Simple Guide to Headset Technology

As we all know, telecommunications technology keeps changing and spawning exciting new product lines in headsets and how do you keep up? Is an over-the-head or ear bud design right for you? We have anything you need for a speedy solution. All you need is a minute to scrutinize the list of generally used terms and trademarks below, and we can give you a jumpstart on determining which Plantronics headset solution best suits you!


Amplifiers make sound louder. This technology enables headsets to be used with corded phones and phone systems. Plantronics manufactures and markets a wide selection of corded, stand-alone amplifiers, such as the M12 and A20. Amplifiers are also included as part of a headset system, such as the S12 and S20. The CA10 is an amplifier for a cordless headset system.


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.


Plantronics recently introduced the new, behind-the-head neckband accessory that adds a unique wearing style to DuoPro® (H181, H181N) and DuoSet® (H141/H141N) headsets. The neckband offers a fresh alternative for those looking for a contemporary wearing style.

Bluetooth® Technology

Bluetooth™ is an amazing new wireless technology using short-range radio links that promises to eliminate the cables and wires that currently connect most computing and communications devices. At Plantronics, we’re using this technology in such products as our new wireless mobile headset, the Discovery™ 655.

Call Clarity™

Proprietary Plantronics technology, Call Clarity is an electronic signal processing and noise reduction system found in our amplifiers that enhances transmit and receive quality.


Convertible headsets offer the choice of two wearing styles, usually over-the-head for stability or over-the-ear for easy on/off convenience. These headsets can easily be “converted” from one style to the other in a few simple steps. Plantronics convertible headsets include the DuoPro® (H171/H171N), the DuoSet® (H141/H141N), and the M170/M175 mobile headsets.

Earbud and In-the-ear style

Earbud style describes a small, discreet headset with a speaker that fits in the ear and the microphone positioned along the cord. The H132N office headset, as well as the MX100 and the M205 mobile headsets are some examples.


Noise-canceling refers to a microphone design that greatly reduces the transmission of background noise, enhancing headset sound quality. Noise-canceling headsets are especially effective for offices with employees in close proximity to one another. In mobile applications, noise-canceling microphones reduce background noise in cars, airports or on the street.


Over-the-ear is used to describe Plantronics headsets that have over-the-ear earloops or other devices to hold headsets in place. TriStar®, Mirage® and the M130 are some examples.

Over-the-head binaural

When it’s important to help filter or screen out background sound, you should consider over-the-head binaural headsets, such as the Supra® (H61/H61N) headset and Encore® (H101/H101N) headset. This style provides sound transmission to both ears.

Over-the-head monaural

Plantronics monaural headsets, on the other hand, deliver sound to one ear. Unless it says otherwise, Plantronics headsets are monaural.

Quick Disconnect™

On H-Series headsets, the Quick Disconnect™ (QD) Connector is at the end of the headset cable that lets you disconnect your headset from an active call when you need to grab a fax or file, then easily reconnect. With the QD, there’s no need to put the call on hold or remove your headset.

SoundGuard Plus™

An automatic gain control system found in Plantronics amplifiers, SoundGuard Plus provides natural voice tone and removes loud tones, as well as occasional noises and crackles on the line.
Now that you’ve mastered our basic course in headset technology, why not instantly see how it can make your life easier and more productive, whether it’s in the office, at home, or in the car? Click on our product finder and you’re sure to discover the perfect Plantronics headset, designed with your needs in mind.