Hybrid Headsets - Office and Music

Headsets from Sennheiser, Plantronics ( now Poly ) and Jabra which purport to manage to bridge the gap, between consumer fun products and serious business headsets.
Listen to music, get on UC, Teams, Skype and then rock on to some Madness

The Sennheiser SC165 is a lower cost ( one could say entry level ) hybrid headset. To most intents and purposes it looks and feels just like a normal office headset. However, the headset cable ( which terminates in a USB ) also can detach to a 3.5mm jack plug which allows direct connection to most devices. ( owners of recent models of iphones may have to purchase a lightning to 3.5mm adaptor but from what we hear Mac users get used to adaptors ). This lightweight headset gives very good sound though when out and about there is quite some background noise as the ear cushions provide little sound impedance. Whilst out, and pretending not to be wearing your office headset the boom folds away quite neatly into the headband and is quite unobtrusive.

  • Music
  • Office Use
  • Connectivity
  • Cool Rating

The MB 660 – also from Sennheiser comes to the hybrid party from the other direction – rather than being a HiFi headset which looks like an office headset it is way more an office headset which looks like a HiFi headset. That is not to detract though from its quality : the MB 660 comes in fully Microsoft Teams and Unified Communications versions and is compatible with many platforms. This fully featured headset though is Bluetooth by design ( though it can be connected via 3.5mm cable ) and delivers high quality HiFi. Further great features include a touch sensitive control panel on one earcup, noise cancellation, NFC and an unrivalled feeling of comfort when wearing them. An additional feature is the facility to enable adaptive noise cancellation

  • Music
  • Office Use
  • Connectivity
  • Cool Rating

The Plantronics ( or Poly ) Voyager B4220 is almost a hybrid, but the boom is not as ‘hideable’ as in other versions. The Plantronics ( Poly ) Voyager model is compatible wih both Skype and Microsoft Teams and offers. It has large padded on ear cushions which provide a decent amount of background noise protection, though not as much as that delivered by either the in ear buds or the over ear MB660 options. As an office headset there certainly are one of the best in this ‘hybrid’ concept with Wideband Audio, SoundGuard protection and up to a 30m Bluetooth range. Moreover we love the busy light which shows when you are on a call.

  • Music
  • Office Use
  • Connectivity
  • Cool Rating

The Jabra Evolve 65T are the minimalist take on the hybrid headset option. These are ‘in ear’ buds which connect easily to your phone or device via Bluetooth and give a full, rich sound experience when listening to music. They can connect to your PC/ Mac with the included Bluetooth Dongle ( it has been reported that without the dongle you may have issues connecting but we have not fully tested that ). As far as totally hybrid I feel that these may not be the best for replacing your office headset, the microphone pick up is not as full sounding as those with some sort of boom. However these are UC and SFB certified and are absolutely wonderful for enjoying music out of office.

  • Music
  • Office Use
  • Connectivity
  • Cool Rating

These selections are representative of a few models of headsets that we feel cover both uses – in office on call and out of office music listening . Certainly some models offer a great and seamless integration with top UC platforms whilst others are as good as high end audio headphones. In summary our tester was not fully convinced that any of the models could fully replace the two but the top favourite was the cheapest model – the Sennheiser SC165 as it was easy to use, gave good sound and in fact performed all it was asked with aplomb.

NB the rather unscientific ‘Cool Rating’ assigned to the headsets above refers to how low the likelihood is of someone telling you that you are wearing your office headset by accident, and we have to say that the views expressed in this blog are based upon a sample audience of one, and hence not to be taken as holistically accurate.