A SIMPLE GUIDE TO HEADSET TECHNOLOGY
As telecommunications technology keeps changing and spawning exciting new product lines in headsets, how do you
keep up? Is an over-the-head or earbud design right for you? We have a quick solution. Just take a minute to scan
the list of commonly used terms and trademarks below, and we can give you a jumpstart on determining which
Plantronics headset solution best suits you!
2.5 millimeter plugs are standard, round plugs. Many Plantronics mobile headsets come with this size of plug, which
should fit standard mobile and cordless phones.
3.5 milimeter plugs are standard, round plugs often found on stereos and computers. They are larger than the 2.5 mm
round plugs found on telephones.
Many Plantronics computer headsets come with two 3.5 mm plugs which connect into your sound card’s microphone
input (pink or red) and line output (black, blue, or green).
A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile)
A2DP is a Bluetooth profile that transmits stereo sounds. Also referred to as the AV profile, it is designed to
transfer a stereo audio stream (such as music) from an mp3 player to a headset or car radio. The Plantronics Pulsar
headsets support the A2DP profile.
Amplifiers make sound louder. This technology enables headsets to be used with corded phones and phone systems.
Plantronics manufactures and markets a wide selection of corded, stand-alone amplifiers, such as the M12 and A20.
Amplifiers are also included as part of a headset system, such as the S12 and S20. The CA10 is an amplifier for a
cordless headset system.
Analog refers to a type of sound signal. In regards to Plantronics products, it refers to computer headsets that
plug directly into a computer’s sound card with two, round 3.5 mm plugs.
VIEW THE DEMO
AudioIQ makes wireless conversations effortless and pleasant, regardless of the environment. For incoming calls,
AudioIQ automatically adapts to background noise levels and intelligently improves the receive quality, clarity and
volume level. For outgoing calls, AudioIQ reduces background noise for listeners up to 7-8 decibels, or by
approximately 50 percent. It also minimizes interference from artifacts such as speech distortions to maintain
exceptionally clear voice intelligibility.
Base refers to your headset’s charging base or amplifier.
Plantronics recently introduced the new, behind-the-head neckband accessory that adds a unique wearing style to
DuoPro? (H181, H181N) and DuoSet? (H141/H141N) headsets. The neckband offers a fresh alternative for those looking
for a contemporary wearing style.
Binaural headsets cover both ears, while monaural headsets cover only one.
Abbreviation for Bluetooth.
Click Here for more information about Bluetooth profiles.
Bluetooth™ is an amazing new wireless technology using short-range radio links that promises to eliminate the
cables and wires that currently connect most computing and communications devices. At Plantronics, we're using this
technology in such products as our new wireless mobile headset, the Discovery™ 655.
Proprietary Plantronics technology, Call Clarity is an electronic signal processing and noise reduction system
found in our amplifiers that enhances transmit and receive quality.
Cell Phone Plug
See “2.5 mm.”
Clearline™ is an audio technology used for superior call clarity, and it is featured in the Plantroincs Vista M22
amplifiers. It is compatible with both traditional phones and headsets as well as wideband VoIP phones and
headsets. It provides advanced echo management, delivers consistent and comfortable call volume, reduces background
noise, and protects against loud noises.
See “3.5 mm” and “sound card.”
Control Panel is part of the Windows operating system. Going into the “Sound and Audio Devices” section of the
Control Panel allows you to change the settings for your computer’s sound devices. Control Panel’s location varies,
but it can often be reached by going to Start>Settings>Control Panel.
Convertible headsets offer the choice of two wearing styles, usually over-the-head for stability or over-the-ear
for easy on/off convenience. These headsets can easily be "converted" from one style to the other in a few simple
steps. Plantronics convertible headsets include the DuoPro? (H171/H171N), the DuoSet? (H141/H141N), and the
M170/M175 mobile headsets.
CA (Cordless Amplifier)
CA stands for “cordless amplifier.” These units connect into your phone’s hand receiver port and come with a remote
that can be used away from the desk.
CS (Cordless System)
CS stands for “cordless system.” Cordless systems come with both a CA (cordless amplifier) and a headset. See “CA”
for more details.
The date code of your product designates its date of manufacture, and it can be used to establish your warranty
period. The date code is generally listed with your product’s model and part number, although this is not always
the case. The date code can be located on the base of the unit, beneath the ear cushion, under the battery, or
along the microphone boom. See our Knowledge Base for more details.
DECT stands for “Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephony”, which is a type of wireless technology used in certain
Plantronics headsets such as the CS50, CS70, CS351, and CS361, among others.
Dongle is a term for “adapter.” It generally refers to a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into your computer’s USB port
and gives you additional Bluetooth profiles and support. These adapters, such as Plantronics’ BUA-100, are
sometimes called “Bluetooth dongles” or “USB dongles.”
Device Manger is a Windows program. One feature of Device Manager is its ability to list the drivers installed on
your computer system. You can check there to see if any drivers are missing or incomplete.
DSP (Digital Signal Processing)
In Plantronics products, DSP refers to computer headsets that connect via the USB port rather than the computer’s
Earbud and In-the-ear style
Earbud style describes a small, discreet headset with a speaker that fits in the ear and the microphone positioned
along the cord. The H132N office headset, as well as the MX100 and the M205 mobile headsets are some examples.
A foam or plastic tip that attaches to a headset and fits snugly inside of your ear.
Firefly? On-Line Indicator
Firefly is the unique in-use indicator light that lets others know you are on the phone. No more interruptions! You
can find it on the CT12 cordless headset telephone.
Hand Receiver (Port)
The hand receiver is the portion of the telephone that you hold in your hand when talking. It is generally attached
to the phone with a curly cord. The hand receiver plugs into the phone’s hand receiver port (usually a square,
Some, but not all, phones have a headset port. This headset port may be a round, 2.5 mm plug, or a square modular
RJ9 plug. However, most Plantronics amplifiers are designed to plug into the telephone’s hand receiver port rather
than the headset port.
HFP (Hands Free Profile)
HFP is a more advanced version of the HSP Bluetooth profile. It allows voice dialing activation, redial, call
transfer, and call answer/end capabilities.
HSP (Headset Profile)
HSP is a Bluetooth profile used for voice, mono music, and internet chat programs. This is the most commonly used
profile, providing support for the popular Bluetooth headsets to be used with mobile phones.
Link dropping means that the signal between the headset and the telephone periodically disconnects. If you
experience link dropping, we recommend that you establish a new signal between the headset and the telephone by
repairing or resubscribing your headset.
Modular means square and generally refers to modular, RJ9 plugs. Most Plantronics amplifiers use modular ports.
Monoaural headsets cover only one ear, whereas binaural headsets cover both.
Multipoint is also known as “multishifting.” Although all of our Bluetooth headsets can pair with up to 4 different
devices, multipoint technology allows some Bluetooth headsets to switch active connections between two paired
devices. Non-multipoint headsets can be actively connected to only one device at a time. See our Knowledge Base for
Noise-canceling refers to a microphone design that greatly reduces the transmission of background noise, enhancing
headset sound quality. Noise-canceling headsets are especially effective for offices with employees in close
proximity to one another. In mobile applications, noise-canceling microphones reduce background noise in cars,
airports or on the street.
See “noise-canceling.” Headset model numbers that end with “N” are noise-canceling models.
Over-the-ear is used to describe Plantronics headsets that have over-the-ear earloops or other devices to hold
headsets in place. TriStar?, Mirage? and the M130 are some examples.
When it's important to help filter or screen out background sound, you should consider over- the-head binaural
headsets, such as the Supra? (H61/H61N) headset and Encore? (H101/H101N) headset. This style provides sound
transmission to both ears.
Plantronics monaural headsets, on the other hand, deliver sound to one ear. Unless it says otherwise, Plantronics
headsets are monaural.
Pairing refers to establishing a wireless connection between a headset and a phone. It is often used to describe
the initial set up between a Bluetooth headset and phone.
Pairing mode is required to make the initial connection between a Plantronics Bluetooth headset and a Bluetooth
device. When a Plantronics headset is in pairing mode, it will flash either blue/red or green/red for several
minutes. During this time, it is possible to pair the headset to a Bluetooth device. See our Knowledge Base for
Passkey refers to a password needed to connect a Plantronics Bluetooth headset to a Bluetooth device. For most
Plantronics products, this passkey is 0000.
Persono software is a free enhancement available for download from the Plantronics website. Several versions are
Software enhancement for use with DSP headsets
Provides tone control of headset audio
Software enhancement for use with DA60
Provides tone control of headset audio
Gives administrator option to disable headset mute and volume controls
PerSonoCall Enterprise Edition
Software enhancement for use with compatible soft phones
Provides call answer/end control
PerSonoCall Consumer Edition
Software enhancement for use with .Audio 910 & Skype only
Provides call answer/end control
See “Quick Disconnect”.
On H-Series headsets, the Quick Disconnect™ (QD) Connector is at the end of the headset cable that lets you
disconnect your headset from an active call when you need to grab a fax or file, then easily reconnect. With the
QD, there's no need to put the call on hold or remove your headset.
An active radiolink means that your headset currently has a live connection with your mobile or VoIP phone. An
inactive link means that your headset is not in use.
Your receive volume refers to the volume of what you hear. Increasing your receive volume will make the caller
sound louder for you. It will not affect the way that your voice sounds to the caller.
Cordless headsets often come with a remote unit. The remote unit is a small, rectangular piece that attaches to the
headset. The remote includes a battery and volume controls.
Resetting your wireless headset can clear static and correct other acoustic issues. See our Knowledge Base to find
reset instructions for your headset.
RJ9 is a standard, modular plug on most corded telephones. Many Plantronics amplifiers also use this plug size.
To resubscribe is to reestablish the signal between a wireless headset and its amplifier. If the headset uses
Bluetooth technology, this process is called “pairing.”
A sound card is a computer component that processes sound and provides ports for audio devices such as microphones,
headsets, and speakers.
Sound recorder is a program built into the Windows operating system that allows you to make voice recordings. This
program can also be used to test your headset. Sound recorder’s location varies depending on your version of
Windows, but it can sometimes be found by going to Programs>Accessories>Entertainment>Sound Recorder.
An automatic gain control system found in Plantronics amplifiers, SoundGuard Plus provides natural voice tone and
removes loud tones, as well as occasional noises and crackles on the line.
Stereo sound refers to sound that sends different signals to the left and right sides of the headsets, as opposed
to mono sound, which sends just one signal. Stereo headsets are headsets that support stereo sound.
Transmit volume refers to the volume of your voice and your headset’s microphone. If you increase your transmit
volume, your voice will sound louder to the caller. It will not affect the way that the caller’s voice sounds for
USB stands for “Universal Serial Bus”, and refers to a common port on computers. Some mobile phones also use USB or
“mini-usb” connections to transfer data.
Also called “attitubes” or “mic sticks,” voice tubes are translucent, plastic tubes which serve as microphones in
some Plantronics headsets. Voice tubes are removable and can be replaced.
VoIP stands for “Voice-over internet protocol” and refers to sending voice signals and phone calls over the
WindSmart provides wind-noise reduction technology for optimal sound clarity. It’s highly recommended for calls
made outside (or in moving vehicles with open windows).