To headset or not to headset…. (and if so, what kind do I want?)
by Michael Biancone
I have used a telephone headset for over 15 years now, and simply cannot imagine having to pick up a receiver in order to field and make telephone calls all day long. I have always used “Plantronics” brand head-sets and have never been let down.

Making the choice to use a hands free device is easy, choosing a head-set, however, can be a daunting task. Besides ensuring that the headset you choose is compatible with your telephone system, here are few other choices that need to be made.

1. Wireless versus wired: I was always quite content with the wired models I used, but since switching to a wireless Plantronics CS55 model recently, I really like not getting my mouse or other desk accessories tangled up.
2. Over the head / over- the-ear / behind the head: a personal choice depending on what feels most comfortable for the user. Many of the headsets are “convertible”, allowing the end user to switch the headband for the “over the ear” attachment as desired.
3. Monaural versus Binaural: here is a choice that is more than likely dependent on the user’s environment and type of use. For instance, phone center operators are often submitted to a lot of peripheral noise, making the binaural models practical. Personally I prefer the monaural type of headset, since I am on the phone intermittently all day long, and like to be able to have conversations without necessarily having to remove the headset.

Here are some Plantronics Models that have served us and many of our clients well over the years. All of these are compatible with the ShoreTel VOIP system. However, one should always consult the compatibility list before making a final choice.

CS55 & CS70N (Monaural, Wireless)
S12 (Monaural, wired)
CS361N (Binaural, Wireless)
In other Headset News : Logitech, a well known and respected manufacturer of PC mice, webcams and speakers, has just signed a partnership with Jabra (best known for their Bluetooth headsets for mobile devices. Together, they are now releasing a line of headsets for VOIP Unified communications Systems (“telephones”), in an effort to pinch some of the Plantronics market share. Given the superior quality of their current products, the new product line should be well worth consideration when choosing a new headset.