Get the most out of your Unified
with the right headset
Chapter 1: Not Just an Accessory 4
Chapter 2: Bring Headsets Into the UC Conversation 5
Chapter 3: Choosing the Right Headset 6
Chapter 4: Sennheiser: Driving Unified Communications 8
In business environments, few things are as important as communication.
Organizations everywhere recognize the importance of communication in
driving collaboration, productivity and overall business success.
Unified communications (UC)—the integration of
tools like video calling, instant messaging, desktop
sharing, voice, and web conferencing—is more
important than ever. The whole idea behind UC is
that users can communicate more cohesively in
real-time with clients and colleagues—allowing
people across the globe to get in touch with anyone,
at any time, using any device. The result is more
productive employees and seamless interactions
at a fraction of the cost.
A successful UC platform gives users a plethora of
communications options at their fingertips. But when
it really comes down to it, the human voice is still
at the heart of all communication. Reports suggest
that 86% of the impact of communication over the
phone comes from tone of voice.1 It’s no surprise
then, that headsets are a vital part of any robust
A recent Spiceworks survey asked IT professionals
currently using or actively considering UC solutions
about factors that influence and inform headset
purchase decisions for their organization. The survey
looked at the purchase process as well as factors
that influence the adoption of headsets as part of
a larger UC deployment. This eBook presents what
they had to tell us.
Not Just an Accessory
In today’s global workplace, employees now rely
on a mix of desk phones, mobile phones and VoIP
“softphones” to get things done. According to a
recent Software Advice survey, 74% of employees
that work remotely use a softphone on a daily basis.2
As more and more business users opt for mobile
phones and softphones, headsets have an even
greater impact on overall end-user experience.
In today’s workplace, headsets aren’t just periph-
erals. They are important business tools that can
redefine professional communication. Headsets play
a critical role in enabling employees to multitask
and participate effectively in virtual meetings.
Whether employees are using conferencing tools
from their desks, on the road, or in a cafe, head-
sets can help users hear audio as it was meant to
be heard. The best professional-grade headsets
deliver high-fidelity audio, eliminate background
noise and minimize disruption.
In UC-driven environments, headsets can accelerate
the success of a UC deployment—enabling users
to hear the full, nuanced story in every conversation.
Knowledge workers at every level of an organization
can reap the benefits of headset use: better audio
and voice quality, crisper communications, hands-
free meeting participation and improved productivity.
According to the Spiceworks survey, IT professionals
most commonly use headsets for voice calls (93%),
including IP telephony (77%) and softphone calls
(54%). Many also use headsets for web and video
calls (75%), including web conferencing (55%),
multimedia (54%) and video conferencing (51%).
HOW HEADSETS ARE USED IN THE MODERN WORKPLACE
4NOT JUST AN ACCESSORY
IP Telephony Web
Multimedia Soft phones Video
55% 54% 54% 51%
VOICE CALL (NET) = 93%
WEB/VIDEO CALL (NET) = 75%
down the list
During Evaluation (Net) =
During Sale (Net) =
After Purchase (Net) =
Providing the best tool for the job helps employees
quickly adapt to new technologies and achieve sus-
tained user adoption of your UC solution. Businesses
purchasing and deploying UC solutions need to plan
ahead and budget for endpoint devices like head-
sets, which greatly impact the quality of experience
for end users.
Yet, very often, companies invest heavily in a new
UC platform by upgrading their networks, deploying
the latest and greatest software platform, and in-
stalling conference room equipment. But they forget
about one crucial element: headsets.
To get everything you need out of a robust UC
solution, companies need to factor in headsets
during the early planning phases of their UC roll-
outs, since it can impact the seamless adoption of
the entire UC deployment. Making the right head-
set choice can make or break a UC deployment.
Among the Spiceworks survey respondents, just
over half (52%) reported evaluating headsets in
conjunction with planning their UC deployment.
Bring Headsets Into the UC Conversation
HOW HEADSETS FIT INTO THE UC PURCHASE PROCESS
5BRING HEADSETS INTO THE US CONVERSATION
Business users have varying expectations from their
headsets. But for all professional users, a basic need
is to communicate as effectively as possible. When
speaking with coworkers and clients, employees
expect to hear and be heard clearly, using tools that
ensure that background noise is eliminated. Here
are some of the key factors that IT professionals
consider when purchasing professional-grade head-
sets for their organizations:
Comfort. Whether employees work at
their desk, from home or on the road, in a
UC environment, they probably wear their
headset for several hours at a stretch,
communicating and collaborating with
co-workers and clients. Outfitting your
users with a comfortable headset is key to
ensuring the highest level of productivity.
If a headset feels uncomfortable, chances
are good that knowledge workers aren’t
going to wear it for long periods. And if
users start opting out of wearing their audio
endpoint, that can hamper the success of
your overall UC deployment.
Reliability. Businesses want any device
they invest in to last for a considerable
amount of time, without having to worry
about replacing it every few months. Besides
longevity, while evaluating headsets, busi-
ness users also prioritize reliability in terms
of continuous clarity. Given that more and
more employees today regularly work from
“public” spaces such as open plan offices,
kitchen tables, coffee shops and airport
gate areas, they demand headsets that
minimize disruption, heighten voice and
audio quality, and improve overall efficiency.
Service and Support. From an IT
perspective, when businesses invest in
headsets for their UC deployment, the
ease of managing and getting support on
a fleet of headsets is a key consideration.
IT decision makers frequently seek headsets
that are enabled for automatic firmware
updates. It also helps to choose a headset
that has been optimized for UC, so that the
headsets will support all your UC needs.
Many companies favor headset providers
that offer strong warranty options, so that
if problems do occur, it only takes a phone
call to get their solutions quickly replaced.
Value. In today’s workplace, as headsets
are increasingly used by employees at all
levels, companies need to pay attention to
the cost of the device. Price matters, but
so does performance. Many organizations
have discovered that low-cost headsets
aren’t sturdy enough to stand up to repeated
use, easy enough to operate without an
instruction manual, or comfortable enough
for employees to wear all day long. When
bargain headsets don’t deliver the quality
that users demand, they often stop using
the tools—and businesses are deprived of
the benefits and ROI of the new technology.
Brand reputation. When purchasing
headsets for a large number of knowledge
workers, IT decision makers frequently seek
a vendor with a long track record in the
headset market. They tend to turn to brands
that have an established reputation for
innovation, reliability and ease of use.
Choosing the Right Headset
6CHOOSING THE RIGHT HEADSET
The Spiceworks survey revealed that IT professionals
are the leading influencers when it comes to headset
purchases, even though end-users and executives
often contribute to the decision making process
as well. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents
(72%) identified reliability as their top consideration
while selecting a headset provider. They also look
for solutions that offer good value (52%) and come
with robust service and support options (39%).
For IT professionals, the process of identifying and
deploying the right headsets is not without challenges.
They say that the headset lifespan (47%), sound
quality (42%) and cost (36%) pose key challenges
when determining if a headset purchase can increase
ROI for their organization.
TOP 3 CHALLENGES
TOP 3 FACTORS OF CONSIDERATION
Reliability Value Customer
7CHOOSING THE RIGHT HEADSET