A mechanical lifter is a Flintstone-like approach to hook switch control by purely mechanical means. It literally lifts the handset to take the phone off-hook, replacing it down again to hang up the call. To me this is essentially a kind of telephony steam punk.
Moving to 21st century methods, an EHS cable allows some aspect of the headset to control the hook state of the phone electrically. That is, it allows you to answer or hang up a call using switching that’s built into the headset. This may be true with both wired and wireless headsets.
To be blunt, lifters and EHS cables just aren’t cheap. The few times that I’ve had to buy an EHS cable it cost in the $50 – $80 range. That’s a considerable price when compared to the cost of the headset or the desk phone itself.
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.
Let there be no doubt, I’m manic. I find myself on something of a quest to find the perfect cordless headset. Over the past year or two I’ve tried a number of different makes & models. Some have been very good indeed, but none have been ideal.
As I transition my desktop phone from a Polycom Soundpoint IP650 to a VVX-1500 I find myself wanting something more. To be more specific, I would like support for very high-quality wideband audio, even beyond G.722. The VVX-1500 supports Siren14 and G.719 so let’s actually hear the difference, right?
To be fair, nothing that I’ve tried thus far was designed to support use with a hard phone. In using the headset with the VVX-1500 I need support for an “electronic hook switch” (a.k.a. EHS) connection. That allows the phone to go off-hook from the headset so that I could answer or hand up a call while distant from my desk.
Oh, and by the way, by “distant” I mean to achieve some serious range, ok? I suspect that means DECT over Bluetooth, but class 1 Bluetooth might work, too. Remember, the coffee machine is some 70 feet away…and my personal productivity is definitely influenced by my coffee intake.
So, a while ago I began asking around, speaking to people that I know use of this type of hardware. I asked for specific recommendations.
Sennheiser is a name that I’ve known my entire career. They are a well respected name in pro audio circles, specialists in high-quality microphones and headsets. They are not as well known for headsets targeting computer and telephony applications, but it happens that they do have some offerings in that area.