200 foot range).

    If you have a Bluetooth cell phone and range isn’t that big a deal, I’d go with the 510 (standard Bluetooth 33 foot range).

    In either case, be sure to also get the Plantronics HL10 Handset Lifter. With the HL10 you can answer and end calls while away from your phone with the touch of a button.

    If all you need is a corded headset, all the Plantronics H-Series headsets are good, but I especially like the newer H351N monaural noise-canceling headset. You might even be able to use the P351N Polaris version and avoid having to have an amplifier depending on the phone you’re using.

    Of them all, though, the CS50 is far and away the best in my opinion.

    On a professional note, I’d like to thank you for your CSS work. I am currently involved in an ongoing re-design of our Web site, and your books and articles were of great help in understanding and implementing CSS.

    – Jim

    Jim Swayze
    Headset Innovations

    http://www.headsetinnovations.com

    Here are some links to the headsets I mentioned above:

    Plantronics CS50

    Plantronics Voyager 510

    Plantronics H-Series Headsets

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Mon 8 May 2006
    • 1701
    Mary wrote in to say...

    Hey Eric,

    I just happened to come across your site. I notice most people are suggesting Plantronics. I myself have been in a Call Center environment for over 10 yrs now. I would suggest a GN Netcom 2100 ST headset and a GN Netcom 8000 amp.

    I have used both Plantronics and GN Netcom over the years and prefer the GN Netcom headset/amps over Plantronics. The company that I currently work for is a much smaller call center than what I started in, and just about everyone (including myself in the IT dept) from CEO/Managers/Supervisors to the Customer Service Reps all use these headsets.

    If you search around on the web you can find both pieces at a very reasonable prices. Nextwarehouse.com is where I bought the last ones, $50 for the headset and $66 for the amp.

    Good luck! :) Mary

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Thu 11 May 2006
    • 1637
    Patrick wrote in to say...

    Plantronics sucks. Plain and simple. I’ve been through 4 headsets over the years. Planned obsolesence. You’re lucky to get a year out of their crap.

    Phones, headsets, it’s all the same. And they seem to have a monopoly on the market.

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