Which Headset Will Work For You? Ask Mr. HATS.

Mr. HATS (Head And Torso Simulator) works in our testing lab at Plantronics. That's where we simulate "real life " environments using prerecorded background noises and typical telephone speech patterns. Mr. HATS helps us answer questions such as: How well does a headset microphone perform when it's not positioned properly?

How noisy is the environment you work in?
Unless you work on a flight deck or inside a manufacturing plant, the ambient noise of your workplace is probably at or below 65dB. Most modern call centers and help desk facilities are designed to reduce background noise levels to well below 65dB, and in most offices and homes, the background noise is significantly lower.
Mr. HATS measured almost no background noise transferred to the listener by a voice tube microphone when ambient noise was as high as 70dB. If the ambient noise of your workplace is close to 65dB, you'll get very little benefit from a noise-canceling headset. In fact. Mr. HATS has found that if not positioned correctly, a noise-canceling microphone can even reduce your transmit volume, making your voice difficult to hear.

How many hours a day will you wear your headset?
If you intend to wear a headset all day. you should insist on the most comfortable headset possible; and that means the most balanced fit, the softest ear pads, and the lightest weight-over a long day, your neck will feel every extra ounce!
Voice tube headsets will always be a bit lighter. than equivalent noise-canceling models because of their reduced circuitry. If you don't need noise canceling, you don't want the extra weight.

Will you keep your mouthpiece properly adjusted?
If your headset comes off and goes back on many times a day, how often will you adjust the position of the mouthpiece? (Two fingers from the comer of your mouth, right?) In simulations, Mr. HATS has measured transmit volumes of both voice tube and noise-canceling headsets, In an "ideal world"- where all microphones are adjusted properly- both voice tube and noise-canceling microphones deliver identical transmit volume. But in the real world, where microphones are often mispositioned, voice tube microphones work better. The transmit volume for noise-canceling microphones drops as much as 10dB at a 45° misalignment.

In real-world use, microphones are very often positioned too far from the mouth (photos B and D). When noise-canceling mics are out of position, transmit volume can drop as much as 10dB. With voice tube microphones, positioning has very little effect on transmit volume.

Will you be sharing headsets?
Often in larger call centers, headsets must be shared. For hygenic reasons, most people prefer to keep their own ear pads.
With voice tube models, they can also keep their own microphones- which are now available In a choice of colors! With noise-canceling microphones, if you have to share - you will share - every cough and every sneeze.

Still can't decide?
Visit the above links to see and hear sound level performanceTests of both voice tube and noise-canceling microphones. You'll hear for yourself the difference in transmitted sound quality in both quiet and noisy environments, along with some more "sound advice" from Mr, HATS.

Get a FREE Noise Assessment
Call today to have a Plantronics technician measure your office for ambient noise levels. It's absolutely free. 1-800-950-9018
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