Overall Satisfaction with Cisco Headset 700 Series
Even prior to the unprecedented, pandemic-driven shift to working from home that swept across many companies globally in March 2020, the reality of work for myself and my colleagues consisted of constant, back-to-back teleconferences and video collaboration sessions. A high-quality headset is a vital part of my work-kit, and I've tried out many different ones over the years. While Cisco is a relative new-comer to the headset market, they have clearly learned lessons from the experiences of the existing competition. Across my organization, we use headsets from all of the major manufacturers, and the quality of the Cisco units is certainly on par or better.
- Plug'n'Play/Ease of use, no adapter cables or special software needed.
- Long battery life.
- Excellent noise isolation / active noise cancellation.
- PC-based management app (right now it's smartphone apps only).
- Include the charging dock accessory with all wireless models.
- Replaceable earpads.
- All-day wearing comfort makes a long day of virtual meetings more bearable.
- High quality audio helps make conversations more intimate.
- Higher employee satisfaction drives productivity and creativity.
In a word: Yes. The fact that the headset can be powered directly from my PC's USB port meant that I was able to start using it within a minute of unpacking it, without even needing to wait for it charge up first. Setting it up as a Bluetooth device was very straightforward. When I plugged in the included wireless dongle into my PC, I was pleased to see that the dongle was already paired with the headset, meaning it was working right away. Longer-term, as we deploy more of these across the company, the fact that the units can be managed through Cisco's Control Hub portal for asset management and firmware updates will be beneficial.
"HD Audio" has rapidly become the norm as most meetings now take advantage of VoIP. The microphones on the Cisco 700 series wireless headsets in particular filter out background noise with ease, resulting in clear audio and eliminating the need to repeat myself. Likewise, the high dynamic range of the headset output makes it easy to pick out subtle nuances in the speech of others.
This is one area that we continue to adapt for our work practices. We primarily use headsets with PC-based UC softclients, and the lack of a PC-based app for self-management is a weakness compared to the key competitor alternatives. However, the fact that organizations that use Cisco Webex and the Webex app as their soft-client, will receive some management benefits for identifying when firmware updates are available.
Key advantages for the Cisco Headset 700 series include simplicity of connections (no special adapter cables needed), long battery life, and general performance for the price point. Integration with the rest of Cisco's Webex eco-system (the Webex app, and Webex Control Hub) hold promise for future enhancements. Areas for improvement include feature management apps that do not depend on a smartphone, and replaceable earpads.
As an over-the-head, snug-fitting over-the-ear headset, the style of the Cisco Headset 700 series will not be to everyone's taste. For those that like the style, I can confidently say that the audio quality, noise cancellation, and noise isolating microphones, are among the best across the competition. While the price point is on par with other high-end wireless/BT headsets, the styling and build quality means that these headsets fit in with the look and feel of high-end consumer brands, while delivering the performance and long-term reliability that is expected from a business solution.