Microsoft Teams meetings experience is heavily affected by the audio quality. If you are in a meeting where you get the annoying echo (hearing your own voice) or encounter a situation where noise is “howling” (circling from speakers back to mic and only gets stronger and stronger .. ) it doesn’t leave room for the actual purpose of the meeting. In situations when audio is breaking up (eating partial words, not hearing full sentences) or the other participant seems like sitting at the other end of the room.. We all know those meetings are painful at best. So it is important to think about the audio and what’s available.
Using computer’s audio (mic and speakers) is sometimes good and sometimes these just don’t work. I have found out that Surface Pro does a decent job in this. The mic picks up my voice relatively well. But I of course need to be sitting in front of my computer for this to work.
I sometimes use the combination of Logitech Brio 4K Stream webcam and computer audio. Brio’s microphone is a really good one and it works nicely with my Surface Pro speakers: no echo. Brio’s mic picks up my noise better than Surface Pro’s internal mic: I can move around a bit, but I keep in mind that I better face the webcam.
Solutions above lack the cancellation of noise around you. This is where these two headsets in the post title come in. They both have a surrounding noise cancellation built in via couple of microphones. This of course helps you (less background noise, more focus) but also other meeting participants (they hear way less of your surround noise) allowing to concentrate on what you say instead of the noise around you (open office for example). In addition the boom mic helps to identify what noises need to be cancelled away. These both headsets do a good job on this.
Both headsets also use a dongle to connect them to computer. You can use Bluetooth if you want to connect them to your computer – or to your mobile phone. However, Surface Pro and Bluetooth is not always reliable and it can cause breaking of audio in a meeting –> the best option is to use dongle if possible to ensure sound quality. When you use dongle to connect the headset to your computer, it is automatically set to audio device in Microsoft Teams. Unless you go and do some changes manually, this is one step less to worry about. I am a kind of person who is changing Teams audio settings very often so usually I need to check it anyway..
I used to dislike use of dongle when I started my Jabra Evolve 75 test at the end of summer. Now think the exact opposite – dongles make it easier to switch between devices (I use bluetooth speaker for music) since when I plug-in the dongle I am ready for the meeting. The downside of the dongle is: don’t lose it. Jabra came in a rather large, but good, case while Logitech Zone Wireless came with a pouch that has a small pocket for the dongle. Jabra’s case takes a lots of space & add up a bit of weight in my bag, Logitech’s pouch doesn’t protect the headset but folding of the headset makes them to fit better. So both have their good sides.
Since I touched the carrying cases it is a good moment to drop a few notes about traveling comfort with these headsets. Since both have ACN (active noise cancellation) they block some sound off when you are in a train, cafe, open office or in a train for example. This helps you to focus a lot more. Both headsets are on the ear versions. They are light and on the ear makes some background noise to flood in – these are not designed to block all the noise around you but to decrease it. It is handy in the office when your coworker shouts out your name (you perhaps may be able to hide just in time) but in a train or in plane you want to shut them off as much as possible. These are ok for me (music helps) on that part. However, since I had to start using reading glasses a year-and-half ago these on the ear configs are not the best. Jabra is worse of these two headsets for me: first hour or even two was ok, after that they started to feel really uncomfortable. Logitech is a bit better to my ear here, a bit softer cup helps. But still I can’t wear these all day – and certainly thinking about a 8 hour flight with these would not be something I look forward.
I have heard from other people that Jabra Evolve 75 was perfect fit for them – and they had no issues wearing them for a full day. This is clearly a personal ear matter – I use these headsets for meetings only and try to keep breaks (or use webcam mic + laptop speakers) if I am doing a full day workshop online.
The design and feel of quality is where Jabra takes a point. Logitech is a bit more plastique in feel and doesn’t look as stylish. However, this has nothing to do with the actual use – and being said above Logitech Zone Wireless is more comfortable for me to wear over time.
The bottom line is: both of these headsets work very well with Microsoft Teams and to ensure good-quality meetings (on audio part) use of a good headset is recommended. The noise cancellation mic makes the experience better for attendees as well.
This is a end-user perspective, I haven’t (and I won’t) do any test bench stuff, just putting on my experiences as a heavy user. When playing music these have enough audio quality for me – it is background music for me anyway and I am not a music hifi person. I haven’t done any fine-tuning of these headsets either – and I think most of the end users won’t be doing it either. This kind of devices need to work out of the box: put the dongle in and power it on.
Dongle makes your experience in Microsoft Teams meetings easier. However, some computers (like Surface Pro) has only one USB port. Choose your USB device wisely (or use dock’s ports to other devices).
I received these headsets from Jabra and Logitech for testing. There was no requirement to write a blog post about them- however I want to share my experiences and hope these help Teams users to decide what kind of devices could be beneficial in worklife..