While you may be familiar with high-quality devices from Jabra, such as Evolve headsets and Speak speakerphones, you may not know that Jabra also provides innovative, AI-enhanced software that supports its USB (and Bluetooth with Link 360/370 adapter) products. Jabra Direct 2.0 is available now — and, it's free.
Core functions of Jabra Direct:
•Automatically get firmware updates so that your headset is always updated and secure.
•Personalize your headset settings according to personal preferences, or company requirements. Functions such as ringtone, sound optimization for music, audio protection level, sidetone level, and many more areas can be controlled.
•Remote call control (answer/end/call, mute, redial, etc.) for UC platforms.
Jabra Direct has an intuitive, user-friendly interface that provides overall status of each connected device, and notifications of updates. To receive firmware update notifications, go to Settings and switch Update Notifications to "On." This alerts you to open Jabra Direct, and run updates as they are available.
Key updates in Direct 2.0: Enterprises that use a proxy server, and those who prefer on-premise deployments, are now supported. Jabra Direct 2.0 will be able to connect to the Internet and receive settings and firmware in proxy-based environments. For enterprises that prefer not to be connected to the Internet, change settings or firmware updates on Jabra devices can be managed and controlled by the enterprise, within their firewall. Another update: Direct 2.0 provides data about end-user name and PC/Mac name, which is also then added as a service in Xpress 2.0. Additionally, Jabra announced that it has certified the handling of customer data in the Jabra Cloud with the SOC 2 declaration. Jabra is committed to protecting customer data against unwanted usage by a third party.
Download Jabra Direct 2.0 for Windows or Mac, from the Jabra Direct page.
Jabra Engage 50
Jabra Engage 50 is a new generation of digital headsets that provide additional call analytic metrics. The Engage 50 is the first Jabra corded headset to have the chip in the headset itself, making it a true digital headset. The Engage 50 uses the very latest chipset, and this, along with the positioning of the chip, delivers enhanced functionality and user experience.
No longer are headsets an accessory to a phone system, simply transmitting human audio; they are now a "business critical element of the whole infrastructure," according to Jabra SVP Holger Reisinger. These digital devices provide call analytics that in some cases can listen to how people say things, extracting human sentiment from the human voice. Reisinger says that Jabra is providing proof of concept with new KPIs for the contact center, such as measuring agent friendliness against customer anger, in real time. Rather than recording calls and doing transcription analytics, this information is measured in real time and shown as a graph, in front of the agent who is on the call, so that the agent can adjust tactics, mid-call.
Jabra Xpress 2.0 Now Available
For organization-wide updates and inventory management, we recommend Jabra Xpress, a free online tool. Read all about Jabra Xpress on our blog, here: Jabra Xpress: Mass Headset Deployment Made Easy. This program allows IT staff to create software packages for remote updates, configurations and asset management of Jabra USB devices. Jabra Xpress has also been updated to a 2.0 version. To create an account to begin using Jabra Xpress, or update existing Jabra Xpress to the 2.0 version, go to the Xpress microsite: Jabra Xpress 2.0.
Jabra Direct 1.0 and Jabra Xpress 1.0 will be discontinued June 30, 2019. We recommend updating to the new 2.0 versions today. Please reach out to us with any questions you have about these updates, and let us know if you need any assistance: 1-866-998-9991.
Hearing loss statistics are staggering: 30 million Americans age 12 and older has hearing loss in both ears. The Better Hearing Institute says that a large number of people wait up to 15 years from the time they know they have hearing loss until they purchase their first hearing aid, usually around the average age of 70 years old.
It is easy to blame loud music, headphones and ear buds as the cause of hearing loss; in fact, it is more complicated than that. According to Healthy Hearing, illnesses, head trauma and tumors, prolonged exposure to excessively noisy environments, genetic factors, and some medicines, can all play a part.
Aging is another factor that contributes to hearing loss. Currently, we are seeing an aging workforce: Workers are staying in the workforce past age 65. This is the highest it’s been in 55 years. And, by the year 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 36 percent of 65-to-69-year-olds will be part of the labor force.
Regularly, we are asked for headset recommendations for hearing aid wearers, and people who are having difficulty hearing calls. Through testing of our own, and daily use of the professional high quality headsets that we sell, we have some tips that will help you find the best set-up for clear calls.
Tip #1:Headsets must be designed for phone calls, not music or gaming. Taking phone calls all day on a headset not designed for human voices can cause problems. And with all-day wear, hearing fatigue can occur over the course of long work days. Beware of consumer-grade
headsets that are tuned for music, rather than speech. Proper acoustic tuning in high quality, professional headsets removes noise that
is not audible to the human ear, and simultaneously boosts higher frequencies that make
fricatives* easier to discern.
Tip #2:We always recommend a dual ear headset. A mono headset covers one ear, leaving the other ear exposed to background noise. With a dual ear headset, both ears are covered, providing Passive Noise Canceling. The amount and degree of Passive Noise Canceling depends upon the shape and size of the ear cushions, and we recommend headsets with ear cushions that completely surround the ear.
Tip #3: If you choose a corded headset, we recommend the purchase of an amplifier, too. Amplifiers are designed to enhance voice quality and call clarity for headset users, boosting the headset's performance. They make sound louder. This technology enables headsets to be used with corded phones and phone systems. In addition to amplifying sound, amplifiers usually include additional features to enhance communication, including mute and volume controls.
Tip #4:Active Noise Canceling headsets may be an option. Active Noise Canceling technology uses one sound to reduce another sound, and is the latest office headset trend. We have compiled a comprehensive list of the ANC headsets from all of our brands: read the ANC Headsets blog post for more information.
We look forward to working with you on finding the best headset for your hearing needs. Our headset experts can be reached at 1-866-998-9991, or by email. After all, Communication Is Our Business!
*Fricatives are consonants that are formed by impeding the ﬂow of air somewhere in the vocal apparatus so that a friction-sound is
produced. For instance, the "f" in fine or the "ch" in Bach.
High-noise work environments can be intense. Whether it’s driving down the road in an 18-wheeler or working in a noisy warehouse – and other similarly loud environments – error-free communication and collaboration is challenging. Most of us are faced with colleague interruptions that impact productivity, but workers in high-noise environments are also faced with interruptions from equipment, or unconventional surroundings. Safety regulations in the workplace are progressively more restrictive and workers in high-noise environments have indicated that easy, hands-free group communication is of the utmost importance.
BlueParrott mobility-focused headsets are solving these challenges for people in a variety of industries: professional drivers, utility technicians, retail floor help, hotel housekeepers and concierge staff, and warehouse order pickers. BlueParrott, a leader in intelligent and rugged headsets, offers microphones with unrivaled noise-cancelling technology and deliver superior call quality in high-noise environments. These headsets connect to rugged smartphones, tablets and mobile computers, land mobile radios, handheld scanners, and other mobile devices.
Professional Truck Drivers
Professional truck drivers have preferred BlueParrott headsets for years.Strong and stable enough for life on the road, the wireless Bluetooth headsets feature long battery life and up to 24 hours of talk time (depending upon the headset). With hands-free call and text bans in effect around the U.S., drivers of all kinds – from local delivery drivers to Over-the-Road truckers – must use headsets for communicating.
Another recommended headset is new to the market: the B550-XT, the world’s first 100% hands-free headset. Simply by saying “Hello BlueParrott,” tell your headset to “Call” contacts within your phone’s Address Book. In addition, the C400-XT is a great choice for people who prefer a choice in wearing style: the C400-XT can be worn behind the neck (over the left or right ears), and over-the-head.
Field Service Workers
Construction workers, foremen, linemen, and others who work on job sites would all benefit from the use of these same headsets.
Retail and Hospitality Staff
The C400-XT is the perfect hands-free, Bluetooth-enabled headset for those who clean hotel rooms, concierge staff, and retail sales floor workers. Its discreet profile, and trio of wearing style options, offer some flexibility and customization.
Warehouse Operators and Order Pickers
The headset needed for these workers depends upon the picking device that’s being used, and so there are 2 categories for the warehouse worker: Corded or Bluetooth Wireless.
Corded headsets include the VR11, VR12, and VR12F, a freezer-rated headset for environments down to -22 degrees. These headsets have been “drop and tumble tested,” having been dropped 8.2 feet onto concrete across the operating temperature range, and tossed 500 times across approximately 3 feet for 1,000 hits.
If the connection type needed is Bluetooth, then these wireless headsets are recommended: B550-XT, B450-XT and C400-XT.
Supported by the latest in headset technology
Keep BlueParrott headsets updated (via USB) with the free software program, BlueParrott Updater. Install the BlueParrott Updater on your computer (either PC or Mac), and ensure your BlueParrott headset always has the latest features and functions. The BlueParrott Updater download is available free, here: BlueParrott Updater.
The BlueParrott App is available in Apple and Android versions, at no cost. If your headset has a Parrott Button, customize the operation of the Button within the app. The headset is configured out-of-the-box with the Parrott Button configured to mute, and will mute the microphone while both off or on a call.
There is a walkie-talkie feature as well. For all Parrott Button questions, refer to the Help page: Parrott Button How-To
Each headset is protected with a one-year warranty for peace of mind.
Contact our headset experts about BlueParrott headsets, today: 1-866-998-9991.
In its continual effort to advance technologically progressive headsets, Plantronics has announced that the SupraPlus series will be phased out in 2019. SupraPlus headsets will be for sale as long as stock is available.
Recommended Replacement: EncorePro 500 Series
Plantronics suggests the EncorePro 500 series as the direct replacement.
The EncorePro series has continued in popularity, with Quick Disconnect, Digital and USB variants that meet the requirements of contact centers and offices around the world.
The EncorePro headband has 6 degrees of adjustment and a super soft foam ear cushion that covers the ear. Premium leatherette ear cushions are available as an optional accessory.
The EncorePro is the benchmark in headset design, winning an iF Design Award in 2015. The single piece, unibody style microphone boom with tactile and visual positioning is virtually break-free. The aircraft grade structural aluminum joints provide another point of strength.
The Plantronics EncorePro 510 is the next generation of our most popular over-the-head monaural headset. Completely re-imagined for the demands of the modern customer service center and office, the HW510 has soft ear cushions for all-day wearing comfort, metal joints that deliver durability and reliability and a flexible mic with visual and tactile positioning guides for precise positioning and clearer conversations.
The Plantronics EncorePro 520 is the binaural version of the all-new 510 design, covering both ears to provide greater focus and concentration by blocking background noise. The 520 also has soft ear cushions for all-day wearing comfort, metal joints that deliver durability and reliability, and a flexible mic with visual and tactile positioning guides for precise positioning and clearer conversations.
Plantronics is offering a new promotion! Upgrade Like A Pro: For a limited time, customers who buy new EncorePro headsets will become eligible to trade up an equal number of SupraPlus headsets to receive a $15 trade up allowance for each headset. This promotion ends March 31, 2019, and claims must be submitted before April 30, 2019. Claims can be submitted on the Plantronics web site: Upgrade Like a Pro
Jabra has announced that all variants in the Jabra Pro 9400 series of DECT wireless headsets are at their end of life date, and are no longer being manufactured as of October 2018. The Pro 9400 headsets will be sold for as long as stock is available.
Recommended Replacement: Jabra Engage Series
In its place, Jabra is recommending the Engage DECT wireless headsets. The Jabra Engage 65 and 75 Series includes a range of Stereo, Mono and Convertible models to enable an easy migration from the Pro 9400. The Jabra Engage Series is engineered to be the world’s most powerful professional range of wireless headsets. Utilizing new, exclusive technology that gives 3x better wireless density – while still maintaining excellent connection quality – Engage helps deliver better conversations to boost customer satisfaction.
The Engage series boasts better sounding calls, more talk time (up to 13 hours!), and better productivity because of the built-in busylights on each headset. Security features going beyond DECT security Step C providing enhanced protection against eavesdropping. A micro-USB charger in the base makes it easier to dock the headset correctly in one simple action and ensure it is charging. With the fast charge feature, you can power the headset to 40% in just 30 minutes. If the battery gets critically low during a call, Jabra Engage can also be charged using a standard wall
charger while you are still on the call.
What is the difference between Engage 65 and Engage 75? Engage 65 connects to desk phones and PCs, and buttons on the base unit are intuitive and easy to use. Engage 75 headsets can connect to five devices simultaneously: 2 USB devices (softphone and/or desk phone), 2 Bluetooth devices and 1 analog desk phone. The base unit is touchscreen.
New to the Engage series are the Convertible models with a smaller ear speaker and 3 included wearing styles: ear hook, neckband and headband. The Convertible model is available in both Engage 65 and Engage 75 variants.