Poly HW540 Headset Review + Mic Test VIDEO - Headset Advisor

When it comes to headsets for computers, it seems that wireless models get all the love. After all, there’s no wire and they typically have a lot of cool features.

However, not everyone has a need for all that, and they might also not have the budget for it either. If any of this sounds familiar, then this blog is for you. 

Poly, formerly Plantronics, has a very nice family of wired headsets for use with almost every make and model of desk phone, and there are some models for use with computers as well.

plantronics hw540 headset

I’m referring to the HW500 series of wired headsets. In this blog, I’ll be focusing on one model specifically, which is the HW540. I chose to showcase this particular model because it’s a 3-in-1 convertible headset.

If you’re unfamiliar with what a convertible headset is, don’t worry because I’ll explain it thoroughly after I do a couple of things first. 

Poly HW540 Review + Mic Test Video

Designed for Deskphones 

To begin, this is a wired headset that’s designed to be used with a deskphone. This could be an analog phone, digital or even Voice over IP (Voip) model. In order to make a connection to a phone when using this headset, you’ll need a second piece.

This could be an adapter base, or a direct connect cable, depending on the phone make and model you’re using.

Need a computer connection instead? 

If you’re like a growing number of businesses that have migrated away from desk phones, and are using computer based communications instead, you can still use a Poly HW500 series headset. Poly offers two specific models for computer connection.

These are the HW545 and HW535. You won’t need to purchase a separate device to get it to work with your computer either because it comes with a USB connector for direct connection to your computer. 

This isn’t to say that the standard, desk phone model can’t be used with a computer, because it can. It would require an additional connector cable in order to convert the phone connector (quick disconnect cable) to a USB.

So if you want the flexibility to switch between desk phone connection, and computer, then the standard version with an adapter cable would be a solid choice. 

Have it your way 

Anyone who’s purchased headsets for a team will know how challenging that can be. Some people prefer to wear a headset over their head, where others might prefer to wear one over their ear because earpieces don’t give you that look like you’re taking an order at a fast food drive through.

Also, some people get headaches if they wear anything over their head. 

The good news on this is the HW540 comes with three uniquely different wearing options

  1. Over the head - covers one ear 
  2. Over the ear 
  3. Behind the neck 

Having a headset that comes with three wearing choices helps to make deploying headsets to a team easy. For those who prefer a headband, that’s included. For those

that can’t wear a headband style headset, there’s the on ear option. And, if neither of those wearing styles are of interest, there’s the neckband option also included.

So rather than trying to tally a list of everyone’s wearing preferences, and then purchasing according to that list, the Poly HW540 helps to simplify the purchasing process for those buying for a team. 

Maybe you want to consider other options within this HW500 series line besides the 540 convertible model. If so, then here are the other models available within this headset family: 

HW530 - This is an on-ear headset (good for those who don’t want to wear a headset that’s worn over the head) 

HW510 - This is a mono, or over the head, single ear headset (good for those that want to hear what’s going on around them) 

HW520 - This is a duo, or over the head, double ear headset (good for noisy environments) 

Comfort by design 

Getting back to the HW540, you could be wondering if it’s a comfortable headset. And, that would be a very reasonable thing to wonder about if you’re someone who spends the better part of the day on phone or video calls.

The last thing you want is to end your day with a headache or muscle pain and tension. So is the HW540 comfortable? My answer to that is yes! 

First off, the weight of a headset plays a pivotal role in comfort. Granted, it’s not the only thing, but it is important. Here’s how much the three different wearing styles weigh: 

Over the head option: 32 grams (1.1 ounces). A slice of bread, or six sheets of paper weigh about this much. So, as you can visualize, that’s not much. In fact, this 1.1 ounce weight makes this among the lightest mono headsets available. 

Over the ear option: 22 grams (.77 ounces). Referencing the same items as above, that would make this headset’s weight about the same as ¾ slice of bread, or about four sheets of paper. Needless to say, that’s not much. So with this earpiece, you can expect it to be light and comfortable. 

Behind the neck: 24 grams (.84 ounces). The weight of this headset is pretty much the same as the earpiece. Light for sure.

The different wearing styles all use the same ear speaker and microphone. You simply swap out headband, earpiece or neckband to configure it the way you want. The different wearing styles are very light, and that weight helps to make them a good choice for those needing all day use. 

The Poly HW540 is not only light, but it’s durable because its laser welded construction and metal joints ensure quality, and a long useful life. 

The microphone can be positioned on the right, or left side, whichever you prefer. This may sound insignificant for sure, but believe it or not, a lot of headsets don’t give you this choice. And, the truth is, some people prefer to position the microphone on one side or the other, so it’s nice to have that option. 

How about sound quality? 

No review would be complete without some dialogue about sound quality. Sound quality refers to how you can expect to sound to your callers, and how much unwanted sound the headset can remove from your conversations. 

To help answer these questions, we put this headset through these tests: 

  1. Voice sound quality in a quiet environment. This is to get an idea how it sounds without the headset having to remove background noise. 
  2. Voice sound quality, and background noise reduction with dogs barking
  3. Voice sound quality, and background noise reduction with office noise
  4. Finally, Voice sound quality and background noise reduction with a loud blender running on high about 2-3 feet away.

    Yes, I know, most people would likely not be mixing up a batch of Margaritas while on important business calls. But, it is challenging, and it does a good job to test a headset’s ability to remove loud noise. 

How did the Poly HW540 do in these tests?

In short, it did a remarkably good job. The microphone sound quality was professional sounding while being used in a quiet environment. It continued to impress when there were those unwanted noises present. And I have to say that not every headset we’ve tested in the past have done as well. 

So if you’re an at home worker that regularly deals with a barking dog, children noise or even the neighbor using the chainsaw, then the HW540 would be a good headset choice if you’d like to filter it out.

Maybe you work in an office with all those enthusiastic coworkers. That can really turn up the decibels. The truth is, your callers want to hear you, and not all that noise going on around you. So, give them the professional sound experience they deserve by using a headset that’s capable of putting a lid on noise, just like the Poly HW540 can do. 

Final thoughts 

If you’re looking for a headset for use with your office desk phone, or one that can also work with a computer and mobile device, then the Poly HW540 is well worth your time to consider. Here are the main reasons why I’m a fan of this headset. 

  • It’s affordably priced at $69.99 
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty 
  • It gives you three different wearing options, all included 
  • It’s extremely lightweight so you can wear it comfortably all day long
  • It connects to a desk phone, but has the option to connect to a computer
  • It features wideband audio so you’ll get a great audio experience
  • The microphone will give you that professional sound you want and need
  • The microphone does an excellent job to reduce unwanted background noise 

So if you’re looking for a headset for yourself, or for your team and you’re not sure which wearing style is best for you or others, then the HW540 is a slam dunk. It comes with the headband, earpiece and neckband wearing options making it a safe buying choice.

You’ll not only get amazing sound quality, but the HW540 is among the lightest headsets available from any manufacturer. This means that if you spend your day communicating, this is a headset that will be comfortable. Toss out the Tylenol, and get this headset instead. 

Have questions, or need some help? 

Hey, we’ve been helping customers with headsets since 1994. We know a lot about these things, and we can help you too. And no, we won’t be asking for your credit card, or surprise you with a bill in the mail.

Our help is free, and our California based support team is ready and available to help you Monday - Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. PST. So if you have any questions feel free to contact us today. 

Convertible headsetHw540 headsetPlantronicsPlantronics convertible headsetPlantronics hw540Poly hw540Polycom

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