Sennheiser DECT D10 ‘The Class Changer’ Headset

D-10-USB---Product-shoot-04 copy

Firstly I would like to say happy new year and welcome to my first review of 2015.

This review in particular I’ve been looking forward to writing as its one I think changes the DECT headset market.

As you will be aware I’ve reviewed other DECT headsets in the past including Sennheiser’s other offering the DW Office so when I got the D10 I did think why would Sennheiser bring another variant of the same type of device into the product line? Well be assured this isn’t another skew on the DW Office and is in fact a unique device in its own right.

With all my reviews, my first point of call is ‘what is it to be benchmarked against’. To do this I looked at the headset features then tried matched them against the competitor’s offerings. Well this in itself became a small challenge as Logitech has the H8020 DECT headset which almost fits the bill. Plantronics doesn’t really have any desk type (Stand Based) DECT headset with the Savi Range being the closest solution. Then lastly Jabra was the nearest match with the Pro9xxx range of DECT headset but this is twice as expensive to buy. This got me thinking, has Sennheiser ‘backed’ the wrong horse in this race or was the other vendors behind the curve.

Well let’s see.

Like other reviews I continue to bleat on about how none scientific approach to testing I do. (no I don’t have a sound booth, nor a room with formed triangles stuck to the walls). Instead my testing is one which a normal user would have at there disposal. eyes and ears.

As usual I have split the review into the segments of benchmarking below, but for 2015 there is a new benchmarking test called ‘what lies within’.

–     Audio Quality (Lync Audio Calls)

–     Features

–     DECT Range

–     Battery Life and charging time

–     What lies within

–     Price point and availability

Firstly lets start off with the Audio Quality.

As with what now is tradition with Sennheiser’s products both in the UC and Consumer markets, the Audio quality is exceptional with crystal clear HD sound for both inbound <listening> outbound <speaking>. What was interesting is the sound was that good on one call I could hear the callee breathing into their headset (it was another manufacturer headset which I wont comment on ) AND they said they wasn’t wearing it to close to their face/mouth.

With the sound quality so good, it got me thinking, could I think of another headset which has better sound quality? Actually I can’t as the Senneheiser D10 is up there with the best in class.

Features

SlimLine Design

The D10 come with a sleek slim desktop charging stand which clip two parts together to my a kind of X shape bracket angle. The main part of the based unit is formed of black matt polyurethane, and the bracket arm is a block of milled aluminum. The base unit with the headset on stand takes up very little desk real estate and looks smart and welcoming.

USB Charging 

Having only USB charging is one of the differentiators between this and the Jabra 9xxx series as the Jarba DECT headset does require an external power source to charge the headset meaning another plug socket as well as a USB connection is needed. More on the charging time further down within my review.

Audible Ring sound from the Base unit

FINALLY, I thought we were never going to see a DECT headset with a base unit ring alert option made again. As a consultant this is one of the biggest bugbears of end users; not being able to hear the phone ringing. If this was manufactured 12 months ago, I could have literally sold 2500 of these to two customers. In the end they had to go with the Busylight options, which they still think, isn’t ideal.

Multi Pairing option or (supervisor silent listening)

Like the DW office the D10 has the capability to allow upto 3 people to bridge into the call via the base unit. Again this is another perk of the Sennheiser range and one I know is a benefit within contact centre scenarios.

DECT Range

The DECT range is excellent on these D10, with literally one of my customers walking down a floor and walking 100 metres from his desk and the call was still current and connected. Very impressive

Battery Life and charging time

12 hours of talk time from a full charge AND without the requirement for socket power charging as all the charging is done via the USB connection.

A power boost change 20mins gives the headset 3 hours of talk time in my test.

Lastly a feature that Sennheiser calls Activegard? I had to look this up as it’s something new to me in the headset world. In short it means it protects the user from someone screaming/shouting or some other instant loud noise being sent down the headset. In truth this is something which I haven’t experienced as an issue before so I can really comment on if the headset does what it says.

What Lies Within

So to put a bit of meat around this new 2015 feature is to take apart the device to see how they have been manufactured. The reason for doing this is its ok on day one when you the customer receives your nice new shiny headset, but what is the affect 3 months down the road of daily use if the devices is poorly assembled at manufacturing. Its worth noting i will not embarrass manufactures with pictures (and believe me i could on many devices) on the innards of the device, but i will be clear on if i think the device will stand the test of time.

So how does this compare when i looked within the D10. Im pleased to say this device is built to last. 🙂

Price point and availability

RRP on one of these devices is £179.99, however you can get these for around £135.00 through distribution.

The D10 is available now for selection and purchasing

Link http://en-uk.sennheiser.com/d10

Whats in the Box

Headset
Base station
USB cable
Headband (detachable)
1 bendable ear hook (mounted on headset)
Printed Quick Guide
Printed Safety Guide

My own internal questions and thoughts

Could Sennheiser make or made this device any better?

I don’t actually think they could have made this much better as it’s one of the best devices for both build quality, sound, features and price I’ve ever used and tested. I can see this being one of the main product lines for Sennheiser in 2015.

With my arm forced up my back (military style), my only enhancement which is not unique to the D10 or Sennheiser, but one of a general observation, is the fact we are coming into a stage in the headset cycle where these endpoints have to be diversely mobile. What I mean by this is we as users want the beauty of being able to roam to the far flung corners of the office while still connect via DECT to the call. Yet in the same breath, we also want the flexibility that we can if we want to walk with our laptop in hand and the device is clever enough to realise this a switch to using Bluetooth seamlessly instead OR if we was on a call at our desk have the ability to flip to the Bluetooth option and which was paired with our Mobile/Cell phone and for the call continue without a blip. OR another scenario would be if we was on a DECT call and we drifted out of range of the base station, the headset device was clever and it automatically transferred the call to you Mobile/Cell (again which was Bluetooth’d to the headset). ?not wanting much am i.

What is the market place and which type of customer would this device be suited for?

I personally wouldn’t ring fence this to a certain user group as I don’t see more of a benefit over another group or personnel department. That said in many call centre and administration type roles I can see this being a perfect winner. For example, how many times do you get a call via lync when you are writing or not paying attention and the computer your using doesn’t have a ‘ringer’ in the PC (now 99% of new desktops don’t have a internal sound/speaker)? Well with the D10 them days are gone as the base ringer now alerts you to the call. OR the base unit LED lighting provides awareness to the ringing call.

Would I recommend it to customers?

Synopsis

So were does that leave me with the D10? It’s fair to say this device now honors the primary place on my working office desk and now the go to device of choice. The DW Office has now been retired to my homelab.

In terms of ‘lync star’ rating, what does this device deserve and why? For the features, sound and price point and market awareness, it s with pleasure and for the first every headset review I would like to award the Sennheiser D10 the full 5 stars.

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Simply put this is an excellent device and one I would highly recommend. Remaining vendors you are playing catch up.

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