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It’s 2021, and we’re still dealing with poor speaker audio quality on calls. With the workforce moving towards hybrid and a growing demand for mobile and flexible work technology, communication and collaboration will remain a focal point for business leaders. We found that 78% of IT leaders believe collaboration tools will be a necessity given the rise of remote work, and 59% are prioritizing the adoption of new communications platforms and technologies.
Headphones and earbuds help ensure higher quality calls and meetings. This enables greater employee engagement, removing worry over background noise so that workers can seamlessly transition from task to call throughout the day. Thankfully, there are a handful of headset and earbud options to choose from. Here are some of the best models on the market that pair well with UC platforms.
Jabra Evolve2 65 is one of Jabra’s latest products, designed with the remote worker in mind by prioritizing sound clarity. This headset is designed to work with unified communications platforms and features noise cancelling capabilities, 40mm speakers, a visibility light to notify others when you’re on call and a boom bar that enables a seamless transition when moving to mute. The Jabra Evolve2 65 has a battery life of 37 hours, so there is no need to panic if you forget your charging port when traveling to the office.
Plantronics Voyager 4220 Office and UC is designed for the stylish worker, who wants to easily shift between different communication needs. Features include dual microphones to help block out background noise, flexible microphone boom, enhanced voice alerts, connection to Amazon Alexa support, and the flexibility to connect to a PC, Mac or mobile device. The Voyager 4220 Office and UC battery lasts up to 12 hours talk time, 15 hours listening and 13 days standby; meaning there’s no need to worry about constantly charging the headset to stay productive. This is a reliable headset choice for the true hybrid worker switching between tasks and moving from mobile to desktop throughout the day.
Sennheiser MB 660 UC is a perfect option for the worker who wants to optimize every aspect of their experience across their work and personal life, including communication, music, and entertainment. Sennheiser's NoiseGard technology creates a unique experience to fully immerse yourself in your environment/meeting without a distraction. The headset has a wirelessly or wired option and a battery life of 30 hours, enabling the hybrid workforce to remain engaged on calls. Even better, if the bluetooth connection is poor or their device isn’t bluetooth compatible, there is the option to switch to the headphone jack without interrupting your workflow.
Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC remains a solid option for the hybrid worker. The earbuds have four omnidirectional microphones to boost noise cancellation and triangulate the precise location of the person speaking to further enhance audio quality. No need to worry about being muted— the audio alerts and neck bar vibrations make it impossible to forget you’re muted or miss an incoming call. The Plantronics Voyager 6200 UC has a battery life of 16 hours listening and 9 hours of talk time, which makes these earbuds a great option for the hybrid worker who wants to avoid the hassle of charging earbuds halfway through the day. These are also a great option for workers who will begin commuting and need earbuds with longer listening time.
AfterShokz OpenComm is an earpiece for the worker who doesn’t like having earbuds in their ears all day. AftershokZ OpenComm features an open-ear design so the microphone rests just outside your eardrum. Other features include a DSP noise-cancelling boom microphone, water-resistant design and 16 hours of talk time, which will easily take employees through their work day, with extra time to listen to music or take personal calls.
Unified communication tools, like Fuze, fundamentally change the way workers communicate and move about their day. When paired with the proper headset, the gap between advanced communication technology and optimal audio quality minimizes. As flexible work continues, quality earbuds and headsets will remain critical for increasing productivity and enhancing collaboration.