There’s a lot of misunderstanding about DECT and Bluetooth headsets. When discussing DECT wireless headsets for an office, many perceive these to be Bluetooth devices. Though you’ll find an occasional Bluetooth headset in an office connected to a desk phone, it’s the exception and not the rule. Generally speaking, office wireless headsets today are DECT.
That said, this blog is about clarifying some of the basic differences between a DECT headset and a Bluetooth model. I’m not going to get into the technology behind these two types of products, but instead I’ll focus on the more common differences that help to differentiate them.
Right out of the gates, one of the biggest differences between a Bluetooth headset and a DECT headset is wireless talk range.
On a good day, Bluetooth headsets will provide you with a wireless talk range of around 30 feet, but you should expect less. The specifications for Bluetooth state a range “up to” 33 feet, meaning 33 feet or less.
DECT headsets, by contrast, provide you with a wireless talk range of “up to” 350 feet with one brand that can go as far as up to 1200 feet, the Discover D901 and Discover D902. As with Bluetooth, these are stated ranges and reflective of a perfect environment having no obstructions. A more practical distance would be to cut the stated range in half which would show DECT headsets having a talk range of 175 feet to 600.
As you can see, there’s a huge difference in wireless talk range between these two products. In an office environment, 33 feet of range isn’t that helpful in giving you wireless freedom and flexibility. That’s where DECT headsets kick butt on Bluetooth with up to 10 times (or more with Discover headsets), the wireless talk range.
Many Bluetooth headsets provide talk times in the 3-6 hour range and offer on-the-go recharging with CLA chargers, USB and of course AC to name a few. Bluetooth headsets are designed to go with you wherever you go as mobility is in their DNA. DECT headsets aren’t because they’re designed to be in a fixed location. Specifically, in an office.
Talk times on most DECT headsets are in the 8 hour range with many, such as the Discover D901, D902 and D903 that offer 9 hours. The Plantronics CS510 model, in the narrow band setting is rated up to 13 hours.
Additionally, Bluetooth headsets typically don’t have a battery that can be replaced. This means that when the battery no longer holds a charge, you replace the headset. Nearly all DECT headsets have a battery that the customer can replace for around $25.00.
As you can see, there’s a big difference in talk times and battery access between Bluetooth headsets and Dect headsets.
Up next in difference 3 is wearing styles. Style matters for sure. Take the Cow in the image above. Though this out of the box thinking bovine is out of its element, preferring turf to surf, you’ve gotta admit that the brown and white earns style points with all that big air. Extra style points for the form too.
Style, as it relates to Bluetooth and DECT headsets though, shows that Bluetooth headsets are generally available in on-ear styles only. Yes, there are exceptions to this such as the VXi BlueParrott, but in general, when you look to purchase a Bluetooth headset, chances are very high that you’re going to be looking at an earpiece and nothing else.
DECT headsets, by contrast, offer earpiece models and over-the-head styles. Additionally, you can get DECT headsets that are worn behind the neck or “convertible” models, like the Plantronics CS540 that allow you to change from one wearing style to another.
More wearing options are available to you when using Dect headsets which is one of the many advantages that DECT headsets have over Bluetooth and another thing that makes them different.
In general, a Bluetooth headset is intended for personal use where a DECT headset is designed from the ground up to be used in a business environment. As a result, Bluetooth headsets typically have inferior sound quality when compared to DECT headsets.
Sound quality, as I use the term here, is referring to the sound that you hear (receive) and how others hear you (transmit). In both categories, Bluetooth headsets take a back seat to DECT headsets. DECT headsets allow you more control over your volumes by providing adjustments for incoming volumes, outgoing volumes and telephone compatibility adjustments all designed to enhance sound quality. DECT headsets also have excellent noise canceling microphones and though Bluetooth headsets advertise noise reducing mics, most models do a poor job eliminating unwanted background noise.
Bluetooth and DECT headsets are truly different . Each has its strengths as well as weaknesses. In my view it really comes down to what you need a headset for. If unrestricted hands free mobility is what you seek, then a Bluetooth headset might be your best choice because you can take your headset wherever you go. On the other hand, if you work in an office and need wireless mobility around your work space, then a DECT headset would be the order of the day.
Using a hands free wireless headset for many can be a game changer. Compared to the alternatives, headsets truly make you more productive not to mention provide a lot of convenience. From an ergonomic point of view, wireless headsets help to reduce muscle tension by as much as 40% according to a study by H.B. Maynard & Company confirming that wireless headsets are a smart choice.
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