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Headsets for the Modern Workplace


September 18, 2018 - 11 Comments

When we announced the Cisco Headset 500 Series in March 2018, the most common question we heard was “why?”

It’s a good question. Cisco IP phones have appeared on millions of desks over the years, but no one had seen a Cisco headset before, and it was surprising for many.

The work environment has changed. More companies, including Cisco, are moving to open floor plans, which means constant noise that can be distracting or disruptive. Many people listen to music to help stay productive and satisfied on the job. People are relying more on their computers and smartphones to get work done, especially when away from the office. But many workers still use desk phones when they are at the office.

The right headset design can address many of these challenges.

At Cisco, we believe in providing a seamless and intuitive user experience across our entire line of collaboration products and services. Whether someone is using an IP phone, a soft client, or a video system – and whether that person is the end user or the IT manager – we want to deliver a dynamic and consistent user experience across devices, platforms, and work styles.

What better way to make work more intuitive than to design and build headsets, the wearable device that connects people to the Cisco network?

Cisco has the unique capability to deliver a superior end-to-end collaboration experience through the power of an integrated collaboration ecosystem. From our UC infrastructure, Cisco delivers data and insights on hardware usage and performance for IT, and offers seamless firmware upgrades for connected devices.

With the headsets, you can customize audio settings to ensure superior audio quality, no matter which Cisco device or client someone is using. The Headset 500 Series includes all these benefits. Cisco engineers designed the headsets from the ground up and optimized for best-in-class audio performance with our devices, soft clients, and infrastructure.

The first Cisco headsets we released, the 530 Series, are designed to meet the demands of contact center workers. These employees typically wear headsets all day long, frequently take calls, often sit side-by-side, and need to be able to quickly disconnect their headsets to move around – or get coffee. The 530 Series offers outstanding passive noise reduction, excellent audio quality, and thoughtful features like a quick disconnect cable, integrated calling controls, and an in-call indicator on the headset itself.

No more wires

The second most common question we heard was “will there be a wireless version?” We heard you loud and clear.

I’m pleased to announce the launch of the newest models in the 500 Series. We are introducing two wireless DECT models: the 561 (single earpiece) and the 562 (dual earpiece).

These headsets use the latest DECT 6.0 encryption. providing security with exceptional clarity, and offer an extended 300ft+ range from the base. Not only is the sound amazing, but the headsets are incredibly comfortable and easy to use. The 560 models have calling controls on the headset itself. And like the 530 models, have an LED on the earpiece so others can see when you are on a call. The 560 models come with either a single-source base station or an optional multibase station with support for up to four audio sources, including Bluetooth devices.

Flexible options

adapter

We’re also excited to offer two more wired models. Many of you told us you wanted a headset with the flexibility to take calls from an IP phone, laptop, or mobile device.

The 521 and 522 wired UC headsets have the same lightweight design, comfort, and bold sound as other headsets in the series. Instead of an RJ connector or USB adapter, the 520 models offer the flexibility to use them either with the included USB adapter or a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. This means that you can switch instantly from a USB input to any laptop, tablet, or mobile device with a headphone jack.

Easy to use

When you plug a Cisco headset into a Cisco IP Phone 8800 Series, the phone guides you through a simple set-up process. You can customize audio settings for a warmer or brighter sound. The side tone and microphone boost are also adjustable. It doesn’t get any easier than “plug and play.”

The magical experience doesn’t stop with the end user. Now, things are just as easy for IT as well. With the latest version of Cisco Unified Communications Manager, system administrators will be able to perform firmware upgrades, monitor headset inventory and usage, and perform diagnostics from the same administrative panel they use to manage their existing UC infrastructure. No additional software is needed.

We hope you’re as excited about these new headsets as we are. When you give your office headsets an upgrade, you’ll be more productive, and you may find yourself with more free time to listen to the latest tunes.

Learn more about the Cisco Headset 500 Series



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11 Comments

  1. When will the multi-base be available for purchase

    • Hi Russel, the multi base is targeted to be orderable in early December.

  2. When will the multi-base be available for purchase?

    • Hi Malisko, the multi base is targeted to be orderable in early December.

  3. Well this is very awesome headsets you mentioned on your blog.

  4. Does the ability to answer/end calls when connected to a DX-80 require an adapter? I like being away from my desk, hearing (in the headset) that a call is incoming, and pushing a button on the headset to answer. Thanks!

  5. Hi. Nice headsets! Great quality! Your article mentions that system administrators will be able to perform firmware upgrades, monitor headset inventory and usage, and perform diagnostics. Can you point me to the documentation that describes how and where this is accomplished? Thanks!

    • Hi Kristine, Thanks for feedback! All of these infrastructure integrations will be improved or introduced as a part of CUCM 12.5 SU1 (this is where the full documentation should be). We introduced the basic version of automatic software updates as a part of the 12.1 release of Cisco IP Phone 8800 Series firmware (see: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cuipph/8800-series/firmware/12-1-1/releasenotes/p881_b_8800-series-release-notes-1211.html#reference_2DF3DF03019859F253A7A189261F4801

  6. Cool Headsets....Great Job Cisco Team One Stop - That is Cisco for all your needs : -)

  7. How about a lightning connector for a few hundred million users?

    • Hi Tim, The headsets are designed for Cisco endpoints and Soft clients on laptops, we are investigating and will add additional connector options. For iPhones we would suggest using BT from our Multi dock base, but appreciate your feedback and will continue to evaluate connectors options for our wired headsets.