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Headset connection types

With many choices of telephone systems, applications, softphones, adapters, and accessories in the workplace, understanding the different connection types can help when choosing the right headset.

The most common office and call centre headset types are:

Wired headsets 

Wired headsets are some of the most used headsets in the unified communications industry. With a range of prices for different budgets, no charging needed, as well as their plug-and-play ability, they are a clear choice for many. When choosing the right headset, you will need to check its compatibility with your device. Most headsets will use one of the following connection types.

Quick Disconnect

Some wired headsets will have a Quick Disconnect (QD) connection. These connect to your device (desk phone, PC, Laptop) using a bottom lead which will have a QD connector on one end and the device connector on the other. Different bottom leads will have different phone connection types such as RJ11, RJ9, 3.5mm, 2.5mm, or USB. To check the compatibility of your headset with your phone or device you can use JPL’s compatibility tool that will show you which bottom lead you will need.

There are several benefits of having a QD connection. Firstly, it allows you to quickly disconnect the headset from the bottom lead or amplifier when you need to walk away from your desk during a call and easily connect the headset again to re-join the call. Another benefit is that if you swap telephone systems or devices you will not need to purchase a whole new headset, only the bottom lead connector. Lowering the overall cost of ownership of your headset.

Many manufacturers will have their own unique quick disconnect design to prevent the ability to mix and match between brands. At JPL we offer all our QD bottom leads with Polly compatible (PLX) quick-disconnect connection, as well as, a PLX to GN adapter so you are able to connect your GN QD headset to any of our PLX cables and vice versa (GN bottom lead to any JPL PLX QD headset).

Direct Connection

Other wired headsets may have a direct connection cable. This is where the headset will have the wire directly to the device connector, for many who may not be experienced or have a small budget for buying headsets you may feel more comfortable with this option. Not having to worry about sourcing a separate lead and reducing the number of items being delivered. Headsets can have a range of direct connections, however, at JPL we offer 2 types of direct connections, RJ11 and USB.


The Registered Jack-11 (6P2C), otherwise known as RJ11, connector is the most common type of headset to telephone connector. The connector is designed for one telephone line with a green and red wire situated in a 6 position two-conductor connector. In simpler words, it will connect to headset/handset ports on telephone systems that support RJ11 connectivity. Please check your phone manual or JPL’s compatibility tool to confirm compatibility before purchase. At JPL we offer our JPL-100B-RJ11 and JPL-100M-RJ11 headsets with this connection type.


USB, or Universal Serial Bus headsets, are our most popular direct connection headset type. For connection to a laptop, PC, Mac, softphone, and IP phones whether you are using headsets in the office, at home, at school or hybrid working. At JPL our high-quality USB headsets come with a range of features to make business communication easier. We offer a range of USB corded headsets (500 series, 400 series, 100 series, and the Commander series) with just volume and mute inline controls. Not having call accept/reject (answer/end) buttons allows us to remove the need for downloads on installation and reduces the need for updates in the future. This saves time and resources for the user as well as technical teams managing a large headset rollout. We have included volume and mute controls for ease of use for the user with a LED indicator to show when the headset is muted. The software last approach gives these headsets the ability to be compatible with all known softphones available on PC and Mac devices, and the call accept/reject (answer/end) is easily done with the click of a mouse.

Wireless headsets 

Wireless headsets on the other hand also have their advantages. Not being tied to the desk, having call answer and reject functions on the headset itself, and having the ability to connect to multiple devices can be a clear choice for some users. There are two types of wireless headset connections you can have.

DECT Headsets 

DECT stands for ‘Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications’. This style of wireless headset uses a base station to connect to your desk phone. The base station then acts as the main hub for the headset to control charging, compatibility, volume, and other settings. Directly out of the box the headset is compatible with most phone systems by using an RJ11 cord to plug from the handset port on the phone into the back of the base station. However, this will not give you call accept/reject control functions. For this, you will need a DECT Lifter or an EHS cord. Once the base station is set up, the headset can be paired to give you the freedom to move around during your call. Once you are done with your call, or at the end of your day, the headset can then be placed back onto the base station to charge ready for your next call. At JPL We offer the JPL-Explore DECT wireless headset which includes our patented modular design with optional interchangeable connection cartridge modules to give your DECT headset the ability to connect via USB or Bluetooth.


Bluetooth is the simplest way of achieving wireless connection. Whether you are connecting with a phone system, computer, or mobile phone, Bluetooth can be the best option. Bluetooth allows your headset to ‘pair’ to your device to share data over a short distance. When connecting your headset to, for example, your mobile phone, you would enter your settings, scan for available devices, place your headset in pairing mode and allow your phone to discover your headset. Once found your phone will confirm connection to the headset and you will be ready for use. Just as the DECT headset, Bluetooth headsets also need to be charged as they are not connected to a power source like wired headsets are. How often you need to charge your headset will vary depending on how much talk time you do, but with JPL’s BT500D wireless headset we average 20 hours of talk time. We also include our BT220 Bluetooth dongle and a USA-A to USB-C adapter with the BT500D for quick connection to your Mac or PC.

JPL Adapters

When connecting your headset to any phone system, computer, or mobile you may have the need to use an adapter. This may be to increase a feature within the headset or you may need it to connect to an everchanging unified communication. There are 4 main types of adapters that JPL supplies.


The adapter used with wired headsets is an amplifier. At JPL our amplifier is called the JPL-Companion, this sits in between the telephone system or PC and the headset. The Companion comes with a USB cable for power and connection with your computer, a telephone cable to connect to the RJ11 cord on your phone system. This makes almost any headset compatible with any phone system using the varied controls within the amplifier. Apart from the connection, the JPL-Companion also helps with boosting the volume in the microphone and headphones, training use with the ability to use 2 headsets, sound level control, microphone control, and voice call recording via third-party software when connected to a computer.

DECT Lifter

The JPL DECT Lifter adapter is used with wireless DECT headsets to give you remote call accept and reject. This works by placing it under the handset and connecting it to the base station of your headset. The microphone on the lifter is then placed over the telephones speaker and all secured using adhesive tape. When a call is received the adapter tells the headset a call is waiting, once the call is excepted by the headset wearer, the adapter will lift the handset starting the call. Once the call has ended the adapter will lower the handset back onto the cradle to hang up the call. This bypasses the need for EHS cable compatibility as the DECT Lifter works using the mechanical action of lifting the handset. Giving you wireless compatibility with call accept/reject functionality.

EHS Cord

As with the DECT Lifter, an Electronic Hook Switch, EHS, helps to provide remote call answer and reject functions. Electronically connects your DECT headset base to your telephone, and each phone brand has its own individual EHS compatibility and set-up, you can check our EHS user guide for more information.

USB-A to USB-C Adapter

The last adapter is the JPL A-01, USB-A to USB-C adapter. This small, compact adapter plugs into any USB-C port to give all your direct connect USB-A headsets or USB-A bottom leads a quick and safe connection, making your headset compatible with modern laptops and Android mobile phones.

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