Plantronics Manager Pro lifestyle

Connect a Plantronics Headset to Deskphone

“Can I use the Voyager 5200 UC or Voyager Focus UC with a desk phone?” ” Can I Connect a Plantronics Headset to Deskphone?” is another question we get. The answer is “YES!” Back in 2014 I wrote about the MDA200, fast forward to 2017 and the MDA220 has been introduced. So what’s the difference between the two, they look identical?

Plantronincs Headset to DeskphoneThe main differences:

What’s in the Box? MDA 220 Audio Switcher, Telephone Interface Cable, Quick Start Guide

Set Up and Use: First connect your Plantronics Supported corded or wireless USB headset adapter to MDAA220 USB headset port. (See list above for list of supported headsets)

Connecting to PC or Laptop: Connect the USB cable from the MDA220 to the computer. The computer talk button LED will be solid green.

Connecting to Desk Phone: There are three options for connecting MDA220 to a desk phone.

      • Desk Phone (standard) via included Telephone Interface Cable
      • There are switch settings on underside as well as Speaker and Mic volume levels
      • Desk phone + HL10 lifter and power supply (sold separately)
      • Desk phone + EHS Cable (sold separately)

 

Plantronics Software

The Computer Audio Button and Desk Phone Audio Button are indicated via LED Indicators on the top of the MDA220. Below is the LED Indicator light guide

 

I can’t stress enough the importance of downloading Poly Software or subscribing to Plantronics Manager Pro. The Asset Management capabilities are one thing, the awesome voice analytics are really great.

Plus Plantronics Hub software offers many options. You can update firmware or adjust multiple settings to support how you work.

The MDA220 is a solid solution. If you have questions, please contact your dedicated Call One, Inc. Account Executive. 1-800-749-3160

Jabra Evolve 75

Jabra Evolve 75

It’s no secret that noise and interruptions negatively impact productivity. Especially in open office environments. The chatter from neighboring colleagues can sometimes be too much when you are trying to complete a project. Enter the Jabra Evolve 75.

This wireless headset comes in four variants:

Jabra Evolve 75

What’s in the box (Charging Stand Variant): Quick Start Guide, Jabra Evolve 75 headset, Jabra Link 370 USB adapter, charging stand*, protective travel case, USB cord (allowing for use while charging)

Set Up and Use on PC: Setting up the Evolve 75 was very simple. Please note microphone can only be worn on the right side. First, charge unit 2.5hrs. Download Free Jabra Direct software (Individual desktop), Jabra Suite for Mac or Jabra Xpress (mass deployment). Plug Jabra Link 370 USB dongle to a PC USB port (allow device drivers to install). Turn on the Jabra Evolve 75 headset. Should connect almost immediately. You can adjust settings via Jabra Direct:

Jabra Evolve 75

You can also check the status of Link 370 Dongle via Jabra Direct.

To pair to a mobile device via Bluetooth. First, go to your mobile device Bluetooth menu and place into discovery mode. Slide and hold on/off/Bluetooth switch on Evolve 75 to Bluetooth symbol for 3 seconds to place Evolve 75 into pairing mode. Select Jabra Evolve 75. You should be “Connected”.

To mute Evolve 75 simply lift boom arm up. There’s a little button with microphone icon on right speaker towards the top. When I pressed this button, it activated Siri on my Apple iPhone.

Active Noise Cancellation button allows you to eliminate unwanted background noise. The Listen-in feature allows you to listen to your surroundings without taking your headset off. To activate “Listen-in”, press button on the left speaker.

There is an integrated busy light that kicks on when you are in a call. It’s important to educate employees and inform them that when lit up red, the person is “busy” and should not be disturbed. You can manually activate busy light by pressing volume up/down buttons simultaneously. If you are not on a call but need to concentrate. I’ve toured some “open office” environments and a solution like the Evolve 75 is a must in many use cases.

 

 

 

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Plantronics D100 USB Adapter deep dive…

Call One, Inc. supports thousands of customers and receives multiple questions daily. In addition to our normal product reviews and blogs, we’ll devote some time to answering frequently asked questions such as this regarding the Plantronics D100 USB Adapter.

Question:

How do I link the replacement D100 USB adapter to an existing Plantronics wireless SAVI W400 Series headset?

Subscribing a Headset to D100 USB Adapter

The headset and USB adapter that are supplied together are already subscribed to each other. However, if you wish to use a new headset with your existing USB adapter or you need to restore subscription to your current headset, the units can be subscribed to each other by the following method:

  1. Ensure your headset is charged.
  2. Double press the subscription button on the USB adapter. The USB adapter will flash red and green.

Plantronics D100 USB AdapterPlantronics D100 USB AdapterPlantronics D100 USB Adapter

Press the volume up button (press volume down for left ear configuration) on the headset for three seconds until the headset indicator light turns solid white.

When the indicator light on the USB adapter goes solid green, the headset and the USB adapter are subscribed to one another.

To ensure subscription was successful, press the call control button: the headset will flash white and the USB adapter will flash green.

NOTE: If the subscription process times out after two minutes or if the subscription process fails, the USB adapter indicator light will become solid red for four seconds and then return to its previous state. If this occurs, try to re-subscribe the headset again.

Ending Subscription

If the USB adapter is in subscription mode and you want to stop the adapter from searching for a headset, press the subscription button again. The subscription light will turn solid red for four seconds and then go to its previous state.

What is the D100?

It’s a DECT USB adapter adds PC connectivity and portability to your existing Plantronics DECT wireless headset. (Savi 400 and Savi 700 Series)

There are two variants:

  • PLT-83550-01-019 Plantronics D100, Savi Adapter, DECT 6.0
    • UC STANDARD VERSION BUILT FOR UC APPLICATIONS AND SOFTPHONES FROM AVAYA, CISCO, IBM AND MORE
      • Expand the connectivity options of your current DECT headset with the D100 DECT USB adapter. When used with the D100, Plantronics DECT wireless headsets (traditionally used with a desk phone) can now be used with your PC – giving you the flexibility to take your headset wherever work takes you.
      • Advanced wideband audio using CAT-iq technology for high definition voice quality
      • DECT technology provides extraordinary sound quality while roaming or multi-tasking up to 300 feet from your PC; eliminates interference from Wi-Fi networks
      • 180-degree articulation for optimal positioning while connected to the PC
      • Download the latest release of Plantronics software and get one-touch call answer/end with supported softphones
    • PLT-83876-01-018 Plantronics D100-M, Savi Adapter, DECT 6.0 (Microsoft Lync/SfB)
      • VERSION OPTIMIZED FOR MICROSOFT® LYNC™ AND MICROSOFT OCS 2007
        • Expand the connectivity options of your current DECT headset with the D100 DECT USB adapter. When used with the D100, Plantronics DECT wireless headsets (traditionally used with a desk phone) can now be used with your PC – giving you the flexibility to take your headset wherever work takes you.
        • Advanced wideband audio using CAT-iq technology for high definition voice quality
        • DECT technology provides extraordinary sound quality while roaming or multi-tasking up to 300 feet from your PC; eliminates interference from Wi-Fi networks
        • 180-degree articulation for optimal positioning while connected to the PC

What do D100 / D100-M USB DECT Adapter Indicator Lights indicate?

USB Adapter Indicator Lights

 USB Adapter Status Indicator Light
 Headset in talk mode  Flashes green
 Headset is muted  Flashes red
 Incoming call  Flashes red and yellow
 Adapter and headset subscribing Flashes red and green
 Headset subscribed, no activity  Solid green
 Powered on – headset not subscribed  Solid red
 USB adapter is in conference mode subscription  Flashes green and yellow
 On a conference call with one or more guest headsets subscribed  Flashes yellow

Where is the D100 USB Adapter Date Code Location?

The date code for the D100 USB adapter is printed on top line of the label, and is in MMYY format (For example: 0417).

DA100 USB Adapters have a 1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

D100 / D100-M USB DECT Adapters: Wideband Performance

The Savi Office headsets marked WH100 and WH200 do not support wideband audio when subscribed to the DECT dongle D100 or D100-M although wideband audio is supported by these headsets when subscribed to the Savi Office base, WO1. The newer Savi headsets, WH110 or WH210 can be purchased separately if wideband audio is needed with using the DECT dongle.

How do I update Firmware?

Plantronics MDA100 QD – connect Plantronics Headsets to Desk phone AND PC

Let’s get right into it. First I’m happy Plantronics FINALLY developed their own Desk Phone/PC switch. The MDA100 QD allows Plantronics QD headsets to connect to a desk phone and PC. In today’s world it’s absolutely essential to have dual connectivity. We do so many things on our PC’s now. Many organizations have hybrid voice and UC platforms meaning they have desk phones as well as soft phones and other web based applications that require audio like streaming media, webinars, and video calls.

Plantronics MDA100 QD 205255-01

What’s in the box: MDA100 QD Switch, Desk Phone Cable, USB Cable, 10 foot Coil Plantronics QD (Quick Disconnect) Cable, Set Up Guide

Set Up and Use: Set up is fairly straight forward. Connect desk phone cable to desk phone port on MDA100 QD and the other to either the “headset” port on your desk phone or directly into the handset port. Next connect the USB cable to the micro USB port on MDA100 QD and the USB cable to a USB port on your PC. (Make certain to go into your PC’s Control Panel > Sound > MDA100 > Make Default > Default Communication Device > Apply – For a Mac: System Preference > Hardware > Sound > Output/Input/Sound Effects > MDA100). Connect modular portion of 10 foot coil cable to headset port on MDA100 QD and connect Plantronics QD headset to QD connection.

There are six switch settings on the no-slip bottom of the MDA100 QD. (A, B, C, D, E, F). Select through the switch settings until you hear dial tone on phone. Make certain switch is switched to desk phone.

Plantronics MDA100 QD

Plantronics MDA100 QD

In order to get audio from PC, select PC on MDA100 QD.

Other nice feature is the Mute Button.

This works great with Plantronics QD headsets. Also tried with Plantronics CS540. Although it works, you will not have remote answer/hang up option. You must answer/hang up via desk phone. If you are in need of Desk Phone and PC connectivity with remote answer/hang up option, go with Savi 700 Series and optional EHS Cables or Handset Lifter.

The MDA100 QD is compatible with all major desk phones and softphones, PCs and Macs. PLUS if you have Plantronics Manager Pro subscription you can manage your MDA100 QD inventory.

My USB headset isn’t working… “Have you updated the firmware?”

By Danny Hayasaka

January 21, 2016

We get lots of calls from customers who claim their USB headset isn’t working. One of the first questions we ask is, “Have you updated the firmware?” Most issues are corrected once customers download the software and update the firmware.

Yes, you need to download the appropriate software when you purchase a corded or wireless USB headset from Plantronics, Jabra, VXi and Sennheiser. Jabra and Plantronics also offer an Enterprise solution that allows IT to manage remotely versus going from station to station making changes.

Here are links that will direct you to the current software downloads:

Most also have software for Mac.

Here are some of the feature/functions that USB headset software offers (go to each link for specific details on the various software and supported devices and softphones):

    • Change device settings
    • Visible mute and battery status
    • Readiness Status
    • Device-level call control with call answer/end, mute, and volume adjust
    • Compatibility for a broad range of softphones
    • *Remote Call Control (Answer/End Call, mute, redial etc) from the headset
    • Readiness Status
    • And More!

Most of the software offers a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to “see” what you are connected to and status.

The GUI also allows the end-user to quickly make device setting changes.

You can quickly and easily make device setting changes with a few clicks.

The main point is if you are experiencing issues with your Plantronics, Jabra, Sennheiser or VXi USB headset and haven’t downloaded the software and updated firmware… that may be the issue.

 

How I extend the range of my Bluetooth headset in a Microsoft Lync/SfB UC environment

By Danny Hayasaka

January 11, 2016

I’m speaking for Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business only, however, I’m certain many UC platforms support this feature.

Plantronics, Jabra, Sennheiser, and VXi all produce multi-connectivity Bluetooth headsets that allow end-users to pair Bluetooth headset to their mobile device as well as their PC/Laptop via USB Bluetooth dongle.

Despite many of the UC Bluetooth headsets supporting Class 1 range (up to 100ft range), many users would like more range.

The majority if not all professionals have a mobile device (Smartphone/Tablet) at all times.

Here’s a tip I have used to increase the wireless roaming range within an office space. I simply utilize the “Simultaneously Ring” and “Call Forwarding” features of our Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business client. I have all Lync/SfB calls forwarded to my mobile device if I’m going to be away from my desk. This allows all calls to ring on my mobile device, whether I’m on the Sales Floor, Admin, IT, Operations area downstairs or even on my way to lunch! I don’t miss a call as I have my mobile headset paired to my mobile phone.

In Lync/SfB you have the options to forward calls to: Voice Mail, Mobile, Home (phone), New Number or Contact, or My Delegates. You have the same options for the Simultaneously Ring feature.

For more detailed info on these Microsoft Lync/SfB Features go to: Set Call Forwarding options

I am currently using the Plantronics Voyager Edge UC however I have evaluated tons of Microsoft Lync/SfB Optimized/certified/compatible UC Bluetooth headsets to include: Plantronics Voyager Legend UC, Plantronics Voyager Focus UC, Jabra Motion UC, Jabra Stealth UC, Jabra Evolve 65 UC, Sennheiser Presence UC, Sennheiser MB Pro 1 and 2 UC & VXi Voxstar UC.

There are many options available when it comes to multi-connectivity Bluetooth headsets depending on your use case and wearing style preferences. You can choose from single ear, dual ear, over the ear, in the ear, and over the ear. The Plantronics Voyager  Focus UC offers Active Noise Canceling speaker option. The Jabra Stealth UC offers remote access to Siri /Google Now voice assistant. Each model offers a different list of feature functionality as well as varying talk times. Contact a UC headset specialist to help guide you in making the right choice for your business communications needs.

Here is a list of Mobile & Softphone Connectivity Headsets (These Bluetooth headsets pair to your mobile phone/tablet as well PC/Laptop via USB Bluetooth Dongle):

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC Review

Do you work in an open office environment? Are your primary modes of communication a PC and Mobile device? Do you like streaming music while you work? Are there times when you really need to focus but can’t because you’re distracted by all the noise around you? If you answered yes to any of those questions, the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC may be the device for you!

This is another great product from Plantronics! It’s a Bluetooth stereo headset with Active Noise Canceling speakers. There are a couple of other Active Noise Canceling (ANC) products that have recently been introduced however they are corded and miss the mark on some features/functionality. The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC seems to address those missed features.

There are currently four variants:

  • PLT-202652-01-006 Plantronics B825 Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth Headset
  • PLT-202652-02-006 Plantronics B825-M Voyager Focus UC Lync/Skype for Business Bluetooth Headset
  • PLT-202652-03-006 Plantronics B825 Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth Headset (No Stand)
  • PLT-202652-04-006 Plantronics B825-M Voyager Focus UC Lync/Skype for Business Bluetooth Headset (No Stand)

I’m reviewing the Plantronics B825-M Voyager Focus UC-M for Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business.

What’s in the box? Plantronics Voyager Focus Stereo Headset, Charging Stand, BT600 USB Dongle, Micro USB Charging Cable, Travel Case, Quick Start Guide, other documentation

At first glance: It’s a pretty cool looking wireless stereo headset.

 

What does it do? Bluetooth stereo headset with Active Noise Canceling speakers. Pairs to your mobile device via Bluetooth and to a PC/Laptop via USB Bluetooth dongle. You can answer softphone calls and mobile calls. You can stream music. There are some other very cool features I’ll get into.

Set Up and Use: The charging stand has one hardwired USB cable. I connected to USB port on my PC and I placed headset in to charge. I only charged for few hours because I was excited to use it. I didn’t read any of the instructions however I’ve set up tons of headsets in my almost 17 years doing this. The Voyager Focus UC was fairly intuitive. I assumed if I wanted to pair to mobile device I would just turn on and hold on/off/Bluetooth button until headset went into pairing mode. It did. I selected “PLT Focus”. Next I plugged the new BT600 USB Dongle. It took a little bit however soon my Lync client recognized it and I selected the Plantronics BT600. Also, if you want this to be your primary device, be sure and go into your PC’s Control Panel –> Sounds (or Hardware and Sound) –> Select Plantronics BT600 as Playback and Recording Default Device. This way you hear when you get notifications, emails, IM’s, as well as have audio through the headset when streaming online media.

 

 

 

The Voyager Focus UC is a very comfortable headset. It has very soft leatherette ear cushions and a nice cushioned headband.

 

 

The power button acts as “on/off” as well as the button to place headset into pairing mode. The red “mute” button is on the mic boom. You get audio prompt letting you know “Mute on” as well as “Mute off”. It automatically turns “Mute off” if you hang up call.

The “answer/hang up” button is on the mic side of headset as well as the online indicator lights. A cool feature if you are

streaming audio from mobile device is that if you get a softphone or mobile call, it will pause the music. When you hang up call, it starts the music from where it paused. If you are using a music streaming program like Windows Media Player and answer a call, it pauses the music and starts back when you hang up. If I am watching a YouTube video and answer a call, it does not pause the video or audio. In fact, I can hear the audio from the video and the caller’s voice simultaneously. So that was interesting. No, the caller can’t hear the video that is playing. Another cool feature, let’s say you are in a call and as it quite often happens, someone comes up to you and they can’t wait for you to get off call. If you take headset off, in the middle of call, it automatically places headset on mute. When you place headset back on, it turns mute off. Also like the Voyager Legend and Edge, the Voyager Focus UC has Smart Sensors so it knows when you are wearing the headset. Let’s say you aren’t wearing the headset and you get a mobile call. You can answer via your mobile phone like normal, if you put the headset on; it automatically transfers the call from your mobile device to the headset. I’ve loved this feature ever since it was available. Similarly if you aren’t wearing headset and you get a softphone call, simply put the headset on and it answer call. Super cool.

 

 

The non-mic side contains the controls for music: Volume Control, Play/Pause button, track forward and back buttons. A cool feature of the volume is regardless of which side the mic is on, forward is always volume increase and if you rotate back it’s volume decrease. The Active Noise Canceling (ANC) on/off button is on same side.

Audio Quality: So it looks good, it’s comfortable but how does it sound? If you are streaming music, it’s great! Sounds really, really good. If you have ANC activated plus the music streaming…you won’t be able to hear anyone or anything. This is so important if you are working on an important project that requires your complete attention. Ok, here’s where I give a just a couple dings. The noise canceling mic is not going to completely drown out background noise. If you are in an area with “loud talkers” or there is laughter, cheering, etc in the background, it will be heard. However, it’s a sufficient noise canceling mic. It does have an online indicator however, it’s a tiny little light so not certain how effective it would be at showing/informing others you are in an active call unless you educate them beforehand.

The speakers do fold flat for easier portability. I was impressed that in addition to the charging stand, they also include a micro-usb charging cable and travel pouch. The travel pouch has another zippered compartment where you can neatly store the charging cable and even the BT600 USB dongle for safe keeping. Really digging the second compartment.

 

Conclusion: The Plantronics Voyager Focus UC is another great addition to the Plantronics portfolio that definitely fills a void. It’s packed with many very cool features. Oh and one of the best parts!!! Can’t believe I hadn’t mentioned it earlier. Are you ready for this? 12 HOURS OF TALK TIME!!! 15 HOURS OF MUSIC STREAMING!!! So you get ALL DAY hi-fi stereo sound! If you really need to “focus”, the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC is definitely a must.

Logitech ConferenceCam Connect – Uniquely Portable and Versatile, All-in-One Video Collaboration for Small Groups

By Danny Hayasaka

July 23, 2015

When I first saw the Logitech ConferenceCam Connect I knew I had to have one. Well, I finally do. It’s been sitting here for a little bit now. The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect is jam-packed with features!!!

It comes in two variants however I’m being told it’s really tough to obtain a Ruby – Limited Edition version so if you want one of these, you should go with the Silver.

PN 960-001013 Silver

PN 960-001026 Ruby – Limited Edition

What’s in the box: ConferenceCam Connect device, Power adapter with plug, Regional plugs, USB cable, Documentation

 

At First glance: It looks like this cool gadget that has you wondering what it does.

What does it do? The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect is a USB webcam + speakerphone that supports Bluetooth and NFC pairing. This allows you to use as a webcam and speakerphone for web-based calls from Microsoft Skype for Business/Lync, Cisco Jabber, Skype, WebEx, GoToMeeting, and most major web-based collaboration platforms. The ConferenceCam Connect can be used as a wireless speakerphone for your mobile device to have a small group conference call. You can connect your *supported mobile device wirelessly to screen mirror presentations, spreadsheets, videos or Internet content to a projector, monitor, television or other display that’s connected to ConferenceCam Connect via HDMI cable (not included).

*Screen Mirroring: Android 4.3 or higher, Windows 8.1 or higher (As phones or tablets may vary, please check your mobile device specs or contact manufacturer)

Set Up and Use: I let charge overnight. It’s a very clean design. Once ConferenceCam Connect is charged you should get up to 15 hours (3 hours for video conferencing and screen mirroring). The remote control also acts as a lens cover and attaches magnetically. Again, very clean design. You have three operating options once you turn unit on: Screen Mirroring, USB and Mobile (Bluetooth or NFC). The selection options are on top of ConferenceCam Connect.

 

Here’s one of the downsides, it doesn’t automatically switch from Mobile to PC mode. For example, I’m connected to PC for Lync voice and video calls. I am also paired with my mobile device to stream music. If I am in mobile/Bluetooth mode and I get Lync call, I have to manually press the USB mode to answer the call. It doesn’t automatically switch.

Audio and Video Quality: I don’t have an HDMI cable here so I’ve been unable to test the Screen Mirroring feature however I did witness it at the tradeshow and it was pretty cool. They were streaming movies from Netflix to a tv monitor. Good quality.

When streaming music the audio quality is very good. Nice sound. Plus it’s wireless so very portable.

Audio quality on Lync (softphone) call was very good. I can clearly hear and be heard.  Video quality appears to be very good as well.

What’s really cool is that the ConferenceCam Connect offers a 90-degree field of view with autofocus, 4X digital zoom in Full HD, Rightlight™ 2 Technology for clear image in various lighting environments (even low light), and Digital pan, tilt and zoom from remote control or optional downloadable app plus a mechanical tilt. The remote control offers camera controls and speakerphone functions with a 10-foot range.

Image of my view with ConferenceCam Connect and then an image of the view from the person I’m calling. So you can see the video quality is very good. Nice clear image.

 

The microphones and speaker support a 12-foot diameter range. This is great for small group audio or video conference of 1-6 people.

The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect also has nice light indicators on base to let you know if you are muted or not. Blue light means you’re on active call. Red light means you’re on mute.

ConfereneCam Connect Certifications

  • Certified for Skype for Business
  • Optimized for Lync
  • Cisco Jabber™ and WebEx® compatible (See logitech.com/ciscocompatibility for the latest version.)
  • Skype™ certified
  • Windows®
  • Mac®
  • ZEISS®
  • HDMI™

Conclusion: This is a great device for small groups (1-6 people) for audio/video calls through your PC/Laptop or voice calls via your mobile device. The ConferenceCam Connect is very simple and intuitive. It’s sleek and portable design offers a very small footprint. Click to see all the features and specifications. And the best part…it’s only $499.99

Plantronics BackBeat Fit Review

By Danny Hayasaka

June 23, 2015

I’m a Fit Junkie. A few years back (161 weeks and 3 days) I made a decision to “lose weight”. I was 246lbs+ with a 42 in waist and growing. These days I’m happy to report I’m 184lbs with a 32in waist. It’s no longer about “losing weight”. It’s about being fit and healthy and able to do things.  It was a challenging journey. I went from getting winded walking a quarter mile to being able to run 16 miles non-stop. I now average 100+ miles per month. I went from not being able to hold a plank for 10 seconds to just yesterday holding it for 4:14 min!!! (I’ve challenged myself to do a 5 min plank).

All along the way there has been music. I must have gone through dozens of headphones/earphones. From corded to wireless. A little embarrassing but I sweat buckets in this Florida sunshine and humidity. I have ruined headphones and even iPods because of my sweat (I know gross). Other issue I ran into with other wireless headphones is the very short battery life. Most would only last 1hr to 2hr max. Well if I go run 13.1+ miles, I’m going to need a little longer battery life. Because even after you run, you need to cool down and stretch. The music needs to keep playing. Enter in…Plantronics Backbeat Fit!!!

I’ve had my BackBeat Fit since March of this year. So I’ve put them through heck. I’ve logged 408.4 miles wearing them. Not to mention my strength training workouts and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) sessions. Regardless of how much I sweat they continue to play. Regardless of all the various movements I make, they stay put. No matter how long I run or workout…the BackBeat FIT keeps up.

These are definitely my favorite headset/headphones for working out. However, guess what? You don’t have to limit using these to working out! I use them when I’m grocery shopping, cooking dinner or just laying out by the pool! And because they have a mic, you can use it to take calls as well.

 

Ok, let’s get into the product.

They come in two variants:

BackBeat FIT – Blue 200450-01

BackBeat FIT – Green 200460-01

What’s in the box? Headphones with microphone, micro USB cable, armband for smartphone or headphones

At first glance: Single form factor with minimal moving parts which is what you need when working out.

Set Up and Use: It was very easy; they seem to go into pair mode as soon as you turn them on. Go to your Bluetooth menu on phone (I have iPhone 6 plus) and select PLT_BBFIT. Buttons are fairly easy. On right speaker you have on/off button, answer/hang up button for calls as well as covered charging port. On the left side you have volume up/down button (tap to increase volume and press and hold to decrease volume) and play/pause button. I was surprised there wasn’t a skip/forward/rewind button/function. I was also prompted to download an app, which I did. It has some nice features.

I was able to update my headset firmware (must be paired). The “Help Me” section offers some good info as well: Pairing: First Time, Firmware Update and Tips

So how does it sound? My personal opinion is they sound great! Volume is loud enough when I’m running where I can listen to the music clearly and still able to hear traffic/surroundings which is important when running. When I’m doing my strength training I can crank up the volume pretty loud.

The Plantronics BackBeat FIT is feature packed!

  • Bluetooth Headset
    • Bluetooth v3.0
      • A2DP for audio streaming, AVRCP for music controls, Hands-free v1.6 for wideband, and Headset v1.2
    • Up to 33ft range
    • Eight-device memory
      • Pair with your mobile device and tablet!
    • Status alerts
    • Carrying case
      • Can act as mobile device case/armband (too small for iPhone 6 Plus)
    • Up to 8 hours of listen time/Up to 6 hours of talk time (Very cool feature!!!)
      • Up to 14 days of standby time (we all forget to charge our stuff from time to time – no need to worry with these)
      • Deep Sleep Mode – Up to 180 Days
      • Micro USB charging
      • 2 hours for full charge
    • Sweat proof design plus P2i nano-coating on headphones (Another very cool feature!!!)
    • Only 24 grams
    • 1-Year Warranty

As I continue on my fitness journey, I expect that these will make it through. I really have put them to the test and they are holding up. Again, even if you’re not a “Fit Junkie”, these are great. Some folks don’t want to wear big bulky headphones however they still want to hear music through both ears, wirelessly while they shop or wash the car. The Plantronics BackBeat FIT, fits the bill.

 

 

 

Jabra Stealth UC Review

I attended EnterpriseConnect 2015 in Florida as I do every year.  As I made my way through the exhibit hall floor I came across one of our very good partners, Jabra. They outfitted me with their new Jabra Stealth UC. I’ll write another blog later because I was actually able to test the competitive product right there on the really loud exhibit hall floor.

The Jabra Stealth UC is a headset that allows users to connect to their mobile device via Bluetooth or NFC and PC/laptop via USB Bluetooth dongle. It comes in two variants:

5578-230-109 JABRA STEALTH UC supports most major UC platforms

5578-230-309 JABRA STEALTH UC (MS) optimized for use with Microsoft Lync

Jabra Stealth UC packaging

What’s in the box? Stealth Headset, Carry Case, USB Adapter, Car Charger, Micro USB charging cable, Large and Medium size ear hooks,

Jabra Stealth UC accessoriesJabra Stealth UC accessories 2

At first glance: It’s a small, sleek, cool looking Bluetooth headset.

Set up & Use: Headset goes into “Pair mode” when you first turn on. I went into my Bluetooth menu on my iPhone 6 Plus and selected Jabra STEALTH and headset “Connected”. One of the things I noticed is there are no volume controls.  Besides the on/off switch, you also have an answer/hang up and a dedicated Voice Control Button that allows you to activate Apple Siri and Google Now. It’s actually a cool feature as you can just tap the button, Siri comes on and you can ask away i.e. “Siri, find me a Chinese restaurant?” When I got back to the office, I plugged the USB dongle into PC and it paired right up (the dongle and headset come pre-connected).

This is an in-the-ear headset. I know some folks don’t like that. I personally use the smaller black eartip and it stays in place comfortably.

Jabra also has the Jabra Assist App you can download to your iOS and Android mobile device that offers some nice features like battery meter that warns when you need to recharge device and Find my Headset and even a Find My Car. Jabra Assist works with multiple Jabra Bluetooth devices: Jabra Stealth, Storm, Style, Classic, Drive, Tour and Freeway.

So how does it sound? Again, due to size I wasn’t expecting much however it seems technology really is improving as the noise canceling was much better than expected. Initially the receive volume didn’t seem to be loud enough however it did adjust. Plus you can also use your mobile device to increase volume.

Here’s a list of features and specs:

  • ƒƒ Smartphone voice control button for remote activation of Siri / Google Now
  • ƒƒ Noise blackout dual microphone technology reduces background noise
  • ƒƒ HD Voice* for high definition sound quality
  • ƒƒ NFC** for easy pairing
  • ƒƒ Stream music, podcasts or GPS directions
  • ƒƒ Up to 6 hours talk time
  • ƒƒ Stay connected with the Nano sized bluetooth dongle
  • ƒƒ HD sound with noise reduction
  • ƒƒ Superior comfort in a small design
  • ƒƒ Dedicated voice control button

* Network dependent **Device dependent

How you work really dictates which device is best for you. The Jabra Stealth UC suits how I work because I don’t have a desk phone. I use Microsoft Lync via my PC and my iPhone 6 Plus for communicating and collaborating.

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