Having a wireless headset for use with your day-to-day office tasks can be a real productivity booster, especially when compared to using a wired headset or telephone handset. A common question that comes up when speaking with customers is “how far can I go?” An understandable and reasonable question to ask when moving to a new wireless headset.
The intent of this blog is to give you some basic information about wireless headset range including things that can have an impact on the amount of distance you can expect. I’ll also give you the lowdown on talk range from the most popular brands and stack rank them so you’ll quickly see how they compare and which go the distance and which models might leave you wanting more. That said, lets jump right in.
Before we get into comparing the different brands, it’s important to know that there are variables that can have an effect on wireless talk range. As the image above shows, hard surfaces such as brick, concrete and granite can all severely reduce your talk range The wireless signal has difficulty penetrating these types of surfaces. Elevators that are positioned in the middle of a floor serve as barriers for wireless signals to penetrate as well. If the elevator is between your desk and you on the other side of the elevator, your signal will be degraded, limiting your range, or even cause the signal to drop.
Manufacturers always state their wireless range as “up to” x number of feet and they’re normally somewhat generous when it comes to the stated range. Tests are typically done in what’s referred to as “an open field”. In other words, no walls and no obstructions of any kind, i.e., an ideal setting which we all know isn’t a typical work environment. So take the range stat as an estimate.
Rule of thumb: Take the manufacturers stated range and divide it in half. That will be closer to what you should expect to receive. Naturally there’s going to be exceptions because no two office environments are the same in construction and layout. The same headset placed in two different work environments will likely provide different talk range.
Topping the distance leader board are the Discover D901 (monaural) and D902 (binaural) wireless headsets. With a rating up to 1300 feet of wireless range (2 times further than any other brand), these models take top honors in a big way. Need to make it around a large office or back into a warehouse and still be available to take calls? You won’t find a headset that gives you more wireless talk range than the Discover D901 and D902. If you’d like to read one of our other blogs on things you can do with a long-range wireless headset, click here.
Sennheiser wireless headsets are rated number two, but are also rated number 5. The Sennheiser Pro 1 and Pro 2 for example, are rated up to 590 feet of wireless talk range. There is a footnote on this range claim though. LINE OF SIGHT. As long as you’re in a direct, unobstructed path, the headsets are rated up to 590 feet. Add barriers and the range drops to an industry low of up to 180 feet.
GN Jabra wireless headsets such as the 9450 and 9470’s are rated up to 492 feet. This is a stated range without footnotes, so Jabra feels confident that their wireless headsets will perform above the industry benchmark of up to 350 feet. This puts Jabra in the number 3 position unless the Sennheiser models are being used non line of sight in which case the Jabra comes in at number 2.
Plantronics, the largest headset company in the world, comes in at number 4. Models such as the CS540, CS510, CS520, CS530 and the entire Savi line is all rated up to 350 feet. As stated earlier, a more realistic expectation on wireless talk range would be to cut the stated range in half which would put Plantronics at around 175 feet of usable talk range. Good enough for most people, just not those needing more wireless talk range.
If the Sennheiser wireless headset isn’t used in line of sight, then the range drops to 180 feet which places Sennheiser, when used in this way, at number 5.
All the brands mentioned above will do a very acceptable job for most people. After all, not everyone needs a long-range wireless headset. For those who want the convenience of no cord and remain in close proximity to their desk, any brand of wireless headset should provide the distance needed.
For those who work in larger facilities and could benefit from having a wider wireless footprint, hands down the Discover D901 or D902 is your best bet as they’re rated up to 3 times longer than the leading brands.
TIME TO GET NEW HEADSETS? If so, why not trade in your old headsets and receive credit you can apply towards new ones? You’ll save money, you’ll reduce office clutter and you’ll help the environment too. We’ll even cover the cost of shipping your headsets to us.
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