How to Know When to Upgrade

When should you say goodbye to that old headset?

You’ve had the same headset for years now, and it’s served you well. It’s been perfect for your needs, has been a constant in your work life, and you couldn’t imagine going through your days without it. Only now you’ve noticed that it doesn’t hold a charge as well anymore even though you’ve bought new batteries for it. Or the sound quality has really started to suffer since your company made the switch to softphones. Maybe the adapter it came with is broken, or doesn’t connect consistently anymore. When should you keep using it despite its quirks, and when should you let it go? How do you know when to upgrade?

We’re going to go over why it might be time to let go of your older headset, and some reasons why it might be best to keep what you’ve got.

When to Upgrade:

Your headset may have been a champion when you got it years ago. So how do you know when it’s time to upgrade? Here are a few key points we look at.

Changes in Technology:

Headsets get discontinued by manufacturers all the time. It’s entirely possible that a headset that was brand new 6 years ago is not suited to the interconnected environment we find ourselves in today. Your headset that supported Microsoft Lync might not be supported through new Microsoft channels today. If your headset was discontinued it probably wasn’t optimized to use in the Teams environment. A good rule is if your operating system for work is not the same as it was 5-7 years ago, you should probably upgrade your headset to something with better security features and updated connectivity profiles that support higher data transfer rates.

Battery Is Unreliable:

As with anything with a battery, there is always the risk of degradation. Headset batteries can swell and lose their charge capabilities, and some older headsets don’t have the ability to change out the batteries at all. If your headset has been discontinued for more than a few years, there’s also the possibility that those batteries might not be available any longer. That means that all the batteries you might be able to source are already several years old, which isn’t ideal. Just because there may be available batteries out there doesn’t mean those batteries are new.

You Can’t Update the Firmware:

Your desk-phone specific headset comes with firmware installed from the factory. This helps to connect it to the available phone systems at the time of production. Older non-computer headsets likely still have the original firmware in them, which isn’t able to be updated. That firmware will not have been able to account for the changes in connection technology as it has evolved. Your headset might not be able to have full functionality across all new phone types, or may lack the proper security that is needed for confidential communication. This is especially true if your headset is older than 6 years.

Physical Breakdown:

Chances are that over years of use you’ve had a part failure somewhere. Cables crack and snag, connection points weaken, pieces that used to lock in place now swing loose. Your headset isn’t charging unless placed at the right angle in the cradle, or if you tap the base station it resets itself. Broken wires and connectors can cause sparking or melting, which is unsafe in both home and office settings. Because many of these older pieces are discontinued, you might have a hard time sourcing replacements. This is a great indicator that your headset needs an upgrade.

Reasons to Keep Your Headset:

Your headset might be older, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to throw it out. Here are some indicators that your older headset is still a good option.

Replacement Parts are Available:

If your headset has replacement parts available for it, those pieces can be swapped when they start wearing out! This is great news, especially if you love your headset but wish it worked more reliably or was more comfortable. Pieces like inline controls, ear cup padding, ear gels, power adapters, and batteries are replaceable on most models. If you’re finding that the battery doesn’t hold a charge like it used to, you can replace it and see if that solves the problem. Replacing components can be a very cost-effective way to keep your headset working.

You Can Update the Firmware:

Companies like Plantronics and Jabra have their own headset control applications (Plantronics Hub and Jabra Direct) that can help you manage the updates to your headsets and base stations. This often includes integration with newer softphones, call control in applications, as well as settings that extend battery life and make using your headset more convenient. With a few minutes, you can give new life to your old model!

Company Upgrades are Coming:

If your company is shopping around for a way to depend less on desk phones as their primary communication, or they’re interested in migrating their huddle software to another platform, your best bet in the short-term is to keep the headset you have. Chances are that your IT team is looking into what might work best moving forward on the new platform, and they may have different preferences for new device standards. If there’s a big change coming up for how your company communicates, hold off on upgrading until you know what the plan is so that you can get a headset that works with what’s to come.

You’re Good With What You Have:

Maybe your headset gets the job done exactly how you need it to. You’ve got enough battery life, you don’t need to do anything but answer calls, it’s all just as you like it. If that’s the case, you may not need an upgrade! Not every use calls for bells and whistles. If your headset is exactly what you need and is still reliable, keep using it.

When you’re ready to upgrade, give us a call at 1-800-457-4287. Our Headset Help Desk experts would be happy to assist you in choosing the new headset of your dreams!