The life-saving decision you need to make before you get behind the wheel
Cops couldn’t warn drivers enough of the risks associated with phone use while driving. Accidents continue to happen and we’re guessing you know someone who’s been involved in one where a hands-free unit could have saved a life, a limb or a whole lotta physical therapy.
Truck drivers are no exception. Experience, time on the road, power of an engine and size of your wheels don’t make you invincible on the highway.
Choosing the right headset requires a thought process which has covered every single scenario. You want to make sure the headset has every possible feature you will need to maintain full driving capability while you are on the phone. We’re talking voice activation, Bluetooth, volume adjustments, battery life and more.
Your full attention needs to be in front of you because changing weather conditions, speed limits and curves don’t pop up based on your concentration levels. They appear regardless of how focussed you are on the road.
Why you need a headset
Aside from saving your life and the lives of others, there are plenty of benefits a driver can get out of a headset. Hands-free calling is certainly going to be the driving force, however it’s also the tip of the iceberg once you discover all the other things you’ll be able to do with the right gadget.
First and foremost, handsfree calling makes a world of difference for both your professional and personal life. Check in with loved ones without lifting your hands from the wheel or your eyes from the road, at anytime from the cab. This is particularly useful when driving at night, so you can let others know you are safe. Similarly, you’ll always be available with your fleet manager and vice versa. Any issues can be resolved right away with timely instructions and as a whole, you’ll feel more supported throughout the journey. Other calls you’ll need to make may be with regard to shipment drop off or collection times, as well as notifying anyone who will be affected from unexpected delays experienced.
The best headsets will also provide automatic weather updates, when connected with radio devices integrated with your truck. The instant notification means you can alter your course and alert the fleet manager as you do so, protecting any load from damage and removing yourself from the road when the conditions are dangerous.
Navigation can become easier, with voice-based instructions delivered directly into the ear piece. You won’t have to drop your eyes to a screen. Quick route changes can be easily communicated also, avoiding delays or stops to input new data.
Another feature which may not be as important, yet still necessary is entertainment. Y’all need tunes to keep on truckin’ and sometimes the good ole’ radio ain’t gonna cut it. You can load playlists into headsets to keep you alert, awake and in a good mood throughout the entire journey. This will also increase safety on the road as you don’t fumble to change tracks.
So what we’re sayin’, is headsets provide massive amounts of stress relief for drivers. Long work hours, repetition, separation from loved ones and working alone can increase anxiety behind the wheel. Having the right headset for handsfree use will ease these stressors, assuring long term health and safety on the job.
What to look for in your headset
Color and bling y’all. If it ain’t shinin’, don’t put a dime in.
Yes, we are kidding.
An earpiece and a microphone is generally a good place to start and a good way to narrow things down when it comes to style. Your comfort comes first so you need to decide if you’d prefer one ear piece or two ear pieces and on-ear or in-ear.
From here, choosing the best option comes down to the most important features for a truck driver – Bluetooth connectivity, noise reduction and hands-free operation. The more user friendly the better, so you’re able to activate what you need, when you need it.
Battery life and comfort are a close second due to the long shifts you’ll want to be covered for. Stopping to recharge is going to slow your trip, and if they’re not the right fit will you actually use them?
With all the noise that comes from being on the road, headsets with boom microphones are going to be better for you. A boom mic means the microphone is attached to the end of a boom for perfect positioning in front of, or next to your mouth. You are guaranteed better sound quality and the mic will also move as you move.
Other features you may or may not need
We don’t know what you’re sitting on as a truck driver (other than the driver’s seat) but hey, if you’ve got it flaunt it right? All you really need out of a headset is handsfree usage. However, if you want it to do more, that’s always going to be an option if you can afford it. Some of the really flash sets are dust and water resistant, have flappable designs so you can switch ears, can be paired with two devices at once and come with additional ear pieces.
The best batteries last for 24 hours which is probably a little too safe. You may decide not to charge it at your stopover, when you see there is still half a full charge there to use up.
Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are also listed with flashier headset options and indicates the level of protection from outside contaminants such as dirt, dust and water.
Unified Communications (UC) headsets are becoming the hype now too, however they are more practical for business people who are constantly juggling multiple forms of communications with larger teams. If you’re going to be using your device for years to come and want to progress into management of other drivers, you might consider getting one with this feature.
UC headsets include integrations and collaboration tools which you’ll come to use over time once you’ve experienced the convenience of them. These gadgets will automatically detect when you are on a call and block out any external noise which may affect the quality. They also come with active noise cancellation, voice recognition, voice assistant support and integrations with collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams. They’re particularly convenient if you are required to be on team calls with your fleet manager while you’re on the road.
Some top choices to consider
We’ve done the research and come up with a range of headsets with all sorts of features you’ll need as a truck driver. One of these is bound to be your next set, with plenty of listed benefits to make life easier on the road.
1. BlueParrot B450-XT Bluetooth Headset
The B450-XT boasts superior sound and premium comfort with its mono on-ear design. Sold, right? There’s more. This headset comes with 96 per cent noise cancellation. With the app, you’ll receive firmware updates on the go and be able to check in for any new features to download right away. It has IP54 rating, indicating light levels of dust and water resistance. The headset also comes in a switchable design, to be worn on any ear while driving. With a boom microphone, you’re guaranteed decent recording quality. Yes, even from the noisy cab. The battery life of this one is 24 hours off a single charge also which will ease the stress of wearing down too quickly. You can also pair the B450-XT up with two devices at once.
2. Plantronics Voyager 5200 Bluetooth Headset
This mono in-ear Bluetooth headset is a great option if you’re after an in-ear device. It fits comfortably with an ear-hook which doesn’t put much pressure on your ear. There’s a boom microphone with remarkable noise handling so you can be clearly heard on the other end regardless of that roaring engine. It can be used on either ear and has a companion app for you to automatically answer or reject any calls while you are wearing it. The standby mode option allows you to preserve the battery when it’s not in use and you can also pair it up with two devices at once.
3. Mpow Pro Trucker Bluetooth Headset
The Mpow Pro Trucker Bluetooth Headset is great if you’re on a budget with all the essentials ready to go. It has a comfortable mono on-ear headset which can be worn on either ear and a boom microphone to capture your voice clearly. You’ll get 17 hours of continuous playback time and standby mode to take calls throughout the day. This headset can be paired with multiple devices also.
4. Jabra Talk 45
This Bluetooth headset was specifically designed for phone calls and has a very stable in-ear fit. The voice control features are compatible with Siri and Google Assistant to ease your handsfree experience. The Jabra Talk also comes with a companion app so the headset will read out text messages and calendar events. With a boom microphone, your voice will always be clear regardless of other noise from the road.
5. Jabra Stealth UC Professional Bluetooth Headset
This reliable headset has a comfortable and lightweight ergonomic design which even comes with six ear cushions for optimum comfort. The in-ear product sits tight in position and can be work for an entire journey, with six hours of talk time from a full battery. Jabra’s Advanced Noise Blackout technology ensures clear, noise-free calls with high-definition sound quality for both ends of a call. You can also activate Siri and Google Now by tapping a button directly on the headset.
6. Sennheiser Presence UC ML Bluetooth Headset
This pricey in-ear number comes with all the basics and then some and is suitable if you’re living the busy life on the road with a heavy reliance on communication. You’ll get 10 hours talk time with the headset from one single charge, with clear call quality and as Sennheiser is well known for, high audio quality. Call handling will be simple with this one, as it can connect to two devices simultaneously. You’ll be able to switch from one to the other to take calls from both devices if required.
7. BlueFit Bluetooth Wireless Earpiece
If small and subtle is what you’re after, this may just be a perfect option. Similar to an earbud, this earpiece doesn’t have a strong noise-cancelling capacity however, with the volume up it’s almost as good. The BlueFit can also connect to two devices simultaneously. You’ll get six hours battery life from a full charge so don’t forget to plug it in when you’re stopped or from the cab at any opportunity.
8. Sennheiser Enterprise Headset
It’s going to cost a bit more, but this piece had us at fast charging and noise cancelling. The Sennheiser Enterprise Headset is a light, comfortable and user friendly in-ear option whether you’re a first-time user or looking to upgrade. The noise cancelling microphone assures clear voice quality, as well as a loud and clean sound. There’s padding over the ear speaker for extra comfort so you’ll be able to keep it on during the entire journey. This headset is also long lasting and fast charging, with 50 percent capacity reached in just 20 minutes.
9. Phaiser BHS-750 Bluetooth Headphones
It’s built for athletes, but these in-ear headphones come with some handy features any truck driver will benefit from. You’ll get eight hours talk time from the microphone, with incredible sound quality through the 8mm speakers. It comes with bullet-shaped memory foam tips which provide total isolation from external noise. You’ll also receive over and under ear fit options for personally tailored maximum comfort. These are sweat proof too, with a magnetic feature for you to easily stow the headphones around your neck when they’re not in use.
If you’re serious about being the best truckie you possibly can be, these gadgets will increase productivity, while keeping you safer on the roads and alert behind the wheel. Headsets allow you to function with minimal distractions while keeping you in touch with loved ones throughout those long days. You’ll also ease stress with continuous access to your direct manager and others involved on the receiving end of your loads, especially where there are unforeseen changes in route and timings which will constantly arise.
Grab your perfect set today and familiarise yourself with the usage. It’s important to become confident for every feature you plan to use so you can start driving with ease from your next shift, and for the remainder of your trucking career!