If you have been in the market for the latest and greatest wireless headset, you may have seen the word “Wideband” used frequently. At the same time you may be wondering what in the world it means and why do I need it? Wideband technology in headsets provides a much cleaner and more true transmission of the human voice due to the higher frequency (up to 8 KHz) used versus Narrowband which is at 4KHz frequency, in other words, think of it like water pipes. Narrowband is like a 3 inch pipe, and Wideband is like a 10 inch pipe. Just as more water can flow through the 10 inch pipe, then so can more information flow through a Wideband system (as in sound quality). I have listed below a few of the features of Wideband for your convenience. • Easier to recognize voices, distinguish confusing sounds, and understand accented speakers. • Ease of deciphering words that have the close sounds of “s” and “f” and others similar syllables. • Ability to hear faint talkers and to understand conversations that may have more than one person speaking at the same time. • Reduced listening effort…what does that mean? Since the quality of audio with Wideband is so much clearer, you will find that you do not need to strain as much to hear every word that your caller is saying to you, which reduces listener fatigue. • You won’t need your caller to repeat key information a second time.
Now, let’s talk about the effect that Wideband has on the battery life of a wireless headset. Most Plantronics wireless headsets have the option on the base/charger to choose between Narrow or Wideband. When choosing Wideband you will notice that your talk time for the day will decrease from 7 hrs to approximately 4 hours. The good news is you can always place the headset in the base when you are not using it or at lunch time, so it will begin recharging. You can also choose Narrowband on the wireless base to maximize your battery life and talk time. I hope this assists with any questions you might have regarding Wideband and Narrowband headset frequencies, their features and the effects they have on your wireless headset battery life. **Photograph “Water water everywhere” by Stuart Caie under Creative Commons Attribution.