Within the past year, we have noticed the increased frequency of questions about headsets with active noise cancelling. Many customers are familiar with the consumer brands out there that offer Active Noise Cancelling in headphones used for music and other media and are now asking us, “But what about for office headsets?” The pervasive noisy open office environment, as well as the continuing needs of mobile workers handling important calls on the go, provokes the question. Active noise cancelling technology (ANC) will reduce unwanted noise and eliminate distractions.
From the headset brands that we carry, there are several choices that, depending upon the connection type, may provide the ANC you need.
The Jabra Evolve 75 UC is our top pick for a wireless Bluetooth ANC headset. The large leatherette ear cushions are comfortable and perfect for all-day wear. The speakers rotate to lay flat in the hard-sided case (click here to see the case) that the headset comes in. The noise-cancelling microphone boom arm can be clipped to the headband when you’re not on calls – a magnet secures the boom arm until you’re ready to use it again. Integrated Busylights in the ear cups alert co-workers to your availability – at a glance. ANC is easy to turn on and off with the touch of a button on the left ear cup. The Listen-In feature allows you to keep ANC turned on – yet tuning into the conversation surrounding you – with a simple tap on the left ear cup. There are two certified versions of the Evolve 75: UC and Certified for Skype for Business. The included Link 370 dongle allows you to walk up to 100 feet away from the PC it’s connected to. Talk time is approximately 15 hours. There is an Evolve 75 UC version with the charging stand, which we recommend for those who primarily work at a desk. The stand is a great place to store and charge the headset when not in use. MSRP is $279.00 ($329.00 for the headset and stand).
The Poly Voyager 8200 UC is the newest ANC wireless headset, and has a contemporary boomless mic design: dual-paired omnidirectional mics with enhanced Digital Signal Processing. These technologies ensure your voice is picked up and background noise is not the focus of the conversation. Dual mode ANC lets you choose preferred noise-reduction level. Smart sensors allow you to answer calls by simply putting on the headset and automatically mute your calls or pause music by taking the headset off. It offers an almost-unbelievable 20 hours of talk time. A carrying pouch is included. The Voyager 8200 UC is available in two colors: Black and White and MSRP is $379.95.
Poly Voyager Focus UC is the first wireless headset offering ANC. The Focus UC is compatible with smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and PCs via Bluetooth. It offers up to 12 hours of talk time (10 with ANC on). This is another intelligent headset: Smart sensors answer calls by simply putting on the headset, mute by taking the headset off and pause/resume music. First-to-market Dynamic Mute Alert feature senses and alerts users when they are trying to talk when muted. The sleek noise-cancelling mic can be worn on either side of the head by rotating the boom arm. A carrying pouch is also included with this headset; MSRP is $279.95 or 299.95 for the version with the charging stand.
EPOS Adapt 660 has innovative hybrid adaptive ANC that constantly monitors your background environment for noise, thus adjusting the level of noise reduction in the headset seamlessly. EPOS AI, along with 3 digital microphones, optimizes voice pickup while reducing background noise. The listening experience can be personalized with the various sound effect modes: Club, Movie, Speech, or Director (user defined). The Adapt 660 comes in a hard-sided case for travel convenience. This headset has a dedicated button that launches Microsoft Teams. It is certified for Teams, and optimized for UC platforms. MSRP is $439.00.
Powerful digital hybrid Active Noise Canceling and 37 hours of talk time give theJabra Evolve2 85 headsets one of the longest talk times on the market. The hideaway boom arm activates 6-microphone technology to deliver outstanding call performance on the go. The ergonomic headband design has soft memory foam for all-day wearing comfort. The headset folds into a hard-sided zippered carry case for ease of travel. There are several choices within the Evolve2 85 series: black or beige; with charging stand or without; Microsoft Teams certified or UC variants; and USB-A or USB-C Link 380 dongles. MSRP is $449.00, or $499.00 for models with the charging stand.
Bose Professional is new to the office workspace, and brings us the 700 UC, a Unified Communications-certified headset with an included Bose USB-A Link dongle. Choose between silver or black. If you're familiar with Bose headphones, this may be a good option for you. Eleven levels of noise cancellation let you personalize what you hear from your surrounding environment — from virtual silence to open and ambient. An adaptive four microphone system isolates your voice from surrounding noise. MSRP is $449.95.
Adapt 560 has a discrete foldable boom arm that can be folded into the headband when not in use. MSRP is $329.00. The Adapt 563 is the same headset, without the BTD 800 USB dongle and carry case. MSRP is $269.00.
EPOS Adapt 360 offers a comfortable design and two color choices: black and white. Optimized for UC and Certified for Microsoft Teams, Adapt 360 has a dedicated Teams button (when used with the included BTD 800 USB dongle). The foldable design is convenient for travel in the included storage pouch. MSRP is $269.00.
Wireless around-the-neck earbud wearing styles are the newest addition to the professional office headset market. The Jabra Evolve 75e has an integrated Busylight and magnetic earbuds that connect to pause your music, or end your call. The neckband is silicon rubber and is sweat and water resistant, however, make no mistake: this business headset is made for work. The three-microphone technology provides crystal-clear calls and creates a unique "talk-zone," making sure you’re heard, while nearby voices are filtered out. ANC is activated by pressing a button on the neckband; to "listen in" to your environment, simply press and hold the same button. The headset comes with a USB dongle, zippered hard-sided travel case, three ear tips and three pairs of both EarGels and EarWings, and includes a desktop charging stand. MSRP is $259.00.
The Poly Voyager 6200 UC headset features Plantronics clear talk technology, four omnidirectional mics and enhanced
noise cancelling, optimizing your voice and minimizing background noise. ANC can be turned on and off with the flip of a switch. Connect to PC with the included BT600 dongle. Also included: a hard-sided, zippered travel case, desktop charging stand, and 3 sizes of eartips for maximum comfort and customization.
The Voyager 6200 UC is offered in both USB-A and USB-C models. MSRP is $299.95.
Talk all day with the EPOS Adapt 460, which offers 14 hours of battery life on a single charge. Hybrid ANC reduces background noise and boosts concentration. From noisy
office to airport lounge, ensure you are heard, with
noise-cancelling microphones that optimize speech and reduce
If you're using a Microsoft platform, choose the Adapt 460T variant, which is Certified for Microsoft. MSRP is $329.00.
For all of these neckband earbud headsets, the neckband will vibrate when there is an incoming call, so you won't need to keep the earbuds in your ears at all times.
The new Poly Blackwire 8225 is packed with technology that will be a difference-maker as you move seamlessly between calls, webinars, multimedia and more. Technologies in the Blackwire 8225 include Hybrid ANC, Acoustic Fence, and Hearing Protection. Advanced hybrid Active Noise Canceling
(ANC) with three settings optimizes the users experience. The ANC switch allows the user to select between ANC Off, Mid, or High,
depending upon environment.
For clear calls, Acoustic Fence technology uses two physically separated microphones
and digital signal processing (DSP) to identify the users voice from the
unwanted background noise and then removes it. Its lightweight design and fully adjustable headset with 180º pivoting speakers is comfortable. Choose between USB-A or USB-C variants, and UC or Microsoft-certified. MSRP is $209.95.
Blackwire 7225 features Active Noise Canceling and a boomless mic design, in a corded headset. A new twist: the headset controls are all located on the ear speakers, similar to a wireless headset. Video calls are common in work places today, and a resounding demand was for a headset without a mic boom. The technology found in the microphone design is impressive: its 4 mic design detects noise from all directions and separates noise from the speaker's voice. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) delivers a natural voice sound. USB-A and USB-C models are available in both color choices: Black and White. MSRP is $199.95 for all variants.
Also from Poly, the Savi 8220 UC is a wireless DECT headset that lets you tune out nearby noise thanks to ANC that you control with the on/off switch on the ear speaker. Conversations are secure, private, and clear because of the close conversation limiting noise cancellation in the microphone. This is a single connection headset to computers only, with the option of USB-A and USB-C models, as well as UC or Certified for Microsoft Teams variants. It comes with a carry case and USB charging cable, so that you can easily travel with the headset and leave the charge base at home. If you need freedom to roam during calls (up to 590 feet range, line of sight), this is a great choice. MSRP is $339.95.
For all of these headsets, download Plantronics Hub software to gain call control across multiple softphones. A headset control panel allows for customizing settings, including call notification.
EPOS offers the Impact SC 660 ANC USB, which adds Active Noise Canceling into the Impact SC 660 series of premium USB headsets. ANC is easily activated with the sliding switch located on the side of the in-line call controller. An ultra noise-canceling microphone ensures that your caller will hear only you — and not your background environment. Proximity Sensor Technology allows for answering, pausing, and resuming calls by simply taking the headset on and off.
The Impact SC 660 series has a solid feel, and a luxury fit, for comfortable all-day wear, and is both Microsoft-certified and optimized for UC applications. If you need to travel with your headset (or work in another location) the ear cushions rotate to lay flat for travel in the included carry pouch. The magnetic holder is a great feature, too: attach the magnet to your desk, where the call control unit will rest; the magnet on the unit will hold the call controller in place. EPOS offers its standard three-year warranty for this headset. MSRP is $249.00.
USB and 3.5mm Connection
Jabra Evolve 80 This corded headset is compatible with devices that have a 3.5mm port and PCs via USB. Oversized ear cup style cushions completely surround the ear and hug the user’s head. It is the heaviest of the choices, weighing in at 11.43 ounces – almost ¾ of a pound. The bulkiness of the headset could prove to be a deal breaker for some users; however, customers who own this headset don’t mind the heft and comment on its incredible ability to block ambient noise. There is a comfort feature to the headset: the headband has a soft rubber cushion that allows it to lightly rest on the head.
Activate ANC at the bottom of the right ear cup. A nice feature of the Evolve 80 is the “Listen In” button: when you have ANC activated, but need to “listen in” to your environment, press the button in the middle of the right ear speaker, to temporarily disable the ANC. Press the button again to resume ANC. The rechargeable battery is charged when the Evolve 80 is connected via USB port.
Other features: a neoprene zippered pouch for travel (the ear cushions rotate to lay flat) and a noise-cancelling microphone that mutes automatically when the mic boom is docked in the headband. MSRP: $329.00.
Hi-fi stereo sound and wideband audio for listening to music and multimedia applications contribute to the luxury feel of all of these headsets.
ANC Headsets for Desk Phones
The very first (and so far, only) DECT wireless headset with Active Noise Canceling is the Poly Savi 8220. This headset connects to desk phones, PCs and mobile phones. Conference two of your three devices to collaborate with colleagues or connect up to four Savi 8200 Series headsets for training or call resolution. There are 2 versions available: Microsoft Skype for Business certified, and UC. MSRP is $459.95.
At this time, ANC technology is not available in QD (quick disconnect) headset versions. We have tested a solution here at Avcomm Solutions that has proven to be successful for our customers, and lets you use an ANC headset (Bluetooth or USB) with a desk phone!
We recommend the Poly MDA220 USB, an audio switcher for PCs and desk phones, along with a USB headset of your choice, to connect your ANC headset to a desk phone. Yes, that’s right: an ANC headset CAN be used with your desk phone! And it's important to note that any brand of headset can be used with the MDA220 USB.
“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.
With the introduction of the MDA200, Plantronics asserted itself as a leader in Unified Communications for hardware solutions.
The device, and its sister, the MDA100 QD, are complementary audio switchers that function with a variety of headsets to ensure smooth communication, whether it's on your desk phone, soft phone, and even smartphone! Plantronics has replaced the MDA200 with the new MDA220 USB, which features improved echo cancellation and enhanced headset compatibility.
Simple, intuitive, seamless
Our testing of the MDA220 USB found that the device is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread! This device enables corded USB headsets and UC-enabled Bluetooth headsets (those with USB dongles) to be used with a desk phone and gives the user the option of switching between the desk phone and computer. When using a Bluetooth headset with the MDA220 USB, it allows for triple connection to your smartphone, desk phone and computer. It’s ideal for Unified Communications environments where desk phones are still present. And, what we really love about the MDA220 USB is that is now gives us the ability to use an active noise cancelling headset with our desk phone.
As office designs are quickly converting to open floor plans, we have received many inquiries from customers who are looking for a desk phone compatible headset that will provide active noise cancellation in the speakers. While Plantronics and Jabra both offer ANC headsets, they are strictly USB connection and unless you have an MDA220 USB, you won’t be able to use them with your desk phone.
We did thorough testing with several headsets, and did not need to stay within the Plantronics brand. As a disclaimer, Plantronics only guarantees the use of the MDA220 USB with a specific list of headsets that is continually updated.
The MDA100 QD is used with corded Quick Disconnect headsets and enables the user to toggle back and forth from USB to desk phone. There is a Mute button at the top of the MDA100 QD. When the mute is activated, the button is depressed and the area surrounding the button is red. Release the button and the mute is turned off.
Plantronics recommends this product for customer service centers who are transitioning from desk phones to softphones and unified communications (UC), and require users to manage audio from two sources with a single headset.
The MDA220 USB and MDA100 QD audio switching devices utilize the headsets you already have in place and connect them to audio endpoints for the best use of your resources. Interested in learning more about the MDA family? Contact us!