to Business Telephone Headsets
by Mike Sandman
Monday thru Friday 8:30AM to 5:00PM
Your neck wasn't
designed to hold a phone handset,
but it works great...
for a while.
You can fix neck problems by getting
a massage ($50), going to a chiropractor ($100), or getting
Hmm, that makes a
$200 business quality headset seem like a deal!
A Shoulder Rest
Prevents the Problem
If you worked
in the warehouse, you'd follow "Lift from
your Legs" instructions, or your back would be in a lot
different sitting at your desk. If you want to prevent a lot of
pain in your neck, a headset
is the correct tool to use.
If you talk on
the phone for a living,
you've got to protect your body from the
inevitable damage a holding a handset
with your neck will cause.
Shoulder Rest is Better than Nothing, but
your neck is still bent in a way it wasn't
designed to be bent at, at least not for long.
all Headsets are the same Quality!
a headset looks, the worse it is.
If it's got a
"streamlined" looking mic or is generally fancy looking, it's
probably consumer quality, will be uncomfortable, and probably will
break pretty quickly.
This isn't universally true, but it could save you
from buying something you can't or won't use.
As a phone man who has
been in thousands of offices at thousands of businesses, I can tell
you that most consumer (cheaper) headsets are sitting buried in desk
speaking, an over the head headset will be more comfortable
for the whole day than a headset that hangs on your ear. They are
also faster and easier to get on and off between calls. It's
unlikely you'll sit at your desk wearing a headset if calls slow for
A consumer quality
headset isn't cheap, maybe $50 and up. A business quality headset is
probably $150 and up, including both the headset and the
amplifier (an amplifier is needed to allow a headset to work
with most business phones).
I get a lot of calls from people who
want to adapt their cellular headset (that has a 2.5mm plug) to a
business type phone (with a modular jack). Radio Shack used to make
an adapter, but it's discontinued. I don't know of anybody making an
adapter now, mainly because there's not much call for it. All of
the cellular headsets with a 2.5mm plug I've seen are consumer
quality, and would literally be a pain to wear while working all day (that includes
most Bluetooth headsets).
Note that some business phones come
with a 2.5mm jack for a cellular type headset. You can
get an adapter for a Plantronics Wired Headset's Quick Disconnect
to a 2.5mm plug. I use that adapter with my cell phone, using my
Plantronics Starset Supra Noise Cancelling Headset with my
Blackberry (with a 2.5mm jack). Because the Supra is about the best noise cancelling headset you can get, it sounds great in my mini-van
(which isn't the quietest car in the world!).
Plantronics Quick Disconnect Plug to 2.5mm Plug Adapter for Cell
NOTE: This is only about a
foot long which works fine for a cell phone, but you'll need the
10' Quick Disconnect Extension Cable (below) for a business phone
so you can lean
back in your chair! You don't
need an M22 Headset Amplifier when you use a Plantronics
Starset Supra and this Adapter Cable.
Plantronics Quick Disconnect 10' Extension Cord
NOTE: Use the 10' Quick
Disconnect Extension Cable with the 2.5mm Adapter or with
any Plantronics headset with a Quick Disconnect, to
extend the cord 10'.
While you're shopping for a headset, remember that professionals use
headsets all day long, every day of their working life. They are
using business quality headsets. There's a reason they spend
the extra money!
There are two types of mics
used on headsets... Regular and
If you use a
Noise Canceling Headset in a noisy environment you'll
go home in a better mood than if you had to sit all day straining to
hear callers over the noise in your office.
When you turn up the
you can hear on a headset with a
Regular mic, you're also turning
up the background
give you a headache
after a while.
When you use a
Noise Canceling Headset you
must keep the boom right in front of your mouth, or the callers
won't hear you. Putting it under your chin will make it very
hard for callers to hear you.
Noise Canceling Mic
headsets use a voice tube - a hollow (often clear) tube which
directs the speech up to a mic located inside the headset.
A Noise Canceling
Headset has a microphone element at the end of a flexible tube,
usually with a foam wind/pop guard.
important is a Noise Canceling Headset?
They are critical in a noisy
environment. They're not needed at all in a quiet
environment where there is no TV, radio, kids crying, etc.
You've probably talked to someone in a
call center where you could hear other agents talking and laughing in the background...
better than you could hear the person trying to talk to you.
That company was too cheap to
buy noise canceling headsets for their agents, so you were
unhappy talking to their agent. The agent probably went home
with a headache every day.
A noise canceling headset isn't
much more expensive than a voice tube headset. The extra
money you pay today will bring you benefits for years to
come. A headset isn't a place to go cheap.
Most of the cheap headsets are sitting buried in desk
drawers at companies all over the country after they were
used for a couple of months - a total waste of money.
So maybe you'll
look like a geek with the headset on in your office?
It's probably better to look geeky than have a pain in your neck!
One Ear, or
choose an over the head style headset, you'll
have to decide whether you want monaural (one
ear) or binaural (two ears).
If there's a lot of noise
and distraction in your office a binaural (two
ear) headset makes more sense. Personally, I have a hard
time concentrating with a headset covering only one ear,
but we have an open office plan and I really have to
concentrate on the technical stuff I'm discussing. Or
I also feel that the
binaural headset is a little more comfortable with a
second "ear muff" over my ear, rather than a little
rubber pad at the end of the headband sitting on the
side of y head. Binaural headsets are more expensive,
and there's twice as much stuff to break, but I just
feel better at the end of the day using the binaural
I am on the phone a lot,
but not every minute of the day. When I'm off the phone,
I just remove my over the head headset and hang it on
the hardware store sticky hook I put on the side of my
monitor. I've tried that with a hang on the ear type
headset, but it's much faster and less hassle with the
over the head style.
Click HERE to see all of the Plantronics
Wireless Headsets at
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• Mike Sandman Enterprises, Inc.