Tips & Tricks on resolving the most common headset sound quality issues

Sound quality issues graphic

Sound quality issues graphic

Anyone who uses a wired or wireless headset in an office knows that having great sound quality is really important. You don’t want to hear static, you don’t want that super annoying echo and don’t want to struggle to hear your callers as well as needing to repeat yourself. These are a few examples of undesirable sound quality issues that can be experienced by office and Call Center workers when using headsets.

The intent of this blog is to give you some tips on what you can do quickly and easily, to help restore the sound quality to an acceptable level on your wired or wireless headset.

To begin, here are the headset sound quality issues that I’ll cover in this blog.

  • Static
  • Echo
  • Hearing volume too low or high
  • Speaking volume too low or high

child with long hair and lots of static electricity

When you’re on an important phone call, the last thing you want to hear is static on the line. Deals can be lost, clients can become frustrated, applicants can wonder why poor equipment is being used and more. If you find yourself facing some unexpected static, what can you do?  Here are a few tips that might help save the day.

  1. If you’re using a wireless headset try re-pairing the headset to the base. If the link between the headset top and base is severed, you can experience snowy static.
  2. If you’re using a wired headset try replacing the double A batteries. Believe it or not, having older batteries can cause a variety of issues, so well worth the effort.
  3. With wired and wireless headsets, make sure the compatibility adjustment is set in the right position for your phone. Where this setting is located varies a lot from brand to brand and model to model. Having this in the wrong position can cause static, echo or no sound at all. Consult the headset user guide for further details or contact us and we’ll be glad to help you out, no sweat, no charge!
  4. Check the cord that goes from your headset base to the telephone.  Make sure this cord is free of fractures that can cause static. You can test this by replacing it with another cord from another headset. You can also use a telephone HANDSET (coil) cord too as its wired the same. In either case, you’ll want to try this to rule out a possible bad cord.

graphic of echo with circular sound waves

Echo is not only annoying and disruptive to having a normal phone conversation, but it can lead to significant frustration, anger and avoiding using the headset entirely. Given you’re up to 40% more productive using a headset versus a handset receiver, according to a study by The Maynard Company, its well worth taking a few minutes to try to get this resolved.  The good news is echo is normally very easy to resolve.  Here’s what I’d suggest.


1. Turn the PHONE volume down to about half way.  Having too much phone volume can lead to echo.  Let the headset amplifier do the volume boosting so make sure the phone is set midway in volume.  

telephone keypad

2. Check the position of your headset microphone. Make sure that it’s two fingers width away from your mouth. Also, try lowering the end of the microphone so that it’s BELOW your lower lip.  This can help echo as well as to help avoid other unwanted sound quality issues.
woman demonstrating where to position a headset microphone3. Check the volume settings on your headset amplifier Whether you use a wired model or a wireless, the amplifier base will have volume controls for incoming volume (what you hear) and transmit volume adjustment (for how your callers hear you). Try bringing down the volume on both and then SLOWLY bring up the volumes to a satisfactory level. Below is one example of these adjustments. This example is for a Plantronics CS540, 545XD, CS510, CS520 and CS530 models.

Plantronics CS540 base controls

4. Bring down the volume on your wireless headset earpiece. Below is an example of where the headset earpiece volume adjustment is located. In this example, it’s pointing out the adjustment on the Plantronics CS054.

image of Plantronics CS540 wireless headset top volume adjustment

5. Check your headset compatibility setting.  Make sure it’s in the right setting for your phone. Also, make sure the lever is 100% in the appropriate spot.  having it 95% in can have a negative affect on the performance of the headset. Below is an example of where this setting is located on a Plantronics CS540 wireless headset.

Plantronics CS540 wireless headset base controls

Echo, in most cases, is connected with having too much volume.  Think about it. You have phone volume, headset earpiece volume, volume for your microphone and volume for your ear speaker. Some models have yet another volume adjustment. What this all means is if there’s too much volume in any or any combination of these adjustment areas, the resulting issue is almost always ECHO  ECHO.  Try lowering them down and then slowly raising them back up and you’ll be surprised how quick and easy this can be and how fast your headset will be sounding great again.

A volume knob with the heading More is better right?

Any wired headset that uses an amplifier base and any wireless headset all have a master volume control on the base for adjusting the hearing volume and speaking volume. Depending on your brand and model, the location of these adjustments will vary. As mentioned earlier, having too much volume in one or more of these areas (phone volume, amp hearing volume, amp speaking volume or earpiece volume) can lead to echo. Having too much volume can also lead to feedback and too little volume can have your callers wondering if you’re still on the line.

person looking confused saying I can't hear you

A simple adjustment on your amplifier base should cure this problem and have you sounding great again. Below is an example showing this adjustment on a Plantronics C054 wireless headset. Consult your headset user guide to locate these same adjustments on your headset or, contact us and we’ll be glad to help.

Plantronics CS540 base controls

Whether you use a wired headset or a wireless model, you can experience sound quality issues at some point. If you follow the suggestions outlined above, you can resolve most sound related issues quickly and easily. No need to call a support line, fill out a trouble ticket or ask you co-worker what’s up with your headset. If you try these things and still have trouble, contact us and we’ll be happy to work with you to figure things out.

LOOKING FOR NEW HEADSETS? Why not trade in your old models and receive credit towards new? You’ll save money, lower your costs and help the environment. Click below to request your free trade in quote today.

CTA Trade in v1


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