Troubleshooting Common Headset Equipment Problems
When you work from home, your livelihood depends on your headset and telephone or dial pad equipment to be in top working condition at all time. Proper care and use will keep your equipment operating well for many years.
The wires in the headset and cord can break if proper care is not taken. You should never twist or play with the cords. Make sure the cord is out of the way of your chair, so you don’t roll over it. And if you store your headset in a drawer, be careful not to slam the drawer on the cord.
Your phone or dial pad needs very little maintenance; however, you’ll want to keep it clean and avoid spills onto the keys, which can short out the connections. And as with the headset cord, make sure the line cord to your phone or dial pad is out of the way of chair wheels.
Even if you are extremely careful with your equipment, there may come a time when your headset or telephone / dial pad presents some problems. Here are a few common issues and suggested fixes:
Problem: Static in the headset.
This is a common problem, usually caused by a loose connection or wire, either at the RJ9 clip (where the headset plugs into the phone/base), in the headset cord wiring, or in the headset speakers.
If the RJ9 clip is loose where it plugs into the phone/base, or the clip is broken, you might need to replace the headset lower cord. If the cord doesn’t have a QD option (see below) you’ll most likely need to replace the entire headset.
If your headset has a “QD” or “quick disconnect” option (an area in middle of the headset cord where it can be disconnected without unplugging it from the phone/base), the pins may be bent and not making a good connection.
Look at the pins — both on the headset side of the cord, and on the lower cord side. If they are bent, you could use needle-nose pliers to straighten the pins. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you could try replacing the lower portion of the cord. You will need to make sure the new lower cord is compatible with your headset and with the telephone / base.
If, after checking the RJ9 clip and the QD pins, you still have static the problem may be loose wiring in the headset speakers. At this point, you should probably replace the headset with a new one.
Problem: People say they can’t hear me very well.
To start, make sure the mic is positioned properly. The correct placement of the mic boom is important in order to guarantee a clear, consistent voice level. The optimal placement of the mic is typically 1/2″ – 1″ from the mouth.
If your headset has a windscreen (foam over the mic), remove the windscreen to ensure that the mic speaker is turned towards your mouth.
Also, check for obstructions in the speaker holes, such as dust, food particles, makeup and the like. If the mic is clear and positioned correctly, and you still have a problem, increase your volume on the phone or dial pad. It may be set too low.
Problem: I can’t hear the caller very well.
Make sure your headset ear pad(s) fit securely against your ears. If need be, replace the ear pads to ensure a snug, comfortable fit. Check to make sure that the volume on your phone / dial pad volume is set high enough for your listening and speaking comfort. There should be volume controls or switch settings to adjust the transmit volume (your voice out through the mic) and the receive volume (what you hear in the headset speaker[s]). Refer to the users manual for instructions on how to adjust these levels to your personal preference.
If you’ve done all of the above and are still having problems, contact a reputable headset vendor. A headset expert will guide you through additional troubleshooting steps to determine if your equipment is repairable, or if new equipment is needed. We found a great resource for all things headsets: Comfort Telecommunications specializes in headset equipment for the work-at-home community. Visit them at www.comfortel.com for more information.