USB headsets are becoming more common in the workplace as companies adopt Unified Communications for greater efficiency in communication. This has prompted the question about training – how can you “double jack” for training so one person can listen in and hear both sides of the conversation? In short, the answer is there is not a Y-training adapter cable compatible with USB corded headsets, like there is for standard corded headsets that have a quick disconnect (QD).

Why Double-Jacking with USB Headsets Is not Possible

Computers can only talk to one processor at a time. There is a processor located in the USB headset cable where the answer/end and mute buttons are. If two USB headsets are plugged into two USB ports in a PC neither will work. Only one USB audio device at a time will work, whether the device is a headset or a speaker.

Side-by-Side Listening with USB Headsets

The headset training solution that allows a second person to sit next to someone and listen in on a softphone call is this: connect a Plantronics USB DA series audio device, such as DA80 for DA90, to the USB port of the PC.  Connect a Y-training adapter cable (PL-27019-03) with the tail connected to the DA80, plus two H top headsets (such as PL-HW520) plugged into the Y cable. (H-top headsets have a Plantronics quick disconnect and they do not have a processor.) This configuration splits the sound to 2 agents. When connected up you’ve got a good solid training tool, because there’s only one processor for the PC to deal with – the one in the DA80.

Alternate Way to Hear Both Sides of a Softphone Call

Logging into your company’s server as a supervisor is the alternative. Nowadays you can do this from a smart phone, tablet or PC and you also get the freedom to move around more.

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