Noise is a constant problem that Contact Center Managers have to deal with. It’s hard to keep noise under control when there are so many people on calls, and talking at the same time.
Cubicles are certainly a help, but they’re not the total answer because noise does have a way of finding its way throughout the environment, and seemingly, more so where you happen to be sitting.
One of the tools that’s available to Contact Center Managers is headsets, and in particular, headsets that have good quality, noise reducing microphones. So, does this new Jabra Engage 50 II second generation have a good one?
You’ll find out shortly because we tested not only the microphone sound quality, and noise reduction capabilities, but also the Engage 50 II ear speakers.
-3 noise canceling microphones for clear calls
-SmartRinger- Alerts agents of incoming calls
-Busylight- Shows colleagues you're on a call
- Works with leading UC applicatons (Zoom, Teams, Google, RingCentral etc..)
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Reasons To Buy
+ HD sounding microphone with very good mic noise cancellation
+ Extremely lightweight and comfortable for all day use
+ Call controller allows you to adjust volume, mute/unmute, answer/end
+ Very professional and modern looking
+ Compatible with Engage+ and Engage AI (software to further improve customer experience)
+ Hearing protection capabilities are built in to keep your ears protected from sudden spikes of volume that can damage your ears over time. Not all headsets offer this feature, and I would guess you don't want to risk your hearing.
Reasons To Avoid
- Upfront price may be steep for some
- 16 different SKU's with slight differences, which makes it very complicated which is best to choose.
What we look for in testing headset microphones
When we test a headset microphone, we’re looking at three different things, which are:
- Voice sound quality. That is, how well you sound. Do you sound tinny, or do you sound loud, clear and rich?
- Ability to remove unwanted background noise. This is important especially when on important business calls, because you don’t want your callers hearing all the noise in your background.
- How well the microphone maintains that voice audio quality when the microphone is dealing with background noise. Some headsets reduce noise well enough, but those same headsets might struggle to maintain the voice audio quality at the same time.
Voice audio quality results
First, the voice audio quality was exceptional, which is what you hope to get from any headset you might use. This means that when you use the Jabra Engage 50 II, your callers will be treated to a crisp, clear call rather than one that leaves them wanting something better. No issues here, just straight up premium audio.
How well it removes noise
The other area is noise reduction. Just so you know, we tested this microphone against the sounds of:
- Office noise - people talking, office machine noise etc.
- Barking dogs - this is a great test for those who work from home
- Blender Test- No microphone test would be complete without our signature Vitamix blender test where we set it on high and place it about two feet away. This is a very noisy, and also a very challenging noise test for any headset..
Once again, I have to say that the Engage 50 II did a superb job. I actually had to listen back a couple of times to verify that I heard it right. To me, the Engage 50 II pretty much removed all the different noises. And believe me when I say, most of the headsets we test can’t deliver those kinds of results, which makes the Engage 50 II very impressive.
And in our final test, the Engage 50 II once again passed with flying colors. As it worked to suppress the unwanted background noise, it managed to maintain that excellent voice audio quality. Again, not something all headsets can do, even those considered premium models.
While I’m on the subject of the microphone, you may be interested to know that you can place it on either side, right or left. The truth is, many people have a preference for which side they locate the microphone. With that in mind, a lot of headsets limit the microphone placement to one side only. So it’s nice that that new Jabra Engage 50 II gives you the choice.
So, high praise to Jabra, and to the Engage 50 II team for a job well done on the microphone, and audio quality of this new headset.
What else would contribute to the Engage 50 II claiming the title of best call center headset in the world?
Weight, and no heavyweight
The extreme lightweight of this headset is a real plus. The duo model only weighs 2.3 ounces, which is incredible given most double ear headsets weigh on average about 6-7 ounces, with some weighing as much as 10. So as you can see, this headset is light which is great news for anyone who might plan on wearing this all day in a Contact Center.
And if that 2.3 ounce duo headset weight doesn’t get your attention, then feast your eyes on the weight of the mono version of the Engage 50 II. It tips the scale at a mere 1.6 ounces which is light in the extreme sense.
I find it interesting that Jabra could create a headset that weighs so little, but one that sounds this good. I’m not an Engineer, but I’d have to assume that this is no easy feat.
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Without question, weight plays a key role in all day comfort especially when you stop to consider that Contact Center Agents spend the majority of their day on the phone.
You want a headset that’s as light as possible in order to prevent all the maladies associated with using an uncomfortable headset, which among other things includes pain, and headaches. And speaking of headaches, all these things can lead to headaches for the Contact Center Manager in the form of absences, turnover and general employee dissatisfaction.
Just ask yourself the question: if you had to wear a headset all day long that, to you, was heavy and uncomfortable, would you look forward to coming to work knowing that at the end of the day, you’ll be going home with pain and discomfort?
Headset weight aside, the new Jabra Engage 50 II also has a couple of other things that help to make this a comfortable headset to wear.
Headband and Ear Cushions
The headband on the Engage 50 II is adjustable as you’d expect. After all, we all have different sizes of headset which means there’s no such thing as one size fits all. So, keeping with traditional headset design, the headband is adjustable.
On the top portion of the headband, you’ll find a soft rubber cover. This is to give you more comfort compared to, say, a metal band. This type of headband cover will give you a longer useful life compared to padded bands that are subject to material breakdown over time.
The ear cushions are extremely soft, which is good news because this is a major touch point. Ear cushions rest against the ear all day, so it makes complete sense to have cushions that are as soft as possible.
In my opinion Jabra hit the mark on these cushions because as I said, they’re very soft, and believe it or not, the degree to which a headset ear cushion is padded, and comfortable varies a lot.
Busy light built in
The subject of interruptions has been studied, and the conclusion is that they are a drain on productivity. When you’re concentrating, and you get interrupted, such as when on a phone call, it can take up to twenty minutes to regain your focus. What’s lost in the meantime is productivity.
Anything you can do to help minimize, or even eliminate interruptions is a good idea. The fewer interruptions you have, the longer you can stay focused on the task at hand.
The Jabra Engage 50 II comes with busy lights built into the ear speaker housing. There are two LEDs on the exterior of each ear speaker, which allows others to see when you’re on a call from any angle.
Some headsets that have built in busy lights place the light in a location where it can only be seen from certain angles. That limits the feature to be as effective as it can be, and can result in more interruptions than necessary.
The Jabra Engage 50 II gives you the option to get it with, or without the inline controller.
If you get it without the inline controller, the headset will come with a cable, and USB connector. Any headset controls, such as microphone mute or volume adjustment would be done through the computer, and application.
If you get the headset with the inline controller, you have a number of things you can regulate such as hearing volume, which is controlled using the dial. If you need more hearing volume, simply dial it up, or dial it down to reduce the hearing volume.
The inline controller also has a built in speaker which allows you to hear an incoming call for example. Some computers don’t have speakers, which makes this a useful thing to have available.
There’s also a mute button for those times when you want to momentarily turn off your microphone, as well as a call control button for taking and ending calls, and finally there’s two customizable buttons that allows you to assign different commonly used functions to.
And finally, the base of the inline controller has a rubber base that helps to prevent it from sliding around. Surprisingly, that’s a feature you don’t typically find on controllers. Having it helps to keep the controller nearby for easy access rather than having to reel in your headset cord to find it.
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Connectivity & Variants
The new Jabra Engage 50 II is available in your choice of USB A, or USB C connections. There are many computers using USB A, while most new computers are coming with the type C USB ports. Either way, you have the choice of getting an Engage 50 II with the type of connection you need.
You can also choose between a UC or Teams variant. Having said that, I’ll also say that we do get a lot of questions about what’s the difference between these two versions. Here’s really all you need to know in order to know which one is right for you.
If your company uses Microsoft Teams exclusively, then the Teams version is the perfect choice.
However, if you use Microsoft Teams, but you also use other applications such as Zoom for example, then the UC version would be your best choice.
These days, headsets are more than just a device you plug into a phone or computer. Progress, and technology hasn’t bypassed headsets because now you have several manufacturers that are offering software that’s designed to give you the ability to customize your headset, and manage an enterprise of headsets from one location.
There are several different software programs that can be used with the Engage 50 II.
- Engage+ - Gives you instant feedback on room noise decibels and whether you’re in a safe zone, or noise has reached critical levels. You can view call duration, microphone positioning, mute status and more.
- Jabra Direct - This software download allows you to perform firmware updates to help keep your headset operating at its best. You can also customize the headset to your personal preferences such as audio controls, ringtone settings, hearing protection, remote call answering and even sidetone adjustment.
- Jabra Engage Ai - Analyze, Empathize and Optimize. Software that’s designed to measure customer satisfaction, and improve Agent engagement. Known to reduce average talk time, and improve conversion rates. A free trial is available. Contact us for details.
The Engage 50 II, comes with a warranty that’s longer than what you’ll get on most headsets. Typically, a wired USB headset will come with a one, or two year warranty, but the Engage 50 II gives you a full three years. This means you have longer peace of mind, and less cost for out of warranty repairs or replacements.
Engage 50 II price
We’re all interested in the price of things, because the price in relation to what you’re getting for it is relative. So how much does the Jabra Engage 50 II cost?
Pricey for a wired headset wouldn’t you agree? And I’d be hard pressed to argue that point unless I were to factor into that price a few things.
- If you use the Engage 50 II, in combination with the Jabra Ai software, and you could reduce your Agent talk time, improve recruitment and retention, and improve the customer experience how much would that be worth?
- If you can eliminate some of the on-call interruptions through an enhanced busy light, would that help your bottom line?
- If your callers heard less of the Contact Center background noise, and didn’t need you to repeat yourself, or become distracted by the noise going on around you, would that give them a better, more pleasant call experience? Would that leave a more favorable impression, and help to keep them more fully engaged in the conversation? What would those things be worth?
Just a few things to think about when it comes to justifying the price of this headset because the true price, when you take these things into consideration, is much less than what it appears on the surface.
If you’re looking for a high quality headset solution for your Contact Center, you simply can’t go wrong with the new Jabra Engage 50 II. Frankly, this is an incredible USB headset.
- Very impressive voice audio quality
- Noise reduction at the highest level
- Extremely lightweight for all day comfort
- Your choice of single, or double ear, UC or Teams, and USB-A, and USB-C
- Software programs to compliment the headset, and give you a world of options including improving Agent performance, and improving the customer experience.
- A unique inline controller with built in speaker, dial for volume, and programmable buttons.
- And a busy light that can be seen from anywhere to help eliminate interruptions.
If you manage a Contact Center, this is a headset you really need to check out.
But if a wireless headset is more to your liking, then you might want to consider the Jabra Engage 55 that’s available in a double ear, single ear, or on the ear wearing style.
Have questions, or need some help?
It can get confusing when you’re trying to figure out headset stuff. There really are a lot of different options to consider, and so many different configurations. So rather than going it alone and hoping for a great outcome, why not let us help?
We’ve been helping customers with questions, headset solutions tailored to their specific needs, and even lending a hand getting headsets up and running, or giving some troubleshooting advice since 1994. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make your researching efforts much easier.
Just reach out to us here for some free, expert advice that I know you’ll really appreciate.
Want to save even more money? Trade-In your used headsets.
Well if you’re someone who really appreciates getting a good deal, then round up those tired, outdated old headsets that are in a box parked somewhere in your storeroom. We’ll give you cash or credit for those, and we’ll even pay to ship them to us. That can save you even more money when you apply those funds to some new headsets.
Budget tight? How about new headsets for a low monthly rate?
Last but not least, why not consider leasing your new headsets instead of buying them? You might be saying we only purchase our headsets. Well, consider these points before dismissing this idea altogether.
- You preserve your cash so you can use that cash for running your business rather than tying it up in a depreciating asset.
- You have one low, fixed monthly rate that’s easy to budget around. (headsets start at just $2.00 per month).
- You don’t have to spend additional money on replacement headset accessories, which all headsets require. (because those are included)
- You won’t have to pay out of pocket for headset repairs, and replacements either because your warranty never expires.
- You won’t have to pay a certified e-waste recycling company to dispose of those old headsets, because we’ll take care of that.
- You won’t have to worry about having headsets that aren’t meeting your needs because they get refreshed periodically.
So, if you’d like to learn more about any of our programs, or just need some help, contact us here to see the many convenient ways you can reach us.