Headset Terms and Definitions


Below is a list of headset related terms and industry jargon often used by manufacturers and tech-savi people in the telecommunications field.


900MHz technology - At one time the main band for voice communication. Since the introduction of DECT, now it's underused in medium to large offices. Its lower frequency range allows for greater concentration of headsets in a given area.

A2DP - Advanced Audio Distribution Profile lets you listen to music through your Bluetooth headset when connected to your mobile phone or MP3 player.

Acoustic Fence Technology - Technology that uses a noise-canceling microphone and an addtional omni-directional microphone to block out background noise.

ANC - Active Noise Canceling.  Only on dual ear headsets, offers noise canceling capability on both sides of the headset. Technology that reverses surrounding sound waves to cancel low-frequency noise in order to isolate and minimize ambient noise the user can hear.

Binaural Headset - Term used for headset that covers both ears.

Bluetooth - An open wireless protocol for exchanging data over short distances, using wave radio technology over the 2.4GHz band, from fixed or mobile devices.

Caller Announce - Headset will tell you who is calling from your mobile phone's contact list.

CAT-iq - Advanced wideband audio technology enables the user to have clearer and richer sounding conversations.

Close Conversation Limiting - Technology that optimizes your voice, while minimizing nearby background noise.

Convertible Headset - Can be worn in 3 wearing styles: Over-The-Head, Behind-The-Head, and Over-The-Ear.

DECT - (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) Working through the 1.9GHz band, this voice dedicated wireless frequency virtually eliminates interference from other wireless devices and allows connectivity up to 350 feet.  Newer models such as the Savi Office DECT series have a range of up to 590 ft.  The DECT headsets are USB headsets and also offer security encryption capability.

Dongle - Common name used to designate any of the USB adapters that connect wireless or Bluetooth devices to a PC or laptop.

DSP - Digital Signal Processing provides natural voice sound.

Dynamic EQ - Automatically adjusts audio settings between voice calls and music.

EHS cable - Electronic Hook Switch cable allows for remote answer / end of calls on your wireless headset. Used on selected phones and replaces the HL10.

HFP - Hands Free Profile is what allows voice dialing activation, redial, call transfer and call/answer/end capabilities.

Hi-Fi Stereo - Full range, dual-channel audio playback capable of frequencies from 20 to more than 20,000 Hz.  Only on dual ear headsets.

Inline controls - Found in most corded computer and cordless phone headsets, these controls allow you to adjust volume, mute your microphone and answer/end calls.

Microsoft Lync - Formerly called Microsoft Office Communicator, it is an instant messaging client used with Microsoft Lync.

Microsoft Team Certified - For devices to be certified, they need to meet Microsoft's audio requirements to ensure users get the best audio experience.  They also must include a dedicated Teams button to instantly bring to the foreground Microsoft Teams for streamlined communications.

Monaural Headset - Term used for headset that covers one ear.

Narrowband - Frequency range of 300 Hz to 3.4 KHz found within PSTN and mobile voice networks.

NFC Pairing - Near Field Communication allows for quick pairing of devices when active and in near proximity.

Noise-canceling - Feature found in all wireless and most corded headsets that reduces 75-80% of the ambient noise a caller may hear in a conversation, rendering the remaining percentage unintelligible.

PNC - Passive Noise Canceling. Uses well designed ear cups to seal out unwanted noise.  This is used for both over-the-ear/over-the-head headsets and in-ear headsets where the ear bud itself will keep surrounding noise out.

QD - Quick Disconnect, located at the end of cables for easy separation between headset and amplifier or direct connect cable.

RJ9 - Also known by RJ22, this is the modular connector size commonly used in telephone handset cords and headset amplifiers, both corded and wireless.

Server and Lync online - Some features include instant messaging and video conferencing.

Skype - One of several online services available for VoIP telephony, eliminating the need for a landline phone. Skype was one of the first to embrace the PC for use as a telephone.

Smart Sensors - Smart Sensor technology lets you answer a call by simply putting on the headset.

SoundGuard - Using a sophisticated 3-stage process, this technology is designed to detect and eliminate any large sudden increases in headset sound levels.

UC - Unified Communications.

USB - Universal Serial Bus, computer jack that allows for attachments of external devices with similar connections, such as Plantronics Blackwire C5210.

USB-A - Stand size connector.

USB-C - Small or micro-sized connector found on most newer PCs and laptops.

Voice Alerts (Whispers) - You will hear the headset say power on, power off, talk time, battery low, etc.

Voice Commands - You can tell the headset what you want it to do from a list of commands, like answer or ignore tone for an incoming call.

VoIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol.  Refers to calls being made through PC/laptop often referred to for soft phones.

Wideband - Gives you a clearer, more natural sound to your voice.  Frequency range up to 6,800 Hz.  Meets TIA-920 standard for genuine wideband response.