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USB-C Adapters, Headsets Now Available

2/2/2018 - 0 Comments
 
To accommodate the latest USB port on the market, headset manufacturers are now offering adapters, as well as headsets, with USB-C connectors.

Why the change in standard to USB-C? First, the size. By diminishing the size of the port, laptops continue to slim down and weigh less. At first glance, the USB-C is similar to micro USB; however, it is slightly thicker and more oval than micro USB and differs in a major way: it has no up or down orientation. PC magazine calls USB-C the emerging industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power.*

The Jabra USB-C Adapter enables you to connect Jabra USB headsets to USB-C devices, providing the same functionality as if connected to a USB-A device. The adapter is flexible, which makes it easy to use with your preferred devices without flipping around.

Plantronics also offers two types of adapters: USB-A to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A. Perhaps you are currently using computers with USB-A ports, but plan to upgrade to new computers. Your business chooses to purchase USB-C headsets, knowing that eventually, they will directly plug into the new computers. In the meantime, using an adapter will allow you to use the new headsets, with the old computers.

Within its Blackwire series, Plantronics offers headsets with the USB-C connector. The Blackwire 3200 and Blackwire 5200 headsets both have USB, as well as USB-C, headsets. In addition, the Blackwire 5200 headsets have 3.5mm connectors for use with mobile phones and tablets. And, they all feature in-line call controls, just like the USB-A versions, for ease of use. (Pictured is the Blackwire 5220 Duo headset.)

We expect to see the trend of USB-C headsets continue, as the technology evolves. Of course, don't expect the USB-A connectors to fade away; we believe they too will be present and readily available. The goal is to provide the technology you need, at a great price. Look to us as your headset experts. Contact us today!


*PC magazine: What is USB-C? An Explainer published March 2017

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ANC Headset Compatibility with Desk Phones

2/1/2018 - 0 Comments
 
“Do you have an Active Noise Cancelling headset that I can use with my desk phone?” is one of the top questions we’ve been receiving lately. While all Active Noise Cancelling headsets so far are either Bluetooth or corded USB connection, with the addition of the MDA 220 adapter, employees are able to have the true concentration they need in noisy office environments that still utilize traditional desk phones.

The Plantronics MDA220 USB (MSRP: $149.95) is an audio switcher that toggles between desk phone and PC and is great for those who are transitioning to Unified Communications and still need to use a traditional desk phone. It allows the user to utilize the same headset for both their desk phone and PC.

Avcomm has tested this solution and it’s one of our top recommendations for customers with this particular need.


How to Set Up the MDA220 USB

Connect the MDA220 USB with the two cords at the back of the device: an RJ9 cable to plug into either the desk phone's headset or handset port, and a USB cable for connection to the PC.

The headset, or its USB dongle, connects into the USB port at the front of the MDA220 USB. EHS cables and handset lifters can be used with the MDA220 USB, to allow for remote answer/end from the headset. That would be an additional purchase, and would need to be compatible with the desk phone it's being connected to.

You can toggle between the desk phone and PC by simply pressing the corresponding icon on the MDA220,which then illuminates solid green to indicate connection.

Recommended ANC Headset Options

The Jabra Evolve 75 UC has captivated us with Active Noise-Cancelling in the speakers, a noise-cancelling microphone, comfortable wearability for all-day use, and a hard-sided case for travel. In addition, this headset either comes with a charging stand, or without. This is what we use daily at Avcomm, and the set-up that we recommend to customers whose open office environments present a challenge when it comes to concentration and productivity.

Another great option is the brand new Jabra Evolve 75e UC for those who prefer an ear bud wearing style. This headset also features Jabra’s excellent Active Noise Cancelling technology, an integrated busylight, and a protective travel case.

Other ANC headsets you may want to consider:
Sennheiser MB 660 UC

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC

Plantronics Voyager 8200 UC

Plantronics Blackwire C725


Ready to embrace a 'cone of silence' with your desk phone? The MDA220 USB, along with an active noise-cancelling headset, will get you there.



This video shows you how to connect the MDA220 USB and a headset to your desk phone and PC:

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Huddle Rooms: STOP! Collaborate & Listen

1/19/2018 - 0 Comments
 
“Alright, stop! Collaborate and listen… " These wise words from Vanilla Ice circa 1989 still hold true today, especially in today's work climate. With employees working some or all of their week from home, and the Open Office design making private collaboration difficult to accomplish in the office, huddle rooms have seen an increase in popularity.

Huddle rooms, defined by AVI Systems, Inc., as "small conference areas that are equipped with audio, video and display system technology," support group collaboration at a small scale. These informal team collaboration spaces are a place to “huddle” together for impromptu and scheduled meetings, and to collaborate on projects. Typically, an average huddle room houses 5-7 people, and contains a table, TV, and some type of speakerphone and USB video camera arrangement. White boards are also prevalent (and even some smart boards) to complete the tools available.

With the limited space comes requirements for equipment that not only allows for meetings and content sharing, yet doesn't cost a fortune. Organizations typically have more than one huddle room to equip.

The wall-mounted Yamaha CS-700 (MSRP: $799) from Revolabs is a new all-in-one video and sound collaboration system that allows for simple USB connection to PC. The CS-700 is easy to use, but don't let the simplicity fool you: it's a powerful tool. A beam-forming microphone array, and four speakers provide clear, rich sound. The 120-degree ultra-wide angle camera captures all meeting participants in one field of view. Audio, video, and screen sharing are all accomplished with one USB cable!

According to Revolabs co-founder and former CEO, JP Carney: "What this means for IT teams is a simple to use, set-it-and-forget-it meeting room audio and video system. No longer will they get calls asking how to connect to meeting room equipment, how to use camera controls, or worry about control pads walking out the door." This means that "the remote monitoring and provisioning of this unique system simplifies installation and control, reducing the number of IT service tickets and enabling simple collaboration for their customer base,” said Carney.

Any video conferencing software may be used. Common applications include Microsoft Skype for Business, Vidyo, Zoom, BlueJeans, and many more. The CS-700 provides a SIP interface to the corporate call manager, replacing the need for a separate conference phone in the huddle room. USB and SIP communications can be easily bridged in the CS-700, expanding the communication opportunities even further. And Bluetooth allows for fast and easy audio connections, instantly turning a mobile or computer call into a conference call.

If you're unsure about how to set up a huddle room, contact us for recommendations. The CS-700 is just one of the many options we can put together to best fit your requirements. After all, Communication is Our Business.

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There's a Headset for Everyone!

1/8/2018 - 0 Comments
 

Choice is good.

The act of choosing, making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities, gives us a sense of control and satisfaction. Life would be pretty boring if there was only vanilla ice cream to eat (and not the 31 flavors of Baskin-Robbins), or we all drove the basic black Ford Model T's. Yikes! Fortunately, we are afforded many choices in not only what we eat, wear and drive, but also in our headsets. Given the personal nature of a headset, which is used for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, it makes sense that user preferences are accounted for when purchasing headsets.

Fortunately, headset brands have heard the call, and have answered it, with the wide variety of headset wearing styles that are out there. No longer is it just the one-ear, over-the-head headband style headset. Today, in-ear wearing styles, over-the-ear, behind-the-neck, convertible and yes, the traditional over-the-head wearing styles give users plenty of choices.

First, a look at the variety of styles available.

























Now, the fun part: choosing a headset.

Ideally, using a headset for a few days is the best way to determine if the headset is right for you. If this isn't possible, the next best thing to do is to consider these questions:

1. Do you mind having something in your ear (ear buds)?
2. Do you wear glasses?
3. Will a headset interfere with your hair style?
4. Do you want to be completely immersed in the call, or do you need to be more aware of your background environment?
5. What is your budget?

Wearing style, of course, is just one of the considerations when choosing a headset. The most important is, what device are you using the headset with? Desk phone, cell phone, tablet, PC/laptop? This is the starting point for each headset purchase. We feel like Oprah when we say: "There is a Headset for Everyone!" because with all of the options available, there IS a headset that you will love.

Choosing the right headset is important. We are Headset Experts, and here to guide you through the process. Contact us today to get started on the headset that you will use AND love!

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2017: A Look Back

12/21/2017 - 0 Comments
 

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