Part of succeeding with Microsoft Teams in the organization is to use certified for Microsoft Teams devices. There is a difference between consumer devices and business headsets. The major difference for headsets is noise cancelling in the microphone and cameras support the Teams video codec.
A consumer headset is prone to amplify the sounds around you, business headsets focus on your voice and work better in noisy environments. Most importantly, headsets certified for Microsoft Teams support wideband audio with the SILK codec used in all Teams clients, which means you sound better for your audience than with a consumer headset. All certified for Teams devices will be updated to support the new SATIN codec coming in Q2 2020.
Devices certified for Microsoft Teams are all listed and updated at https://aka.ms/TeamsDevices. Some of the advantages for the end-users are:
- Automatic selection of default audio device and prioritization if multiple audio peripherals are present.
- Plug and play: once connected, a device registers on the Skype for Business and Teams client and is ready to use.
- Audio devices (e.g., headsets, and speakerphones) offer Basic call control across when used with a PC andor a Mac devices including at least with answer/hang-up, mute/unmute, and volume control.
- Audio quality (embedded in the device): no echo or excessive glitches, echo cancellation across devices, wideband audio with no echo or distortion or glitches.
- Video quality: Noise, color, image detail, jitter, latency, frame rate, field of view.
- Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/certification/devices-usb-devices#end-user-experience
- Example: MVP James Arber has a video of non-certified devices vs certified devices in a café
- Here is a write-up of the limitations of native Bluetooth in Windows which is the reason for why certified for Teams Bluetooth device comes with a dongle: https://www-howtogeek-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.howtogeek.com/354321/why-bluetooth-headsets-are-terrible-on-windows-pcs/amp/
For an administrator the advantages are:
- No provisioning required
- Firmware and fixes, all devices support firmware update to allow new features and performance improvements
- Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/certification/devices-usb-devices#administrator-experience
- Read through the test specifications: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/certification/test-spec
- Microsoft Teams Rooms specific requirements: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftteams/rooms/requirements
What about certified for Skype for Business devices?
They support the SILK codec too, so all good, but they may not have newer functionality like the Teams button found on certified for Teams devices. You can even use certified for Lync 2013 devices. Everything older than that is not OK, like Lync 2010 and OCS 2007 certified devices. Reason? No support for wideband SILK codec. Keep this in mind if you have upgraded from OCS and Lync to Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams.
It is common to find consumer devices in business environments, because the awareness of the the above features are low. But this is important, because if we have done all the network optimization and made sure users are adopting Teams, the last mile with a proper device is where we fail too often. Use my CQD PowerBI report to identify devices used in your environment and correlate the findings with devices listed at https://aka.ms/TeamsDevices.
Want a PRO headset for focus while working and travelling that is certified? Check out this video where I run 5 stress tests on two high end focus headset which are certified for Microsoft Teams
Need more Microsoft Teams insights like this? Check out the monthly updated book Office 365 for IT Pros where I write the calling and meetings chapter.