Experimenting With The Plantronics MDA200 & Various Cordless Headsetsmjgraves | January 2, 2012
A few people have commented offline about my recent review of the Sennheiser DW Pro2 DECT headset. The major thrust of opinion seems to be that the DW Pro2 is simply unreasonably expensive. As I said in the review, that’s your call to make dear reader. However, such commentary has driven me to consider an alternative.
For the past week I’ve had a Plantronics MDA200 in-house. I’ve had some time over the holiday break to try it with the various headsets that I have on-hand. It happens that I currently have a Plantronics Voyager PRO UC v1, Voyager Pro UC v2, Savi Go and Savi W430 hereabouts. This assortment seems a reasonable basis for experimenting with the MDA200.
The MDA200 is a cute little box. It measures a little less than 4” on a side and just under 1” tall.
It has a total of five connections:
- USB connection to a host computer
- 3.5mm EHS connection to a desk phone
- RJ-45 audio connection to a desk phone
- Coax power connection
- Front USB port for the headset, BT or DECT dongle
The MDA200 comes with one removable cable that’s terminated in an RJ45 at one end and RJ9 at the other. This cable provides call audio to/from the MDA200. There’s a tap midway along that cable that allows it to be inserted between a phone and its handset. In this manner the MDA200 accommodates phones that don’t have a headset jack.
The MDA200 also sports a USB cable that’s permanently attached. This is used to connect to a nearby computer and provides power to the device. An optional power supply allows the MDA200 to be used without a USB connection.
Since all of the Polycom phones that I use have an RJ9 headset jack I only needed to connect the ends of the headset cable. The phone’s handset remained independent of the wiring to the MDA200.
To have control of hook switch status via the headset & MDA200 I had to order the Plantronics APP-5 Polycom Hookswitch cable.
This cable has an RJ9 and 5 pin connector at one end, another RJ9 and a 3.5mm plug at the other end. It’s a truly curious beast. You probably won’t find this cable at any local retailer. It’s not cheap either, costing around $50 from Amazon.
The 5 pin plug fits the EHS jack on the various Polycom desk phones that I tried. In my case that was a VVX-1500, VVX-500, IP650 and IP335. The RJ9 connectors on each end of the the EHS cable remained unused.
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