The Plantronics CS540 office wireless headset, sometimes referred to as the C054, is one of the most popular office wireless headsets available today.
In this blog, I’d like to provide my opinion on this headset model pointing out what I feel are its strengths and weaknesses. The opinions I’ll share are based on many years of hands on installing and using this headset. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the super popular Plantronics CS540 wireless headset and see what it’s all about.
Lightweight. The CS540 is advertised as being the lightest wireless headset on the market. This claim is with the battery installed and while other brands have indicated that they have the lightest wireless headset, it’s without the battery. So, I give credit to Plantronics for making a very lightweight wireless headset in the CS540. As anyone who uses a headset throughout the work day knows, lighter is better. Heavy headsets will have your ear screaming with discomfort before the day comes to an end which nobody wants.
Versatile. The Plantronics CS540 comes with two uniquely different wearing options. You get three sizes of ear loops (small, medium and large), a foam comfort sleeve that helps to make the ear loop softer on the ear and finally, you get an over-the-head, headband for those who prefer an over-the-head wearing style. Having options can be handy if you’re unsure of which wearing style you prefer. It can also be handy in cases where a wireless headset is being redeployed. It never hurts having a choice and the CS540 gives you two right out of the box. You can also get an optional behind the neck-band for around $20.00 if over-the-ear or over-the-head styles aren’t your preferred wearing type.
Not only does the CS540 offer you versatility in wearing options, but you have versatility in options. You can get an optional busy light which notifies those around you when you’re on a phone call. You can also get an optional handset lifter or Electronic Hookswitch Cable (EHS Cable) for answering calls when away from your desk.
Sound Quality. The CS540 has solid sound quality. Not only does the ear speaker deliver clear sound, but the microphone picks up voice volume well and through the noise canceling technology, rids you of unwanted background noise. Plantronics is, and has been, the standard in the industry for a number of good reasons. Sound quality is one of them.
Ease of use. All the great features found on the Plantronics CS540 wouldn’t mean a lot if the headset wasn’t easy to use. The buttons and controls are thoughtfully placed so that you have easy access to the adjustment needed. The receive volume adjustment found on the earpiece is easy to access, solid and consistent in its performance and the same button also allows you to mute and unmute your microphone.
The on/off button, sometimes referred to as the call control button, is positioned for easy access and the shape of it nicely fits with the overall design of the product. Discreetly designed, logically placed and functional.
Elegant design. As with many Plantronics products, time and attention has been placed into the way the product looks. They know that looks matter when it comes to a customer making a purchase decision. After all, the wireless headset becomes part of an employee’s desk ensemble and as a result, it needs to be attractive. I give the CS540 high marks in this area. It’s elegantly designed and without question isn’t an eye sore when sitting on someones desk.
Not able to connect to a PC. Though the CS540 does an admirable job when operating with a desk phone, it comes up short in the connectivity department. If you need a wireless headset just for your desk phone and you’re confident that in the next 4-5 years you won’t need PC connectivity, the CS540 should be a great choice for you. However, with as fast as things change combined with the direction things are taking, having connection to a PC is helpful for things like webinars, desk top video conferencing or even listening to music while working. The CS540 can’t help in these areas because it’s limited to a desk phone connection only.
Battery talk time. For many, the up to 7 hours of talk time is an acceptable amount of time, but if you’re using the CS540 in wideband mode, you’ll get less talk time. It’s estimated that your talk time will be reduced from up to 7 hours to closer to 5. If wideband mode is how you’ll use the CS540, then you’ll need to be mindful of placing the headset into the charging cradle when not in use, at breaks or throughout the lunch period. Wideband mode is normally selected when HD phones are in use and you’re interested in having the premium sound quality offered by the HD phones.
Wireless talk range. Plantronics CS540 is rated up to 350 feet. The actual distance you’ll get will be less. This is true with all wireless headsets. Wireless talk range found in manufacturer data is based on an environment without obstructions. All offices have obstructions such as walls, doors, cubicles, elevators etc. As a rule of thumb, cut the stated talk range in half and that will be closer to what you should expect. To see how the Plantronics headsets stack up, check out one of our other blogs on wireless talk range. Click here to check it out.
Overall, the range offered by the CS540 is adequate for most people. For those who have need to move around larger offices, having more range would be beneficial.
Wearing design. If you work in a noisy office or busy Call Center, the CS540 wearing options may not be ideal. In noisy environments, the need to cut distracting sound is ongoing and with one ear uncovered, as is the case with the CS540, you’ll be exposed to the elements. Selecting a different model, such as a Discover D902 which has a binaural, double ear design, would be a better choice for those who need noise to be limited. To read more on this subject, click here to read one of our other blogs on the benefits of a double ear headset.
Ear gels can be uncomfortable. If an on-ear wearing style is your preference and you’re considering a new headset, keep in mind that the ear gels are a touch bulky and for some, uncomfortable when worn for extended periods. That’s not to say this is the case with everyone, but we do get feedback from customers periodically who comment on this. As an alternative, you might consider the Plantronics CS530 or the Discover D903 that are both on-ear headsets with smaller ear tips and for many, more comfortable.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, comfortable, great sounding wireless headset to connect to your desk phone and not to your computer, the Plantronics CS540 is a very solid choice. Having the option to switch between on-ear and over-the-head wearing styles is a real plus and the fit and finish of this product is top-notch.
Though the talk time and wireless range are less than what you can find in the market, both are adequate for most headset users. Most people don’t have need for long-range and most people don’t have a need for extended talk time which makes the CS540 not only acceptable, but a preferred headset in this class.
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