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Why do Wired Headsets need Tails?

Why do Wired Headsets need Tails?

When you buy a wired headset it should simply plug into your phone, right?

Wrong actually... Plantronics (and Jabra for that matter) wired headsets don't plug into anything except a Plantronics tail, the tail plugs into your phone. Exceptions exist for USB.

Why not keep it simple?

Well they have it turns out. A headset can be used for many reasons, it can plug into a computer, an iPhone or iPad (or another type of mobile phone), a cordless phone, or a desk phone - the list goes on. All of these can have different connectors. A desk phone alone could use an RJ-9, or an RJ-11 (amplified or un-amplified - then amplified to what level?), a 2.5mm jack, or a 3.5mm jack (as seen on an iPhone, or if you're old enough like me, a WalkMan). Then there's USB.

So do you make a dozen variants of each of your two-dozen models of wired headsets, or do you just make headsets, and tails (connectors), and let people buy the combination they want? Using tails keeps model numbers down, stock numbers down, and reduces costs all around. They connect using a QD (Quick Disconnect) plug which has an added bonus - if you walk away from your desk your phone won't get dragged behind you clearing your desk of all papers at the same time (Charlie Chaplin would not approve of the tail), instead it simply unplugs, while leaving your caller connected for when you return to your desk and plug in again.

Clear as mud? Good, let's get technical:

An RJ-9 (also known as a 4P4C) has 4 wires - 2 for speaker, 2 for microphone... so why are there so many different models of un-amplified tails ending with an RJ-9? Some telephones are different to others, and use different wiring configs for Tx and Rx (transmit and receive) for both speaker and microphone.

In summary

Check your system for compatibility, or email us the details and we'll be happy to check for you. Use the right tail out of the box and save yourself a huge headache!



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