What we learned by testing our headsets in the perilous world of open offices

The following blog is the second of a four-part series on the latest headset technology to help you get the most out of your open office experience.


Poly is a strong believer that the best audio quality in the world doesn’t matter if the headset isn’t comfortable. Our founders’ mission was to build a better lightweight headset – with premium materials – that could be used in a variety of mission critical environments, from air travel to space travel.

As part of our efforts to create premium Active Noise Canceling (ANC) headsets for open offices, we go through very rigorous testing in our audio labs. But we also test them in the wild, to understand how they feel and how they perform in the open office where people are negotiating chatty co-workers and scooter rallies as they try to get work done. Most recently, we conducted a blind test of two headsets (Poly and a next leading competitor) among employees at Clinc, a leader in conversational AI and its application for the enterprise.

Clinc turned out to be the perfect setting to put our headsets to the test – a mix of engineers, marketers and sales people working in an energetic and sometimes chaotic open office environment. These are people who spend their day taking the world’s most advanced AI technology and turning it into solutions that are improving the quality and reducing the complexity of life. In other words, multifaceted work that takes a fair amount of focus and collaboration.

“You can feel the energy when you step into our office – we have a fun, vibrant culture that attracts great talent. At the same time, we take our mission incredibly seriously and have to use our office to build a consistently cutting-edge product” said Jason Mars, CEO and Co-Founder of Clinc. “We don’t want to sacrifice one for the other, so we were interested to see how a headset could make an impact on improving our experience.”

After wearing both headsets for six hours on separate days, the test[1] revealed that participants were:

  • Twice as likely to find the Poly headset comfortable vs. a leading headset brand when first putting them on.
  • Two times more likely to find Poly’s active noise cancelling effective and comfortable.
  • And last but not least, seven times more likely to find the headset comfortable after six hours of continuous wear.

“We were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable and effective Poly’s headsets are. It’s made a difference in how our teams work.”

When we talk about the comfort of a headset, this refers to both how it feels, as well as how it sounds in the ear. Or, audio comfort as we like to call it. You don’t want to choose between one distraction and another – physical or audible. You need a headset that feels light and comfortable on your head, while removing the right level of distracting background noise from your ears.

To hear more from the Clinc employees that took part in our study, you can visit our the Perils of the Open Office site and learn how Poly office headset solutions help you concentrate, be your best at work – and keep your ears happy.

[1] Based on a study of employees of Clinc, a conversational AI company, conducted in Clinc’s open office setting on June 27-28, 2019, Participants wore non-branded versions of the Jabra Evolve 75 for up to six hours then the Poly Voyager Focus UC for up to 6 hours.