How to choose a call center headset
A headset is an irreplaceable part of any call center. Agents spend at least eight hours a day in it, so the comfort of this device is extremely important.
Modern headsets are designed with agent’s demands in mind in order to make their long-term use as comfortable as possible.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a headset:
1. Connection type (one/two jack 3.5, USB, wireless);
2. Headphone type (mono/stereo);
3. The presence of built-in noise reduction;
4. Type of headband (earbuds/overhead/covering);
5. Microphone type.
And now, we’ll analyze each criterion in sequence.
There are four types of connection in modern headsets:
- One jack 3.5;
- Two jack 3.5;
First, let's talk about the last method since most users find it more attractive. This is usually a Bluetooth headset which lacks the wires that restricts agent movement. The cost of wireless headphones is higher. Many of you may think that this is convenient, and you don't have to worry about a damaged input socket or wire.
However, in our opinion, this type of connection is unreliable since there’s the possibility of bugs. Another downside is how high-quality call processing will no longer work. Because the function cannot guarantee trouble-free use, there’s no point in overpaying for it. In addition, agents rarely need to get up during the working day, so the wireless feature is pointless.
Moving on to the wired headset options.
As we wrote above, jack and USB connectors are more common. The first option is the headphone jack, which is familiar to most PC users. However, this method of connection may turn out to be unreliable. Analog jack 3.5 has an echo that can only be heard by the client. It may appear due to a low-quality computer audio card.
Usually, this problem is found on laptops with a "one jack 3.5" connector (headphones + microphone, as in mobile). Also, headsets with a 3.5 jack don’t have active noise cancellation features. However, these headphones have one undeniable merit: they start at $12.99 and can range up to only $35.99.
USB, in our opinion, is the best type. It guarantees almost 100% uptime and is also available at a reasonable price of $17 to $200.
Mono or stereo
Mono headsets differ from stereo with the presence of only one earpiece, so the agent's second ear always remains free. This option is suitable for employees if they need to simultaneously communicate with colleagues during the call and stay in touch with the client.
A stereo headset is necessary if there’s no constant need to talk with colleagues in order to solve a client's problem. Using two earpieces, the agent remains focused on the client.
Active noise cancellation
It’s very important for the quality of the agent's work that the client’s able to hear them well. This affects not only the convenience of the agent, who needs to talk a lot during the day, but also the convenience of the client. Plus, these seemingly little things can affect the reputation and opinion of the company, as well as the desire to continue using its services. Therefore, the noise-cancelling function is very important.
Special mechanisms sewn into the microphone recognize the operator's voice and brings it to the forefront, muffling background low-frequency noises.
The quality of noise cancellation depends on the headset model and cost. The more expensive ones will have a higher level of suppression than the cheaper ones. It should also be kept in mind that noise cancellation works better with external microphones than with built-in ones, since they’re closer to the source of the voice.
But if the operator works from home, in the absence of extraneous sounds, then this function will be a waste of money.
We recommend choosing overhead earbuds, as the earbuds can hurt your ears, and the covering earbuds prompt sweating.
As mentioned above, in our opinion, headsets with extension microphones are ideal for call centers. They pick up sounds better than the built-in ones, and their noise cancellation extents are usually stronger.
And now, our top choices for operator headsets. Let's start with the cheapest ones.
1. Accutone UB210 USB
A professional call center headset. It has two headphones with an extended audio range, which allows you to perfectly hear the interlocutor without being distracted by extraneous noises. The microphone has a built-in noise-cancelling function while the headset adjusts to the head using special controls. It comes equipped with a 1.8-meter cable and USB connector.
2. KOSS CS100 USB
A professional noise-cancelling headset with expansion microphones and comfortable, snug-fitting earbuds. The size changes for comfortable customization. It comes equipped with a USB plug.
Entry level headsets
3. Jabra Evolve 20
A USB headset with convenient call control, noise cancellation, and easy integration into the most well-known UC platforms. It’s also possible to purchase both stereo and mono versions.
4. Logitech H570e
Perfect for the average call center operator. The headset doesn’t require special drivers or parts, but rather you just need to connect it to your computer. The noise-cancelling function makes long and frequent conversations easy, while the leatherette ear cushions and soft headband help promote comfort. The fit can also be adjusted for maximum support.
Price: from $49.99
5. Jabra Biz 1500
A lightweight and practical headset with an expansion microphone and USB connectivity, the features of which makes the operator's work more comfortable. The headphones fit snugly to the head, and noise cancellation in the microphone "clears" speech from interfering sounds.
Price: from $63.00
6. Plantronics Blackwire 3200
A noise-cancelling USB headset with options to purchase stereo or mono versions. It’s compatible with most popular voice platforms.
Price: from $35.00
7. Jabra Biz 2400 II
One of the popular stereo headsets from Jabra. It has a USB connection and a noise-cancelling microphone. It’s possible to transmit sounds and voices in HD format. The adjustable headband, soft leatherette, and lightweight construction will relieve the operator of discomfort during long periods of use.
Price: from $188.00
8. Jabra Pro 930
A wireless headset with a choice of stereo or mono options. Noise cancellation is built into the microphone and headphones, and the sound is transmitted in HD format. The battery holds a charge of up to 12 hours.
Price: from $271.00
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