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New Plantronics devices address UC noise

While on a phone or video call, it’s pretty common to pick up some background noise — whether it’s dogs barking, car horns blaring or a co-worker’s goofy ringtone.

As offices become more open and workers become increasingly mobile, background noise is a new challenge facing collaboration. Plantronics is targeting this problem of UC noise with four new audio devices announced earlier this month.

“Everywhere is the new workplace. We know office noise is increasingly becoming a concern due to more open working environments that promote collaboration, but workplace noise isn’t just a problem for those in the office,” said Bill Loewenthal, vice president of enterprise product solutions at Plantronics, in a statement. “You can’t always control your environment and you certainly can’t control your caller’s environment.”

Users are demanding tools that promote seamless collaboration. If someone on a call can’t be heard because of background noise, users can’t effectively collaborate. It’s that simple.

“There’s been increasing emphasis on the importance of a reliable, high-quality, seamless user experience when communicating and collaborating today,” said Rich Costello, senior research analyst for unified communications at IDC. Plantronics’ new devices aim to reduce background noise for users on audio or video calls and increase the clarity of their voices, whether they’re at their desk or on the road.

The new products from Plantronics are:

Blackwire 725, a corded stereo headset with noise-canceling technology, is geared toward workers in open or collaborative workspaces who make PC-based calls. In addition to reducing outside noises, the device’s headset includes a noise-canceling microphone that diminishes noise on the user’s end of a call. The Blackwire 725 is available now and retails at $179.

Voyager Edge UC is a mobile headset for workers who take calls on their mobile devices, from their phone to their laptop. The headset includes three microphones that reduce noise caused by outside elements like wind. The Voyager Edge UC is available now and retails at $199.

Calisto 610 is a speakerphone that allows for mobile conference calls with small groups of people. The speakerphone includes a noise-canceling, omni-directional microphone and can integrate with a user’s softphone. The Calisto 610 is available now and retails for $99.

Clarity 340 is a handset phone designed for workers with vision, hearing or dexterity challenges. The phone includes sound amplification, large buttons for dialing and a large display. The phone is compatible with hearing-aids. The Clarity 340 will be available in March and will retail for $149.