QUIET PLEASE. HOW TO CHOOSE A TELEPHONE HEADSET FOR HOME WORKING.
Seems like such a simple thing, but choosing the right telephone headset can make all the difference to your working life at home…
CHOOSE A HEADSET FOR A QUIET LIFE.
Working from home without interruption has become a talking point in many UK households since the coronavirus pandemic started. You would think a computer, desk and chair would be enough but when you have to share your space with the family, it is hard to seal yourself off. If you are home working and trying to use the phone, or take part in a conference call, the best way to ensure you will get any peace and quiet is to invest in a decent headset.
Sssh! – WFH
Working from home is all very well in principle. But there is a whole range of other less business-like noises to contend with. If it’s not a dog barking, it’s a microwave beeping, a baby crying or a door slamming.
Sometimes these things are rather amusing but they are not ideal if you need to project a professional front. From a business perspective they may not be the impression you want to create for your company. Imagine you are about to quote somebody for an important contract. Does it send the right signal if someone is streaming music, or shouts down the stairs to ask what’s for dinner?
To avoid unwanted interruptions like these, try and find yourself a quiet area to work in. Remind others that you are there to work. If you are working remotely, a quality headset is an essential piece of kit. A headset will enable you to communicate more efficiently, while blocking out all those unwanted extraneous noises.
GENERAL OVERVIEW OF HEADSETS
Even before the outbreak of coronavirus, many businesses were already equipping staff with headsets for various jobs. Anyone working in a busy call centre for example, would regard a good, noise-cancelling headset as an essential ‘tool of the trade’. Available wired or wireless, these headsets cut out background sounds so you can have a proper conversation with the person on the other end of the line without distraction. After a few weeks working from home you may find yourself yearning for a decent headset. A mobile earpiece, or a stereo headphone just won’t cut it when it comes to work.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HEADSET AND A HEADPHONE?
The main difference between a headset and a headphone is that the headset will normally have a microphone (mic) so you can speak as well as listen. Headphones are fine for listening to music or chat, even for cancelling out background noise, but they are not so suitable for talking on the phone. The person on the other end of the line may not be able to hear you properly. Unless you like shouting at your laptop, a headset with mic is the way to go for business calls.
CAN I CHOOSE MY OWN HEADSET?
Some companies will issue their own headsets or headphones to employees who work from home. In most cases they may not have even thought about it and will tell you to buy one and claim it back. Consider it a gift if that’s the case because it means you can select one that’s right for you. Choose from a reputable supplier and you will be able to pick up a decent headset at an affordable price (we are not talking Dr Beats here).
LEADING BRANDS FOR BUSINESS HEADSETS
Headsets and headphones aimed at business users are nowhere near the prices of their consumer counterparts. Brands like Jabra, Plantronics/Poly and Vega may not be household names but in the world of business they are king.
Jabra for example is a British company, which manufactures everything on one site. Renowned for making comfortable, feature-rich headsets and headphones for business users, Jabra supplies some headsets with Microsoft Teams compatibility. Choose from wired or wireless models with long ranges and generous charge capacities.
Plantronics, now known as Poly, is another well-established name, with a huge range of dependable, lightweight headsets for all budgets. Features like Wideband sound technology enhance acoustics and guarantee a great listening experience.
Vega is another British headset brand, and they sell high quality, affordable headsets used extensively in volume call centres around the UK. Home workers will like that Vega headsets and bottom lead fittings are available for most mobile phones and computers
Choose a headset from any of these manufacturers and you won’t go wrong. All of them offer top-notch, noise-cancelling headsets and headphones, with different specifications to suit different working needs.
BUYING DECISIONS WHEN CHOOSING A HEADSET
Not all headsets are the same. With so many people relying every day on a headset for work, it’s hardly surprising that there is huge choice out there. Most important is to choose a headset that is comfortable to wear. After that the main considerations will be whether you require your headset to be wired or wireless, binaural or monaural, and to fit over your ear or over your head. A final consideration might be whether you wish to buy new, or refurbished.
Wired or Wireless
Stay in one position or move around? Wireless headphones tend to be cheaper than wireless ones and are simple to use. Just plug them into your device and you are ready to go. They are fine if you only need to remain in one spot but wireless ones allow you to move around. You may find this flexibility helpful if you have an important call and need to be able to get away from a source of noise – result!
Monaural or Binaural
One ear or two? In the office a monaural headset allows you to hear someone on the line with one ear, whilst also being open to colleagues’ talk or instructions with the other. At home you may find it distracting to hear mixed messages coming from all directions, in which case a binaural headset is probably better for you.
Over Ear or Over Head
What do you find more comfortable? Manufacturers now supply headsets that wrap around one ear, as well as the more traditional-style ones that sit across the head. Down to personal preference, it’s likely to be influenced by whether you want something to stay in place for a few hours or whether you only need a headset you can put on quickly when the phone goes.
New or Refurbished
It’s always nice to get something new but if you are buying for yourself, or even bulk buying for your business, why not go for a refurbished headset? Look for ones that have a 12 month warranty and come with new consumable components, like ear cushions, voice tubes and windshields. They are as good as new and better for the environment at the same time.
WHERE DO I BUY HEADSETS?
You will find many outlets online but we recommend buying from a specialist. We all use headsets at Clarion and see it as a no-brainer to reduce distraction and increase productivity. Our sister company, Commswarehouse has a huge selection of new and refurbished headsets for any business or home office requirement. They will also give you sound advice on which connection lead you will need to ensure device compatibility.