Wouldn't you love to take that phone off your shoulder and free your hands? Want to reduce neck & back strain at the same time? Then start using a phone headset.
If you talk on the phone and use a PC you NEED a telephone headset. Typing with 1 hand is very tedious compared to typing with 2 hands. Balancing that receiver between chin and shoulder can be a real chore. Not only is it difficult to complete other tasks while on the phone, but it can also be, quite literally, a pain in the neck. Even if your phone use is sporadic, sloppy positioning can easily strain neck and shoulder muscles.
Yet few actually take advantage of a fairly inexpensive and simple solution: the phone headset. Headsets allow you to talk while keeping both hands free, giving you the mobility you need for writing, typing, or even drinking a cup of coffee.
Good sense, safety, and in some states the law, says that you should use a hands free device.
This web site is designed to give you the facts you need to buy a phone headset for yourself or members of your staff. Here are some essentials you need to know about choosing the right headset:
Headsets can be used with virtually any kind of office or home phone. They install by simply connecting one or two plugs. Differences are plenty between the models available, so it's important that you pay attention to the details when trying to find the right one.
Headsets come in many styles, ranging from small models that sit in your ear to large, cushioned broadcaster-like units. For noisy environments like call centres, a binaural headset, which sports two earpieces, is a good choice for drowning out background noise. However, if you aren't constantly on the phone, a monaural (single earpiece) headset will allow you to easily listen to your surroundings or hold conversations without removing your headset.
If you favour the traditional headset look with a microphone that arches toward your mouth, a model with a boom might be the best fit. Most models use a standard ear clip, but others clamp on in alternative ways. Just be warned you may wind up looking like a pop star in concert on a good day and a professional telemarketer on a bad day.
Pay attention to a headset's sound quality. If you cannot be heard or people can't hear you, the headset is essentially worthless.
Because some people are just louder than others, volume controls can be very important. All models have an incoming volume control, but only a few offer outgoing volume control. A second key to high quality sound is noise cancelling, which helps reduce background noise so you can hear your callers more clearly. (Bear in mind however that you'll pay a premium for this feature.)
With the growth of VoIP, it is more important than ever to make sure your customers can hear you clearly. There is nothing worse than having to repeat yourself, as your audio breaks up. With VoIP, things may sound clear to you, but that does not mean the customers are receiving the same call quality.
For this reason we have setup a Public Echo Test: (08) 6210 8080
Calling this number will play back your audio, with a 3 second delay. Allowing you to hear your call quality, just as your customer would. So give the test line call, and make sure your being heard.
The switchover feature allows the user to switch between the handset and the headset when handling calls. Make sure the feature is well marked and accessible in a hurry; when the phone is ringing, you don't want to have to scramble to figure out what to pick up.
Quick disconnect allows you to disconnect the headset from the rest of the equipment, so you won't have to remove your headset when leaving your desk. (Prime protection, also, against being jerked back to your chair by the headset cord.) When buying a model equipped with this feature, check that it lives up to its name; a few models require a bit of a wrestling match to disconnect the halves.
Cordless headsets are also available if you'd like to walk around the office. The only drawbacks are that you need to return to the phone to place or answer calls, and, like cordless phones, cordless headsets tend to lose their signals over greater distances. The average range is 50 metres but in ideal conditions some headsets will have a 100 metre range.
When shopping for a headset, comfort is key. Even the best-featured model will be a waste of money if the design isn't right and you don't like wearing it.
For example, if you're not so keen on mussing your hair, opt for an over-the-ear model rather than a headband style. Or you may prefer a boom that's cushion-free if you don't want to have a large black spongy object in your peripheral vision.
For best results, try out a couple of models for a day in real-world conditions; any discomfort should show up quickly. Make sure the microphone is easily adjusted. Also, not only should you be able to hear your callers without trouble, but they should be able to tune into your voice clearly as well. The range of volume control does differ across models; make sure to check it is adequate with any set you purchase.
In Australia, we recommend AAAHeadsets. They provide a premium service, even letting you have a 3 day trial before you buy. A "test drive" can be essential if you don't want to buy a lemon.
You should expect to pay about $100-$150 for a direct-connect quality commercial grade headset. A headset and an accompanying bottom cable will cost between $150 and $300 depending on the features you select.
Although there are $40 models available, skimping on price will probably result in getting exactly what you pay for, and you'll find your headset occupying permanent space in your drawer. Also, headsets used in Australia MUST comply with Australian standards. This is for your own safety. Australia has a very stringent headset testing regime.
For Mobile headsets, no frills bluetooth headsets will cost under $100. Premium models with features such as call announcement, voice dialling cost upwards of $150. For music lovers, there are now a large selection of stereo bluetooth headsets with noise cancellation, ranging from $200 to $600.
Wireless/cordless headsets start at about $250 and can cost as much as $550.
Headsets Australia is dedicated to providing you the most informative resource on the web about headsets and accessories.
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