A2DPAbbreviation of 'Advanced Audio Distribution Profile'. Also called the AV profile, A2DP is a Bluetooth profile that transfers audio from a mp3-capable device to a headset.
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)Also called Active Noise Control/Reduction. ANC cancels environmental sounds by producing an “anti-noise”, an audio wave completely out of phase with your ambient sounds. This lets you hear better in noisier environments.
AmplifiersThese connect headsets to phones and give you a larger volume range than the headset natively offers.
AnalogAnalog connections use the 3.55mm headphone/mic jack.
Audio SensingA multi-connectivity feature which detects your device’s audio source to whichever is transmitting. Some manufacturers, such as Plantronics, use this technology to automatically switch when you get a call.
AUDIOIQ®AudioIQ makes wireless conversations effortless and pleasant, regardless of the environment. For incoming calls, AudioIQ automatically adapts to background noise levels and intelligently improves the receive quality, clarity and volume level. For outgoing calls, AudioIQ reduces background noise for listeners up to 7-8 decibels, or by approximately 50 percent. It also minimizes interference from artifacts such as speech distortions to maintain exceptionally clear voice intelligibility.
Auto AnswerAutomatically pick up a call when you put on your headset.
AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile)Abbreviation of: Audio/Video Remote Control Profile. This is the technology which allows you to use play, pause, stop, skip, and go back controls over a Bluetooth connection.
BinauralBinaural headsets have speakers over both ears, and headband connecting them.
BluetoothA wireless signal (at 2.4GHz) which transmits between Bluetooth-enabled devices. Bluetooth replaces conventional wires by transmitting audio, video, or controls. In the headset industry, we use this tech for audio and control features.
Boom MicrophoneA microphone attached to a pole or arm.
BTAbbreviation of Bluetooth.
Call ButtonA button on the headset used to pick up or hang up calls.
CALL CLARITY™A proprietary Plantronics technology that uses electronic signal processing to enhance transmission and reception through innovative noise reduction techniques.
CLEARLINE™A Plantronics audio technology that helps to reduce common problems with business conversations that stem from poor audio quality, including repeats, errors, and listening fatigue. It is compatible with both traditional phones and headsets as well as wideband VoIP phones and headsets. It provides advanced echo management, delivers consistent and comfortable call volume, reduces background noise, and protects against loud noises.
ConvertibleConvertible headsets have detachable headbands so you can switch between an over-the-ear configuration and an over-the-head configuration.
Cordless AmplifierA device that connects to your phone and makes the transmitted sound louder. A cordless amplifier can be controlled remotely.
Cordless SystemA cordless amplifier and headset.
Cross TalkCall interference caused by accidental energy transference from another circuit.
DECTAbbreviation of ‘Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications’. DECT is a private radio frequency (1.9GHz) for sound signals. It is designed specifically for using many headsets (or similar devices) in an office environment, since using several Bluetooth connections in a small area is known to cause interference.
Docking StationA term for headset base, i.e., where the headset is docked for charging. See base.
Drop-OutA short audio signal loss.
DSPAbbreviation of ‘digital signal processing’. Works to reduce background noise and improve sound quality on stereo headsets.
Dynamic Noise ReductionANC technology which automatically adjusts to different noises, volumes, and intensities.
EarbudAlso referred to as ‘in-ear buds’. This is not a headset; an earbud has two ‘headphones’ that fit into your earhole. These typically feature inline volume and mute controls as well as a mic along the cord.
EarloopThe piece of an over-the-ear headset design which loops behind/over the ear and secures the headset in place.
EartipThe piece of a headset which goes inside your ear – on applicable headset designs: over-the-ear, in-ear, and some modular. Monaural or binaural headsets will never use these.
Full Duplex SpeakerphoneA speaker feature which allows both sides of the conversation to speak/transmit at once while reducing echo.
FIREFLY® ON-LINE INDICATORFirefly is the unique in-use indicator light that lets others know you are on the phone. No more interruptions! You can find it on the CT12 cordless headset telephone.
Hand Receiver (Port)The port on a telephone where a handset/receiver plugs into.
HandsetThe part of a telephone that you put to your ear to hear and speak. The ‘receiver’ for short.
Headset PortAn additional port on a phone for connecting a headset. This port is typically a R9J plug, however it can also be a 2.5mm jack. Many telephones do not come with this port, so most headset amplifiers are also designed to connect to the hand receiver port.
Inline ControlsVolume, mic, and mute controls built-in to the cord.
Link DroppingWhen a headset periodically loses connection with its base. Solve this by repairing them.
ModularCan refer to two things: 1) R9J port 2) Convertible headset
MonauralMonaural headset designs feature a sound device on one ear and an arm extending over-the-head, securing the headset.
Multipoint TechnologyAlso referred to as multi-shifting. This technology allows Bluetooth-enabled devices to dynamically switch connectivity between two paired devices. Without this, the user must manually switch the connection from one device to the other.
Mute AlertAn audible notification signaling that the mute function is disabled.
Noise CancellingNoise cancelling is a technology which uses multiple microphone sensors. One or more picks up your voice, while the others capture ambient noise. By doing this, your headset can cancel redundant sounds and eliminate unwanted sounds.
Omnidirectional MicAn omnidirectional mic captures sound from all directions.
OPENMIC™A Plantronics feature that lets you hear the surrounding sound without taking off your headphones. This is a process where one or more of the microphones on a headset are activated to pick up ambient sounds, then feed them into the user's ear. This is also called "open listen" mode.
Over-the-EarSome headset designs feature an arm that loops around the user’s ear to keep the headset in place. This replaces the over-the-head arm on monaural headsets.
Over-the-HeadOver-the-head configurations have use an arm that extends from one ear to the other, over your head.
PairingThe process of connecting two wireless devices. A common word in the realm of Bluetooth.
Pairing ModeDuring the process of pairing, the involved devices are in pairing mode. This is commonly associated with Bluetooth, and a blinking light is the conventional signal when a device is in pairing mode.
Passkey/PasscodeRefers to a security key required to connect two (or more) wireless devices. For Bluetooth devices, this is commonly ‘0000.’
ReceiveThis refers to the volume setting of your headset. It affects the volume you hear your caller, but does not affect the volume of your voice on their end.
Reject CallDisconnect or send call to voicemail.
ResetResets a device to factory settings. Please check the manual before resetting. Some devices do not have a reset button.
RJ9A standard modular plug on most corded telephones. Use this to connect a receiver or headset.
Smart LockA screen lock/unlock capability based on proximity detection of a Plantronics Legend Bluetooth® headset.
Smart Sensor TechnologyA technology which detects whether or not a headset is being worn.
SoftphoneA piece of software which effectively gives phone capabilities to your computer.
Sound CardA computer part dedicated to processing audio. These can also feature a variety of ports, depending on the sound card.
SOUNDGUARD®An automatic gain control system found in Plantronics adapters that provides natural voice tone and removes loud tones as well as occasional noises and crackles on the line.
Standby ModeThe state when a headset is on but not in use.
Stereo SoundStereo sound has two audio signals: left and right, which gives depth and realness. Conversely, mono sound uses only one signal for both sides of the headset. For example, on a stereo headset you might hear a thud to your left or right, whereas on a mono headset where you hear a thud in both ears.
SubscribePairing, but for DECT devices.
Talk TimeThe length of you can talk on a headset before it needs to be recharged.
TransmitUnlike receive, this controls the volume of your voice to the person you are calling.
USB AdapterEnables connectivity between a headset and a computer. Adapters are sold for wired headsets, and a dongle is sold for wireless headsets.
Vehicle Power ChargerEnables you to charge a device using a car’s lighter socket.
Voice AlertA vocal alert on a headset. For example: your Bluetooth headset might say ‘pairing’, when you set it to pair with another Bluetooth-enabled device.
Voice PromptA vocal prompt on a headset. For example: ‘incoming call’.
Voice TubeA microphone design in which the microphone is inside a tube. This tube replaces the mic boom and extends from your headset to your mouth.
VOIPAbbreviation of ‘Voice over Internet Protocol’. The technology used to make calls over the internet.
WindscreenA foam cover for a microphone, used to reduce wind interference.
Y Training CableA ‘splitter’ (splits one connection into two identical connections) to connect two or more headsets to a single phone. This enables two or more people to hear the call, and is great for training purposes!
2.5GHzA generic wireless frequency, used by Bluetooth devices and many other wireless communications technologies.
900MHzA generic wireless frequency, typically used to connect cordless phones to their bases.
Handset LifterThis is a small device which installs directly onto your deskphone and enables you to answer calls remotely.
Behind-the-NeckA style of headset with a band around the back of your neck.
BroadBassA GN Netcom (Jabra parent) term for their headsets designed for lower tones, such as those from a bass.
Busy LightA busy light is connected between your phone and headset, and turn on during calls to indicate that you are on the phone.
CircumauralThe bulkiest headset style. It covers the entire ear to block out almost all sound. These are uncommon in office environments but popular for casual headphone users.
Connector CordThe cable connecting your base to your phone.
DigitalDigital headsets use USB connections and UC software, which can potentially add lots of functionality to a headset.
Directional/UnidirectionalA unidirectional microphone picks up the sound of the voice right in front of the mic. This tech is dated and professional headsets are scarcely still produced with this design.
DC AdapterA DC adapter plugs into your amplifier and gives it power. This eliminates the need for batteries.
Extension CordA headset extension cord connects between your phone (or base) & headset and increases the range of wired headsets.
Flex-Grip™Flex-grip is a Plantronics over-the-ear headset design which promotes comfort.
GN NetcomA professional headset manufacturer and parent of Jabra.
Intraural/In-Ear/In-the-EarAlso known as in-ear buds. This style of headset uses speakers which fit into the user’s ear canal.
PerSono™A UC software for Plantronics VoIP softphones.
PlantronicsA professional headset manufacturer.
PolarisA Plantronics headset design for phones that use built-in amplifiers.
Quick DisconnectA connector option for headset cords which allows the user to easily disconnect their wired headset from the phone. This way, constant wired headset users can move about without removing their headsets. NOTE: Disconnecting breaks the connection between a wired headset and the phone.
ReversibleA monaural headset which gives the user the option of which ear to use speaker. These are easily adjustable for this purpose.
SennheiserA professional headset manufacturer.
Sound Enhancement System™ (SES)A Plantronics technology (used in the encore line) which enables the user to emphasize bass or treble tones.
SuprauralA headset design with the speaker resting flat against the ear.
Three-Point Fit™A Plantronics earbud design which aims to maximize customizability.
Tru-Comfort™A Motorola design purposed with letting the ear breathe during prolonged usage.
CarbonThe original microphone technology used in phones. Some headsets still use this technology, however, it is becoming obsolete in the wake of Electret and MEMs.
Donut Ear CushionAn ear cushion design featuring a hole in the center to unlock the headset’s absolute maximum volume potential.
ElectretThe modern standard of microphone technology. It is made of two tiny charged parallel plates, which move closer or further to translate your voice into an audio signal that can be transmitted.
Electronic Hook Switch (EHS)EHS for short. This enables the user to answer and end calls remotely on compatible phones. This accomplishes the same task as a handset lifter, only with no moving parts.
Foam Ear CushionA soft, plush foam piece around a headset’s speaker to provide comfort and wearing stability.
Mute SwitchA switch that enables the user to pause the transmission from their microphone until the switch is clicked again.
Lemo Plug / Q PlugHeavy-duty plugs, generally used in older switchboards and call centers.
RJ11A modular plug featuring 4 pins. These are used to connect handsets or headsets to telephones.
RJ12A modular plug featuring 6 pins. These are used to connect telephones to wall sockets.
RJ45A modular plug featuring 8 pins. These are used to connect LAN cables to wall sockets. Some phones also use this plug to connect to the wall.
SoundProA Polaris brand of Call Center & Office products.
1 EaredA monaural headet.
2 EaredA binaural headset.
2.5mm JackThis is a headset jack. Not as common as the 3.5mm jack, but shares the same purpose.
3.5mm JackThis is your classical headphone jack. Like the one you’d find in an iPhone 6, but not the 7.
ActivGuardSennheiser’s brand of acoustic shock protection.
USB DongleDongles plug into a computer’s USB port and enable a connection between said computer and the headset.
HD VoicePlantronics brand of wideband audio.
Microsoft LyncMicrosoft’s professional internet communication application. Many headsets are specially designed and optimized for Lync. Lync has been replaced with Skype for Business.
Microsoft Office CommunicatorThe former name of Microsoft Lync.
POEPOE is an Ethernet cable which also provides power/electricity to the device. This way, you can use a deskphone with only one cable.
PSUA PSU prepares the harsh AC wall signal into a constant, consistent flow of electricity and the device’s desired voltage and wattage.
Skype for BusinessMicrosoft’s UC application and replacement for their Office Communicator and Lync applications. Skype for Business is optimized for use with Lync servers and much of the customizations and optimizations on Lync headsets are transferrable to Skype for Business.
Switch BoxThis device is connected between the telephone and headset and allows the user to easily switch between handset and headset.
Ultra-Noise CancellingThese are noise cancelling microphones which use an array of mic sensors and technologies to maximize call clarity.
Voice ClaritySennheiser’s brand of wideband HD audio.
Voice Operated Exchange (VOX)An AI/handsfree technology in which sound detection is enables in a device only over a specific volume level.
WidebandAs opposed to narrowband, wideband audio technology boasts more range and clearer sound. The Wideband range is from 50-7000Hz
WindsmartPlantronics’s branded wind protection technology. It features 3 layers of wind-blocking materials.
WindsafeSennheiser’s branded wind protection technology.
ArtifactsPopping sounds caused by dropped/imperfect transmissions.
ErgonomicsRefers to design consideration for human use.
Hands Free Profile (HFP)HSP’s older brother. This Bluetooth profile also allows for voice-dialing, redial, call transfer, and pick up & hang up.
Handset Profile (HSP)The Bluetooth profile used for audio signals. Mobile phones generally use HSP.
Open-Ear DesignA headset design which allows outside noise through the speakers, as to diminish immersion. More typical in casual/gaming headsets than professional headsets.
PersonCallA Plantronics UC brand.
PersonProA Plantronics UC brand.
Roaming RangeThe safe distance from a base that a wireless device will operate properly.
Smart CordA GN Netcom cord which eliminated the need for an amplifier in many of it’s headsets.
Lift LeverA phone accessory. Pull a lever to lift the phone off the receiver, and push to hang up. This is the manual version of a handset lifter.
Two Prong AdapterAllows you to connect an RJ9 cable to an older phone using a dual-prong setup.
Noise SupressorA cup-shaped plastic attachment for voice tube microphones which aids in isolating the user's voice from ambient noises.
Push to Talk (PTT)Some devices, such as many two way radios, use a button when you want to speak. This way you can be selective of what you say that gets transmitted to your caller.
Narrow BandUses a lower frequency than Wideband. This uses requires less battery power and thus allows longer talk time, but lower sound quality.