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If I asked you what the purpose of a headset was, you’d probably say something like, “To help me talk to the other person, obviously!”
First, there’s no need for such a condescending tone. Second, you’d only be half right.
While a good professional headset is definitely there to help you communicate, it also has another, more subtle purpose: To protect your ears from loud sounds. A great headset will amplify your voice while keeping your hearing intact. This complex concept is best illustrated as follows:
Noise cancellation in modern headsets filters out background noise and makes your voice sound clearer. But it does little to shield you from the loudness of the call itself. That’s what hearing protection tech does…
Nowadays, professional headsets come with some form of integrated technology that protects your hearing. And this is what PeakStop™, SafeTone™, and IntelliTone™ are all about. They’re simply Jabra terms describing this built-in hearing protection.
But what do these terms mean? Let’s take a look…
“Loudness” generally comes in two flavors:
1. Sudden noises
(Your prankster friend blows an air horn into his microphone, because he thinks giving you permanent eardrum damage is hilarious.)
2. High average noise level
(Everyone you talk to keeps calling you from a busy airport runway, for some odd reason).
Both are unpleasant and can make you more stressed or damage your hearing. The hearing protection tech is designed to deal with each of those, which is why we end up with multiple terms to describe it.
Quite intuitively, PeakStop stops sudden peaks in volume. It constantly monitors the sound level of your conversation. Whenever a sound spike comes in, PeakStop cuts off the “loud” part. Any sound above 118 decibels is considered too loud and is suppressed (which is in line with international regulation).
So PeakStop takes care of the first loudness issue. Can you guess what IntelliTone does?
Yup. IntelliTone is there to ensure that the average amount of noise you’re exposed to during your working day doesn’t leave you deaf. Headsets with IntelliTone let you adjust the settings based on how much time you spend on the phone. It looks something like this:
At Level 0, IntelliTone is off, and PeakStop is the only thing protecting you. At the highest level, IntelliTone protection is enough to meet the strictest standards for prolonged noise exposure. All in all, IntelliTone keeps the average noise you hear during the day below the legally required 85 decibels. It’s smart like that.
So now we have both parts of the puzzle: PeakStop prevents sudden noises, IntelliTone keeps the average noise within safe limits. This brings us to…
SafeTone is actually just an umbrella term for the “PeakStop + IntelliTone” combo. All Jabra professional headsets come with the PeakStop part, but only the SafeTone ones also include IntelliTone. Try saying that last sentence out loud very fast; it’s quite a tongue twister.
Headsets with SafeTone are built to live up to all hearing protection laws. For a more detailed overview, check out this hearing protection page. If you’re looking for professional headsets with hearing protection, this page is a good place to start.