Technical benefits

Nigel Dunn, managing director, EMEA North, Jabra, explains how consumer and professional headsets differ, and why this matters in an increasing hybrid world.

Work is no longer simply a place you go. It’s something you do. The shift to hybrid work is likely to be the biggest permanent shift in work culture for an entire generation.

People now want the flexibility to work from anywhere and companies need to provide the technology to facilitate this. Central to this are headsets which can be used throughout the day in different situations; whether talking in the street, in the office, or listening to music at home.

However, not all headsets are fit for this purpose. So, to prove the importance of selecting professional equipment for professional circumstances, the following aims to arm resellers with key differences between consumer and professional headsets, and the key features to look out for so they can better cater to customer needs.

Engineered for different uses

Consumer headsets are engineered primarily to maximise music and media experiences in daily activities. That’s why engineers design earbuds with sweat resistance for people with an active lifestyle, or true wireless earbuds for on-the-go listeners.

Professional headsets are engineered to elevate the professional experience. In a hybrid world where work happens in the office, at home, or sometimes in a third space, headsets are essential for seamless transitions between places and tasks, maximising productivity, concentration and flexibility.

Making office calls, listening to a podcast, and delivering that important presentation from your home office in the afternoon – all this is possible with just one professional headset.

Sound quality

Being in and out of calls and virtual meetings all day has become a standard fixture of the professional worker’s daily routine. There is an increasing need for devices that deliver clear audio and provide the best experience possible, and therefore help to reduce fatigue.

Just as some people invest in an ergonomic chair and a height-adjustable desk to take care of personal posture, customers should invest in a purpose-built audio device to protect their ears. Sound quality plays a role in how exactly we can do this.

Speaker size, form factor, and noise cancellation are some of the most critical features contributing to sound quality. Many consumer and professional headsets are also compatible with apps that allow for personalised EQ and other features to craft the sound profile that is just right.

While consumer headsets have traditionally had the edge regarding sound quality for music and media, high-end professional headsets still provide best-in-class audio and can now make listening to music just as good too. If you are looking for a headset for a productive hybrid work lifestyle the Evolve2 75 (pictured) will be the perfect recommendation for resellers.

It delivers crystal-clear calls and pitch-perfect music in any surroundings, with additional features such as adjustable Jabra Advanced ANC and certification for all major UC platforms.

Crystal clear call quality

When the pandemic sent many of us to work from home, our neighbours, the construction work outside, or the barking dog became all-too-common companions to virtual meetings.

Given the novelty of work-from-home arrangements, these disturbances were, for the most part, accepted. Now that businesses are moving towards hybrid working as a more permanent and normal way of working, resellers can show customers ways to limit distractions and reduce noise, allowing for greater concentration at work.

While calls can certainly be made with consumer headsets, this is one area where professional headsets come out on top. Professional headsets offer users an even more premium experience with seamless control over the call experience (boom arm answering, multiple mute functions, easily accessible volume control), more confidence and better performance will all follow in those situations that really require clarity and precision.

Connectivity

Staying connected is essential for workers in a fast-paced hybrid work environment. There is a huge need to for flexible, reliable devices that support work.

Headsets are trending towards wireless and the wireless revolution has resulted in expanded connectivity capabilities. Headsets, both professional and consumer, can connect to two separate devices at once, and the connection range is increasing with every innovation in Bluetooth.

Certified professional devices provide an optimised and smoother experience for multi-connectivity across a wider array of brands and devices. This allows for seamlessly switching from a video conferencing meeting to a phone call. With a dongle such as the Jabra Link Bluetooth adapters that come with all wireless Jabra professional devices, an added integration is offered, including computer softphone and software support from Jabra Direct.

Connectivity also means compatibility. Professional headsets are often certified to maximise the experience with different UC platforms, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. If a headset is required for video conferencing, resellers will be better off championing UC certified devices to ensure the best experience possible.

Of course, there are other features to consider when customers are deciding if to splash out on professional headsets: battery life, aesthetics, fit, comfort, and many others. The first starting point is for resellers to pass on their understanding of the technical benefits of a professional headset to customers, so they can make informed decisions and invest in the right products that suit their needs.

This feature appeared in our April 2022 print issue. You can read the magazine in full here.

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