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Setting up a Savi headset with a Cisco Phone

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

Problem: I just got a new headset to use with my Cisco phone, how to I hook it up?

There are many different types of Cisco phones, and several ways to use a headset device with them. We’ll go over the most commonly used phone model – the Cisco 8851 – and how to set up a Plantronics Savi headset with a base station for use with the phone.


Initial Setup – If you’re just getting your headset out of the box, you’ll have some initial setup to do.

–Pull the base station out of the box first, as well as the cabling included with the unit. Generally, there are a few key cables depending on model: a USB micro-to-USB A cable for connecting to a PC (if your headset has that capability), a power cable, and a telephone interface cable (the thin, black cable with a small black box in the center).

–Plug the base station into power. This is the black cable with a round plug end that has a blue tip, which plugs into the back of your base. When plugged in, the base should light up.

–Take your headset out of the box and charge it. Starting the charging cycle will help set you up for initial testing once you have everything plugged in. If your headset has a detachable battery (like the S8240/45), attach the battery to the unit and then hang it up to charge.

–If you plan to use this unit with a PC, plug the included USB cable into the back of the base station, and into an available port on your PC or laptop. Note that Poly recommends plugging USB connections directly into the PC versus a docking station or USB hub.

–Don’t forget to power on your headset! W8210/20 models, as well as S7200 and S7300 headsets all have power switches beneath the ear that will need to be pushed into the middle of the switch housing to show that they’re powered on.

Setup with telephone interface cable The thin black cable with the box in the middle of it is called a telephone interface cable. This connects the base station to the phone without allowing call control from the headset. Plug the large plastic end into the back of the base station, and the small plastic end into the headset port on the back of your Cisco phone. On the side or bottom of your base station, you’ll need to change the transmit channel (usually a slider with the letters A through G on it) on the slider to “D” to allow you to get a dial tone through your headset. This cable will not allow you to answer or end calls through the headset. You will need to manually press the desk phone channel button on the base (desk phone pictured below the button) and then the headset button on the front of the phone.

Setup with EHS cable – If you have an EHS cable available, this will replace your telephone interface cable. An EHS cable tells the desk phone about the inputs from the headset, and vice versa. The Cisco EHS cables generally plug into the back of the base station, and the other end (Y-shape) connects into the AUX and headset ports on the back of the phone. To use this cable successfully, you’ll need to change that transmit cable to channel “A” on the slider. This will allow you to control answering and ending calls from the headset. You can press the call answer button on the headset to get a dial tone.

Outcome: You should be able to make calls through your headset now!

Alternatives: If none of the described steps helped, please send us an email at info@btpi.com or call our tech support at 800-457-4287.

Further Reading: APC-43 EHS installation guide

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