The Logitech Wireless Headset H820e targets the UC space nicely, sporting an amazing 300 foot wireless range, call indicator LED to let co-workers know you're on the phone, and wideband audio. The H820e is available in mono and dual versions and I took the dual version for a spin.
After initially charging up the headset I made a test call using Skype. After putting on the headset the first thing I noticed was how well this headset seems to block out ambient noise. They did a good job with the speaker padding and it's also worth mentioning they were kind enough to put padding on the underside of the TOP of the headset so you have some cushion and comfort when the headset is on your head all day. The call quality was very good.
The boom sports a mute button that I didn't even notice since it's recessed into the boom's rubbery and flexible material. The mute button is also black like the boom, so it really blends in. If not for the 6 small bumps I may not have noticed it all. The 6 slightly raised bumps make it easy to be on a call and slide your index finger and thumb down the boom mic until you feel the bumps, allowing you to mute/unmute without taking your eyes off your computer screen. Very handy. Some headsets you start pressing the wrong button thereby increasing or decreasing the volume, causing the headset to enter pairing mode or do some other function you didn't intend. I know I've had to remove headsets in the past just to look at the button labels and then put it back on. There's no mistaking where and how to mute with this headset! Also, when you are muted, a red LED mute indicator lights up at the end of the boom.
Although the 820 has an in-call indicator LED light, it didn't work with Skype. Apparently, it only works with Microsoft Lync and other leading enterprise UC software. Bummer.
Curious if this headset had decent bass response for music I played some Journey and noticed the low-end was definitely missing. Definitely sounded a bit tinny to my ears. I switched back to my Plantronics wired headset which has nearly identical speaker sizes and the full richness of the Journey sound returned. I was a bit puzzled why the decent-sized speaker couldn't handle low frequencies, but it dawned on me that this product was designed with UC in mind - talking to customers and coworkers and not necessarily listening to music. So I can understand designing speakers optimized for voice. Still, I'd imagine executives are loathe to want to switch headsets just to listen to music. Having two headsets when discussing "unified communications" seems like a contradiction to me.
But I cannot fault Logitech for this. They are following the TIA/EIA-920 specification for audio wideband, which is defined as 150 Hz to 6800 Hz. The low-end (150 Hz) obviously doesn't touch the bass frequencies and obviously missed some of the higher end frequencies as well that crashing cymbals (& other music instruments) can generate. Although, the specification gives "minimum" requirements, so there's nothing to stop Logitech and others from offering an even wider range of frequency response in their speakers. As telephones and computer entertainment merge, it would seem to make sense to do so.
In any event, I also tested the microphone and it performed very well and it was very good at not picking up ambient noise. It's flexible/bendable so you can bend it left or right and you can rotate the boom up or down for the best voice pickup. It's also worth mentioning that the H820e headsets automatically pair when placed in any H820e charger dock, making it easy to use the headsets with any workstation in large deployment or hot desking situations.
Interestingly, there is a wideband/narrowband switch on the base. Why would you ever want narrowband? Well, you can switch to narrowband for even longer talk time.
• Double-ear (dual) or single-ear (mono) wireless design options
• Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT)
spectrum wireless connectivity
• In-call LED indicator light
• On-boom mute button and mute indicator LED light
• Intuitive on-ear call controls
• Up to 10 hours of wideband talk time
• Up to 100-meter (more than 300 ft.) wireless range
• Optimized for Microsoft® Lync™; compatible with most leading UC platforms
• Auto pair by docking
• Flexible microphone boom
• Padded leatherette headband and earpad
• Visual incoming call indicator
• Acoustic echo cancellation and noise-cancelling microphone
• Wide band/narrow band switch
• Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
• Contemporary, ultra-lightweight design
Part #: Dual: 981-000516, Mono: 981-000511
Dimensions: Headset: 6.75 x 6.5 x 2 in (174 x 165 x 50 mm), Base: 5 x 2.8 x 3.25 in (128 x 73 x 82 mm)
Weight: Dual: 4.5 ounces (128 g), Mono: 3.1 ounces (88 g), Base: 16.8 ounces (475 g)
Windows® Vista, Windows® 7 or Windows® 8 (32-bit or 64-bit), Mac OS® 10.7 and higher, Linux®, avalable USB port
Inside the box:
Headset, charging stand, AC power adapter, USB cable, Quick Start Guide and warranty info
Type: Bi-directional ECM
Frequency response: 100 Hz – 7 KHZ
Sensitivity: -45 dB +3 dB
Distortion: <10% @1kHz, 10dBPa (MRP) input
Operating voltage: 1.4 – 5.0V DC
150 Hz – 7 kHz (ITU-T TIA920)
Sensitivity: 103dB +3 dB at 1KHz,
Input 1mW/Type 4153 artificial ear
Max output: <100 dB SPL
(compliant to EN60950-1)
Distortion: <4% @1kHz, 0dBm0, 1kHz
2 yr warranty
Price: Dual: $199.99, Mono: $179.99
Overall, I really like the Logitech 820e. It sounds awesome on a VoIP call using Skype, Lync, my SIP app, or any other voice app. The wideband audio quality really shows - on both legs of the call. I just wish this wireless headset could be my all-in-one headset. Then I can blast Journey in my wireless headset while simultaneously walking 200 feet down to the cafeteria to buy my lunch.