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Headset Terminology:

Find meanings for Headset terminology. If there is a term you don't understand or would like to see, please email us or phone the Webmaster at our Calgary, Alberta (1-403-239-8414) office.

There is also a good glossary of headset terms at this Plantronics Support link.

2.5 mm

2.5 millimeter plugs are standard, round plugs. Many Plantronics mobile headsets come with this size of plug, which should fit standard mobile and cordless phones.

3.5 mm

3.5 millimeter plugs are standard, round plugs often found on stereos and computers. They are larger than the 2.5 mm round plugs found on telephones.

A10 Cable

Also known as an A10-16, Direct Connect, or amplified headset cable, it is used to connect commercial headsets with QD adapters directly to telephones that have an appropriate RJ9 headset port. Check the the phone compatibility guide before ordering a direct connect cable.


Allows better sound control over the volume of sound in the headset device.


Analog refers to a type of sound signal. In regards to Plantronics products, it refers to computer headsets that plug directly into a computer’s sound card with two, round 3.5 mm plugs.


Any bits that get dropped during signal transmission that may cause pops and ticks in the resulting sound.


A Plantronics term for technology that is designed to make wireless conversations effortless and pleasant, regardless of the environment.


A Bluetooth communication standard. It is designed to transfer a stereo audio stream (such as music) from an mp3 player to a headset or car radio.


Base refers to your headset’s charging base or amplifier.


Describes a headset that will cover both ears. See also Monaural.


Is a wireless communication language that allows devices to talk to one another via a wireless connection. For example, in the case of headsets, a Bluetooth Headset can connect with a Bluetooth enabled cell phone so the user can talk without using wires.

Call Clarity

A Plantronics Trade Marked term for an electronic signal processing and noise reduction system built into amplifiers that dramatically enhances transmission and reception quality.


A Plantronics term where audio technology is used for superior call clarity, and it is featured in the Plantroincs Vista M22 amplifiers.

CA (Cordless Amplifier)

CA stands for “cordless amplifier.” These units connect into your phone’s hand receiver port and come with a remote that can be used away from the desk.

CS (Cordless System)

CS stands for “cordless system.” Cordless systems come with both a CA (cordless amplifier) and a headset. See “CA” for more details.


A headset that can switch between Monaural and Over The Ear.


A device which requires wires to connect and operate.

Date Code

The date code of your product designates its date of manufacture, and it can be used to establish your warranty period. The date code is generally listed with your product’s model and part number, although this is not always the case. The date code can be located on the base of the unit, beneath the ear cushion, under the battery, or along the microphone boom.


DECT stands for “Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephony”, which is a type of wireless technology used in certain Plantronics and Jabra headsets. It is designed not to interfere with other electronic devices around it, and to provide better signal security.


Digital Signal Processing - this describes a technique that can provide better sound experience. DSP can be used to mitigate echo, unequal call levels, anti-startle from sudden increases in amplitude, and acoustic shock from prolonged exposure to high amplitude.


Dongle is a term for “adapter.” It generally refers to a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into your computer’s USB port and gives you additional Bluetooth profiles and support. These adapters are sometimes called “Bluetooth dongles” or “USB dongles.”


DSP refers to computer headsets that connect via the USB port rather than the computer’s sound card.

Earbud and In-the-ear style

Earbud style describes a small, discreet headset with a speaker that fits in the ear and the microphone positioned along the cord.


A headset wearing style where a loop is used to secure the headset to the users ear.


Interference experienced in the background of a conversation over a device that sounds like an actual echo.


The science of "Human Engineering". How a product can allow a user to function in a way that will have less wear on their body. For instance, telephone headsets make good ergonomic sense, due to less twisting of the spine and neck.


The device which the user picks up when answering calls. This unit is held to the ear.

Hand Receiver (Port)

The hand receiver is the portion of the telephone that you hold in your hand when talking. It is generally attached to the phone with a curly cord. The hand receiver plugs into the phone’s hand receiver port (usually a square, modular plug).

Headset (Port)

Some, but not all, phones have a headset port. This headset port may be a round, 2.5 mm plug, or a square modular RJ9 plug.

HFP (Hands Free Profile)

HFP is a more advanced version of the HSP Bluetooth profile. It allows voice dialing activation, redial, call transfer, and call answer/end capabilities.

HSP (Headset Profile)

HSP is a Bluetooth profile used for voice, mono music, and internet chat programs. This is the most commonly used profile, providing support for the popular Bluetooth headsets to be used with mobile phones.


The device which lifts the handset off a desk phone, which allows a wireless pick up of the phone.

Link Dropping

Link dropping means that the signal between the headset and the telephone periodically disconnects. If you experience link dropping, it is recommended that you establish a new signal between the headset and the telephone by repairing or resubscribing your headset.


Operating a wideband device (headset) in a narrow band environment. Truncated content creates pops and clicks, similar to screen artifacts in video. A good headset must be designed in such a way to prevent adding any artifacts in the bandwidth outside of narrow band. Artifacts distract the user and degrade the sound experience.


A headset that will cover only one ear, making it easier to talk and collaborate while on the phone. See also Binaural.


Multipoint is also known as “multishifting.” Although all Plantronics Bluetooth headsets can pair with up to 4 different devices, multipoint technology allows some Bluetooth headsets to switch active connections between two paired devices. Non-multipoint headsets can be actively connected to only one device at a time.

Multi-Point Technology

Allows you to seamlessly switch between Bluetooth® devices.

Narrow Band

Narrow band telephony is actually less then the natural speech range.

Noise Cancelling (NC)

Noise Cancelling is the ability of the device to reduce background noise for a headset user. This will allow the headset user to be heard more clearly as background noise is reduced. This feature is especially useful in noisy environments.

Open Ear Design

Designed to allow the user to hear outside noise as well as signal from the headset. Primarily used in gaming so the user can hear outside surroundings in addition to sound from the headset.

Over The Ear

A headset that can be mounted only on the ear.

Over The Head

Describes a fitting of the headset where a band will sit "over the head" and hold the headset in place for the user.


Pairing refers to establishing a wireless connection between a headset and a phone. It is often used to describe the initial set up between a Bluetooth headset and phone.


A Plantronics Trademark term for software used with certain product lines to adjust headset functions (volume, mute, administrative control, etc.)

PerSonoCall Enterprise Edition

A Plantronics Trademark term for Software for use with compatible soft phones. Supported by Plantronics CS50-USB, and Voyager 510-USB, provides call answer/end control.


A Plantronics Trademark term for software used with certain product lines to adjust headset functions (volume, mute, administrative control, etc.)


Polaris is Plantronics model designation for direct-connect headsets. A Polaris cable MOD connector has a "smokey" colour, which distinguishes it from the clear MOD connector for headsets requiring an amplifier.

Quick Disconnect (QD)

This is the flat connector on the end of a QD headset cord. It connects either to an amplifier cord or a direct connect cord. A QD connector allows the user to walk away from their phone while still wearing the headset, and then get right back to work when returning through a fast physical disconnection from the cord.

Roaming Range

The distance that the wireless headset will work when separated from the base unit.

Smart Cord

A Smart Cord is a cord used by Jabra/GN Netcom headset products that will allow most of its headset line to connect direct to a phone without the need for an amplifier.

SIP Session Initiation Protocol

SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol, is designed primarily to set-up, modify, and tear down interactive communication sessions. SIP is universal in that it can support any type of communication session whether it is voice, video, or instant messaging.

Staying Connected

Real-time communications requires staying connected via multiple communication channels and being able to easily switch between them.


Universal Serial Bus - An external peripheral interface standard for communication between a computer and external peripherals over an inexpensive cable using bi-serial transmission.

Voice Tube

A speaking tube or voicepipe is a device based around two cones connected by an air pipe through which speech can be transmitted.


oice Over Internet Protocol - Voice over Internet Protocol, also called VoIP, IP Telephony, Internet telephony, Broadband telephony, Broadband Phone and Voice over Broadband is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP-based network.


This describes the full range of natural speech including those areas of the spectrum contributing to greater intelligibility.


Plantronics term used to describe a devices ability to reduce wind noise.


Describes a device which requires wires to connect and operate.


Describes a device which does not require wires to operate.

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