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Tips, Facts and FAQ's

Selecting a headset:

Monaural or Binaural?

Use binaural headsets in a noisy room where you want to block out the sounds around you.

Sound tube (ST) Noise Canceling (NC)?

Use Noise Canceling headsets to reduce pickup in a noisy office going out to your customers.

Headband, Earhook or combo of both configurations?

Earhook type headsets are monaural, and have an earhook or loop attaching the headset onto your ear. It avoids the discomfort of a headband, but is less stable than a headband type. Some manufacturer models like the Plantronics TriStar include an earbud which inserts into your ear, making this type more stable than a simple ear hook.

Direct connect vs connection through an amplifier.

A direct connect headset is provided with an extension QD to MOD cable that allows direct connection to the headset port on some telephone consoles. A direct connect type saves money if your phone supports this configuration.

An amplifier/headset combination provides additional mute and volume control features, and may be required for phone systems that do not have a headset port.

Mixing direct connect and AMP-Headset combos

If you have Plantronics products, do not mix the Polaris direct-connect headsets with AMP/H-series headsets combos. The cables are different, and they will not mix and match.


Don't mix different manufacturers in the same facility. This will streamline headset management and warranty issues, as the Quick Disconnect (QD) connectors are not compatible between manufacturers.

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Headset Maintenance:

Now that you have your new Telephone Headset, whether it is a corded type or a wireless type, you will want to take care of it to protect your investment. Here are some best practices.

Keep it clean

Periodically clean the leatherette ear cushion, voice tube, headband and temple support pad with a soft damp cloth or wet wipe. Be sure to use a non-alcoholic type to avoid damaging the plastic housing on the headset.

Replace worn parts

Whenever the headset user changes, you should replace the leatherette or foamy ear cushion, foam mouthpiece or voicetube, and thoroughly clean all other parts. We recommend that the ear cushion should be changed every six months to maintain high standards of hygiene and comfort.

Replace batteries

If you are using a corded headset with an amplifier, check or replace the batteries periodically. Deteriorating batteries can cause poor sound quality and unnecessary calls to your IT support person because "my headset just stopped working".

For wireless headsets such as Plantronics CS series or Savi series or Jabra/GN Netcom wireless headsets, the rechargeable batteries in teh headsets should last for one to 2 years depending on usage. If the unit starts to noticeably have less talk time between recharges, order a new battery from your dealer so you won't be left stranded with a non-functioning headset just when you need it.

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Health and Safety:

Office Ergonomics

Back pain is one of the most common work related health problems, yet it can be easily prevented by ensuring that your working environment is back friendly. Telephone headsets are a prime example of a safety enhancement accessory that should be incorporated into the modern office environment.
Headsets are known to add many advantages to the workplace. According to a Santa Clara Valley Medical Study, headsets reduce neck, upper back, and shoulder tension by as much as 41 percent. Other studies have concluded that adding hands-free headsets to office telephones improved productivity by up to 43 percent.
And the freedom offered by hands-free movement allows workers extra mobility, reducing static loads on the entire body, and potentially contributing to greater worker comfort and productivity. Wireless headsets allow you to escape from the "desk-teather" altogether, making it possible to roam while answering and ending calls remotely with electro-machanical handset lifters, or
Electronics Hook Switch (EHS) controls on some telephone systems.

The Dangers of Wireless Headsets, are they safe?

Most modern non-Bluetooth wireless telephone headsets use Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) for communications between headset and base. Due to the very low output power, the radio wave exposure from DECT headsets and base stations is far below the established limits. For further information on DECT and Health, visit this website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I choose between a DECT or Bluetooth wireless headset?

A. Review of the strengths and weaknesses of the radio technologies available today: analog, DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Technology) and Bluetooth in this paper: Selecting a Wireless Headset Radio Technology

Q. What is a Polaris headset?

A. A Polaris Headset is Plantronics commercial model stream for direct connect headsets. All Plantronics commercial headsets have model numbers corresponding to H-series and P-series. E.g.SupraPlus H251N and P251N. Externally the headsets are the same, but the Polaris models come with an additional QD-to-Mod curly cable, and electrically, the Polaris headsets have a “hot” mic which provides some additional transmission gain.

Q. How do I connect my Plantronics H-series headset to the telephone?

A. The Plantronics H-series headsets are designed for use with an amplifier, typically the Plantronics M12 or M22. The amplifier is provided with a Mod-to-QD cable to which you connect the headset. A second short “rattail” cable connects the M12/M22 to the HANDSET jack on your phone. You then connect the phone handset to a jack designated with a handset symbol on the amplifier.

Q. Why won’t my Plantronics headset work on the headset jack on my phone?

A. Check your headset

If you have connected a P-series headset with a Polaris cable to the HEADSET jack on the phone, it should work.

If you have connected an H-series headset with a Polaris cable to the HEADSET jack on the phone, it will not work properly.

If you have connected an H-series headset with a M12/M22 amplifier cable to the HEADSET jack on the phone, it will not work properly.

If you have connected a P-series headset with a M12 amplifier cable to the HEADSET jack on the phone, it will not work properly.

Q. How can I tell the difference between an Amplifier cable and a Polaris Cable?

A. A Plantronics Amplifier cable has a clear modular connector on one end. A Polaris cable has a smokey coloured modular connector on one end.

Q. How can I get a Binaural headset with a dialpad/headset package?

A. The Plantronics T10 comes with a monaural combo headset which connects directly to the modular jack on theT10. You can order the T10H which comes with a short mod-to-QD cable, but no headset. You can then order any H-series headset to go with it.

A. The GNN 4170 dialpad/headset system comes with an earhook “cell phone” type headset with a 2.5 mm jack. You can order separately a 2.5mm-to-QD adapter cable for GNN headsets, so you could then pick any GNN headset with a QD connector.

Q. Is there some way that I can hookup my existing H-series headset directly to the phone without an amplifier?

A. Plantronics manufactures the A10-12-S1 Amplified Cord that will allow a direct connection of Plantronics H-series headsets to Nortel Meridian phones and is available from Comfort Canada. It may also work with other types of phones, but call Comfort Canada Calgary office for a demo unit first.

Q. What kind of headset I do need for my cell phone?

A. Plantronics provides a series of models with 2.5mm jacks to connect to a cell phone. RContact Comfort Canada for current Mobile headset product information.

Q. Can I get handsfree headsets for my cellphone?

A. Comfort Canada can supply Plantronics or GN Netcom (Jabra) products that offer handsfree headsets for cell phones using Bluetooth technology.

Q. What is Bluetooth technology?

A. Bluetooth makes it possible to use a wireless headset with your cell phone.

Q. Can I purchase a Bluetooth (wireless) headset to use with my existing cell phone?

A. Your cell phone must be Bluetooth enabled. Most older cell phones will not have this capability. Also, not all mobile service providers support Bluetooth equipped cell phone service. Check with your service provider to make sure they support this feature.

Q. What is DECT 6.0 technology?

A.DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) is a flexible digital radio access standard for cordless communications in residential, corporate and public environments. DECT provides for voice and multimedia traffic, and contains many forward-looking technical features that allow DECT-based cordless systems to play a central role in important new communications developments such as Internet access and inter-working with other fixed and wireless services such as ISDN and GSM.

DECT 6.0 is used in Plantronics CS70, CS55 and SupraPlus Wireless CS351N/CS361N wireless headset systems. It is an improvement over the CS50 technology, and provides brilliant quality of voice and sound, digitally-secure communications, and the lowest probability of interference with other wireless devices. It also allows simultaneous usage of multiple cordless phones and headsets.

Q. How many wireless headset systems can I have in the same area?

A.This wireless density information applies to 900MHz and 1.9GHz DECT professional wireless headset systems with mobile range up to 100 metres. It does not apply to Bluetooth wireless headsets, which are limited to max. 10 metres range, and no more than 8 devices in a given area.

The answer is...as many as is practical in your work environment. But there is a limitation on roaming range as you increase user density. Test results show that as more and more professional wireless headset systems are installed in an area, you may experience a reduction in the distance you can be from the base while maintaining the quality of the call. This degradation will vary greatly depending on the environment, number of users, and other equipment in the area.

However, you should always be able to make and take calls, and your calls will be secure and should not experience cross talk. You may however, experience some static or interference on the call due to the number of units that are active at the time, but this will disappear as you move closer to your base station. Combining professional wireless headset systems based on different radio frequencies (900MHz and 1.9GHz DECT) will allow you to increase density. Products operating in separate spectrum bands (frequencies) enable you to maximize the amount of users and user range in each band while limiting interference.

Q. What is AudioIQ® technology?

A.AudioIQ makes wireless conversations effortless and pleasant, regardless of the environment. For incoming calls, AudioIQ automatically adapts to background noise levels and intelligently improves the receive quality, clarity and volume level. For outgoing calls, AudioIQ reduces background noise for listeners up to 7-8 decibels, or by approximately 50 percent. It also minimizes interference from artifacts such as speech distortions to maintain exceptionally clear voice intelligibility.

Q. What is Call Clarity™ technology?

A.Call Clarity is a proprietary Plantronics technology. Call Clarity is an electronic signal processing and noise reduction system found in Plantronics amplifiers that enhances transmit and receive quality.

Q. What is Quick Disconnect™ or QD connector?

A.Quick Disconnect™ (QD) Connector is at the end of the headset cable that lets you disconnect your headset from an active call when you need to grab a fax or file, then easily reconnect. With the QD, there's no need to put the call on hold or remove your headset.

Q. What is SoundGuard Plus™?

A.SoundGuard Plus is an automatic gain control system found in Plantronics amplifiers. SoundGuard Plus provides natural voice tone and removes loud tones, as well as occasional noises and crackles on the line.

Q. What can I do with my CS55 wireless headset when it gets a noisy voice signal?

A. Try resetting the System. To reset your CS55, hold the Mute and Answer buttons on the remote part (the headset) down for 3 seconds.

If neither of these solutions work call the Plantronics Help line at 1-800-544-4660. Their knowledgeable and helpful staff will help you solve your problems. They are FREE!, knowledgeable and prompt.

Q. Is there a wireless headset that will answer calls remotely?

A.The Plantronics wireless CS-series and Jabra/GN Netcom wireless headset units all support optional handset lifters that will allow you to detect and pick up calls remotely by lifting the phone handset.

Q. Does the handset lifter come with the wireless headset models?

A. No, the handset lifter is an added cost option, because some users work at or near their desk it's not a requirement. Plantronics does offer a combo CS50 and HS Lifter, but the cost is marginally different than purchasing the items separately.

Q. What is a Remote Ring Detector?

A. The Handset Lifter option for wireless headsets detects the phone ring through an audio mic on the lifter assembly which is mounted under the handset. It then transmits a signal via the base unit to the remote wireless headset to alert the user to pick up the call. Some phones have the speaker offset from the handset, so a short “ring detector” cable with a mic on the end is needed to extend to the phone speaker so it can “hear” it ring.

Q. Do wireless headsets support Electronic Hookswitch (EHS) remote answering features?

A.The Plantronics Avaya wireless AWH-series support EHS for Avaya 8400 and 9600 series phones and an optional Cisco Headset Hookswitch Control (HHC) cable is avaliable for the Plantronics CS series headsets. Jabra EHS cables are available for selected Avaya, Cisco and Polycom phones, and may be ordered as options for Jabra GN Netcom GN9350e and GN9125 wireless headset models.

Q. How can I test my wireless headset besides calling a friend?

A. Plantronics has a toll free number @ 1-866-210-2157 you can call to test and adjust your headset's volume settings. This service is available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.

This is an automated Sound Test Machine for wireless headsets. It will walk you through easy steps to optimize the volume settings on your wireless headset.

It's important to make sure that your headset's volumes are adjusted correctly to ensure call clarity. Wireless headsets have separate controls for the transmit (microphone) volume and the receive (what you hear) volume.

Q. How does a wireless headset work with my multi-line phone?

A. The wireless headset functions just like your regular handset piece, BUT it will allow you to work wirelessly. So if a user is away from the phone and it rings, a beep will sound in the ear. The user can then click the ear piece and answer the call remotely (with lifter option). If they want to go and transfer, put on hold or complete similar tasks, they will have to attend the base unit. If no lifter option is used, then the user will lift the handset then engage the wireless headset at the click of a button.

Q. What are Bluetooth Adapters?

A. Bluetooth adapters convert a signal from a non Bluetooth device to output a Bluetooth signal. Bluetooth adapters come in USB forms and can allow a computer to output a Bluetooth signal. This can then be used wirelessly for VoIP, music, gaming etc. For example, the Plantronics Audio 470 USB Bluetooth headset is packaged with a USB Blueooth adapter to connect with a softphone application on your PC.

Q. How can I improve my Bluetooth signal?

A. If your Bluetooth unit is performing less then the manufacturer claims, try pairing it again. Delete the Bluetooth headset from the phone, turn the phone off and try to pair it again. This often helps resolve some of the problems.

Another common issue, is because Bluetooth operate on a high frequency such as a microwave, it can't penetrate solid objects very well. For example, if your headset is on the left side of your body and your phone is on the right side, you may experience signal problems. To resolve this, keep the phone and your headset closer together, this will always help.

Q. How do I know which phones work with which headsets?

A.Plantronics and GN Netcom / Jabra offer a compatabilty guide, but sometimes it is difficult to keep up with all products in the marketplace. email us at sales@headsetexpress.ca if you are not sure.

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••• Comfort Telecommunications Canada Inc. (now Headset Express Canada) is your one-stop shopping point for Plantronics and Jabra/GN Netcom telephone headsets, Bluetooth and DECT wireless headset systems, and EnGenius long range cordless phone equipment. We ship country wide to Canadian and USA destinations.

For product, repairs and pricing information, phone us @ 1-866-298-8510 in Brampton Ontario, or email us at sales@headsetexpress.ca.