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Headset Cordless Phones? 39

Posted by Cliff
from the ditching-the-handset dept.
PeteCool asks: "Lately my phone calls, mostly the technical ones, are getting longer and longer. The usual phone set isn't acceptable, and the 'shoulder trick' to hold the phone when using the keyboard isn't enough anymore. I've been looking in stores in the area for all-in-the-headset handless cordless phones - the ones with a little box wired to the headset that holds on your belt don't look comfortable at all - but I haven't found anything really great. I've found this all-in-one model from GN Netcom, but it's way too expensive for me. I'm certainly not the first one looking for that kind of phone. What have you guys found, what do you use, what do you recommend?"
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Headset Cordless Phones?

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  • by bdahlem (92909) on Friday January 11, 2002 @05:52AM (#2822315)
    I know you said you didn't like the cordlesses with a box and headset, but what about a normal cordless phone with a headset. Most Midrange 900 Mhz and 2.4 Ghz models allow you to plug in a headset that looks like the one you showed, and attach the handset to your belt or drop it into your pocket. This gives you the added bonus of not needing the headset for short calls, and being able to switch back and forth.

    BD
    • I agree, get a digital cordless phone and then get a headset. This is my solution and it works brilliantly.

      I would recommend a Platronics headset, they sound great with the added bonus of being able to plug into a mobile phone with the approriate adapter. The model I bought (M130) has great background noise cancellation, so good that I have answered the phone in my car doing 70Mph+ and they didn't realise I was in the car until I told them!

      You can find pictures of the headsets here [goeswireless.com] but don't go to www.platronics.com as it re-directs to a site not suitable for work viewing ;)

      • It's Plantronics [plantronics.com].
        You can get them for desk phones as well as cordless/mobile. I can vouch for the desk models being excellent (bought one from Ebay myself); next move is to get hold of either a cordless I can connect one to, or a second-hand cordless I can hack ;-)
    • I have to agree... I was working from home for a short period, and I never got the hang of "the shoulder trick". Went to Sears, plunked down $14 bucks on a single-ear headpiece with swiveling microphone, plugged it into my cordless. Works great. If you're going to mostly be sitting at a desk coding, troubleshooting, etc., just put the cordless somewhere non-obtrusive and go with that.

      Eric

  • You could always use a mobile (cell!) phone and plug in a hands-free kit. Of course, this may be impractical in some countries where mobile call rates make it too expensive.
  • BOTH EARS! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gnovos (447128) <{ten.deppihc} {ta} {sovong}> on Friday January 11, 2002 @06:39AM (#2822433) Homepage Journal
    When you talk on a regular phone, you have to flip ears every so often, right? Well the same is true when you wear one of these after a while. Get one with two ears and you'll never have to do that... and it's a very cool effect. It sounds like they are right there with you!
    • personally, i've used a headset phone for quite a few years now, and i don't feel the need to switch ears. it's pretty comfortable. i also think i'd prefer keeping one ear open, to listen for the door or that sort of thing.

      then again, 2 ears would help if you were somewhere a bit noisy.
  • When I worked on a console at a network control center, we used Plantronics Starsets. They were very comfortable. You would have to plug it into a cordless phone.
  • I use a Radio Shack phone - had it for over 3 years. It works great and is not cumbersome at all. The mic swivels to either side so that I can "change ears". It set me back less than $100.00 at that time.
  • Many options... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by cyborg_monkey (150790)
    at the plantronics website.

    http://www.plantronics.com/home/index.html
  • On Plantronics or GN Netcom.

    If you get a cheap headset, you'll suffer from poor clarity and a sore ear. You'll sound like you are on a payphone in a bus depot to whomever gets to talk to you.
  • by smartin (942) on Friday January 11, 2002 @09:13AM (#2822755)
    I haven't found anyone making one of these yet but what i'd like to see is a set of headphones that are usable both as a hands free set for a phone and for listening to music from my computer. It seems like an obvious device but so far I have not been able to find such an animal.

    Alternatively a simple box that plugs into your handset jack on your phone and then lets you plug in a set of head phones, a mic (or combo of both) and line out from you pc, would do the trick. I could have a simple selector button on top to choose between phone and audio.
  • The plantronics CT-10 is a VERY nice phone for these situations. Easy to dial, nice small and not too heavy.

    Runs about 130$+ from CDW and well worth the cost.
  • I found that a $20 cordless phone (900MHz - 2.4GHz interferes with 802.11b) and $12 headset works perfectly for me. Make sure the cordless has a belt clip and headset jack. A hold button is nice...

    -Adam
  • I telecommuted for 14 months (From canada to UK), and much of my day was spent on the phone (Don't believe people when they say that telecommuting == e-mail correspondence).

    After literally getting backaches, I purchased a Plantronics (clip on belt) style phone. Has headset with boom mic.

    I love it. Seriously, it was / is (nearly) perfect for me. The sound quality is superior to normal phones, and the convenience is great.

    If only it had Caller ID. I found (and people differ so YMMV) that the headset-on-a-wire was not perfect, but it was good enough that I could put the 'block' in my pocket, and wonder through the house making coffee etc. while in the middle of a conference call... it has a 'mute' button which is a must... For me the price/convenience/performance ratios were good, and the next level o functionality was prohibitively priced (at the time) although in retrospect I would have got CallerID.

    Anyways, IIRC, it was about $170CND.

    gus

    P.S. I have no other relationship with plantronics other than a happy customer.
  • Hello Direct just sent me a junk catalog where they were touting a new Bluetooth enabled headset, but, of course, I'm not in the market for one, so I threw it out. There doesn't seem to be anything on their website [hellodirect.com] about it. How's that for informative?
    • http://www.hellodirect.com/catalog/Product.jhtml?P RODID=12099&CATID=2010

      http://www.hellodirect.com/catalog/Product.jhtml ?P RODID=12785&CATID=2010

      Bluetooth headsets. Very cool, very expensive.

      Eric
  • In my experience, I have found that the ultimate freedom comes through utilization of a widely available feature on many phones - the hands-free speaker-phone!!!

    Now, I know what you are thinking...noisy, impolite, and hard to understand!!! Well, as is true with ANYTHING, quality is a direct function of price... There are sets that have cheap speaker-phone capabilities and then there are some (such my own...) that have high quality speaker-phones. With my current setup, I have NEVER recieved a single complaint from a co-worker or a client!!!

    Of course, YMMV, but I have evaluated several different form factors of phones including the Plantronics heads sets, cell phones with hand-free capabilities to the standard hand sets; all in a wide price range. IMHO, none compare to the total freedom provided via speaker phone!!!

  • For God's sake, USE IT!

    Google is your friend [google.com].

    - A.P.
    • I grant that for many Ask Slashdot questions, they would have been better off going to Google. But for things like this, you're missing the point.

      He's not asking what exists, he's asking what people use and recommend. Most of the information that Google comes up with is marketing drivel. And even the personal opinions out there may not be helpful to us geeks: Slashdot readers are likely to be much more fussy about high-tech tools like this.
  • I haven't worked there since I left for college, but I remember AT&T or VTech making a decent headset cordless phone, and it wasnt that expensive if memory serves.
  • If you want an Uber headset, you have to be prepared to pay price. Hello Direct, a company that is never a price leader, sells the GN9020 for $350 [hellodirect.com]. "No wire" headsets thru them start at $300. With RF brain cancer shaping up to be the tobacco of the new millenium, I wouldn't want such a thing on my head, but if I did I would happily shell out $350.

    I'll parrot the crowd saying "Cordless + Headset", and toss out "Cordless + Speakerphone." I use a Siemens 4200. It has no headset jack, but it has a speakerphone on the handset (not the base). People can't tell when I have them on speaker, and it doesn't freak out when there is heavy background noise. Panasonic sells a similar unit (with headset jack to boot), and I believe AT&T does as well. They can all be found at your local Best Buy or Office Depot.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Take a look at a 43-007 at your local Radioshack. Its a combo Desktop and Headset Cordless phone. The headset looks very weird (the headset speakers don't actualy touch your head..take a look) but is very comfortable. Orig. Retail was $199.99, now disc. for $89.99.
  • Anybody know if the Plantronics headphones can be unplugged from one of their amplifiers and then plugged into the handset of a cordless (Siemens Gigaset), or even combined with an adapter for a cell phone (Qualcomm)?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The VTech model VT 1511 phone has 4 pieces in the box: a desktop phone (sort of lightweight, but no problems so far) with the transceiver; a desktop charging stand which uses inductive coupling to handle passing the EMF around; a headset (two ears, molded parietal-region battery/transciever area -- no wires of any sort!); and a credit-card sized, neck-strap having dialer unit with an IR interface to the headset.

    I think it's a damn great model. The MSRP is like $199, and Staples.com delivered for $99, but I ended up getting a price match for $69 each on two.

    It's 900 MHz digital, and its range has been as far as I have had opportunity to use it (about 100 feet through 1 internal, 1 external wall still sounded more or less crystal).

    No belt clip, no nothing. I like it a lot. It does feel rather cyborgesque to see someone who has forgotten they're wearing the comfortable headset unit.

    Shop around, they should be well under $100 now online (delivery non inclus). Also, check your standard product rating sites, etc, if any exist which are either still funded or noncommercial.

    R
    • I don't normally "me too," but I must second the opinion that the V-Tech 1511 is a wonderful headset/desk phone combo. One thing to be aware of, however, is that you must not stress the earpiece assembly, as there is only a small piece of plastic to hold it all together. If it breaks, a little superglue will fix it alright, but not if you have a moron for a room-mate who won't listen to you when you tell him he can't use it, and he pulls the whole headset apart putting it on his head. It is, however, by far the most comfortable headset I've ever worn, and it has great battery life.

      Also of interest is the battery charger/backup built into the base unit. I got mine not long after they came out, and the unit I got came with two batteries. It's perfect for those of us that spend many hours on the phone each day. Although, with NiMH batteries, it has fairly good lasting power. Overall a wonderful phone that I wouldn't hesitate to buy again.

      -Nathan

    • I have one of those too. I think I got mine from Amazon; it was about $80 four or five months ago.

      The design of the headset is such that it doesn't actually place any pressure on your ears. Not only is this more comfortable (no sweaty ear syndrome during long calls), but it also means that you can clearly hear other things going on around you while on the phone or waiting for a call, without removing the headset.

      I do wish they'd included a redial button on the headset, but that's mainly because I tend to forget to grab the dialer pendant. Overall I've been very pleased with it.
  • Uhm, what are you talking about? That All-In-One Model [gnnetcom.com] you mention, ISN'T a phone at all. It is ONLY a wireless headset that you can connect to a phone.

    Well, I'd say search Radioshack.com [radioshack.com], often they have a lot of models online that they don't have in their stores.. and different sales, availability, etc.

    As far as a corded model, I recently got the 43-2151 or ET-2151 [radioshack.com] which is a good CORDED model. It's got Caller ID & Call-Waiting ID (for those of you not in the know, a phone or other device has to be capable of Callwaiting ID to receive the caller ID data for the second incoming call, which a lot of devices don't have.), is small, and is just well designed. I was also able to get this on sale for $29.95.

    I think it leads to a number of aspects to look at.. the size of the keypad/control on your wireless device, the headset (how particular are you, is there one type you like over another, does it have interchangable headsets - in other words a standard jack, so you can change the headset if you want?), what type of batteries or battery pack does it use?, does it have caller ID/call waiting ID, how durable is it, and of course, what is the price?

    First, determine what you want, and need, and then go shopping. Personally, the cordless models for what I want are not yet in a price I wish to pay. I've noticed that you can get some good ones at a decent price, however, they are the lower end 900mhz and such models, and their security isn't as good as I would like it to be.

  • BAM! (Score:2, Informative)

    by DRACO- (175113)

    Hello Direct's headset page in their catlog [hellodirect.com]

    They seem to have really expanded their selection since the last time I saw it.

    DRACO-

  • I've had this one [amazon.com] for about 15 months now and I really like it.

    It's comfortable, the battery last a long time, and the range is good. Because we have a two year old (1 year when we got the phone) the style of phone that had a cord down to the belt cliped pack was terrible. She would grab the cord and rip it off my head (or my wife's head).

    The only downside is that lately when we adjust the mic it makes static. It's only while we're moving the mic so we consider it livable. However, it's not ideal.

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