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Headsets 101 - Nortel Headsets - Everything you need to know

Headsets for Nortel Phones.
(also Northern Telecom & Meridian Phones)

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

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

Last Updated -  December 2015



How to use our Headsets for Nortel Phones guide:


Selecting headsets for your Nortel 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: Nortel Compatibility Chart
Section 2: Understanding What's Required for a Corded Headset Solution
Section 3: How Corded Headsets Work With Your Nortel Telephone
Section 4: Wireless Headset Options For Nortel Phones
Section 5: Remote Answer and Hang-up For Wireless Headsets





1- Nortel Headset Compatibility Chart - (Click column headings to view products)

 Nortel Model: H-Series
U10P Cable
A10 Cable
EHS Cable
EHS Cable
USB Headsets
1120e ANY     ANY   APU-7 APU-72  
1140e  ANY   ANY   APU-7 APU-72  
1150e  ANY     ANY   APU-7 APU-72  
1210, 1220, 1230 ANY   NOTE 1   ANY NOTE 1      
2465, 2564, 2565  ANY     NOTE 2        
500 Series ANY       NOTE 2        
8540  ANY     ANY        
9617  ANY       ANY      
ACD l (M2216)  ANY     ANY        
ACD ll (M2216) NOTE 3                   
ACD Set: QSU1, 3, 7                    
Agent Console Series                    
Bell Vista  ANY       ANY        
Computer Terminal NT4X73  ANY       ANY      
Debut  ANY       ANY      
DMS 100 Console                     
Harmony: 800FWE-01  ANY       ANY      
i2002  ANY     ANY        
i2004 Series  ANY     ANY        
i2052 ANY     MX10   NOTE 4       NOTE 4
IP Softphone i2050 ANY     MX10   Savi/NOTE 4       NOTE 4
Jazz Series                     
 Nortel Model: H-Series
U10P Cable
A10 Cable
EHS Cable
EHS Cable
USB Headsets
M1009, M1109  ANY       ANY      
M1250, M2250 ANY     P10/2250   NOTE 5        
M1309  ANY       ANY      
M2000 Series  ANY       ANY      
M2112, M2317, M2616  ANY       ANY      
M3901, M3902  ANY       ANY        
M3903\M3904  ANY     ANY        
M3905 ACD  ANY     ANY        
M4000 & M4020  ANY     ANY        
M5006  ANY       ANY        
M5008, M5009, M5112  ANY       ANY      
M5200 Series  ANY     ANY      
M5312 ANY       ANY      
M5316 ANY     ANY      
M5317 ANY       ANY NOTE 6      
M6310 ANY       ANY      
M6320 (See NOTE 7) ANY       ANY         
M7100  ANY       ANY      
M7208  ANY     ANY      
M7300 Series  ANY     ANY      
M7900  ANY     ANY      
M8001, M8003  ANY     ANY      
M8009  ANY       ANY      
M8300 Series  ANY       ANY      
M8400 Series  ANY       ANY      
M8600  ANY       ANY      
M9009 & M9516  ANY     ANY      
M9216  ANY       ANY      
M9316  ANY       ANY      
M9417  ANY       ANY      
 Nortel Model: H-Series
U10P Cable
A10 Cable
EHS Cable
EHS Cable
USB Headsets
Maestro Series  ANY       ANY      
Meridian 1 Attendant PC                     
Norstar  ANY     ANY      
NT DU 92 (i2004) ANY     ANY        
Power Touch ANY     ANY        
Pro 189  ANY       ANY      
QCN & QCW Series                     
QSFE & QSKE Series  ANY       ANY      
QSK & QSQ Series ANY       NOTE 2      
QSU Consoles                     
Quick Touch 8001FWE-42 ANY       ANY      
Rapport, Rapport Plus  ANY       ANY      
Serv. Att. Console: NT4X09AG                     
Silhouette: 8003-FEW-42                     
Smile ANY     P10/2250   NOTE 2      
T.O.P. Station                     
T7100  ANY       ANY      
T7208, T7316  ANY     ANY      
Taurus  ANY     ANY        
Vantage 12\24\48\48C & 8  ANY       ANY      
Vantage Esprit/Plus & Modular ANY       ANY      
Venture  ANY       ANY      
Vista 350  ANY       ANY        
Vista/Powertouch 480  ANY     ANY        
Vista/Powertouch 480e  ANY       ANY        
Vista/Powertouch 480i  ANY                
WLAN 2210 Wireless IP Handset                     
WLAN 2211 Wireless IP Handset                     


NOTE 1: There are two versions:  One does not have a headset jack and doesn't support the A10 cable.  These phones sit at a high angle.  They do not have an adjustable stand.  If using the HL10 lifter, the phone may need to lay flat.  This may cause the display screen to not be visible.

NOTE 2: Carbon Phone - CS500 Series not compatible.

NOTE 3: Has headset port for supervisor monitoring and control.  Call tech support (800-544-4660 X5538) for more information.  Requires Northern Telecom headset power adapter (#A0367335) for headset use.

NOTE 4: Software updates may be necessary to work with PC application; visit the Plantronics software download page.

NOTE 5: To use a wireless headset you will need adapter PJ327 (#18709-01).  No lifter option available for remote answer/end of calls.

NOTE 6: There are several styles of model M5317, and some may not support a handset lifter.

NOTE 7:  The Nortel M6320 has dual headset jacks and according to the manual one headset is for listening only.
                 Dual Headset Sockets:  Either socket can be set to transmit and receive while the other headset is in receiving
                 mode only. Headset 1 is the socket nearest to the user i.e. towards the bottom of the set, as indicated by the led dot.



2 - Understanding What's Required For A Corded Nortel Headset Solution.

To have a corded commercial grade Nortel 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.


Quick Disconnect

The first thing to understand about commercial grade Nortel 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 Nortel telephone, you also need an amplifier or direct connect cable, depending on the model of your Nortel phone.  You can view your options in our Nortel 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 Nortel phone.  

Originally, an amplifier was required for most Nortel telephones when using headsets.  Nortel worked closely with Plantronics to engineer many of their phones to have the amplifier built into the Nortel 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.


3 - How Corded Headsets Work With Your Nortel Telephone:

When using a corded headset on Nortel telephones, most of the older Nortel phones will use a headset and amplifier.  Nortel has worked closely with Plantronics and designed their newer phones with the amplifier built into the phone allowing a direct-connect cable and headset to be an option.  At one point, Plantronics made a series of headsets specifically for Nortel call a Polaris Headset or P-Series Headset.  These headsets used a modified version of the Plantronics H-Series headsets, but with a louder microphone and included a Polaris Direct-Connect cable.  This was the first time a headset and direct-connect cable solution was introduced into the industry.  Since then the P-Series has been replaced with the standard H-Series and A10 direct-connect cable.


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 Nortel Phones



Typical Setup Using Direct-Connect Cable:

If using a newer Nortel phone with a headset port, most likely you can use any H-series headset with a Nortel 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.



4 - Wireless Headsets Options for Nortel Phones. 

You have a wide range of wireless headsets to choose from for your Nortel 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



5 - 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 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