Not all VoIP headsets are created equal, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best value VoIP headsets of 2017 based on quality, flexibility, UC compatibility and – of course – price.
Most Australian businesses are making the move to Unified Communications (UC), and if you’re one of them, you’ll need a VoIP headset that will come along for the ride. Whether you’re an entry level user, in a call centre, or are on the lookout for the ultimate headset with all the bells and whistles, you’ll find this list a great starting point.
But first of all, we just want to make sure we’re all on the same page here, so let’s look at what exactly a VoIP headset is, and get you thinking about what kind of VoIP headset you actually need.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and is sometimes also referred to as Voice over IP and IP telephony. It is a process by which media communications can take place using Internet Protocol (IP) Networks. In layman’s terms, it’s a way for us to communicate using the internet.
In the past, we’ve used the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to make phone calls, but with VoIP, we’re using our internet connections.
VoIP uses codecs (coding and decoding of data) by first code your voice into digital data that can traverse the internet, and then re-coding it back into analogue data at the other end. While VoIP can only transmit voice data, SIP (Session INitiation Protocol) can transmit all forms of data, including video and other multimedia. SIP is what we call the “VoIP Superhighway”, and it’s perfect for business phone systems.
What is a VoIP Headset?
First of all, the term ‘VoIP Headset’ is a bit of a misnomer. Whether or not your headset will work with VoIP actually depends on what you’re plugging it into, not the headset itself. For example, if you’re using a desk phone to make VoIP phone calls, you will have to have a headset that connects to your desk phone. If you’re using that same desk phone to make PSTN calls, the same headset should work.
What you may have been looking for on your hunt for a VoIP headset is a UC headset. That’s one that will work with your UC solution or Skype for Business (formerly known as Lync). In this case, your VoIP headset needs to be a UC headset, so make sure you keep your eye out for that term before you make a purchase.
In any case, whether you call it a VoIP headset or a UC headset, you’re looking for the same thing, and you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for the best headset to suit your business needs.
What kind of VoIP headset do I need?
As we mentioned, the first thing to look out for is a headset that works on your UC platform. When it comes to the other factors for you to consider, that is really a matter of who will use the headset, how they will use the headset, the features the user will need, and your budget.
Our 7 best VoIP headsets of 2017 aren’t just taking into account price and snazziness. We know that some businesses might need two top-of-the-line headsets for their reception staff, but 8 good quality, entry level headsets for their call centre staff. That’s why we will cover all bases in this list.
No matter who and what you need your VoIP headset for, here’s some of the more important factors you need to consider before you explore our list, courtesy of the headset experts at Simply Headsets:
- Do I need the headset to be compatible with my computer only, my desk phone only, my mobile, or all three?
- What wearing style will be most comfortable for the user? Some headsets come with both over-the-ear and over-the-head wearing styles, however, many brands come with only one, and offer the second as an additional extra.
- What features do I need in a headset?
- Do I need a wireless headset? If the user needs to be able to move around the office while on a call, then this is important.
- Would I like to be able to answer a call when I’m away from my desk? Some headsets require that you lift the desk phone handset or click on your computer screen in order to answer. Others will offer a remote answering feature.
- How important is sound quality? Obviously, the sound technology in a headset can influence its price, however, even your entry level headsets have decent sound these days.
- What is my budget?
Our 7 Best VoIP Headsets of 2017
It’s not fancy, it’s not expensive, and it’s not loaded with additional extras, but it still makes our list because it’s optimised for Microsoft Skype, it meets Jabra’s high sound standards, and it has a great all-round quality.
This one’s for the entry level user, and is a plug and play headset with a call control unit that you’ll be able to use straight out of the box. For this price you’ll find it’s comfortable, has a clear sound, and offers reasonable noise reduction technology – that makes it one of our best value VoIP headsets of 2017.
If we were measuring headsets based purely on style and function, this one would come out on top. As it is, we’re looking at the best value VoIP headsets, and this one is a little too high up on the price scale for us to justify putting it any higher on this list.
Having said that, you won’t get a better noise cancelling headset than this one, which means the Evolve 80 is perfect for noisy work environments and your commute home. The sassy style also makes it ideal for personal use. Trust us when we say, if you’re looking for the crème de la crème of VoIP headsets, you’ve found it.
This is a brilliantly intuitive headset that will juggle your PC calls and multimedia using Plantronics’ Smart Sensor technology, with audio alerts that will manage your connection status, mute, and volume. It’s corded – which is a no-go zone for some people – but the fact that you can answer a call simply by putting it on makes that fact a lot easier to handle.
For a mid price tag, we think the audio is amazing, and provides great value. The Dynamic EQ feature also optimises the clearness of your voice, and adjusts automatically when you’re listening to music or multimedia.
The Blackwire C520-M is designed specifically for use with Microsoft Skype or Communicator software, so make sure you’ve got it before purchasing!
We promised to deliver the best value VoIP headsets of 2017, and that means including affordable headsets. The Sennheiser SC 60 USB ML fits that bill.
Optimised for Unified Communications, this headset will acquire top priority over other devices that are connected to your computer’s speakers and microphone. One of our favourite things about this headset is that Sennheiser means it when they say, “plug and play”; it’s easy to set up and simple to use.
The voice clarity is fantastic, with Sennheiser’s renowned noise cancelling technology and wideband sound, available in both mono and duo wearing styles. Both styles are comfortable to wear, and the flexible boom arm is handy for keeping the microphone in the best position.
The only downside is the fact that it is corded, but if you don’t have the need to move around the office while you’re on a call, it shouldn’t be a problem for you.
The DW Pro is one of the highest quality headsets on the market, and we know that you won’t be disappointed when you try it out. The only reason it isn’t at #1 is because of it’s price, but make no mistake, there’s no a single sacrifice when it comes to quality. Compatible with UC platforms, you’d have a hard time finding a more intelligent, feature-rich, or faster charging headset on the market.
As we always expect from Sennheiser, the sound quality and noise cancellation are impeccable, which makes this an ideal headset for the noisy office; the HD clarity is second to none. The DW Pro 1 will also automatically conference with other Sennheisers, which is ideal when you’ve got multiple users using the same phone. And if keeping your ears safe from harmful noises is important to you, the DW Pro 1 features ActiveGuard technology, intercepting and eliminating damaging sound before it reaches your ears. It charges in only 20 minutes – which is impressive – a 12 hour talk time, and a range of up to 180 metres – which is beyond impressive.
The Voyager 5200 was put on the market as an upgrade to the very popular Plantronic Legend, and it’s already a bestseller. Plantronics has included their most advanced noise cancelling technology and WindSmart technology in the Voyager 5200, and that’s because it’s mobile compatible and designed to go wherever you go.
It’s in second place on our list because it’s got voice recognition answering (just say ‘answer’ or ‘ignore’ when you get a call), it’s perfect for use with your mobile, it’s charging case provides up to 14 additional hours of talk time, and it sounds like a dream for both you and your caller. Plantronics have also designed the button placement to make it easier for you to adjust controls. On top of that, it’s on-the-ear, ergonomic design is comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
While it’s definitely on the pricier end of the headset scale, we think every penny will be worth it if you’re looking for a VoIP headset that will make your life easier.
When it comes to affordability, this wireless headset is (in our opinion) the best value VoIP headset available. It’s optimised for use with Microsoft Skype (MS) and, for such a good value VoIP headset, it’s sound quality won’t disappoint. Jabra have included their Advance Noise Blackout technology to deliver a crisp and noise-free call, while the dual microphones and HD Voice guarantees a clear listening experience for both you and your caller.
We also like the fact that the Stealth is slimline and lightweight, which means you can wear it discreetly and still be comfortable when it’s not in use. Another great feature is that you can activate Google Now and Siri by pressing a convenient button on the headset, which means you can leave your phone in your pocket.
Overall, it’s got everything you need in a VoIP headset – it’s comfortable, stylish, optimised for Microsoft Skype, and it boasts an excellent call quality. The fact that it’s wireless and doesn’t have too hefty a price-tag means it’s our pick for the best value VoIP headset for 2017.
We started this post by pointing out that not all headsets are the same, and we’ve tried our hardest to compile a list of the best value VoIP headsets which everyone will find useful. Whether you’re a seasoned wearer and know exactly what a good quality headset can deliver, or just starting out and need a decent starter headset, we’re hoping you’ve found something in this list to get you thinking about exactly what you need in a VoIP headset.
If you’re still unsure, head over to Simply Headsets to see their extensive range of VoIP and UC Headsets – you’ll be spoiled for choice. Plus, you can give their Melbourne based team a call to get some personalised advice about which headset will best suit your needs.