What is the best headset for a call centre?

Much business is conducted in large call centres where there are often several factors which require assessing when provisioning headsets. The initial aim of a contact/ call centre is to provide a hub for communications, be it customer support or sales.
For reasons of economy a call centre will often have a denser than average density of operator deployment.
Further, as there is an above average percentage of time spent on calls there will be higher levels of background noise over a smaller area.
Quite naturally this causes issues for both the operator and the customer as clear communications are of primary consideration. Poor sound levels not only make it more difficult to communicate, but also giver a poorer customer experience and, hence, impression of the company with which they are dealing.

Rather than consider first What are the best headsets for a call center? we will first look at What are the best features for call centre headsets?

BEST FEATURES FOR CONTACT CENTRE HEADSETS

In general, a call centre operator will not require the freedom of a cordless headset so most call centre centric headsets are of the wired variety. These connect with a phone system via USB or Quick Disconnect ( Easy Disconnect ) or plug in directly to a telephone. The top features for these include the following:

Physical Attributes

  • COMFORT - call centre staff frequently work long shifts wearing their headsets continuously. Headsets are designed with comfortable ear cups ( leatherette / foam ) for maximum wearing comfort; larger ear cups can provide acoustic protection from background noise. Flexible booms allow personal adjustment. Some headsets, such as the Jabra Engage have multiple wearing styles.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT - headsets built to be worn all day ( or night ) are lightweight - many models weighing less than 50g.
  • DURABILITY - long periods of use and accidents can damage products so headsets are built with high end components and materials. This not only assures that staff can have good, fully functional headsets at their fingertips, but also lowers the total cost of ownership for the employer.
  • CONVERTIBLE - although there is only one headset in the world - The Avalle Verso - that can do this - a great feature is the facility to switch wearing style from monaural ( one eared ) to binaural ( two eared ) according to the situation.
call centre headsets

Functional Features

  • NOISE CANCELLATION - microphones are designed carefully to block out background noise.
  • WIDEBAND AUDIO - ensures that calls are of the highest quality.
  • ACOUSTIC SHOCK - many manufacturers have their own protection built in to prevent hearing damage caused by sudden spikes in sound - Sennheiser : ActiveGard®, Plantronics ( Poly ) : SoundGuard © , Jabra : PeakStop™ and Avalle : Acoustic Shock - all allowing the employer to meet OSHA / Noise at Work regulations.
  • CONNECTIVITY - QD and ED leads allow for easy disconnection from the telephone/ platform. Some headsets have the option to connect to multiple wired connections such as USB and 3.5mm
  • CONTROLS - many wired headsets for call centres have in-line call handling units built in to the connection cable - this makes working easier with instant and easy access to call controls such as mute/ end call and volume adjust.
  • INDICATOR - as it can be useful for colleagues to be able to see whether you are on a call or not, many headsets have a built in light to show this - often termed a busy light.
call centre headsets

Wireless Features

There are also some features for wireless headsets specifically aimed at the contact centre user :

  • BATTERY LIFE - as a contact centre operator will likely have to spend many hours on the phone. Although many wireless headsets can charge o their base station whilst not in use it is a desirable feature that a cordless headset used ina call centre has many hours of talk time on a single charge. Similarly the ability to charge up a headset quickly is a bonus.
  • DENSITY - cordless headsets transmit over Bluetooth or DECT - with increased density of operators in a contact centre there is greater likelihood of interference. Hence many manufacturers have adopted technology that allows both heightened security and density of deployment.
  • CONNECTIVITY - in some instances an operator may wish to connect to multiple devices such as telephone system and or mobile device - some call centre headsets will allow multiple connections.
call centre headsets

A selection of call centre headsets

Based upon the features shown - we have chosen one headset from each of the main manufacturers : Sennheiser, Avalle, Jabra and Plantronics. Although these are all binaural - monaural variants are available.

PLANTRONICS HW520

PLANTRONICS HW520 The Plantronics HW520 EncorePro offers all day comfort, excellent high quality audio and long term reliability in a lightweight and affordable package.The fully adjustable headband and pliable microphone arm fit comfortably on any user's head and provides all day wearing comfort. Wideband audio provides rich and clear conversations.
View the Plantronics HW520 »

JABRA ENGAGE 50 DUO

JABRA ENGAGE 50 DUO The Jabra Engage 50 Duo is a Binaural headset designed for softphone environments that offers advanced features that combat noise and interruptions to drive concentration and customer satisfaction. Reduce interruptions with the multi colour LED status indicators on both ear cups which clearly shows when you're engaged on call while the 3-Microphone Noise Cancellation system blocks unwanted background and breathing noises.
View the Jabra Engage 50 »

SENNHEISER CENTURY SC 660

SENNHEISER CENTURY SC 660 The ultimate quality binaural headset in the Sennheiser headset range is the Century SC660. With 2 fully padded leatherette ear cushions, and ultra-noise cancelling, they are the optimum telephone headset for the environment where the need for concentration is paramount.
View the Sennheiser Century SC 660 »

AVALLE VERSO

Avalle Verso The Avalle Verso Trio is the worlds first 2-in-1 telephone headset. The Trio Kit is made up of 3 components, the Avalle Verso Boom Module, the Avalle Verso Monaural Headband and the Avalle Verso Binaural Headband.MONAURAL TO BINAURAL IN SECONDS - The detachable boom module fits both Monaural and Binaural Headbands allowing you change your wearing style from Monaural (Single Ear) to Binaural (Dual Ear) to seconds!
View the Avalle Verso »

If you require further information about the best headsets for a call centre contact us via the form here or call us on 0844 824 6664 and we will be happy to help.