For documentation on our standard model telephones are described in the Telephone Documentation section.
A softphone is a client device such as a computer or smart phone capable of running the Jabber software. All College issued computers as well as iOs and Android devices are able to download Jabber. Jabber allows users to make phone calls from their Middlebury number from software installed on their computer or smartphone.
Introduction to Headsets
Many headsets models are compatible with Middlebury’s new UC system, and the best headset for you depends mainly on how you plan to use your device. It’s also important to consider that there are two types of headsets in UC telephony 1) a headset which connects to your desk phone and 2) a headset which connects to your softphone (computer, tablet or smartphone).
For a headset to connect to your deskphone, below are some recommended models with user guides that are compatible with Cisco 7841 and 8841 model phones. Plus, as convertible headsets, they can be used on your computer with a softphone client. These are all available from W.B. Mason:
If you’d like to know if your current softphone headset is compatible with Jabber, please see Cisco’s list of certified devices. Even if your device isn’t listed, it will likely still work, so it is best to test it out.
For a headset to connect to your softphone, there are some important considerations before making a choice. Below are several different use-cases and recommended headsets.
I plan to mainly use my softphone on my computer while sitting at my desk, occasionally making calls from my laptop in other locations
For this situation, a wired USB headset would suffice and is likely the least expensive and most reliable option. These headsets are often larger than the alternatives. Here’s a list of wired USB headsets:
- Jabra UC voice series
- Jabra Evolve series
- Logitech H570
- Plantronics Blackwire series
I plan to use the softphone client, Jabber, on my smartphone and/or my computer, and I plan to be mobile on a regular basis
One option is a wired, 3.5mm headset (standard headphone jack) headset with a built in microphone (e.g. Apple EarBuds). This option is a good, low cost option with fair quality and will connect to the headphone jack on computers as well as on most phones. Some new smartphones do not have a headphone jack, so you would need to purchase an adapter. See this low cost option with Apple Earbuds.
Another option is a Bluetooth headset. Bluetooth is a common wireless technology which allows devices in close proximity to connect to each other wirelessly and transmit data. While wireless connectivity to multiple devices is certainly an advantage, Bluetooth devices must also be charged so that they can operate, and the length of battery life depends on the device. There’s a wide range of quality of bluetooth headsets.