I strongly recommend you utilize professional, business-grade headsets versus consumer models when using UC platforms from Zoom, Microsoft, Cisco, RingCentral, 8×8, etc. This recommendation extends to all personal and group audio and video devices, but I will focus on headsets to keep it short.
I have tested leading consumer headset models, including the Apple AirPods, AfterShokz Opencomm, Sony WH-1000XM4, Microsoft Surface Headphones 2, Bose QuietComfort 45, and others. (Click on the hyperlinks to watch the test videos)
Many of the models I listed will pair and provide an audio path. Over time, I experienced instability with the Bluetooth connection, mainly with the transmit/input audio. Most consumer Bluetooth headsets are designed primarily for listen-only. And I can’t lie, some of them sound fantastic! Especially the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Bose QuietComfort 45. The other challenge is the lack of call control. Meaning, you can’t answer/end calls from the headset. You must use your mouse. And in some cases, I had challenges muting the microphone. Other times, I experienced being able to hear but not be heard and vice versa when in various UC platform calls and meetings.
These consumer models can be incredibly frustrating for the IT teams that have to manage the Help Desk Tickets for these consumer headset issues.
Business headset models are compatible, optimized, and certified to work across all the major communications and collaboration platforms used in business. Leading brands like Jabra, Poly, Logitech, EPOS, and Yealink work closely with the platform providers to develop headsets that function and perform optimally in their environments.
Organizations should develop new audio and video device standards to support this new normal of hybrid work, remote work, work from home, and work from anywhere. Certified headsets meet a broad range of requirements set forth by the platform providers like Microsoft to provide the best possible end-user and administrator experience. One of the first questions asked when seeking help from Microsoft is whether or not you are using a certified device. Contact us! We can help your business select the appropriate headsets.
In a previous blog post, Devices Make the Experience; I shared these critical differences between consumer and business devices:
A frequently asked question is, ‘Why do I need a USB Dongle?’ I answer the question in this blog and video. The dongle is a crucial difference between consumer and business Bluetooth headsets for use with a computer. For example, Microsoft has the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2, which is their consumer model. The Microsoft Surface Headphones 2+ is their business model certified for Microsoft Teams and includes the Microsoft Surface USB Link. Watch this video playlist comparing the Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 and Surface Headphones 2+.
The last thing to note is where you buy these devices matters. In my blog, Why buy Certified Devices from Authorized Resellers, I share the potential risks of buying through unauthorized sources. It’s best to go through an Authorized Reseller in your region. Authorized Resellers like Call One, Inc. agree to adhere to manufacturers’ policies to ensure customers receive quality products and services designed for their geographic territory. Authorized Resellers undergo extensive education, training, and certification to meet the manufacturers’ requirements to position the appropriate solutions based on your organization’s use case.
In today’s “work from anywhere” landscape, the headset needs will vary. Contact us! Call One, Inc., and its partners can help identify headsets that align best with your team members’ work style and workspace.