In this post, I will test out a total of 3 headsets (2 from Poly (formerly known as Plantronics) and 1 from Jabra) to determine which is the best WFH (Work-from-Home) headset.
The three headsets are:
In terms of pricing, the most expensive is the Poly Blackwire 8225 and the cheapest is the Jabra Evolve2 30. The Poly Blackwire 7225 is the only one without the Boom Mic.
I will be talking and recording based on each scenario. The tests scenarios are as below.: –
- Surrounding sound recording using Canon EOS M50 (no external mic)
- Zoom sound recording using built-in Zoom recording
- Surrounding sound recording using Canon EOS M50 (no external mic) with external noise from TV
- Surrounding sound recording using Canon EOS M50 (no external mic) with external noise from a vacuum cleaner
- Zoom sound recording using built-in Zoom recording with external noise from TV
- Zoom sound recording using built-in Zoom recording with external noise from a vacuum cleaner
Simulated Scenario when working from home
I will conduct a Zoom meeting via the Zoom app on my laptop and record the actual session based on the test scenarios. I will be using a decibel meter to measure the noise level and switching between different recording media to let you hear the differences.
During the test, I will introduce the 3 headsets and provide a summary and conclusion of the tests. It is a rather long video as I have to repeat the tests 3 times. Nevertheless, I have made it simple by providing chapters. You can go direct to YouTube to jump to the different chapters or just follow the link below.
- 0:00 Intro
- 2:12 Differences in the three headsets
- 5:31 Testing out Jabra Evolve2 30
- 10:24 Testing out Poly Blackwire 7225
- 13:24 Testing out Poly Blackwire 8225
- 16:41 Summary
- 19:00 Conclusion (What to look out for in headsets for online meeting?)
Or you can watch the entire video here. PS: Hover on the timeline to jump chapters.
I will provide the conclusion here. If you really want to know how I arrived at it, check out the video as you will be able to experience it for yourself.
To conclude, you need to look out for a few things when selecting a good WFH headset
- Price – what is your comfort level to spend. BTW, headset with the lowest price does not mean not as good as others
- Wired or Wireless – No worries about battery with wired but will have constrained. Wired is cheaper than wireless in the same tech category.
- Comfort – So far, for myself, on-ear type is more comfortable to last hours on a meeting
- Sound Quality – This is important. I love crisp sound with good treble (even though I am not listening to music). This factor is mainly determined by the speaker.
- Noise Cancellation – Noise cancellation is important for noisy environments so that you can hear the other parties properly.
- There are two common types of noise cancellation – Passive Noise Cancellation or Active Noise Cancellation.
- Passive Noise Cancellation means it is using hardware (your earpad and etc) to block the noise.
- Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) means it is using microphones to detect surrounding sounds and reduce or remove them when possible.
- Another good reason why noise cancellation is important is that if you are in a noisy environment, you tend to raise your voice to overpower the noise. However, the parties on the other end will be curious why you are raising your voice (provided if your microphone is able to reduce the surrounding sound effectively). You can see this effect on Jabra Evolve2 30 in the video.
- Microphone Noise Cancellation – Microphone noise cancellation is extremely important to cancel away surrounding sound and let the other parties listen to you without distraction. It is better to have more microphones to detect and determine surrounding sound and your voice so that it can cancel away the noise accurately.
- Portability – A big headset means you have to carry it around in a big casing or a big bag.
- Durability – Is it durable for daily usage? The band on the Poly Blackwire 7225 actually cracked when I twisted it too hard.
- Software/Firmware Support – A good headset should have constant updates to its software to enhance or improve the quality. Both Poly and Jabra has dedicated software for such support (Poly: Plantronics Hub, Jabra: Jabra Direct)
- Design – You can say that it is vain and not important. However, in my opinion, a good design makes you feel much better to wear it anywhere.
Out of the three headsets, the overall champion is the Poly Blackwire 8225.
- The Poly Blackwire 8225 has the best comfort, quality, and technology (e.g. Acoustic Fence technology) but the price is high.
- The Jabra Evolve2 30 is value for money with good microphone noise cancellation.
- The Poly Blackwire 7225 has good comfort but without the Boom Microphone, it is trying to guess what noise to reduce. So, in my video, you can hear the noise when I am not talking and when I started to talk, it will magically reduce the noise and let my voice flow through.
Overall, I hope that Poly can design the Boom Microphone in a way that it can tuck away from sight when it is being raised up. Currently, all Poly models with Boom Microphone cannot be tucked away neatly. For Jabra, I do see one premium model (Jabra Evolve2 85) that is able to tuck it nicely out of sight.
Thanks to Poly and Jabra for letting me review the headsets (The Poly Blackwire 7225 is my own and I regretted buying it without good research).
I hope that I have helped you to determine the headsets to look out for. Do check out other brands and if possible, test them out first or do your research before buying. Or if you have good experiences, do share it here.