In today’s world of work-from-home videoconferencing, the search for the right headset is no easy task. As a relative “newbie” to the Pro AV world, I made sure to test a few out.
The Jabra Engage 55 (opens in new tab) headset is compact and portable, and was clearly designed with hybrid meetings in mind. It boasts an “extensive wireless range” of 490 feet away from the computer, courtesy of the USB DECT adapter. Along with Jabra Direct software, which was readily available on my computer, you can both personalize and stay up to date with the latest features.
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In my past life, I was a sports journalist. The extent of my technological know-how was limited to recording a podcast with a USB snowball microphone and cropping images on Photoshop. To put it mildly, easy setup is a feature that is imperative for me.
That is the case with the Engage 55. It is pretty much three simple moves. Plug in the Bluetooth adaptor to your computer, charge up (with either the cord on-the-go or the stylish charging stand to mount the headset while charging), and put the headphones on and talk. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
All of your controls are easily accessible on the earphone with the mic. From there, you can power up, control the volume, answer or reject calls, and even open Microsoft Teams. An LED light will let you know if you are muted or busy.
With all the tradeshows, summits, and business trips in the world of Pro AV, portability is important. Not only does the Engage 55 come with a travel pack to make transport easy, but it is also very flexible and bendy, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it while on the go.
Take a Hike
Bluetooth headsets make meetings more enjoyable by avoiding that pesky wire. However, with most Bluetooth headsets, your range is somewhat limited, hoping to give you anywhere from 75-100 feet max. The Engage 55 essentially boasts audio clarity for more than a football-field-and-a-half, so I put it to the test.
While on a call in my home office, I took a walk—down three short flights of stairs, out through my garage, and all the way up my driveway to the curb to bring in my garbage cans. The call never dropped or lost any quality over roughly 200 feet of walking (yes, I measured). Unless one is an actual football coach, I couldn’t imagine a case where the 490 feet of wireless range comes into play, but it’s nice to know the Engage 55 can go the distance. It also has a long charge for multiple calls throughout the day.
When I used the headphones in my office, outside noise was at a minimum. Not only does the Engage 55 keep distractions out of the headset with a noise cancelling microphone, but it is also DECT Security certified, ensuring you have a peaceful and safe call.
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Customize Your Fit
If you are newer to the “I need to wear a headset for every call I make” hybrid world, you can easily customize the way you like to wear the headset. I tested the stereo model with coverage over both ears, but it is also available in a mono style over one ear and a convertible style that comes with an ear hook, neckband, and headband.
The Jabra Direct app not only allows you to personalize the headset to your liking, but readily keeps you up-to-date and running smoothly. Perhaps best of all, the Jabra Engage 55 starts at $279, which is reasonably priced for all that it provides in the office or on the go.