When it comes to using business headsets for Softphone calls, or even for your Zoom or Teams meetings, there are very few available wearing styles. The styles you most commonly see are those worn over the head, or, to a lesser extent, on the ear.
One popular wearing style commonly used with mobile phones is the earbud design. This headset fits into the ear and doesn’t have a headband nor microphone boom.
The popularity of this style of headset increased when Apple introduced the Earpods for use with the iPhones and iPads. Since then, scores of other manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon. Today you see countless earbud options from Asia as well as from some of the leading manufacturers like Jabra in their highly popular Elite 65t model.
Unquestionably, there isn’t one type of headset that works for everyone. Take for example the most common headset used in business today, the binaural. This is a headset that goes over the head, and covers both ears. Though it’s highly used worldwide, it isn’t right for everyone.
Take for example, those who get migraine headaches by having something on their head. Clearly a binaural headset wouldn’t work for them. Or, people with small ears who can’t seem to find an on-ear headset that stays in place on their ear without falling off. The earbud design is another option for those in business who need something different, or just something they’re more familiar with.
Are earbud type headsets good enough to use in a business setting? Or, are they really more appropriate for entertainment and personal calls?
Check out a segment of the Headset Advisor show where Dustin, David and Drew discuss earbud headsets, and the recently announced new earbud headset for business from Logitech, the Zone True Wireless.
A few drawbacks to earbud headsets for business historically, has been:
- The quality of the microphones are insufficient for business use 2. The microphones lack adequate background noise suppression. 3. The battery life isn’t long enough for business use.
- They rely on Bluetooth connectivity and don’t come with a USB dongle/adapter So what does that mean if you plan to use your earbuds for business then?
You should expect to have less than professional sound quality on your important business calls.
Your callers will be able to hear noise going on around you such as people talking, babies crying, dogs barking, office machinery operating etc.
You’ll likely need to cease using your earbuds at some point during the day because the battery isn’t stout enough to crank out a full day's work.
You should expect to have inconsistent sound quality and compromised wireless range.
How’s it sound so far? Truth be told, earbuds are a bad idea for business. This is particularly true when there are other options available that sound far superior, have batteries that last far longer, and will give you significantly more wireless range and a more consistent experience overall. The problem is, just not in an earbud design….
Logitech has recently announced they’re releasing a new wireless earbud designed headset for business. For a lot of people, this will come as great news. There are so many people who use, and like earbud headsets, that having one for business is sure to be a winner for Logitech and the population as a whole.
Many people know Logitech as a company synonymous with computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice etc. Yet, Logitech has dabbled in headsets too, mostly affordable wired models. More recently, Logitech has released other business grade headsets such as the Zone wireless. Business calibre models like the Zone Wireless suggests that Logitech has interest in the business headset space. And, with the new Zone True Wireless, it’s another example of that.
What we do know about the Zone True Wireless
We do know that this is a design that people want. Just look at the highly popular Jabra 65t earbuds, and you’ll know that people like that in the ear design.
USB Adapter included
We know that the Logitech Zone True Wireless will come with a USB dongle/adapter. This will help to enhance wireless range, and help to provide better audio quality.
Certified for use with popular apps
We do know that the Zone True Wireless is certified for use with:
- Microsoft Teams
- Google Meet
- Google Voice
- Cisco Webex, BlueJeans and GoToMeeting
We know that you can get up to 6.5 hours of talk time, and up to 12 hours of listening time. Recharges in 2 hrs 45 minutes (3 hrs if charging in the case). 5 minutes on the charger gets you 2 hours of listening time, or 1 hour of talk time.
The Zone True Wireless promises a wireless range up to 100 feet (30 meters).
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
We know that the Zone True Wireless features ANC so background noise in your environment isn’t disruptive to your concentration.
Anyone who’s worn a headset knows that you will get interruptions, even when on a call. This normally requires that you take off your headset in order to have a conversation. The Zone True Wireless has a feature called Transparency Mode which allows you to press a button to have a conversation without the need to remove the earbuds.
Various Ear Gel Sizes
Not all ears are created the same. Some people have larger ears, while others have smaller ones. As a result, you can’t have one size fits all when it comes to ear gels that fit into the ear canal. Logitech understands this which is why they include a small, medium and large size ear gel. For most people, one of these sizes will work.
6 total microphones
The Zone True Wireless has 3 microphones in each earbud for a total of 6. These microphones serve to enhance voice pickup, remove unwanted background noise for you, and your callers.
Through the Logi Tune app, you can make adjustments to sidetone so you can regulate how much of your voice you hear. Being able to adjust sidetone is a feature that many people ask for in business headsets, so it’s nice to see that Logitech took note of that and incorporated it into their new earbuds.
The Zone True Wireless has the ability to connect to two devices simultaneously. A good example of this would be connecting to your computer and your mobile phone without the need to pair and unpair. Instead, it’s seamless. Also, you can have up to 8 stored connections which is very convenient.
The Zone True Wireless has a number of things you can control right from the earbud. Among them include:
- Answer/end/reject call
- Music pause/play/next song/previous song
- ANC/Transparency mode on/off
- Volume up/down
Customizations with the Logi Tune app
You'll be able to easily adjust your Logitech Zone TWS earbuds for your preferred experience when you download the Tune app. Meaning, you can manage mute, view charge status, adjust sidetone control, and set the 5 band equalizer for listening experience tailored to your ears!
What we don’t know about the Zone True Wireless
Microphone sound quality
Given that this product isn’t available at the time of this blog post, we don’t know how the microphone sounds. Will the voice quality be good enough for use on important business calls? We just don’t know. My guess is it will be, but time will tell. Once it’s available, we’ll do a review of it that will include testing the microphone against typical office noise as well as against our signature blender test. Stay tuned for that!
How much noise the microphone will remove
One element of a good microphone is how well it picks up your voice. You know, the volume, clarity and tone. There is another element to a good microphone which is how much background noise it removes. We don’t know just yet how well the microphones on the Zone True Wireless will remove unwanted background noise. Once we get one in stock we’ll run it through the paces to see how well it does.
No doubt the Logitech Zone True Wireless stated range will come up a bit short compared to the 100 feet it promises. As noted in their product datasheet, the range is based on an open field/line of sight rating. Offices have obstacles such as walls, elevators, windows, people, desks, partitions and more.
All these things degrade the wireless signal, which in turn, reduces the amount of wireless range. If you use the headset in an environment without obstructions, then you’d likely get the range noted. But that’s highly unlikely given the places we all work.
I expect the Zone True Wireless will give about 50-60 feet (15-18 meters) in a typical work environment. In testing many other headsets by different manufacturers, they all track at about half of the stated range. If this holds true with the Zone True Wireless, then 50-60 feet is about right. We’ll test the range once we receive our first shipment.
The fact that Logitech is responding to the needs and wants of the market is impressive. Other manufacturers have similar plans in the works, but are waiting to make sure that they have the audio characteristics dialed in well before introducing them. It appears that Logitech is out front on this, and will have an earbud style headset that’s appropriate for business use. We’ll soon find out for sure, but at this point, it does look that way.
I like the fact that they’re including the USB adapter because that’s the piece missing on many other earbud style headsets. That, combined with current microphone technology for quality voice, and background noise suppression, both help to make this usable in the business space.
All the other nice features may well serve as icing on the cake once you get past the USB adapter and the high tech microphones. The transparency mode for example, is a nice convenience because you don’t have to take off the earbud to speak with someone. And, the Active Noise Cancellation is unexpected in earbuds, and a helpful feature for you to remain focused on your work, and not distracted by the sounds around you.
The Logitech Zone True Wireless is priced at $299.00 and comes with a 2-year warranty. Logitech plans to introduce a wired version of this earbud headset with an anticipated price of around $100.00 U.S.
I think Logitech has hit the mark with the Zone True Wireless. It’s the type of headset people have been asking for, especially with the USB adapter, and a good microphone and battery. This product seems to check all the right boxes, but time will tell. As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and I do like pudding, but will this one be of the tasty variety, or one that leaves you disappointed?