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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.
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 Cisco Headset Compatibility Chart. 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.