Best hands free telephones

By Aimee Bradshaw | Writer and researcher

Dial in style without lifting a finger


If you’re relying on your employees to make and take hundreds of phone calls per day, you’ll want to make sure they’re as comfortable as possible. Whether you’re leading a switched-on sales team or overseeing a switchboard system operating call centre, comfortable employees make for happy teams, and happy teams make more calls… and more money. If you’re concerned with the comfort of your callers, allow us to ask you a question:

Does your business use hands free telephones?

If the answer’s no, then it’s time for a rethink. Hands free options can increase your staff’s productivity and empower all your team members to fulfil their potential. We’re not just talking about a cordless phone pressed up against your cheek – the hands free phone systems below let you dial with the push of a button, or by saying a single word.

Read on to explore the range of hands free solutions available to your business. And comparing quotes for telephone systems has never been easier. Just pop a couple of details into our form to get quotes from Expert Market approved suppliers.


What’s on this page?


hands free phones

Hands free telephones can do wonders for your staff’s posture and productivity


The best hands free telephones

There’s an army of big name brands, suppliers and technologies out there competing for your custom. We’ve cut through the noise and picked four of the best options for your business.

Our top picks include the Plantronics CS351N headset, the ‘Jolly Good Idea’ voice activated dialler, the Plantronics Voyager Legend headset, and the AbleNet Bluetooth Switch.

Find out how your business could benefit from a hands free telephone solution below.

The top 4 hands free telephones for UK businesses:


Plantronics CS351N headset

Best for sales teams

Plantronics CS351N headset

Packed to the brim with impressive features, a Plantronics CS351N headset is perfect if you want ultimate mobility for your team. It’s compatible with a range of Mitel phone systems, it’s quick to set up, and it looks great too. It works at nearly 100 metres from your phone and boasts a battery life of up to ten hours. Gone are the days where you’d have to finish a call before you could get over to the kitchen for a coffee. This headset lets you end calls away from the workstation.

Pricing: Expect to pay upwards of £100 when buying online.

Pros:

  • Recharges fully in less than three hours
  • Easy switching between calls
  • Increases employee posture and comfort
  • Compatible with a range of Mitel desk phones

X Cons:

  • More expensive than other headsets on the market

‘Jolly Good Idea’ voice activated telephone dialler

Best for employees with visual impairments

’Jolly Good Idea’ voice activated dialler

This voice activated telephone dialler, as you may have guessed, was borne out of a ‘jolly good idea’ by UK inventor Mike Wood. It’s a simple solution, perfect for employees with visual impairments. The dialler allows your employees to call someone just by speaking a name, and can be fully configured to work with hands-free speaker phones for maximum effect. It can take a while to get set up (you’ll have to input your contacts manually), but once that’s done it’ll work across your phone system. Jolly good indeed!

Pricing: The dialler clocks in at £192 (inc. VAT), with tax exemption available if purchasing for employees with disabilities.

Pros:

  • No dialling needed
  • Easy switching between calls
  • Contacts stored within your phones by spoken name
  • 30 day money back guarantee

X Cons:

  • Can get confused easily when it comes to monosyllabic names
  • Maximum of 60 contacts can be inputted
  • Picks up background noise easily – use with a headset!

▶ Read more: Best phones for hard of hearing


Plantronics B235 Voyager Legend UC Bluetooth Headset

Best for call centres

’Plantronics Voyager Legend headset

Yes, we know it looks (and sounds) like something out of a futuristic thriller film. But the Voyager Legend headset is an intuitive and refreshingly minimal gadget that adds a touch of class to your operation. It’s small, sleek, and fits around the ear for convenience. A moisture protected case safeguards it from the effects of the odd coffee spill and the occasional sweaty ear. And, of course, it’s completely hands free.

This headset is one of a wide range compatible with 8×8 phone systems. And with its strong set of standard-setting features, we can forgive you for thinking it’s from the future!

Pricing: The headset itself starts from around £40 online.

Pros:

  • Intuitive technology senses when you put the headset on
  • Connects to your mobile, tablet or PC
  • Lasts for up to seven hours
  • Portable charging case adds 14 hours extra talk time

X Cons:

  • Some employees could find the in-ear design uncomfortable


What Small Business Phone System do you Require?


AbleNet Blue2 Bluetooth Switch

Best for employees with disabilities

’AbleNet Blue2 Bluetooth Switch

While its name is a tad clunky, the AbleNet Blue2 Bluetooth Switch is anything but. The Switch hooks up to your phone, laptop or computer via a Bluetooth connection. It lets your employees make calls simply by pushing one of the two buttons on the pad.

The Switch also boasts an engaging, colourful design that’s easy to love. What’s more, AbleNet is constantly innovating; the pad is now 40% easier to push than it was in the original design.

Pricing: The price offered on AbleNet’s website is in US dollars, but comes to just short of £150.

Pros:

  • Sleek visual design
  • Compatible with Android, Mac, Windows and Chrome
  • Comes with a two-year limited warranty

X Cons:

  • Not the cheapest solution available

Compare quotes

As your business grows, so should your way of doing things. How you equip everyone in your team to make calls in comfort shows more than your dedication to your employees: it’s a legal obligation. Furthermore, it’s a commitment by your business to keep evolving with new and exciting telephone technology.

Calling is now as easy as tapping a pad or speaking into a receiver. And thanks to our form, comparing quotes from top hands free phone system suppliers is just as simple. Give it a try, or read on to learn more about the different types of hands free phones on the market.


Types of hands free phone systems

Voice recognition and activation

Voice activated telephones do what they say on the tin. They’re phones activated by speech, and are the most common hands free option on the market to date. They function without the need for any kind of button, which makes them great for employees with visual impairments.

Is it right for my business?

Voice recognition-based phone systems bring a convenient, user-friendly approach to communication. Above all, they’re easy to use and can simplify the way your staff do business over the phone.

That said, one downside of a voice activated phone system is how easily they pick up on external noise. Whether it’s a radio in the background, the whirring of an air con system, or the booming voice of Greg from Sales, chances are it’ll interfere with your call. Look into a headset to help address the influence of boisterous colleagues and maximise call quality.

Switch adapted Bluetooth device

This system works by connecting any standard ability switch into your phone’s audio input jack. This switch can then let your employees make, answer and end calls from a Bluetooth cell phone. Gone are the days of fiddling with tiny buttons – a single press of the ability switch and you’re away.

Is it right for my business?

A switch adapted device brings ultimate simplicity to your dialling processes. While this benefits all your staff, the ease of a switch device means it’s well-suited to those in your team with disabilities.

Mobility and dexterity make up a staggering 79% of commonly reported impairments in people with disabilities. So you’ll need to make sure you have the right tech in place going forward, to make sure everyone has the best tools for the job.

Headset

Headsets are by far the most popular type of hands free phone system – and for good reason. Noise cancelling headsets give employees in large teams a boost. They let your staff zero in on a call amidst a cacophony of noise. Headsets also provide an effective solution for video conference calls, where call quality can make or break a deal.

Is it right for my business?

Well, what kind of business do you run? If it’s a call centre or phone-based customer service team, equipping your staff with headsets is not only a wise choice – it’s a crucial one. Headsets improve the output, concentration, and posture of your staff. Gone are the days of employees hunching over desks with phone in hand, like salesmen from an 80s movie. Embrace hands free technology and give your staff a break.

And while you’re at it, why not look at connecting those headsets to a VoIP system? You can make calls over the internet, speeding up your processes and scrapping your reliance on the phone network. And, like with using headsets, you’ll be leading the way for a more collaborative and effective team.


FAQs

What else does my business need to go hands free?

Well, you’ll need an existing PBX/on premise or VoIP telephone system, complete with line rental. Most headsets and ability switches plug directly into your computers via Bluetooth. So make sure your team’s computers are Bluetooth enabled (most are) and get ready to go hands free!

I’m looking at a new phone system for my small business. Can you help?

We can. If you’re keen on a whole new system to match those headsets, there’s a range of Expert Market approved suppliers we can recommend. Switching suppliers can save you in the long run and equip your team to dial smarter and quicker. Check out our review of the best suppliers for small businesses for inspiration.

How do I make sure all my employees have equal opportunities for success?

More information can be found in the Equality Act 2010, which is accessible online.

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Aimee Bradshaw Writer and researcher

Aimee is Expert Market’s resident telephone systems, point of sale, and field service software go-to. If she’s not writing about business products, you’ll find her daydreaming about Dorset beaches.

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