evolution of wireless office headsets

Evolution of Wireless Work Headsets: 1990s to 2023

The evolution of headsets in a short time is amazing to look back on. From the 1990s until now, this is the evolution.

How it started

evolution of headsets


First wireless headset for work: GN Netcom (Jabra) Satellite and Plantronics CA10- 1995ish

plantronics and jabra first wireless office headset

The GN Netcom (now Jabra) Satellite was the very first wireless headset to come out, and shortly after Plantronics created their own called the CS10. Prior to these models being released, you would either cradle a phone on your neck or you would use a wired headset.

Both models used a wired headset you would attach to a belt pack that was also your battery. From there the belt pack was wireless from the charging stand and truely was revolutionary for the time.

Finally there was a solution to being hands free to get up from your desk and multitask while still being on a phone call.

Remote answering acccessory

plantronics hl-1

This is what the first Handset Lifter from Plantronics looked like. It allowed you to answer/end calls from your headset when away from the desk. Although bulky, at the time this was a game changer and avoided missed calls, returning voicemails and overall giving you a much better experience when using a wireless headset.

The same concept still applies today with the most updated wireless headsets that connect to a desk phone. You'll see the difference as you continuing reading.

Next generation: GN Netcom GN9120 and Plantronics CS50- early 2000's

plantronics and gn netcom 2nd generation wireless headsets

Plantronics (now Poly/HP) and GN Netcom (now Jabra) at the time were really the only two brands to choose from. These were the two very first truely wireless headsets. Meaning you no longer had a belt back with a wired headset you connected to. You now had a fully wireless headset that gave you about 300 feet of wireless freedom.

Remote answering accessory 2.0

plantronics hl10

As you can see there's a drastic change from the first Lifter to the second generation. 

2010 Plantronics modernizes headset designs

plantronics cs500 series

In 2010 Plantronics released their CS500 series of wireless headsets that really changed the game from a design aspect. Plantronics hired designers and engineers from Apple who did a really good job. All other brands from there seemed to follow.

Another key difference is wireless headsets went from operating on a 900Mhz frequency to DECT 6.0, which gave a more secure and reliable connection.

2020 to now COVID changed everything

Overnight everyone went from working in an office using a desk phone with a wireless headset to using a computer softphone and a Bluetooth headset, or USB wired headset. The same headset you may have been use to using for a desk phone, all of a sudden wasn't compatible with the new phone system you needed to use when working from home. 

This caused the headset manufacturers to rush as quickly as possible to create new headsets that were meant for the modern workforce. The most important requests were compatibility to computers/mobile phones, and noise cancellation.

Many forward thinking companies were already doing work from home, and that's where things were already trending. COVID expedited that trend by about 10 years! Today you have more options than ever on the phone system and headsets you can choose from. 

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