Agent VoIP Headset Selection Guidelines
To help you select agent headsets, 8x8 recommends professional-quality equipment manufactured by leading companies
such as Plantronics or Jabra (AKA GN Netcom).
Consider the following criteria when selecting an agent headset:
||Manufacturers of high-quality telephone headsets offer products that can be connected to
Avoid PC sound card analog headsets that require the use of separate headphone and
microphone plugs. These headsets generally do not deliver high-quality sound, and tend to have
- Different models and brands of desktop telephones.
- Computer-based soft phones via a computer’s USB connector.
- Select a headset that is suitable for the agent’s work environment (e.g. quiet or noisy
- Avoid headsets that use omnidirectional microphones, as they can pick up too much
- Conversely, be sure the headset microphone is sensitive enough to transmit the full
spectrum of the human voice. Test with external callers.
Note: Consumer-grade headsets are generally not suitable for contact center agents due to inferior audio performance, lack of
all-day comfort, and limited durability. Agent productivity and customer frustration losses quickly negate any benefits of low-cost
and ill-suited headsets.
8x8 recommends using any of the professional Plantronics models listed on the 8x8 web store. You may also use alternative
brands such as Jabra. Professional headsets are sometimes sold in two parts. In this case, the TOP PART is the headset itself, and
the BOTTOM PART is the interface adapter (which is either USB for softphones, or an adapter designed for a particular brand and
model of desk phone).
8x8 suggests the following professional headsets with USB connectors for soft phones:
TOP PART = headset
HW261N binaural noise-canceling microphone
HW251N monaural noise-canceling microphone
BOTTOM PART = USB adapter
DA55 USB-to-Headset Adapter
- GN Netcom or JABRA
TOP PART = headset
GN2125 binaural noise-canceling microphone
GN2120 monaural noise-canceling microphone
BOTTOM PART = USB adapter = Jabra Link 220
Important: The headset components listed above are suitable for a USB softphone connection. For a desk phone, substitute the headset BOTTOM PART with a desk phone adapter. Refer to the headset manufacturer’s web site for the BOTTOM PART adapter that is designed for your brand and model of desk phone.
Tips for Choosing Headsets
- Many alternate TOP PART headset styles are available from Plantronics and Jabra (GN Netcom), and can be respectively
substituted for the TOP PART models listed above.
- For environments with high ambient noise, select models with noise-canceling microphones and binaural ear speakers.
- Select TOP and BOTTOM parts from the same manufacturer. TOP and BOTTOM parts from different manufacturers do not
- Avoid using units with built-in line volume controls. Adjusting the volume between the headset and PC/softphone can be
confusing in these units.
- An agent’s preferences for in-ear vs. over-ear headset designs should be respected.
- Select hardwired or wireless models based on need. If you choose a wireless model, be sure that local radio frequency
congestion is not excessive (check the manufacturer’s recommendations).
- Select a headset interface based on need for use with a softphone or desk phone, or both.
For details, visit support.8x8.com.
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