New desk phone headset I have found useful

This posting is a product review. This is information that I know others on here will find helpful as I have seen questions directly related to this type of product. Some on here do not like these kinds of posts. If you are one, please stop reading now and move on to the next post. :cool:

Others and myself have posted on here regarding difficulties using our phones while wearing hearing aids. We have tried many different configurations to try and make it better. I have found a new one that works well for me and I want to share it with you.

First a little background info. I have the Beltone True hearing aids which are essentially the same as the ReSound Alera and the Costco ReSound Futures. I also have all of the ReSound Unite Wireless accessories, including the Unite Phone Clip.

During a typical business day I make and receive many calls on both my company cell phone and business desk phone. When I first started wearing hearing aids last year I purchased a Bluetooth Headset Base to use with the Phone Clip. It did work and would allow me to take calls from my desk phone via the Phone Clip. But since the Phone Clip can not be used with two phones simultaneously it was not a viable option for me.

For me the Autophone feature was not very functional. The volume was very low and I had problems hearing. I had to hold the phone at weird angles to even get the microphones to pick up the caller, so it put the handset microphone further from my mouth and made it hard for people to hear without me shouting into the phone. So I ended up removing the hearing aid and using my old wireless headset. With the volume cranked up to max (and sometimes pushing the speaker up against my ear to filter outside noise) I was able to communicate well enough. But each time my cell phone would ring I would have to swap back to using the hearing aids. This was a hassle to do it quickly enough before the call went to voice mail. So I eventually just stopped using my phone clip all together. I just cranked up the volume on my cell phone and held it to my head or used a corded headset that I left hanging around my neck at all times.

And, to make matters even more complicated. I like listening to music when not on a phone call. I have posted on here, very recently even, that I wear a corded headset to listen to music from my iPhone. The ear buds made it easy to answer calls from the cell phone, but I would have to take out the ear buds to answer the desk phone. Again could be a timing issue to get the ear buds out and the headset on before the call went to voice mail.

And last, I keep a corded headset on my computer for watching videos on the computer.

I really wanted to find a converged technology that would eliminate my swapping back and forth between devices. I think I have found it!

What I have found is the Plantronics Savi Office W720.
http://www.plantronics.com/us/product/savi-700?skuId=sku5800021

This headset is a converged device. I can now take calls from my deskphone, cell phone, and even a SoftIP Phone (such as Skype) using a single headset. It also acts as a headset for the computer so I can listen to music. No more swapping from headset to cell phone to corded headset, and then back again.

This particular headset model is a binaural one (a left and right speaker) but they sell monaural versions as well. They also have the ones that hang on the ear like a standard bluetooth headset. You can see the other available models on the Plantronics website.

For me having 2 speakers makes it clearer for me to hear the person on the other line. The speaker domes are small enough that they fit entirely on the ear and do not go over and around the ear. So I can leave my hearing aids in while using it without the speakers rubbing on the hearing aid microphones causing noise. And the fit is loose enough that it is not pinching my ears against the hearing aids. And I have not been experiencing any feed back whistling. Not sure how well it would work if I used In The Ear hearing aids.

My particular desk work phone is an Avaya Business Class VoIP Desk Phone. It has a dedicated headset button and is meant to be used with all kinds of headsets. This wireless headset will work for home users and business users with a standard corded phones without the dedicated headset feature as well. It will not work with most wireless phones. Reason being is that is uses the standard handset jack to connect to the phone. Wireless phones do not have that kind of jack. The exception would be wireless phones that have a base unit that also includes a standard corded handset built into the base unit.

For standard corded phones there is an add on accessory available if you want the ability to answer calls hands free. It is a small motorized arm that will actually lift up the handset on the phone to answer the call and lower it back down to hang up the call when you are done talking. I have used this style before I got this new desk phone. It actually works very well and is very reliable.

The handset lifter is a model HL10. It works with most Plantronics Wireless Headsets for desk phones.
http://www.plantronics.com/us/product/hl10-savi

Without the handset lifter, you just simply pick up the receiver to answer the call. So you would not need to purchase the add on part to use this headset at your home.

I have had this wireless headset just one day, but so far I am extremely happy with it. Since it has only been one day I am still learning how to use it. I will be sure to post any additional findings I discover while using this headset.

I look forward to reading comments and answering questions. Also, if you have found an alternative headset that works well, please post here and let me and others know about it.

I am wearing Starkey Wi RIC aids. I find that with some headphones or headsets, the sound is muffled, likely because the earpieces cover the HA microphones.

What is the sound quality like for the setup you have now?

The speakers from this headset does not touch my ha’s at all. Only the surface cartilage part of my ears. I am finding that volume thru the hearing aids is not impacted at all. I do get a slight lower sound from the speakers of the headset since the receivers are in my ears. But it is very minimal. I have actually started a call with the HA in and then pulled it out while the other person was talking. The volume change was almost imperceptible.

It has been a few weeks now since I got this headset. I am very happy with it. It is comfortable to wear. I have worn it for several hours with no pain in my ears, no heat build up causing my ears to sweat, no issues with my hearing aids, etc. Works well with all devices I have it connected too. I keep the receiver base between my keyboard and phone. Makes it easy to charge the headset and hit the source button to manually swap between desk phone too computer, etc.

So, if you need a converged business headset to use with your hearing aids, this is a very good unit.

It is a little steep on the price. MSRP on their website is $421.95 U.S.D. But I paid $260.00 USD for it. So make sure you shop around. And you may be able to get your employer to pay for it if your job requires a lot of talking on the phone, mine did.

Reply to this thread if you get one and let us know how it works for you.

Hi Reidan,
Thanks so much for this great review and providing link to the top rated headset. My problem is I have a headset for my desktop phone but the pads that sit on my ear don’t seem to extend out enough to be able to encompass the microphones sitting outside my ears as I have the Bernafon Verite RITEs. Consequently, voices through the headset sound muffled (Oddly enough if I use my old Oticon CICs I hear more clearly, although they need to be cleaned and repaired…but I don’t want to have to swap out those every time I want to talk on the phone, I want to use my newer Bernafons).

Will this headset extend out far enough so that it captures the microphones that are sitting behind my ear?

Hi David,
Sorry I did not see this question sooner.

This headset sits on the ear as well. With my RITE I have not had any issues with hearing. I guess it is loud enough that the mic behind my ear can hear it.

I have tested by powering off the hearing aid and the ear is definitely plugged. So I can tell that the mic is picking up the sound and processing it. In fact, if I remove my aids and just put the headset on without them, the volume is much lower than with them in.

Hope that answers your question.

This is great that you found something that works for you! Just a warning for those who might want to try to pair this with your streamer, this is not Bluetooth. So it won’t work with your hearing aid’s streamer. Since you are using the actual headset, this works for you, which is great news!!!