In this article, we are going to list out the top headsets for Microsoft Teams that are currently certified. So, what’s so special about Microsoft Teams certified headsets? Well, for starters, they offer complete integration with the Microsoft’s Enterprise Voice client-side features. Just like their Skype for Business cousins, these headsets come with physical hardware buttons to control your audio experience.
Microsoft is already a leader in Enterprise Voice with 70% market share in the U.S and a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report. Microsoft Teams offers voice services on top of the Skype infrastructure, which also includes Skype for Business and the consumer version of Skype.
Some of the audio features of Microsoft Teams are as follows:
- Audio calling from mobile devices plus video on Android, which is coming soon to iOS and Windows Phone.
- Mobile 1:1 audio calling on mobile devices & video on Android and iOS devices
- Full Integration with an existing PSTN network
So, on a high level, what we observed is a standard set of technologies that are leveraged for online meetings experiences in Skype for Business and also Teams. However, in Microsoft Teams the experience focuses more on integrating meetings into the conversation and content sharing that make it the central hub for teamwork. Meetings in Skype for Business also enable a broader set of scenarios including dial-in audio conferencing services, options for external guest admission, large broadcasts and video conferencing room systems on-premises and on the cloud.
To summarize, the entire Office 365 collaboration portfolio is handled by Skype, which is the backbone for enterprise voice and video.
Also, Read – Best Office Headsets for “Skype for Business”
Headsets for Microsoft Teams: The List
Since Microsoft Teams offer you to connect to anyone using the existing corporate phone system for domestic and International calls, it becomes imperative to have a matching audio headset to make things simple and user-friendly.
We will start with the usual list of Office headsets which primarily is a voice focussed device meant for conference calls which typically offer an active noise cancellation system. So, let’s get started:
1. Jabra Evolve 75 Stereo-MS
The Jabra Evolve 75 is designed for concentration in the open office environments that offer HD audio quality. Like you would expect, the headset comes with an integrated light which shows your presence information. The Active Noise Cancellation allows you to cancel out all the noise that is typically present on a busy office floor.
We were also pleasantly surprised by the music performance of this device. The highs and lows are great but not ideal for bass lovers. We got more than 10 hours of battery life from it, and we expect this to be consistent across scenarios. The build quality is, ok, and we have seen better.
We also noted that the Bluetooth range is highly sensitive to the battery levels and not consistent where thick walls are present. Overall, it is an excellent device for the price and offers complete integration with Microsoft teams.
2. Voyager Focus UC -M by Plantronics
The UC (Unified Communications) certified Voyager Focus is well received in the market and offers excellent voice and audio quality in office scenarios. Just like the others on this list, the headset offers noise cancellation and comes with a toggle switch to turn it on/off.
The music offered on the device is rich and high fidelity. Don’t expect high bass as it is not meant to be a gaming headset. The Noise-canceling feature (ANC) is very light, and It’s not overbearing, but its the subtle effect is hard to notice. If you get some motion sickness from Bose noise canceling, these shouldn’t bother you at all.
It offers you a dedicated Bluetooth adapter for better reception and range. It also provides direct connectivity to your laptop/phone in case you don’t want to use an extra USB port.
The “Plantronics Hub Desktop” Windows software allows you to customize the headset for different settings. The built-in profiles come with options such as GoToMeeting, WebEx, Skype for business, etc. Overall, a reliable device.
The boom microphone works great and is one of the best features on a Plantronics headset. Using the dedicated button for pass-through mode, you can hear what people say around you without actually taking the headset off which comes handy in certain situations.
Listening with ANC or Active Noise Cancellation works well and helps to remove background noise. Even though it is not close to the Bose QC-25 (or 35) but is good enough for anyone, who intends to use it in office and home.
3. Sennheiser MB 660 MS (UC)
The Sennheiser MB 660 is a wireless “Skype for Business” certified business headset which comes with adaptive noise cancellation built-in. The implementation of noise-cancellation in this headset is a bit different. The noise-cancellation levels are adjusted based on the environment and the amount of noise a person currently in.
For example, if you frequently work from Starbucks, where typical cafe noise and the frequent blender loudness can trigger the ANC (dubbed NoiseGard Technology) to its highest levels. Triple-mic for noise cancellation works in tandem to deliver clear sound, regardless of the environmental background noise.
The bigger battery offers up to 30 hours of battery time, but we got a lot less due to the testing scenarios that we threw at it. The ANC is more powerful when compared to the Jabra and Plantronics ones, and is ideal for open office environments.
The only problems that we saw with these pairs are the touchpad on the ear cup that was sometimes erratic in it’s response to commands.
4. Sennheiser SDW 5016 “Single-Sided” Bluetooth Headset
The SDW 5016 (& 5015) are enterprise focussed headsets that comes with a center Hub controller in the box. The device is compatible with multiple Unified Communications vendors such as Skype, Webex, etc. It is also officially supported by Teams. However, you would need to update the firmware for the hardware switches to work properly.
The wideband sound noise-canceling technology offers voice clarity for office environments. The Hub (base) supports up to 4 headsets simultaneously and provides a secured DECT communication.
However, do note that these are not meant for playing music, and is ideal only for online conferences and phone calls.
The device incorporates an inbuilt voice-activated system that will prompt there is an incoming call. The nearest comparable headset to this is the Jabra Pro 970, but we like this one more.
For the noise cancellation, you should try talking with a desk fan on your face and see how wonderfully this headset works.
5. Jabra “Engage 65” Stereo Edition Bluetooth Professional UC Headset
Just like the SDW 5016, the Engage 65 is also a DECT certified wireless headset, which means encrypted voice communications. It comes with a long range of 150 meters, and the company promises 13 hours of battery life but may vary based on usage.
You can be connected to up to two devices to the base (Hub), and the integrated speaker software intelligently separates noise from speech, thereby improving the user experience. You can customize all incoming calls that can be adjusted to sound levels based on your preferences that stays constant for all-day comfort.
Further customizations can be done using the Jabra Connect app. When you connect the device to a Windows PC, the latest drivers will automatically get installed, and you should be up and running in under two minutes.
We tested the headset with a range of 200 meters and it worked fine, anything beyond was not pleasant. While this headset works well with Skype, it does not work well with a lot of music apps on smartphones which was duly noted by us.
In this compilation, we listed out the best wireless headsets that are compatible with Microsoft Teams. All of them are stereo headsets barring one. We hope to continue this series with some cheaper wired options on a different post.
We hope you like our recommendations. Questions or suggestions are welcome in the comment box below. Cheers!