Headsets for Cisco Phones

Cisco is a leading telephone company and has done an excellent job integrating telephone headset usage into their standard Cisco telephones and Cisco IP Communicator softphones.  Numerous headsets are compatible with Cisco telephones, but finding the correct amplifier or direct-connect cable is the key to getting a headset to work properly with your Cisco phone.

The following guide will explain the compatible equipment you need, including many pictures to simplify the process of finding a Cisco headset for your application.

                                   – Last Updated –  April 2019


How to use our Headsets for Cisco Phones Guide:

Selecting headsets for your Cisco phone has never been easier with our Headsets 101 Guide.  From first time buyer questions to long time headset users, this guide will provide a deeper understanding of exactly how your headset works.  Most importantly…be sure to call if you have questions, because it’s our support that sets us apart from other dealers.  We’re Plantronics Certified Headset Experts ready to help before, during, and after the sale!


1: Wireless Headset Solutions for Cisco Phones

Plantronics CS545-XD Wireless Headset:

With a headset, you instantly become more productive, being able to write and type without holding or cradling a handset (not to mention the reduction in neck and shoulder pain).  With a wireless headset, you take productivity up another notch by being able to roam your office while talking.  Ever need to grab a file in another office or ask a co-worker a question?  You can with a wireless headset.  With the CS545-XD you get a lightweight, great-sounding headset that comes with everything you need.

How does it work?  With the CS545-XD, you will start inbound and outbound calls at your phone.  Most newer Cisco phones have a headset button on the phone.  When a call comes in, or you want to make a call, you simply press the headset ‘ON’ button and press your phone’s headset button.  You are now talking with your caller and free to roam up to 350 feet from your phone.  To answer/hang-up calls away from your desk you will need an optional HL10 or EHS cable shown below.

• The CS545-XD comes from our most popular wireless headset series
• Enjoy all-day comfort with a lightweight headset (21 grams)
• 2 batteries included for unlimited talk-time
• Includes Over-the-Ear and Over-the-Head wearing options
• Hear more clearly with speaker and microphone volume adjustments

Optional Plantronics HL10 or EHS Cables for Remote Answering:

Need to answer remotely?  If you want the most out of your headset investment, you will want the ability to answer/hang-up calls away from your desk.  This increases your productivity again by not missing calls to voice mail or needing to run back to your desk with every ring.  Most Cisco phones allow remote answering with an HL10 or Electronic Hookswitch (EHS) cable connected to your wireless headset.   See Section 3 below to determine which device is compatible with your specific model of Cisco Phone, and Section 7 explains Handset Lifters and EHS cables in detail.  The HL10 & EHS cables accomplish the same function, thus you only need to use one or the other.

Fast and Easy Ordering:

To simplify your choices and save you hours of time researching, we’ve listed the most common Cisco wireless headset and remote answer/hang-up solutions below.

OPTION 1: If you don’t need to answer remotely, click below to add the wireless headset to your cart.

OPTION 2: If you want to answer remotely (never missing calls and being more productive), see Section 3 below to determine which device you need (HL10/EHS cable).  Then return here to add the headset and appropriate HL10/EHS cable to your cart.


Section 2: Corded Headset Solutions for Cisco Phones

Plantronics HW540 Corded Headset:

Cisco phones work great with Plantronics headsets.  You need two pieces to make it work; an H-series headset and a bottom cable.

Want to make your corded headset solution easy…with no sacrifices?  You need to consider the Plantronics HW540 EncorePro headset.  It’s a quantum leap in convertible headset design. It’s a 3-in-1 headset without compromise – all of the wearing styles are designed with quality and comfort in mind in a system that is simple to convert but delivers a secure, positive fit and finish. The HW540 provides high-quality audio, a flexible noise-canceling mic with visual positioning guides, soft ear cushions, and durable, yet lightweight materials for all-day wearing.

• Flexible microphone for optimal voice clarity
• Quick Disconnect cord allows you to easily walk away from your desk
• Lightest in its class of business headsets
• Soft foam ear cushions provide all-day comfort
• Laser welded construction for unbeatable toughness

Plantronics U10 Direct-Connect Cable:

Many newer Cisco telephones have a headset port and button for easy headset use.  You simply plug one end of your H-series headset into the U10 cable, and the other end into your Cisco telephone’s headset port.  To answer or end a call, you simply press the headset button on your phone.  It doesn’t get any easier.  If you need to walk away during a call, you can keep your headset on, and simply pull the quick disconnect apart at the U10 cable connection.  Doing this puts your caller on hold through the headset.  When you return to your desk, plug the headset back into the U10 cable and continue talking.

Fast and Easy Ordering:

To simplify your choices and save you hours of time researching, we’ve listed a great Plantronics corded headset and the most common Cisco direct-connect cables below.  Consult our guide below to determine which cable you need and then click the links below to add them to your cart.  It’s that easy!



Section 3: Cisco Compatibility Guide

(Click column headings to view products)

 Cisco Model: H-Series Headset U10 Cable

2.5mm Cable 70765-01 M22
Bluetooth Wireless
EHS Cable
Cisco 12 VIP ANY ANY
Cisco 30 VIP ANY ANY
Cisco 521G ANY ANY
Cisco 524G ANY ANY
Cisco 6841 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 6851 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 6921 ANY ANY
Cisco 6941 ANY  ANY
Cisco 6945 ANY  ANY APC-43*
Cisco 6961 ANY  ANY
Cisco 7821 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 7841 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 7861 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 7902, 7902G ANY ANY
Cisco 7905, 7905G ANY ANY
Cisco 7906, 7906G ANY ANY
Cisco 7910, 7010+SW ANY ANY
Cisco 7911, 7911G ANY ANY
Cisco 7912, 7912G ANY ANY
Cisco 7920 ANY w/  65287-01
Cisco 7921, 7921G ANY w/  65287-01
Cisco 7925G ANY w/  65287-01 ANY
Cisco 7929 ANY w/  65287-01
Cisco 7931G ANY ANY
Cisco 7932G ANY ANY
Cisco 7940, 7940G ANY ANY
Cisco 7941, 7941G ANY ANY
Cisco 7942G ANY ANY APC-43*
Cisco 7945, 7945G ANY ANY APC-43*
Cisco 7960, 7960G ANY ANY
Cisco 7961, 7961G ANY ANY
Cisco 7962G ANY ANY APC-43*
Cisco 7965G ANY ANY APC-43*
Cisco 7970, 7970G ANY ANY
Cisco 7971, 7971G ANY ANY
Cisco 7975, 7975G ANY ANY APC-43*
Cisco 7985, 7985G ANY ANY
 Cisco Model: H-Series Headset U10 Cable

2.5mm Cable 70765-01 M22
Bluetooth Wireless
EHS Cable
Cisco 8811 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 8821 3.5mm
Cisco 8841 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 8845 ANY ANY APC-43
Cisco 8851 ANY ANY APC-43/APU-76
Cisco 8861 ANY ANY APC-43/APU-76
Cisco 8865 ANY  ANY APC-43/APU-76
Cisco 8941 ANY ANY APC-82
Cisco 8945, 8945G ANY ANY APC-82
Cisco 8961 ANY Dongle Required ANY APU-76
Cisco 9951 ANY ANY APU-76
Cisco 9971 ANY ANY APU-76
Cisco Cius ANY ANY
Cisco CTS500 ANY ANY
Cisco DX70 USB ANY APU-76
Cisco DX80 USB ANY APU-76
Cisco DX650 ANY ANY APU-76
Cisco SPA 303G ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 501G ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 502G ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 504G ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 508G ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 509G ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 512 ANY ANY APC-45
Cisco SPA 514 & 514G ANY ANY APC-45
Cisco SPA 525 ANY ANY APC-45
Cisco SPA 525G ANY ANY APC-45
Cisco SPA 921 ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 922 ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 941 ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 942 ANY ANY
Cisco SPA 962 ANY ANY


* Cisco 7942G, 7945, 7945G, 7962G, 7965G, and 7975G telephones using an expansion module (sidecar) will need Plantronics # 85638-01 for use with wireless headsets. The standard wireless cable to your phone is not long enough, and the 85638-01 extension cable is required.


NOTE: Many Cisco phones require the headset option to be ‘enabled’ when viewing each individual phone setting.  This is modified on the system side, and a few models allow this change at the phone.

NOTE: We have experienced EHS cables initially not answering remotely, and you need to be at your phone to press the headset button to establish a call.  To resolve this issue:

1) Unplug the EHS cable from the wireless base and telephone.
2) Unplug the power cord from the base and wait 60 seconds.
3) Plug the power cord back into the base and wait for the power indicator lights to come on.
4) Plug the EHS cable into the wireless base and telephone.
That should resolve the issue, and it is now ready for use.


By default, the wireless headset remote hookswitch control feature is disabled. You can enable it through the Cisco Unified Communications Manager Administration application. To do so, choose Device > Phone and locate the phone you want to modify. In the Phone Configuration window for the phone, select Enable for the Headset Hookswitch Control option.

On the phone, you can verify that the feature is enabled by choosing Settings > Device Configuration > Media Configuration, and verifying that the Headset Hookswitch Control setting displays Enabled.


Phones should be running firmware version 7.5.2b and above to support EHS cables. APC-45 cable needs to be plugged into the 2.5mm headset port of the phone.

Plantronics EHS should be selected in the web interface(CISCO Call Manager) under Voice–>User–>Audio–>EHS type–>Plantronics.


Section 4: Understanding a corded Cisco Headset Solution

To have a corded commercial-grade Cisco headset solution you will need two items; the headset and either an amplifier or a direct-connect cable.  Headsets, amplifiers and direct connect cables all join together by using a quick-disconnect connection.


Quick Disconnect

The first thing to understand about commercial-grade Cisco headsets is the headset cable terminates in what the industry calls a “quick-disconnect” connection.  This connection allows you to leave your headset on at all times and quickly disconnect from the amplifier or direct-connect cable when you need to walk away from your desk.


Amplifiers and Direct-Connect Cables

To connect your headset to your Cisco telephone, you need an amplifier or direct-connect cable, depending on the model of your Cisco phone.  You can view your options in our compatibility guide listed above   As you can see in the amplifier and cable pictures, they terminate on one end with a modular clip, which will plug into your Cisco phone.

Originally, an amplifier was required for most Cisco telephones when using a headset.  Cisco worked closely with Plantronics to engineer many of their phones to have the amplifier built into the Cisco telephone.  This eliminated the need for an amplifier and allowed a less expensive direct-connect cable or 2.5mm cable to be used with standard H-series headsets.  The only negative to using a direct connect cable or 2.5mm cable is you lose your ability to control your outgoing voice volume.  An amplifier gives complete volume control for your speaker and microphone.

If you feel the need for more control over your outgoing voice volume, you can opt for an amplifier.  It’s important to note, it will not function when plugged into the headset port on a Cisco phone (The port is wired backwards and your headset will be completely dead).  You can use an amplifier, but you must plug it into the handset port and raise/lower the handset for each call.  You will need to decide if you prefer the best audio quality and complete volume control an amplifier gives you or the convenience of pushing a button on your phone to take and make calls with a a direct connect cable.


Section 5: How Corded Headsets Work with Your Cisco Telephone

When using a corded headset on Cisco telephones, most of the older Cisco phones will use a headset and amplifier.  Cisco has worked closely with Plantronics and designed their newer phones with the amplifier built into the phone, so only a direct-connect cable or 2.5mm cable is needed with a headset.


Typical Setup Using Amplifier:

If using any H-series headset and amplifier, the amplifier will plug into the handset port on your phone.  You will need to remove your handset for each call.  When finished with the call you will return the handset to its cradle to hang-up the call.  If you have a headset port, the standard amplifier is not compatible and will only work through the handset port.  You will have a wide variety of headsets to choose from including noise-canceling models for use in a loud environment and voice-tube models for a quieter environment.

For the latest models: Plantronics H-Series Headsets for Cisco Phones


Typical Setup Using Direct-Connect Cable:

If using a newer Cisco phone with a headset port, you can most likely use any H-series headset with a Cisco Direct-Connect cable.  The cable will plug into your headset port, and you simply press a ringing line to answer and the ‘headset button’ to disconnect the call.  The advantage of using a direct-connect cable versus an amplifier is cost.  The cable will be $28.50 versus $72 for an amplifier.  The disadvantage of using a direct-connect cable is it only works on compatible phones (See our Compatibility Chart above), and you can’t control your out-going voice volume.  If you’re soft spoken, your caller will have a hard time hearing you.

For the Direct-Connect cable: Plantronics 26716-01 Cisco Cable


Typical Setup Using 2.5mm Cable with Cisco SPA Phones:

Cisco also uses a 2.5mm jack for headset use on a select number of phones, which includes the SPA series.  The standard 64279-02 2.5mm to quick-disconnect cable is approximately 16 inches long.  The longer, extended length 70765-01 2.5mm to quick-disconnect cable is 10 feet long giving you much greater distance and reach from your phone. Both cables plug into any Plantronics H-series headset.

For the short 2.5mm cable: Plantronics 64279-02

For the long 2.5mm cable: Plantronics 70765-01


Section 6: CS500 & W700 Wireless Headsets Available for Cisco Phones

In an earlier section, you learned Plantronics wireless headsets are compatible with Cisco phones.  To get into more details, you have two families of wireless headsets from which to choose.

The CS500 series is the standard version of wireless headset that connects to your Cisco phone.  This series works well if your only mode of communicating within the office is through your Cisco phone.  You have four basic models from which to choose with different wearing styles.  All-day comfort and great battery life will get you through the busiest of work days.

The Savi W700 series of Plantronics headsets not only connects to your Cisco phone, but also to your PC and Bluetooth phone.  This allows you to keep one headset charged and ready for use no matter which way someone tries to contact you.  This is a great convenience, combining three headsets into one.  If you need to join a webinar or listen to online training, you simply press the PC button on the base, and your headset becomes your audio device for your PC instead of blasting the office with your external speakers.  The Savi  headset is also there for use with your mobile phone while in the office (you cannot use the headset with your mobile phone outside of the range of the base).  The Savi headset wearing style choices are the same as for the CS500 series.  The base is what’s upgraded to support two other communication points (PC & Mobile Phone).

With both solutions you can also gain remote answer/hang-up capabilities with an optional HL10 or EHS cable.


For the latest wireless models: Plantronics Wireless Headsets


Section 7: Remote Answer and Hang-up For Wireless Headsets

Wireless units give you freedom, and adding a Handset Lifter or EHS cable allows greater productivity by allowing you to answer and hang up calls remotely.  Both will sense when your phone is ringing and will generate beeps in your headset to alert you to an incoming call.  If you choose to take the call, simply press the Call Control Button on your headset to answer the call.  Your phone answers the ringing line, and you can begin talking.  When finished, just press the Call Control Button again to disconnect the call.  You will need to return to your phone to press the appropriate buttons to dial, transfer a call, or to perform any other phone functions.  Most phones will support the Handset Lifter, which raises and lowers your telephone’s handset, simulating your answering a call.  The EHS cable electronically establishes calls on newer phones without the mechanical motor and physical movement of a handset lifter, but otherwise accomplishes the same thing.  Having the ability to answer remotely greatly increases your productivity.  You can answer away from your desk and carry on conversations wherever you need to take them.  It also allows you to answer calls that would have normally gone to voice mail.  This saves you a tremendous amount of time playing phone tag with customers or co-workers.



For the latest models: Plantronics Handset Lifters & EHS Cables


Section 8: Cisco Softphones (Jabber) with Plantronics Spokes Softphone

If you’re taking advantage of softphones with a VoIP system, be sure to download the latest release of Plantronics’ Spokes software for Windows®.  This helps your Plantronics audio device work more seamlessly with your softphone and allows you to take advantage of special features.

Windows & Mac: