NEC is a leading telephone company and has done an excellent job integrating telephone headset usage into their standard NEC telephones and newer VoIP softphones. Numerous headsets are compatible with NEC telephones, but finding the correct amplifier or direct connect cable is the key to getting a headset to work properly with your NEC phone.
The following guide will explain the compatible equipment you need, including many pictures to simplify the process of finding a NEC headset for your application.
Last Updated – February 2019
Selecting headsets for your NEC phone has never been easier with our how to guide. From first time buyers questions to long time headset users, this guide will provide a deeper understanding of exactly how your headset will work and what you need. Most importantly…be sure to call if you have questions because it’s our support that sets us apart. We’re Plantronics Certified Headset Experts ready to help before, during and after the sale!
Section 1: NEC Compatibility Chart
Section 2: Special Programming
Section 3: Understanding What’s Required for a Corded NEC Headset Solution
Section 4: How Corded Headsets Work With Your NEC Telephone
Section 5: Wireless Headset Options For Nec Phones
Section 6: Remote Answer And Hang-Up For Wireless Headsets
Programming may be required for EHS cables via NEC tech support.
Note 1 If using a wireless product with the lifter accessory, you will need to attach the external ring detector to this phone as the speaker is off center from under the handset.
Note 2 Software updates may be necessary to work with PC application, visit the Plantronics software download page
Note 3 Carbon Phone – CS500 series not compatible
Note 4 Switch on bottom of console must be set to ‘headset’ side. Carbon Phone – CS500 series not compatible
Note 5 NEC proprietary EHS cable can be purchased from NEC to work with Plantronics wireless headsets (MSRP $129.95). Alternately the HL10 lifter can be used.
Note 6 EHS cable APN-91 preferred for remote answer (note: it only works with the i-SIP/N-SIP versions of the DT700 terminals). Alternately the HL10 lifter can be used.
1) NEC Programming Instructions (.pdf)
2) NEC support number is 1-800-852-4632
To have a corded commercial grade NEC headset solution you will need two items; the headset and either an amplifier or a direct-connect cable. Headsets, amplifiers and direct connect cable all join together using a quick-disconnect connection.
The first thing to understand about commercial grade NEC 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 NEC telephone, you also need an amplifier or direct connect cable, depending on the model of your NEC phone. You can view your options in our NEC Headset compatibility chart located on this page. As you can see on the amplifier and cable, they terminate on one end with a modular clip, which will plug into your NEC phone.
Originally, an amplifier was required for most NEC telephones when using headsets. NEC worked closely with Plantronics to engineer many of their phones to have the amplifier built into the NEC telephone. This eliminated the use of an amplifier and allowed a less expensive direct connect cable to be used with standard H-series headsets. The only negative to using a direct connect cable is you lose your ability to control your outgoing voice volume. An amplifier gives complete volume control for your speaker and microphone.
When using a corded headset on NEC telephones, most of the older NEC phones will use a headset and amplifier. NEC 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 used 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 a loud environment and voice-tube models for a quieter environment.
For the latest models: Plantronics H-Series Headsets for NEC Phones
Typical Setup Using Direct-Connect Cable:
If using a newer NEC phone with a headset port, most likely you can use any H-series headset with a NEC Direct-Connect cable. The cable will plug into your headset port and you will 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.
You have a wide range of wireless headsets to choose from for your NEC phone. You can chose between different styles and functionality. A commercial grade wireless headset solution is purchased as a complete system (Base/Charger, Headset, A/C Power Adapter are included). Optionally a Handset Lifter or Electronic Hookswitch Cable (EHS) will need to be purchased to answer and hang up calls remotely. The base/charger controls compatibility, microphone volume, speaker volume, and also acts as the charger when your headset is not in use. There are LED lights on the base to indicate power, charging and other features.
For the latest wireless models: Plantronics 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 remotely. Both will sense when your phone is ringing and generate beeps in your headset to alert you of a 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 begin talking. When finished you 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 you answering a call. The EHS electronically establishes calls on newer phones without the mechanical motor and physical movement of your handset, 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
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