Noise cancelling headsets: The myths, misconceptions and facts explained?

Darren Page, Co-director of leading headset supplier Headsets4business helps dismiss some of the misconceptions about noise cancelling headsets.

Darren Page, Co-director of Headsets4business highlights what “noise cancelling” is and just as importantly what it isn’t because you would be amazed how many people use the phrase where headsets are concerned but really have no real understanding of the technology and what it actually does.

What is noise cancelling?

When a customer calls in to your business, they expect that the person they’re speaking to (the person wearing the headsets) are giving them their full attention and the quality of the call will be clear and with no other distractions.

With noise cancelling headsets, most ambient background noise in your business is filtered out so that the conversation between the operator and the customer provides a clear and quality call.

If you have ever rang into any call centre and can hear the people next to the operator you are talking to “having a chat and a laugh” then you have just seen or rather heard the downside to a none noise cancelling headset.

Remember that noise cancelling technology is not for the person wearing the headset, it’s for the benefit of the caller only. Think of it as prioritising your customers.

What is ultra-noise cancelling?

This is where the headset manufacturer has increased the noise cancelling technology to the highest level. You can never eliminate 100% of background noise but ultra-noise cancelling will “at best” offer roughly 80% where as normal noise cancelling is around 60%. Which is far better than none at all.

What noise cancelling in commercial headsets won’t do?

If you are familiar with headphones (not headsets!) that cut out all exterior noise on a plane or train etc. like those offered by high end HIFI companies like Bose, that technology is known as ANC or “active noise cancelling”.

Commercial telephone headsets do not offer this technology, mainly due to cost and until the technology becomes more widespread and cheaper as a consequence don’t expect any ANC headsets in the commercial sector coming anytime soon!

What can you do to reduce the ambient noise in your office so I can hear the caller whilst wearing a headset?

Wear a binaural or 2 ear headset as this covers both ears, allows volume in both ears and makes it easier to concentrate on the caller.

Alternatively, you could re design your environment if possible by increasing the distance between operators or use screens to help reduce the noise.

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