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Best Telephone For Datacenters?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the repeat-charlie-3-oclock-over dept.

Communications 110

An anonymous reader writes "I've been struggling to find an effective wireless/cordless phone headset for use in high noise environments, such as a datacenter. I'd love to have something like the helicopter pilots or aircraft carrier deckmen wear, but that can hook up to a pots line (or Bluetooth to a workstation with Skype). Has anybody found a solution they like for datacenter applications?"

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Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32525624)

Get a pair of DC's and a kneeboard. Pretend you're on a space station.

Re:LOL DAVID CLARKS FTW (4, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525674)

Actually, David Clarks might be a good solution. They use a pretty standard set of plugs that look "somewhat" similar to what a lot of commercial call center phones use.

But a lot of call center headsets are already similar in noise reduction capabilities, and already built specifically to interface with call center gear, and are probably a little cheaper than a good David Clark headset.

Note to self - see if I can get my DC rigged in to my office phone. Coolest, headset, ever. :)

Re:LOL DAVID CLARKS FTW (3, Informative)

Cecil (37810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527670)

If it has aviation-style plugs you probably can, but it's fairly expensive [] . Aviation headsets use high-impedance condenser mics that require a power source, so the adapters are not quite as trivial as one might hope.


Unequivocal (155957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32531716)

I have a link sitting deep in my bookmarks for a consumer grade throat mic:

I tried visiting the site just now and it's down but maybe just for maintenance. Google still knows about the site, so probably they're still alive..

Re:LOL DAVID CLARKS FTW (2, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32532384)

With these [] three [] things [] plus some spare parts, plugs, a variety pack of resistors, transistors, and diodes, and you'll be on your way to owning these people who charge $60 for something that costs $2.50 in parts. Granted, I have all of this stuff for work, but it's a nice hobby to get into.

Re:LOL DAVID CLARKS FTW (2, Informative)

horatio (127595) | more than 4 years ago | (#32528936)

Yeah, that would be pretty slick, and DC was the first thing I thought of. The DC aviation headset I have has two plugs - one for the headphone (1/4" stereo) and one smaller for the mic - they can't be mixed up. You can certainly find or fashion a connector to merge these two functions into one 1/8" plug, for say an iPhone.

The biggest problem I can foresee is power. If you're using some type of wireless, it will take a bit of juice to drive a headset of this size. I can see it wearing out something like an iPhone pretty quickly. If you want to hardline it, I don't see why you couldn't disassemble a POTS handset and wire in a female receptacle for something like the DC headset plugs. I would talk to someone smarter than me about basic electrical circuits to see how you could wire up a volume/gain control to the handset, even though the headset itself has independent volume controls. []


natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32531232)

Oh, you had to go and post the URL didn't you? Damn you! I bought a severely beat-up used set of 10-40's from another pilot many years ago, and they work great, but I keep lusting after a shiny new set.

Now you've made me drool all over myself again.

Daaaaaamn Yooouuu! :)


binaryspiral (784263) | more than 4 years ago | (#32530676)

Cisco wireless ip phone + plantronics stereo headset with tube mic. Good wifi coverage in the datacenter saves you from AT&T dropped calls.

Hearing Aid Phones (3, Informative)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32528776)

Where I work we sell super amplified phones for people hard of hearing. I sell a lot of them for people in factories or other loud environments. They are very loud and even have a boost function. []

I'm sure other similar brands exist but this is the only one I have hands on experience with.

Re:Hearing Aid Phones (2, Informative)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 4 years ago | (#32532368)

My friend has a 1980s era red touch tone phone in his office, and also a nodial one. Add a SIP adapter, and it makes for a pretty snazzy setup. Would be nice to modify them with WiFi + Batteries, then they could go mobile with you. I've yet to see a tiny headset that outperforms a large, old school one on audio quality.

Jawbone Bluetooth (5, Informative)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525638)

I bought the Jawbone Prime for my Droid and its been fabulous.

Supposedly it was desighned for Helicopter and tank crews, there is a sensor on the earpiece that sits on your cheek, it it can't match a noise from the microphone with a vibration from your mouth, it filters it out. If your jaw loses contact with the sensor it uses normal noise cancelling tech.

I ask everyone I talk to on it how it sounds and they say that I come through clearly.

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (2, Informative)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525798)

I have a Plantronics Backbeat that also doubles as a set of headphones that works pretty well too on my Nexus One (does a really good job of canceling noise). The cool thing about the Motorola Droid and the Nexus One (for those who don't know) is split noise canceling microphones in case you forgot your headset or the batteries for it are dead - with the phone alone (on my N1 at least) I can stand in a data center and on the other end the person you're talking too wouldn't believe you were in a data center.

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (1)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525880)

I can second the Jawbone Prime suggestion. The background (non-wind) noise cancellation is fantastic. I use one in the car all the time. The party on the other end of the call is never able to discern that I am in a car, even at highway speed. The Prime's noise cancellation is substantially better than any other BT headset I have ever tried.

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (3, Interesting)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525964)

But what about the other way? Hearing someone when I've got a lot of background noise. My problem with "in-the-ear" has been that, because the distance is so short and the driver so small, the rate of volume increase / decrease is sharp. In short, I quickly go from "can't hear you" to "too loud, but still can't understand".

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (2, Interesting)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527198)

But what about the other way? Hearing someone when I've got a lot of background noise. My problem with "in-the-ear" has been that, because the distance is so short and the driver so small, the rate of volume increase / decrease is sharp. In short, I quickly go from "can't hear you" to "too loud, but still can't understand".

The jawbone does a bit of passive isolation in the ear it's inserted, provided you pick the right earpiece gel. It's plenty for use in a car, but I'm not sure if it will be enough for your particular application.

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (2, Informative)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525950)

I use a Plantronics Voyager Pro coupled with a Droid. It uses dual noise-canceling microphones that handle background noise pretty good - including the data center.

second the motion on Voyager Pro (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 4 years ago | (#32531116)

that's the only bluetooth that I can actually hear my field techs over when they're sitting by the cabinet fans or blowin' in the wind.

How do you turn the volume up enough to hear them? (1)

Wrexs0ul (515885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526070)

People hear me fine on my Jawbone. I've opened the window while driving and talked in a DC with no problems on their end. Clear as day.

My issue is even at Max volume _I_ still can't hear what people are saying. I've got good hearing, but at best I'm straining to hear a whisper amongst the roar of my jet-engine-powered Dells.

Is there a super volume button I'm missing or something I can do on my iPhone/Blackberry? I've got the unit set to max volume as far as I can tell.


Re:How do you turn the volume up enough to hear th (1)

initdeep (1073290) | more than 4 years ago | (#32528226)

on my blackberry if i plug in a set of stereo headphones, the phones mic stays active but the sound out goes to the headphones.

i have a friend who hooks his up to his car stereo as a music player (through an AUX 1/8" stereo input) while going down the road and when he uses it as a phone, the car stereo transmits the received call while he still speaks into the phone mic on speakerphone. the other thing with this is it mutes the music when you answer a call iirc.

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526612)

Actually, I recommend a SIP Phone on speaker mode...that'll shut 'em up. ;-)

(Seriously, though, I second the jawbone. They're bad-ass when it comes to noise canceling.

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (2, Funny)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527010)

The Plantronics was designed for space plus it looks like it's there unlike a jawjacker. So there you go put a space helmet on (noise canceler) and then strap on a Plantronics headset and you could even use the rest of the spacesuit to eliminate the need to go to the bathroom thereby getting more production. of all it would look cool.

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (2, Funny)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32528986)

I'm having flashbacks of to the Intel bunny suit commercials =)

Re:Jawbone Bluetooth (2, Informative)

customizedmischief (692916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527114)

Ditto that on the Jawbone. My boss had a Jawbone Prime and recently switched to a Jawbone Icon. He uses it in the datacenter a lot. I never know he is there unless he tells me. Like most, our datacenter is really loud.

Also, when I am sitting next to him in the office and I make a quip about something he is saying on the phone, the person on the other end can't hear it unless he chooses to repeat it to them. I have gotten pretty chatty with the obnoxious comments trying to trip him up before. I come very close to getting in a lot of trouble on the few occasions he chooses to use his (non-noise-cancelled) desk phone.

The magic is done with a secondary mic that touches his face and presumably only lets through the frequencies it detects he is speaking. Pretty cool really.

Pilots use.... (2, Informative)

Supernoma (794214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525644)

Pilot's just use aircraft headsets with a plug that can plug into a cell phone.

There's no magic too it, they're just big foamy headphones with a microphone and cost way too much.

Re:Pilots use.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32525830)

I got to use something from David Clark on a C-130. They are expensive though ($300).

Re:Pilots use.... (4, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525914)

Generally the microphones on those types of headsets are highly directional and have a bandpass filter to eliminate frequencies outside of human speech - so, no magic, but yes engineering.

Re:Pilots use.... (2, Informative)

jemenake (595948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525920)

There's no magic too it, they're just big foamy headphones with a microphone and cost way too much.

Actually, there is some magic. Aircraft headsets have two plugs. The plug for the headphones are, I think, a standard 1/4" three-conductor ("TRS") headphone plug. The mic on the other hand, is a different story. Some have a three-conductor plug, and others have a four-conductor (the extra conductor being for triggering the "transmit" mode on the radio). In addition, some of the mics require a DC bias voltage (like "phantom power" in music recording) to make the mic work. And the connector is a funky size... a little smaller than 1/4"... like 3/16" or something. Lastly, aircraft headsets are pretty expensive.

Something aircraft headsets do have going for them is that they are great at cutting down noise, since they're designed for an environment which is constantly noisy. However, keep in mind that the aircraft radios do the mic squelching at the radio. So, without a squelch feature, your aircraft-to-phone conversion might end up constantly transmitting the environment noise to the person on the other end of your call.

Jawbone headset (1)

Wingman 5 (551897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525648) [] it uses the vibrations in your skull from speaking to do noise cancellation.

Noise Cancelling Headset for Phones (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525650)

There are a lot of noise cancelling headset options: []

Pick the one that fits your phone/price/ergonomic requirements.

Yes, you could mod an aviation headset to do the same thing, however they are significantly weighty compared to most headsets (I know this because I have tried this, a guy I know built his own out of surplus aviation headset for LAN gaming). If you want to contact him about it his nick is "Cova" and he can be found on the [] forums.

Re:Noise Cancelling Headset for Phones (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525840)

Yes, you could mod an aviation headset to do the same thing, however they are significantly weighty compared to most headsets

As a flight test engineer who has tried several different headsets over the years, yes they are heavy beasts. I'm pretty rough with them, but so far I haven't broken any. You can expect to easily pay over $100 for a base model, but for sound exclusion I don't know of anything better.

In one of our systems we DID hook up the crewmembers to an ISDN connection for voice transmission. It worked, but it was costly (at least, from a data center perspective and not a executive telecom perspective).

While an aviation headset might work, you might end up overengineering the situation and end up with a crinked neck.

Re:Noise Cancelling Headset for Phones (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32529062)

It worked, but it was costly (at least, from a data center perspective and not a executive telecom perspective).

The most expensive time in the world for most companies is the time spent by IT waiting to solve a problem affecting n users. Executives need to be in touch, but it would be a very strange situation where that time would be more expensive than an IT outage.

Answer (5, Funny)

bagboy (630125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525658)

Cone of Silence" []

Re:Answer (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525860)

Demand it!

Re:Answer (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526008)

Which, oddly, does not work for Coneheads.

Re:Answer (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526178)

This is the best day of my life!!!

The Stenomask!! (2, Funny)

kriston (7886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525714)

The Stenomask!! The picture needs no description.$20110.jpg []

Re:The Stenomask!! (1)

kriston (7886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525762)

Also available in hands-free!! []

Re:The Stenomask!! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525890)

Seeing these two photos reminded me of this [] .

Re:The Stenomask!! (1)

phylevn (1202081) | more than 4 years ago | (#32530396)

Jaja.. I'll buy one.. is just that I need ... :P

Check out the Etymotic etyBLU (4, Interesting)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525722)

I haven't actually tried it, but I have used other Etymotic products, and they generally work very well. Here's the page. []

I'm particularly fond of their hf2 stereo headset -- they sound great!

Re:Check out the Etymotic etyBLU (1)

virtualXTC (609488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525978)

Agreed about Etymotic products. I love my pair of ER-6i's; just wish they came with an inline mic.

Re:Check out the Etymotic etyBLU (1)

5pp000 (873881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526068)

Then definitely check out the hf2 -- it sounds better than the ER-6i (which I have also used extensively), and it has an inline mic!

What I'd hack up: (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525744)

Get a throat microphone and a secret-service type earpiece. Wires from those are very standard mono jacks and if you can't find the parts to convert them into the right plug at Radioshack, you can certainly buy the bare plug ends and solder up a harness in 15 minutes.

Re:What I'd hack up: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32525836)

Uhh wouldn't getting a phone call from someone on a throat-mic sound like a robo-call?

That'd be creepy!


Oblig Good Morning Vietname reference (4, Funny)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525784)

We're talking out in the field today. Hi, what's your name?
"My name's Bob Fliber!"

Bob, what do you do?
"I'm in the artillery!"
Thank you, Bob. Listen, can we play anything for you?

"Anything! Just play it loud! Okay?" (1)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525824)

they have those nerdy-ass throat mics. Pretend you're Spec Ops in the datacenter. Because you are so cool. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32525872) (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525922)

And also get a man-in-black-style earpiece. And then call everyone "Mr. Anderson" [] .

BlueParrot (2, Insightful)

Jakester2K (612607) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525828)

BlueParrot has decent noise-cancelling BlueTooth headsets. Originally designed for truckers. Mine is great, everyone I talk to says I sound like I'm a foot away, and battery life is good. My GFs headset - a newer version, B250 I think - works well, but battery life is a problem. Not sure why. IMO expensive but worth it.

Plantronics Voyager Pro (3, Informative)

greenThing (111378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525844)

I've used this in my data center, sitting in the hot row on a conference call, and no one complained about the noise & could hear me fine. I've used it paired to my Crackberry as well as my Macbook Pro. Probably the best bluetooth device I've used.

Re:Plantronics Voyager Pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32531064)

I also have a Voyager Pro (though I need a new set of earpieces for it) and transmit audio is not a problem. I sorta wish for a silicone that goes *into* my ear canal, for better receive audio without having to turn it up, but ...

Use aircraft headsets (3, Informative)

tezzer (558085) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525862)

You can find adapters for aircraft headsets that will let you use bluetooth, etc. These will work in -seriously- noisy environments, may be overkill. for example: []

Re:Use aircraft headsets (1)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527186)

Aircraft headsets have separate mic and headset connectors and seem to require power from the aircraft intercom system. They do not work standalone as far as I know. I am a pilot and own three different headsets. I would love to be able to use one in the datacenter. I have asked this very question on the lopsa mailing list here: []

And we never came up with a decent answer. This was also asked on the kernel-panic mailing list and we found nothing through that discussion either.

Re:Use aircraft headsets (1)

tezzer (558085) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527464)

Something like these will work: [] [] The first uses a 9V battery to power the headset, the second uses USB power. The USB solution will only work with computer audio, of course- but if you are using a VOIP app it would work just fine

Re:Use aircraft headsets (1)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527608)

Interesting, thanks for the link. The reviews are pretty mixed and people who work in a datacenter really need something that works with a mobile phone or landline. VOIP soft phones are rare in this application and would tie you to a particular location.

Re:Use aircraft headsets (1)

joekool (21359) | more than 4 years ago | (#32531582)

what's wrong with the one in the link he posted?

or the generic?
+ an adapter for a cell phone

just curious...

Plantronics Voyager PRO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32525864)

I frequently use a Plantronics Voyager PRO on the streets of NYC and it works well – much better than the handset alone in a noisy environment.

Operator number 527! Back to work! (4, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525882)

You know you're not supposed to be surfing, what is that? Slashdot? What the hell is Slashdot? It's not Discover Card applications, I know that for damn sure. If you want to keep working here, get the fuck back to work. And quit bitching about the headset. You see anybody else complaining?

Re:Operator number 527! Back to work! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526032)

But the dupe frequency helps us calibrate our network signal strength!

Shouldn't need to work IN the machine room (0)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525884)

Every datacentre I've been in has a quiet or soundproofed control room for the operators and most of the time no-one at all in the machine room itself. Apart from the obvious desire not to have individuals wandering around, breaking things it's not a good working environment. The only people who should be working in there would be "hard hat" types like installers, wiring people and cleaners. None of which will need to make calls so much that a 30-second walk to the control room will matter.

They will also have supervision, for health and safety reasons (minimum number of staff in attendance) so any calls TO them can let someone from the control room go find them.

In short, you shouldn't need any phones that can't be connected up to hard-wired sockets. Even these could easily be specified as phones for the hard of hearing, to get over the environmental noise problems.

Re:Shouldn't need to work IN the machine room (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526082)

Ah, but what if you're the guy who's installing a rack full of new gear? Or perhaps doing other hardware-related work in the datacenter and you need to call Joe, the sysadmin in charge of system xyz to ask him about the instructions he scribbled on a napkin which you can at best interpret as "wen /talling sstem make siiie cd320-co.jkei.djk ls conn drec tsm23_33uid.erjk.djk"?

That Never Happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526260)

That never happens! Never in the history of man has such an event transpired.

What? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! WHAT?

Re:Shouldn't need to work IN the machine room (4, Insightful)

green1 (322787) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526200)

Apparently you've never worked as one of the "hard hat" crowd.

We spend hours at a time in these rooms installing, testing, or repairing equipment. Most of which needs to be done concurrently with phone calls to someone sitting at a desk in a quiet area somewhere. This is done to test individual cards, circuits, etc (which as you just pointed out, often can't be done by the person in the machine room) It is simply not practical to run back and forth to a control room for each adjustment, we need to work on equipment while talking with someone who is making the changes live. Running back and forth would increase the time requirements (and the outage lengths) by a very large factor.

The machine room is a constant test of how loud my headset can go, along with a hefty dose of "say again please?"

Re:Shouldn't need to work IN the machine room (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526242)

that's quite simply bullshit. us "hard hat" types as you call us (which I don't really understand, rarely do heavy objects fall from the ceiling in my data centers so I usually pass on the hard hat) routinely need to be on the phone with the "soft hat" types while in the datacenter. "OK, I plugged in the new network cable, can you see it connected?"
"I rebooted, did you see it come up?"
"Put that CD in the drive, was it the right machine?"
"I patched zyx07 into Vlan27, all good?"
and repeat until you hate your life. I suppose I could plug it in, then walk over to the control room to call the sysadmins, then keep going back and forth a few hundred times while we troubleshoot, but that seems pretty inefficient. As for phone type, don't know what to tell you, I use a normal headset. Not ideal, datacenters are loud, but not THAT loud, never really had a problem.

Re:Shouldn't need to work IN the machine room (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526460)

While huge corporations definitely exist, you might consider that there are also small and medium sized datacenters, which also produce a crap-ton of noise. There are something close to 800 fans in my datacenter, for example, and the only 'control room' I have access to is my cubicle.

Control room? That's our coffee room! (1)

yoma666 (1083023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527764)

We don't work there you insensitive...

Re:Shouldn't need to work IN the machine room (1)

TomXP411 (860000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32529220)

Yeah, that's a helpful reply. Tell him everything his situation isn't. Maybe if he prints out your comment and takes it to his boss, his company will hire the magic data center faeries, who will poof a soundproof office in to existence just for him.

I have several friends who work as system operators, and they work right there next to the computers; they have to load and unload printers, swap tapes, swap drive carts, and perform other tasks that require them to be in the same room as the systems.

It's good that you told us about your fantasy world, though. Just so you know, the guys with the white coats are just here to talk...

You can get aviation headsets with bluetooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32525888)

Lightspeed Zulu looks promising:

If you want more of a consumer-oriented device, the Nokia BH-905 looks to have quite sophisticated noise cancellation tech (10-microphone array and fancy DSP, instead of the usual 2 mics). It just has the typical non-removable lithium battery of consumer bluetooth stuff, plus it's nowhere near as sturdy or cool-looking as an aviation set. But at $300 it's much cheaper (aviation sets are $600+), and it's much smaller, and has a bunch of cables to use as a wired or wireless headset for many kinds of devices; supports Bluetooth multipoint (i.e. it can communicate with multiple devices at the same time, so if you're wearing the headset and one of the two phones in your pocket rings, you can answer either one without having to reconfigure the headset), etc.

Re:You can get aviation headsets with bluetooth (1)

kd6ttl (1016559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527714)

The Lightspeed is designed to cut low frequency noise. Are there any noise-reduction headsets designed to cut out the frequency range of human voices?

I asked a couple of manufacturers at the AOPA convention a few years ago, and at that time there were none. But there might be now, and not every manufacturer was at the convention.

A review of the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 and the Heil Quiet Phone Pro in the May 2010 QST said that those headsets are also designed to cut out low frequencies, and not the entire sound spectrum.

Re:You can get aviation headsets with bluetooth (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32529154)

The Sennheiser PC450 blocks out human voices pretty well until you hit the talk through button.

Plantronics Noise-Canceling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32525952)

CS361N Binaural SupraPlus ( is slick. Mute button on the headset, biaural, and noise canceling. Pair it with the handset lifter and you can hang up the phone from the headset. I used it all day every day and charge overnight and have never had the battery go dead. No experience using it in very noisy environments, but it is sensitive to 'wind' so if you have chillers blowing on you, the headset will pick it up.

Bose... (4, Informative)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32525988)

I use Bose QC2's in the DC for long stays, they have a phone connection kit, the mic seems to be very able to keep things quiet on both ends, they keep your ears warm and while not serving as a phoneset they can be used to listen to tunes, I do not recommend these headsets lightly or for anyone not in a NOISY environment, they add noise to the sound in quiet environments.

A Throat Microphone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526028)

Plain old cordless phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526096)

I'm sure you can geek it out but we use a plain old cheap $50 1.9Ghz cordless phone and a cheap wired headset plugged into it (even the free ones that come with some older Blackberry's). KISS, It works perfect. The phone clips on your belt and the headset goes on your head. Hands free and you can hear and speak fine. Sure if the person on the other end is whispering it is hard to hear but tell them to speak up a little. If a little background noise bothers you and you are considering some noise cancelling phones, how do you communicate live with other people in the server room with you?

This is what we use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526158)

This is the headset we use on our Fire engine for the operator so they can hear radio traffic while standing next to the apparatus. Blue tooth capable with noise reducing head set. []

Nokia BH-905 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526264)

I bought Nokia BH-905 headset that is supposed to be good for noisy environments. It was quite pricey and I do not work in datacenter, so I can't comment on that but I liked the headset and its noise cancellation.

Aviation ANR headsets? (1)

ttg512 (221628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526412)

How serious about this are you? My jawbone headset works pretty well in noisy environments on one ear but you just can't beat an aviation bluetooth headset for active noise cancellation and two ear sound. See the ones from Lightspeed. I have not tried them but have used other ANR aviation headsets in small airplanes which are so noisy you can't hear yourself shout and they are amazing. I looked around at their website and the Zulu seems to be the bomb for the low low low price of $850. See it at [] They have others. Who knows the others might be cheaper. There are also other brands of aviation ANR headsets which support bluetooth. It seems the latest generation of bluetooth chips are quite a bit better for this kind of thing than even a year or so ago. I ride a motorcycle and just tried the Sena SMH10 which integrates into a helmet and it's also impressive how clear and noise free it is + the interface design is very natural and the controls just work.

Peltor Is Your Friend (4, Informative)

CrankyFool (680025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32526670)

We've got two datacenters and I've spent ... well, way too much time in both of them. At some point, our network team discovered the Peltor bluetooth headsets -- see [] -- and stocked up on about 3-4 headsets per datacenter.

These things work beautifully. They're comfortable for wear (I typically put one on even if I'm not going to make a phone call), pair nicely with both the wired telephone and my iPhone, have great sound quality while talking to tech support, etc. Can't recommend enough.

Re:Peltor Is Your Friend (2, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32529272)

I can largely confirm various Peltors working beautifully. They're the stuff that officers leading the firing range used in the army too - though they used lower end stuff.

And they're comfortable enough to sleep in. I used to sleep in pair of basic sound dampening peltors when 155mm cannons were shooting 50m away and I needed sleep. You can feel ground shaking a bit when they fire, but sound won't wake you up - dampening is that good. Your ears get a bit sweaty, and you'll feel them if you try to turn on the side, but they're comfortable enough to fall asleep on your back with.

Best telephone for the job.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32526924) to use text/sms.

Or get everyone blackberries.

How about the ones helicopter pilots etc use? (2, Informative)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527200)

Your question contains your answer.

Those headphone and microphone combinations you mention in your question are all available with 3.5" and 2.5" (etc.) standard connectors. If that's the kind of thing you want to use, go get one and use it. There are also several that use USB and in-device coding/decoding so if your Skype requirements involve a laptop of stationary computer, those work as well.

There are lots of full ear-cup and direct boom microphone headsets, and fully half can be used with phones, and probably a third of them are available with amplifiers in them so as not to suck the life out of a cell phone etc.

They are all just really pricey.

On my current DoD project we have tried several brands so far.

Go to a pilot supply store and try a few.

Expect to spend $150 USD or more.

Share and enjoy. 8-)

Re:How about the ones helicopter pilots etc use? (1)

bunyip (17018) | more than 4 years ago | (#32529996)

The noise reduction (ANR) headsets that pilots use are a little more expensive but work really well. Start shopping (well) north of $300 and the top of the line models are around $900. I have a Lightspeed headset, and really like it. I've tried it with my phone a couple of times and it makes a great hands-free for driving on the highway.

You could try one at any pilot store. Most General Aviation (GA) airports, even many of the smaller ones, have a store nearby.

cheapest POTS hard-wired walmart phone (1)

wizzy403 (303479) | more than 4 years ago | (#32527824)

I know I probably lose geek points, but after fighting with interference on wireless phones (2.4 and 5 ghz) or headsets that don't go loud enough, I went out to Walmart, bought the cheapest POTS phone I could find that didn't have an answering machine in it. Then I bought a 50-foot handset cord, and tie-wrapped it to the side of my network rack. Yeah, I can't make it to rack # 15, but for casual "read me the diag lights" calls to vendors, works pretty good.

Try some Lightspeeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32528186)

You can always get a pair of Lightspeed Zulus - they are highly regarded in the aviation community and have built-in bluetooth.

Keep in mind the ANR range is specific for props for planes - your mileage may vary in a data center environment.

Siemens S685 IP and Plantronics or GN Netcom hs (1)

alfredos (1694270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32528206)

The mentioned phone is a DECT unit. Very reliable at DC distances, sound is clear. It can talk to Bluetooth or 2.5 mm jack headsets. Whichever is used works fine as long as it is of good quality, which implies a good deal of background noise rejection among other things.

That provides you not only with a reasonable quality of speech in both directions, but also, just as important, with two free hands AND freedom to move around.

Talking from experience on a well-known (and as noisy as any) DC.

Related: best single earpiece for all day use? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32528264)

What is the best single ear piece? One that won't make me crazy if worn all day. Like the Secret Service/FBI/etc wear. Mono, not stereo.

Lightspeed Mach 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32528662)

For a pilot's ANR in-ear headset (without going to a bulky over the ear style which is more common), check out the Lightspeed Mach 1. They're not cheap.

GN Netcomm - now Jabra (1)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 4 years ago | (#32530280)

We use GN 9120's exclusively. Have several of them in close proximity. The microphone pickup is spectacularly good. The only downside is that the ear-hook can be a bit painful after an hour or so.

Throat mic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32530614)

I'm developing a set similar to these for gaming and other noise intrusive environments. Throat mics were initially developed for pilots during WWII.

Plantronics SHR2083-01 Industrial Noise Canceling (1)

punkrockgeekboy (878439) | more than 4 years ago | (#32530702)

The answer you want is a Land Line coupled with Plantronics SHR2083-01 Industrial Noise Canceling Headsets. I've put these into the last 12 cage buildouts I've done. The mouth piece isn't great, but at least it's audible when you're standing right in-between two 20-ton CRAC units. Don't do a cell phone, life is too short. Avoid VOIP because you can't call up and talk to a vendor if your network is down.

Hmmm (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32530882)

I am a bit confused by the actual question itself as the poster doesn't define what type of telephone/s he wants to use the headset with. Does he want something that works with a mobile/pc/desk/cordless phone as there are different combinations for each setup. Me personally I use a Plantronics Voyagerpro (dual mic) with a USB dongle for my PC and my mobile. If I was looking at a PC/Desk phone rig I would go with a Plantronics Savi Office Pro WO300 or WO350.

Nexus One (1)

Jeff Carr (684298) | more than 4 years ago | (#32530998)

The Nexus One is pretty great in data centers. It kills pretty much all of the background noise. The Motorolla S9-HD headset however, while fantastic for music, is pretty much worthless in the data center or if you have your windows down in the car.

not quite the Easy button on it, but (1)

ewertz (1191025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32531072)

From much of my experience, I'd say that the best phone for many IT workers is the one with the big, red, "Oh Shit..." button on it.

Custom Solution (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32531304)

I would go with wifi headsest that can accept a plug in headphone jack and just get a custom cable to hook into pilot cans.

That way if you have wifi in the datacenter you're not hampered by signal issues. Other wireless solutions tied to your desk will not work with large datacenters I've seen them ineffective in ones of 6000sqft that are full of fun metal cabinets. Wifi though works great because you can deal with dead zones or align the antennas with the walkspaces.

PTT and throat mic is the only way to go. (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 4 years ago | (#32531498)

anyone working in data center should use ptt throat mic. it's pain to keep remind yourself to press two buttons on your neck to talk but hell, i can hear dime drops on the other end of the line and you rarely hear person on the other end asking "What did you say? What.. What?"

Throat mic and bone conduction headphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32532580)

You'll need to find a bluetooth adapter that accepts external mic inputs (good luck with that by the way), but a throat mic and bone conduction headphones work pretty good.

Iasus Concepts has a good throat mic that doesn7t suck, unlike most of the cheaper ones you can find on thinkgeek and elsewhere. You'll need the PC adapter, but will end up not using the headphone line because the headphone link at the neckband is mono. They also have an iphone style 4 conductor pin adapter too, but that also runs into the same mono issue.

Next, grab from somewhere like Amazon a bone conduction headphone set that doesn't suck. Since it isn't stuffed in your ear, you run less of chance of blowing your eardrums, however it does not protect you from volume ruining the frequency specific cillia in your inner ear, but you usually can just rip off the headphones easily if it comes to that. I like the adjustable version at the bottom of this page.

You may need an headphone booster because the bone conduction type headphones use more juice for a given volume. Iasus also sells an inline amplifier that is pretty powerful and allows you manage the amplification.

Please note this setup assumes that you need to keep you face clear of a boom mic, and that you need to keep your ears open to listen to the surrounding environment and people in front of you, and you want stereo sound.

pilot like headset (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32533306)

I think what you're looking for is something like this:

If that is actually what you need is another matter...

David Clark Headsets for high noise environments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32533726)

Use Type 230 Confidencer Microphone (1)

realperseus (594176) | more than 4 years ago | (#32534324)

Look into the Type 230 "Confidencer" [] by Ronwell. These microphones replace the standard microphone that is found on your typical wall phone. They make models for both Avaya and Nortel analog wall phones. I can attest that this product works very well in exceptionally noisy environments. Good luck.
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