Now updated for 2023: Side-by-Side Training with USB headsets is still one of our most popular blog posts to date. USB headsets are now the norm for both remote and call center workers, with USB wired headsets still the number one choice for ease of use and plug-and-play capabilities. Yet the question still remains: Can we connect two USB headsets for training purposes?

This answer is complex, so we’ll explain below.

Why Plugging in Two USB Headsets Is Not Possible

Computers can only talk to one audio processor at a time. In Poly Blackwire headsets for example, there is a processor located in the inline controller where the answer/end and mute buttons are. If two USB headsets are plugged into two USB ports on a PC, you will have to choose which device to use. Only one USB audio device can work at a time, whether the device is a headset or a speaker.

Side-by-Side Listening with USB Headsets

There are two possible solutions for physical connection for Poly Headsets: Utilizing a DA75 or DA85 (shown to the right) with a Y training adapter cable for Quick Disconnect headsets or the Y training adapter for Blackwire C5200 headsets.

For DA85 with HW headset – Connect a Y-training adapter cable (PL-27019-03) with the tail connected to the DA85, plus two HW520 headsets plugged into the Y cable. This configuration splits the sound to 2 agents, however only one user can speak at a time utilizing the built in mute switch. When connected up, you’ve got a solid training tool with one processor for the PC to deal with – the one to the DA. You can purchase this bundle here!

For the Blackwire C5200 series of headsets – The Poly Blackwire C5200 series of headsets (PL-C5220 shown at left) have a 3.5mm audio jack that plugs into an inline controller, which connects to a USB end. To connect two of this type of headset together, you would need to plug those two C5200 headsets into a Y-training adapter cable (PL-217008-01) via those 3.5mm jack ends, and the splitter then gets plugged into the inline controller to be used with the PC. Be advised that one end of the adapter says “Supervisor,” while the other says “Agent.” The “Agent” end is the unmuted side, while the “Supervisor” end is muted constantly. These only work with the C5200 series of headsets due to the proprietary shape of the audio jack and its housing. You can purchase this bundle here!

Alternative Way to Hear Both Sides of a Softphone Call

Most softphones nowadays have conferencing capabilities built into the application. You can quickly and easily add a second person to most calls. Logging into your company server as a supervisor is also still a good alternative. You can do this from a smart phone, tablet or PC and you also get the freedom to move around if needed.

Not Using a Poly Headset?

We’ve got you covered. Reach out to us at or 800-457-4287 to get information about how Jabra and other headset brands can physically conference!