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February 04, 2008

Part Two: A Closer Look at Sennheiser's BW900 Headset

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor


Sennheiser's BW900 wireless headset enhances productivity for business users by offering the ability to multi-task.
In case you missed it, Sennheiser detailed the top elements of the productivity-enhancing BW900 for multitasking phone warriors HERE.
As the second article in a four part series dedicated to the Sennheiser Communications’ (News - Alert) revolutionary BW900 headset, I took some time to ask Eric Palonen, Product Manager, Sennheiser Consumer Electronics, about Adaptive Intelligence and the technologies inclusion in the BW900, as well as its benefits.
SV: What is Adaptive Intelligence?
EP: Adaptive Intelligence is an exclusive, sophisticated, miniature signal conditioning circuit inside the BW900 that isolates speech from noise. This breakthrough technology is always listening to the surrounding environmental acoustics and ensures crystal-clear call quality whether in a busy contact center or in the driver's seat of a convertible on the interstate. Further, it remembers your individual volume preferences- even when walking from the office to the contact center. That being said, Adaptive Intelligence could be the most significant acoustic advancement to ever touch a communication device.
SV: Can you explain the importance of including Adaptive Intelligence in a headset?
EP: Communication is a futile point if it cannot be done clearly. Distracting ambient noise, poor transmission signals, "dirty" audibles that contain anything but the human voice, are all an enemy to successful communication. Speech intelligibility and signal integrity are the most important factors when the headset is the only link between a contact center and its customer.
SV: How important is noise reduction technology to telephony equipment manufacturers?
EP: Noise reduction technology, such as Adaptive Intelligence, is not just a selling feature, but a proven ground for our headsets in real-life applications. Wireless headsets that lack any type of noise reduction technology are susceptible to returns, complaints and negative reviews. Check out what experts have to say about the BW900 featuring Adaptive Intelligence-- the proof is evident that a comfortable, headset with digital signal processing (DSP) that delivers, truly makes a difference.

SV:  Is Adaptive Intelligence a proprietary technology or widely available?
EP: The BW900's technologies are almost entirely exclusive, including Adaptive Intelligence. You will not find Adaptive Intelligence on any other wireless headset except the BW900.
SV:  How does the inclusion of Adaptive Intelligence attribute to performance?
EP: The Adaptive Intelligence chip continuously listens to the ambient noise environment and adjusts the microphone gain and earpiece volume in real-time, to optimum levels. Simultaneously, an intricate network of filters and noise gates remove noise, chatter and other distracting ambient noise from the speech signal-- leaving your voice intact.
These filters and adjustments happen in real-time, all the time, for consistently clear calls-- even when changing environments. The result is the sound of a wired headset in a quiet office or isolation booth.

SV: What advantages will Adaptive Intelligence bring to the headset user?
EP: The replication of the human voice will be concise, clear and consistently as good (or better) than a wired solution. The Adaptive Intelligence circuit also offers tri-state error concealment which prevents packets of information from getting lost in digital transmission. The result? A smooth voice response with little "grit" or dropout artifacts, which can plague a phone call- even in a quiet acoustic environment. With this, the user can concentrate on the essentials, using less time for repetition and more time processing the information at hand.
SV: How is Adaptive Intelligence specifically incorporated into the BW900?
EP: The intelligent circuit is scaled-down, thanks to our close relationships with experts in miniaturization, and fits in the headset housing which is discreetly placed behind the ear. The truly seamless technology strengthens each and every call without being seen or heard.
SV: How does Adaptive Intelligence compare to other technologies on the market?
EP: Rather than use a generic DSP chip, as found in many competing products, the BW900 uses a chip developed specifically for audio transmission in the BW900, with a microphone from acoustic innovator, Sennheiser. As mentioned previously, the Adaptive Intelligence technology is exclusive to Sennheiser and its manufacturing partners- it provides a world first in term's of sound quality and is unchallenged in today's competitive field of communication products. What you get is a headset that sounds like no other, and that is a good thing.
SV: What are some real life scenarios where Adaptive Intelligence would provide benefit?
EP: Conceptually, the BW900 was designed to seamlessly marry the power and distance in a wireless headset with the connectivity of a Bluetooth headset. This feature-set automatically brings the phone warrior to mind; constantly managing incoming/outgoing calls via desktop phone and mobile. The circuit, thus, plays a critical role in sales, legal and marketing offices, where a call might originate in a quiet office, but finish on a rowdy sales floor. Imagine the ability to take this call into each user-environment without the user noticing such has happened.
SV: Can you also provide an extreme example of how Adaptive Intelligence can offer benefit?
EP: We talked briefly about taking a call on the freeway in a convertible. Without Adaptive Intelligence, this conversation is short, and loud. With it, the call is not only possible, but enjoyable.
We should change the adage from "work hard, play hard" to "work easy, play hard"??

 For more, be sure to check out the Headsets channel on TMCnet.
Want a closer look at the BW900 and Adaptive Intelligence? CLICK HERE
Stefania Viscusi is an established writer and avid reader. To see more of her articles, please visit Stefania Viscusi’s columnist page.

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