If you work in an office with coworkers, or like many, find yourself working from your newly established home office, you’re likely using, or in need of a good quality office headset.
In the Telecommunications industry, there’s been a shift away from using desk phones and a rapid migration towards computer based Softphones for voice communications.
Additionally, there’s been a universal adoption of Zoom type video conferencing software too. If any of this sounds familiar to you, then you can understand and appreciate how a headset plays into this picture.
In this blog, I’ll cover the main points of the Plantronics, now Poly, Blackwire 5220 USB office wired headset for computers. Before I begin though, I wanted to let you know that we produced a video on this topic that includes a test of the microphone for it’s sound quality and how well it performed when loud music was playing in the immediate vicinity.
This is a good test to see how well the microphone does in reducing unwanted background noise. Lastly, if you work in a noisy environment, you might find the link in this video to a new AI software solely designed to further eliminate distracting background noise. If this sounds good to you, here’s the link where you can view the video.
If you’re still reading, then join me as I dig into the Poly Blackwire 5220 office wired USB headset.
First off, allow me to say that the Poly Blackwire 5220 fits into the middle of the pack from a pricing point of view. Poly makes these kinds of headsets that cost more, but they also make models that cost less. So, it seems to be slotted in the middle of their lineup. That said, this is a good headset, and here’s why I think that.
The Poly Blackwire 5220 has excellent sound. That is, the sound you, the headset wearer hears. You can expect to hear your callers loud and clear, and if you’re listening to music while you work, you’ll be pleased with the audio quality there too.
Poly has never enjoyed a reputation for making crappy sounding headsets, and the Blackwire 5220 doesn’t take them there. It’s a solid sounding headset that’s sure not to disappoint. Hats off to Poly for engineering a mid-grade headset with above mid-grade audio.
The microphone does a stellar job to pick up the voice in a crisp, clean, yet rich sound. We test a lot of headsets, and I feel safe in saying, not all of them sound this good.
Having good sound helps to project a professional image and helps to avoid having your callers struggle to hear you, or ask you to repeat yourself due to their hearing struggles. Forget about all that, because you won’t have any issues like this. Just clear, easy to understand sound.
The other aspect of the microphone is noise reduction. How well did it do to reduce unwanted background noise? Quite good actually. We played some loud music from an iPhone a foot or so away from the headset, and the microphone on the Blackwire 5220 did a very acceptable job at reducing the distractive sound.
Just what you want when the kids are noisy, or the dog sees the mailman. Well, you get the idea. You want to keep it professional and cut the noise. The 5220 succeeds here.
No Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
What is Active Noise Cancellation? This is an electronic aid that helps to remove, or filter out unwanted noise. It’s found mostly on premium type headsets, and it’s activated by pressing a button on the headset.
The Poly Blackwire 5220 doesn’t have this feature. Instead, it defaults to the use of what’s referred to as passive noise cancellation. This refers to physical barriers designed to help eliminate noise. In the case of the 5220, it’s the slightly oversized ear cups and cushions.
The ear cups are made of hard plastic and designed to not only house the ear speakers, but to repel room noise through its hard surface. This, combined with larger ear cushions help to keep you focused and not hearing what’s going on in the background.
Considering that the 5220 doesn’t have ANC, it performed well with the passive design to reduce the noise that we threw at it.
Headband suspension pad
The Poly Blackwire 5220 has a feature you don’t find on a lot of office wired headsets. It has a comfort feature that makes wearing it better than a lot of other competing models. This is the pad that runs across the top of the headband.
This pad is suspended and has a sort of rebound design that allows you to find the most comfortable position with this pad that moves as needed. Again, this isn’t a common feature for headsets overall, let along on a headset slotted as mid-grade. Nice detail that aids in the comfort.
While on the subject of the headband, it adjusts so you can make it longer or shorter to fit your exact need. One minor thing here that’s a bit unique is the 5220 headband has numeric reference when adjusting.
In other words, there are numbers associated with the adjustments. This makes it easy to pick up the headset and adjust it to your exact number. Removes the guesswork.
The Blackwire 5220 can connect two ways. First, it comes with a USB connector so you can connect to your computer. But, it also includes a 3.5mm connector so you can use the headset with your devices that utilize a 3.5mm connection.
Most computer headsets will include one type of connector, where the Blackwire 5220 includes two. This additional connection option helps to make this headset more versatile when compared to competing models.
The Poly Blackwire 5220 is compatible with many of the leading applications such as Microsoft, Cisco, Avaya, Google, Zoom, Chime, Amazon Connect and more. You have a versatile headset in the Blackwire 5220.
The ear cups on the 5220 adjust inwards and outwards so you can get the right angle for your specific head shape. This may seem like a minor detail, but honestly, when it comes to office headsets and comfort, the details are what makes all the difference.
Additionally, the 5220 ear speakers rotate 180 degrees so you can lay the headset flat on your desk avoiding the headset being propped up on your desk because the speakers lack movement.
The warranty on the Poly Blackwire 5220 is 2-years. This is pretty standard for office wired headsets. Some makes provide you with a 1-year warranty, while others, like the Discover series, provide a 3-year. Most professional grade office wired headsets fall into this 2-year warranty category making the Blackwire 5220 warranty pretty standard.
The Blackwire 5220 is priced at $109.99 or it can be rented for $7.00/month. Based on the price and the features you receive, I feel this represents a solid value for the money.
If you’re in the market for a computer headset, you simply can’t go wrong by considering the Poly Blackwire 5220. It’s thoughtfully designed, engineered with several nice features, and you’ll get quality sound at an affordable price. It even comes with a carry case in the event you travel and need a headset.
Poly is known for making quality headsets, and the Blackwire 5220 won’t leave you disappointed.