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What Are Softphones?

The world of telecommunications has come a long way since the invention of the telephone. Nowadays, businesses of all sizes rely on various tools to communicate with their clients, customers, and employees. One such tool is a softphone, a software-based communication system that allows you to make and receive calls over the internet.

We’re going to take a closer look at what a softphone is, how it works, and the benefits it provides to businesses.

What is a Softphone?

Before we dive into the specifics of a softphone, it’s important to understand what the term actually means.

A softphone is a software-based application that allows you to make and receive phone calls over the internet using a laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other device that supports the software. Softphones use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to send your communication digitally over the internet from computer to computer, rather than via a hardphone.

Unlike traditional phones, softphones don’t require any physical hardware to function. All you need is a computer, smartphone, or tablet and an internet connection to make and receive calls. This makes softphones a cost-effective and flexible solution for businesses of all sizes.

What a Softphone System Typically Looks Like and What Kind of Businesses Use Them

A softphone system typically consists of two main components, the software application and a headset, which could be a Bluetooth headset, or a USB headset option.

The software application is installed on the hardware you’re using and provides the platform for making and receiving calls. The headset, on the other hand is purely for hearing and speaking clearly, you could of course use integrated microphones and speakers, however as we’ve discussed previously this can cause problems in noisy environments.

Softphones are widely used in various industries such as call centres, customer support, and sales. The growth of remote and hybrid working has also meant softphones have become an essential piece of software for many companies looking to foster great communication.

Some Common Softphone Apps on the Market

Several softphone apps on the market offer different features and functionalities. While common audio and video communication platforms like Microsoft Teams incorporate softphone features, here are some of the most popular softphone-only apps:


Zoiper is a popular softphone app that is available on multiple platforms such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It offers a range of features such as call recording and messaging. Zoiper also supports various codecs and can be integrated with popular third-party apps such as Google Contacts and Outlook.


X-Lite is a free softphone app that is available on Windows and macOS. It offers basic calling features such as call transfer, call waiting, and conference calling. X-Lite also supports HD voice and can be used with a wide range of SIP-based VoIP service providers.


3CX is a softphone app that is designed specifically for businesses. It offers a range of features such as call routing, call queuing, and call recording. 3CX also supports video calling and can be integrated with popular third-party apps such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

What Are The Best Types of Headsets For Softphones

Choosing the right headset for your softphone is essential to ensure good call quality and comfort during long calls. Here are some of the best types of headsets.

Wired Headsets

Wired headsets are a popular choice for softphone users as they offer high-quality audio and reliable connectivity. 

On-ear wired headsets are compact and portable making them a great choice for the business and commercial audience they are targeted at. They also feature a boom mic specifically designed to pick up the speaker’s voice in a noisy environment.

Wireless Headsets

Wireless headsets offer more flexibility and freedom of movement during calls.

Bluetooth technology can be used to connect to your other devices. The advantage of a Bluetooth wireless headset is that they can connect to multiple devices quickly and easily, meaning searching for that adapter wire is a thing of the past.

With JPLs patented design, we also offer USB DECT connection to give you the same wireless freedom with other features such as a longer wireless range, conference calling and a docking station.

USB Headsets

USB headsets such as those produced by JPL are designed specifically for use with softphones and offer plug-and-play connectivity. The advantage over a Bluetooth headset is that the end user doesn’t have to worry about pairing their devices, or battery life.

Are Softphones the End of the Hardphone Industry?

Softphones have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their cost-effectiveness and flexibility. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the hardphone industry. There are still businesses that prefer to use traditional phones for their communication needs.

Credit: Retaildesigner https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nortel_1140E_IP_Phone.jpg

Moreover, hardphones still offer certain advantages over softphones, such as better call quality, reliability, durability, and needing less maintenance by comparison.

That said, the trend is shifting towards softphones due to their affordability and portability, especially for businesses with remote employees and at a time when rising costs are putting pressure on IT budgets. There’s also an environmental consideration too, manufacturing and shipping large volumes of hardphones creates a larger carbon footprint than software.

Ultimately, softphones are a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes that want to improve their communication capabilities while reducing costs. By using a softphone, businesses can enjoy a wide range of features and functionalities that traditional phones don’t offer.

Choosing the right softphone app and headset is essential to ensure good call quality and comfort during long calls.

JPL Headset Help You Get More From a Softphone

Speak to JPL today about how our range of monaural and binaural headsets can affordably help your team better utilise your softphone system. With a range of options available, we’ll give you all the help and support you need and can, in some circumstances, offer a free trial.

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