Jabra’s first corded model in their next-gen Engage franchise is aimed at the more price-sensitive part of the market, but still contains some interesting technology innovations.
Headset maker Jabra has launched the Engage 50, the first corded member of their Engage family of headsets. The Engage franchise was launched earlier this year as a next-generation replacement for the Pro 9400 line. The Engage 50 is offered as a lower cost option suitable for environments where users are relatively stationary, like call centres.
“The Engage franchise targets users who work every day having calls with customers, such as traders with high-value calls every day, and call centre agents,” said Sidsel Enghoff, Product Marketing Manager for call-centric use cases at Jabra. “However, the amount of money they are willing to spend is different.”
The first two models, the Engage 65 and Engage 75, which launched in April, were wireless. They also had wireless pricing, ranging from $USD 348 for the Engage 65 Mono, to $440 for the Engage 75 Convertible and Stereo. The Engage 50 is a corded model, and is about half the price of the others, at $USD190 for the Mono and $210 for the Stereo.
“Wireless is expanding because the technology is getting better and more secure, but some buyers continue to prefer wired because it’s reliable and significantly less expensive,” Enghoff said. She said that cost issues aside, that corded phones make more sense in call centres environments where the agents are relatively stationary, but environments where users move around a lot are much more logical candidates for wireless.
While the Engage 50 is less expensive, it still adds some technological innovation to the line. It holds three patents for features that improve call quality: a three-microphone system to reduce unwanted sounds like background noise and breathing; the embedding of the processing chip directly in the earcup; and audio improvements that balance incoming sound and automatically adjust to the users’ preferences.
“The three mic system is new from Jabra,” Enghoff said. The Engage 65 and 75 have a 2 mic system to do the same thing. The idea is to filter out as much noise as possible. The Jabra 50 can offer this kind of technology because while it is significantly less expensive than the wireless models, it is not a low-end headset. It’s a midrange product.”
Embedding the chip within the earcup itself has several advantages, Enghoff stated.
“On other systems, the chip is within the control unit. Putting it in the earcup makes it closer to conversations, and makes it a true digital headset. It also prolongs the life of the product because it will be easier to update.”
The audio improvements involve the use of specially-designed software to provide rich call analytics to power data-driven decisions to improve the customer experience, while combating noise.
“We have built new software applications into the Engage 50 which can, in an intelligent way, solve issues with noise and interruptions,” Enghoff said. “It can give the agent information to adjust the mic boom arm if it is placed incorrectly.” This information is provided by live on-screen guidance through the Jabra Direct software.
“The rich call analytics also give businesses information about how the noise is in the contact centre,” Enghoff added. “The software is very innovative.”
The headset also addresses the issue of interruptions that affect agents’ work focus with multi-colour status lights on both earcups, which can be customized, and ensure that users are not bothered while in the middle of an important call. Engage 50 has a call control unit accessory, the Jabra Engage Link, that allows agents to adjust volume levels and mute, speed dial, answer and end calls, and update their status lights at the touch of a button. Each headset incorporates category-first USB-C for easy connection to PC and mobile devices, with the option of USB-A connectivity as an accessory. Engage 50 is compatible with on-premises and cloud-based softphone platforms, and meets Skype for Business Open Office requirements.
The Engage 50 is sold through both reseller and retail partners, and is available now.