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Shawn Ford
Community Member


'Guidance for Headsets and Handsets''''


Cisco is pleased to announce the addition of new vendors into the Cisco Technology Developer Program. These new vendors offer headsets for use with Cisco IP Communicator. Their products have passed lab testing and met interoperability criteria, ensuring that Cisco product specifications have been reached. With the Cisco Technology Developer Program, customers can quickly and efficiently deploy business solutions with verified compatibility.


A list of vendor products successfully completing Cisco IP Communicator lab tests can be found at:

Cisco IP Communicator Vendor Products List


Using Third-Party Headsets and Handsets with Cisco IP Communicator


While Cisco does perform basic testing of third-party headsets and handsets for use with Cisco IP Communicator, it is ultimately the customer's responsibility to test this equipment in their own environment to determine suitable performance. Due to the many inherent environmental and hardware inconsistencies in the locations where Cisco IP Communicator is deployed, there is not a single "best" solution that is optimal for all environments.


Before customers begin deploying any headsets or handsets (especially deployment in quantity) in their production network, Cisco recommends thorough testing at the customer site to check for voice quality issues, especially hum and echo.


The primary reason that support of a headset or handset would be inappropriate for an installation is the potential for an audible hum. This hum can either be heard by the remote party or by both the remote party and the Cisco IP Communicator user. Causes for this humming sound range from electrical lights near the PC to the PC power source itself. In some cases, a hum experienced by a user plugged directly into the PC Universal Serial Bus (USB) port may be reduced or eliminated by using a powered USB hub.

In some instances, the mechanics or electronics of various headsets can cause remote parties to hear an echo of their own voice when they speak to Cisco IP Communicator users. The Cisco IP Communicator user will not be aware of this echo.


Finally, some analog headsets do not match the electrical characteristics for which some soundcards are designed. The microphones on such headsets are frequently too sensitive, even when the input levels in Cisco IP Communicator are reduced to their lowest values; the users of such headsets will sound distorted to remote parties.


It is important to ask Cisco IP Communicator users whether a particular headset sounds good to them. In addition, remote parties should be queried as to the reception from Cisco IP Communicator when using a particular headset.


Additional Information


Cisco® Technology Developer Program members provide complementary and compatible technologies, enabling Cisco to continuously expand its solution offerings to customers of all sizes.


With Cisco Technology Developer Program member offerings, customers can:


• Rapidly deploy applications and services

• Install products and services with verified interoperability

• Maximize their investments in existing Cisco network infrastructure

• Select a solution that integrates with and enhances their company's Cisco network

• Increase network application flexibility and choice

• Use open standards technology for greater interoperability

• Rely on coordinated customer support from both Cisco Systems and Cisco Technology Developer Program Members

Cisco and program members work together to help ensure that customers receive consistent levels of service and support for interoperable applications and services. Both groups have direct access to each organization's technical-support facilities to provide timely and satisfactory resolution of customer support calls.


For your reference, below is a list of headset and handset vendors who may or may not be a Cisco Technology Developer Program member:


• Actiontec: [1]

• Clarisys: [2]

• CommuniTech: [3]

• Danacom: [4]

• Eutectics: [5]

• GNNetcom: [6]

• Phoenix Audio Technologies: [7]

• Plantronics: [8]

• Sumisho Electronics (for Japan only):

• Technology Link (for Japan only):

• VXI:


For more information about Cisco IP Communicator, visit or contact your local account representative.

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