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TsooRad is a blog for John Weber. John is a Skype for Business MVP (2015-2016) - before that, a Lync Server MVP (2010-2014). My day job is titled "Technical Lead, MS UC" - I work with an awesome group of people at CDW, LLC. I’ve been at this gig in one fashion or another since 1988 - starting with desktops (remember Z-248’s?) and now I am in Portland, Oregon. I focus on collaboration and infrastructure. This means Exchange of all flavors, Skype, LCS/OCS/Lync, Windows, business process, and learning new stuff. I have a variety of interests - some of which may rear their ugly head in this forum. I have a variety of certifications dating back to Novell CNE and working up through the Microsoft MCP stack to MCITP multiple times. FWIW, I am on my third career - ex-USMC, retired US Army. I have a fancy MBA. One of these days, I intend to start teaching. The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone.

2014/02/07

Sennheiser SC 660 USB ML

Toys! I like toys! I match the “children” part of the top definition, and #3 also applies…

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But I digress.

The object of desire – at least for this article – is the Sennheiser SC 660 USB ML.  I also have an SC 630 USB ML, which appears to be, and functions just like, the 660, except that it is only a one ear (monaural), while the 660 is a stereo.  As mentioned here, monaural headsets are NOT my favorite.  Give me stereo or give me….uhm….silence?  At any rate, I have actually played worked with both the 660 and the 630 and comments on the 660 should be applied to the 630 also.  Except of course, for hearing things in only one ear which drives me crazy.  Also, musack through the 630 was decidly less good due to only one ear getting sound. It’s hard to enjoy Green Day or Johnny Winter if only one ear is getting rocked.

Manufacturer Market-speak

SC 630 USB ML – hear what’s going on around you – “A premium single-sided wired headset optimized for Microsoft Lync, with built in call control unit for quality-conscious contact center and UC professionals requiring outstanding sound performance while maintaining contact with their surroundings.”

SC 660 USB ML – stereo sound for maximum focus – “A premium dual-sided wired headset optimized for Microsoft Lync with built-in call control unit for quality-conscious contact center and UC professionals requiring outstanding sound performance in noisy environments and best quality stereo sound from dual-sided neodymium speakers.”

660 OOB:

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630 OOB:

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Build Quality

Face it.  In the world of headsets and stuff like that, Sennheiser has a pretty good rep.  And the 660 just reinforces that rep.  Cables were solidly attached to the headset, the inline module, and the USB connector.  Nothing flimsy here.  The microphone boom had a very clever (and obvious?) solution to swapping the lefty-user to righty-user which was tight without being loose.  Overall, the test units I had were most excellent in build quality terms.

Lync Functionality

Sennheiser is claiming “Optimized for Microsoft Lync” on these units.  So, in theory, I should be able to plug in and go. Which is exactly how it went down.  I did see a quick blip as the drivers installed, but in general, a seamless integration into Lync.  The inline module has the expected controls and they function as you would expect.  Audio quality was excellent.  Noise cancelling appeared to be outstanding.  I made several calls while in a noisy café environment and the far side of the call did not hear the usual background clutter.  IMHO, the marketspeak is spot on.

What I did not like

The cord on the 660 must be 7-8 feet long.  That would be 201 – 244 cm for the EU folks.  What a tangled mess. No matter how neatly I wrapped up the 660 before it went into my backpack, when it came time to take it out, I spent the next 5 minutes getting it straightened out.  It could be that with some more usage the cord will lose the ‘every three inches’ bend it has from coming out of the box, but I am not holding my breath waiting for that.  I would rather have a more substantial piece of wiring and put up with the bulk than have this mess each time. 

What I did Like

The 630 is only one ear, so this comment does not apply to it. 

The 660 has some serious audiophile roots.  Flat, balanced, realistic, great response.  Wow.  No frequency band overpowered another.  Excellent spatial distinction.  WOW.  All while sounding excellent with Lync Voice. I did not try the 660 on anything but Pandora, but my Catfish Blues station sounded absolutely excellent.  FWIW, everyone should listen to the Jelly Roll Kings once in their life. This lead to Meat Loaf and Journey and Indigenous; all reproduced in a most excellent fashion! <RantOff/>

You can get the 660 and the 630 right here.

YMMV

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