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Wireless Headsets 101: How Do They Work?

There’s more to a quality wireless headset than what you hear. Since its conception, it’s amazing to know how much wireless headsets have created a big impact on our daily lives. Our ability to communicate and deliver the right message is improved. Productivity and efficiency at work have been better. Wireless headsets are actually setting a trend in this era of digital technology and yet we only know a little about how they really work.

Why Wireless Headsets Matter

The benefits you can get are a definite consideration when deciding to choose a wireless headset over the others.

In today’s competitive market, increased productivity at work is important. This goes by the fact that using wireless headsets in the office or in any work setup improves productivity and efficiency. Here’s why:

  • Hands-free

Wireless headsets give you more freedom for writing and typing, making you much more productive. With a typical phone, your hands are tied up until the call ends – that is, one hand holding the phone and the other, well, practically you have restricted movements. Plus, you can only move around within the cord’s reach. Compared to a wired headset, you can move freely, do things faster, and finish work more efficiently with a wireless headset.

  • Healthier alternative

Wireless headsets are a healthier alternative to regular phones. Work more comfortably without cradling your telephone handset against your shoulder causing neck and shoulder pain. Studies and research have shown that using a wireless headset can actually relieve you from the pain and stress associated with holding your phones to your ear and cradling it simultaneously over your shoulder. Through this, you are straining your muscles which will eventually result in a sore neck, muscle cramps, and back pains.

  • Excellent sound quality

Headsets, whether wired or wireless, give off excellent audio than traditional phones. The noise-canceling technology behind wireless headsets makes them the ultimate choice when it comes to home office setup.

Understanding Wireless Headsets

There are many things to consider when it comes to buying or choosing the right wireless headset for you. You probably have a long list of things you need to consider before buying one. If you are working from home, you need to get the best wireless headset or at least one that has good audio quality for you to be efficient and productive.

But, before you get to the buying phase, it is important to understand first the overall structure of wireless headsets and how they work.

Generally, a wireless headset operates through a series of transmitted signals from sources that have been paired beforehand. Because they do not use cables or wires, to connect the two devices, you have to pair them. From the source device, signals are encoded and transmitted via electromagnetic waves – radio signals or infrared signals. More commonly known as carrier signals, these signals carry the data being transmitted from one system to another.

Headsets, on the other hand, receive these signals and decode them as audio.

Bluetooth versus DECT wireless technology

When deciding between wireless headsets, it greatly helps to know the technology behind the scenes which may effect which product works best for your environment. We regularly have customers calling wanting a ‘Bluetooth Headset’ not understanding they really want a ‘Wireless Headset’ that may use Bluetooth or DECT technology. They both perform the same function of transmitting sound between devices, but distance, compatibility and number of connected devices need to be considered.

DECT Technology:

DECT stands for “Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications” and also “Digital European Cordless Telecommunications” as the technology originated in Europe. The US and Canada uses DECT 6.0 which operates on the 1.9 GHz band, slightly different than the standard DECT most other countries operate on.

DECT products use 64-bit to 256-bit AES encryption making the likelihood of someone listening in on your calls virtually impossible once the headset and base/dongle are paired. DECT transmission distance ranges from 330 to 590 feet. This is a major advantage for users needing extended range while on conversations. DECT 6.0 allows for 60 roaming channels on the 1.9 GHz band. This means that in theory, up to 60 devices can be used simultaneously without any interference issues. Most devices will scan a channel for interference and hop to another channel until a clear channel if located. The last key point about DECT is it only connects to one device. This means if you have a DECT headset, it will only connect to a base or dongle. It will not connect to a Bluetooth mobile phone or tablet.

  • Encrypted highly secure conversations
  • 330 to 590 feet of roaming distance
  • 60 channels available for devices
  • Connects to only one base/device

 

Bluetooth Technology:

Bluetooth product use 128-bit encryption, making it extremely secure once devices are paired. Bluetooth range is determined by what class of Bluetooth your device is designed with. Class 1 being the most range reaching about 330 feet. Class 2 will provide the most standard 33 feet. Last is Class 3 which provides about 3 feet which is perfect for mice, keyboards and other similar peripherals. Bluetooth operates on the 2.4 GHz band with approximately 79 separate channels.

 

FUN FACT: How wireless encryption works:

First, the headset establishes an authenticated connection with the base. This requires a number of “handshakes” and creates a secure link. Once that happens, the headset turns voice into digital data, encrypts it, and passes only the encrypted data back to the base, making the conversation highly secure.

 

Carrier Waves

As the name suggests, wireless headsets are not dependent on cables or “wires”. This type of headset transmits audio signals through radio or infrared signals. Radio signals work through electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves carry energy as they travel through the universe. Unlike sound waves, electromagnetic waves can travel without molecules. Hence, sound can still be transmitted in even space where there are no molecules.

Through radio frequency, wireless headsets typically operate at a range of 30 to 300 Hz, although some can go through as high as 3.2 GHz depending on the type of wireless headset.

Another type of electromagnetic wave is infrared, which has a frequency band of 300 – 400 GHz. That said, infrared waves use higher frequencies compared to radio frequencies.

A wireless headset receives both analog and digital signals. These signals transmit the data from one system to another. Analog signal is the most common, the same transmission also used in FM radio.

With the onset of digital technology, non-wired headsets have been designed to adapt to the digital world. Digital sounds are actually a digitized version of the analog sounds where snapshots of the amplitude of audio signals are taken instantly and then transmitted digitally.

Getting the Best Wireless Headset

Now that you know how wireless headsets work, you now have some insights on what to consider before buying one. If you are currently on a work-at-home setup, finding the perfect wireless headset could be one of the greatest decisions you have ever made. If you spend so much time on the phone, quality sound and the ability to deliver the message without delay is your end product. So, it is crucial you consider how you want to use your non-wired headset so you do not compromise quality over anything else.

Consider a reliable headset that gives you more bang for the buck. Weigh your options. Prioritize your needs.

  • Comfort

While wireless headsets give you freedom and flexibility at work, it is equally important to always consider comfort over style. With a variety of choices available in the market today, your comfort should be your priority. If you will be working for hours taking calls, you need to make sure your headset fits comfortably on your ears.

  • Wearing style

Of course, it also pays to consider your preferred wearing styles: single ear, double ear, or over the ear. Regardless of your preference, you should always make sure it gives you a comfortable fit.

  • Connectivity and Compatibility

Which device will you connect your headset to? Will it be a computer? A desk phone? Or will you be using a mobile phone? Whatever your device is, there’s a wireless headset designed for your need.

  • Battery

Since wireless headsets do not have cables and are not physically connected to a power source all the time, you must consider the battery life. If you spend too much time on the phone, it is important to buy a headset that can last longer and can serve your time requirement.

It is so easy to lose sounds along the way because of their vulnerability to interference and challenges. But, by understanding the bits and pieces of what actually happens in the processing of sounds using wireless headsets, you can have better control and maximize audio quality.