Visual and hearing impairments
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What is the best headset for a non-hearing aid user working in a noisy, call centre environment?

ChrisRiversChrisRivers Member Posts: 2
Hi there,

My name's Chris, and I have a slight hearing loss in both ears, but I don't wear hearing aids. I have recently started working as a customer service representative in a call centre, which I do enjoy, but as you would perhaps expect from a partially deaf individual in a telephony role, my hearing can be a huge hindrance to the quality and overall length of the call at times!!

I find myself having to ask customers to repeat themselves - for my own sake, let alone accuracy's sake - in almost every call. Although I'm happy to do so, my employers are very stat-centric, and so I am under pressure to get my call length down. We're hoping that an enhanced headset will assist with this, but my employers have asked me to go away, have a browse myself, and come back to them with what I think would be my best bet. In all honesty, I'm a little lost when looking at my options...

What I'm looking for is a binaural, around-ear headset, so that office chatter won't drown out the voice of the customer at the other end of the phone line (I would have described that as "noise cancelling", but found that searching with that particular phrase tends to lead to results pertaining to noise cancelling microphones rather than anything specifically beneficial to my own hearing ability). I'm also unsure as to whether any headsets have an in-call volume amplifier, or if I should look into getting one of them separately, as the maximum volume level on the desk phone is really, really poor. I have had a look at the options in the shop section of this site, and they appear to be on-ear rather than around-ear designs, which makes me doubt if they're really that much better than your ordinary, run-of-the-mill headset.

Is there any specific make/model that you would highly recommend?

Thank you in advance,

Chris

Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Pioneering
    edited April 2016
    heyheyhey Chris,

    does your work use any kind of online call handling system or are your calls coming through to a desk handset?  I was just wondering if you could get some extra volume coming through a decent headset that was plugged straight into your PC?   
    To be honest my hearing isn't up to much these days and if I'm on a call I often use the in-ear headphones that came with my smartphone, plugged into my PC, as it has a mic on the cable.  Works fine for my office - but we're only little! 

    Another angle - have you asked Access to Work?
    They must have worked with hearing impaired clients working in noisy offices before. There must be a hack out there!

    -B x

    (PS.  obvs I'm not an audiologist.  I just spotted your post and thought i'd add my ten cents!)

  • ChrisRiversChrisRivers Member Posts: 2
    I appreciate the suggestions, thanks :)

    The calls are coming directly through the desk phone rather than being digitally handled unfortunately, but I'll have to give Access to Work a shout and see what they could suggest.

    I had a double check at work today and noticed that the two brands that crop up regularly for their supposed excellence in this field - Plantronics and SupraPlus - are the headsets that my office have installed for all of the workers as it is, and they're simply not cutting it.
  • VickiKirwinVickiKirwin Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    edited May 2016
    Apologies for the delay in replying Chris. I mostly work with children so don't come across this type of query much but there are in-line amplifiers that can be plugged in between current phone and headset if it's just extra volume you need and are happy with your existing equipment otherwise. I'm sorry I can't help with recommending a specific product (no experience!) but there are two places I use and are happy to recommend who sell equipment especially to those who have hearing difficulties - Connevans (http://www.deafequipment.co.uk/catalogue/278/Headsets) and Action on Hearing Loss (https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/shop/search.aspx?search=&cat=Telecommunication). Both are very good at talking through the options and finding the right solution for callers.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on!

    Vicki
  • Kim_AssistiveTechKim_AssistiveTech Member Posts: 50
    edited May 2016
    Hi Chris, 

    Take a look at the SupraPlus Binaural Headset H261H. It's hearing aid compatible so if you had a hearing aid with a T setting you can switch to the T setting and block out any background noise.

    I know you did mention you currently don't use a hearing aid, but I struggled to find something you described without it having a hearing aid setting built in. 

    The best rated call centre headset I have found online is the Sennheiser CC550 Call Centre headset. It comes with an ultra-noise cancelling boom microphone that blocks out a maximum amount of ambient noise and so makes it easier for the listener to understand what the headset user is saying.

    Hopefully one of these will be of use to you, I can't say I have experience with either so it's best to do a little research online to make your decision on which might be best for you.


    Kim
  • DD2017DD2017 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Hi Chris. That information would be helpful to myself. Please keep us updated about which type etc. Thanks DD2017
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