Cisco’s Webex web-conferencing company is now selling the previously announced Bang & Olufsen-branded Cisco 980 high-end entertainment/work hybrid headset, optimized for new high-quality work-from-home lifestyles.

First announced last fall, the Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 headphones are available to order now at $549 suggested retail.

The Bang & Olufsen Cisco 980 is positioned as a wireless over-ear headset designed for clear audio/communication experiences for phone calls, video meetings, and listening to music in very high quality.

The B&O Cisco 980 headset is based on Bluetooth 5.1 optimized for Webex interactions using on-ear call controls, and enterprise grade security, Webex said. This is said to present superior connectivity and functionality.

Communication is enhanced through the use of geometrically placed microphones that isolate the user’s voice while canceling out background noise, the company said.

The headset was co-developed by Hi-Fi and design-centric Bang & Olufsen and web-tech-centric Cisco, to work with all other Webex devices, from a single platform in either Control Hub or Cisco Unified Communications Manager.

The design allows for remote troubleshooting and adding new firmware updates to provide the latest features and performance optimizations.

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Among some of the headphone’s supported capabilities is decoding of high-quality spacial music codecs, including MPEG-H and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, a company representative told us. Other supported codecs include: SBC, AAC, Qualcomm aptX Adaptive, Qualcomm aptX HD and Qualcomm aptX Low Latency.

It also includes Active Noise Cancellation, which adapts and adjusts the level of noise canceling based on the surroundings. Users can also opt to turn on Transparency Mode to better listen to what’s going on in the room. Active noise cancellation and transparency mode are adjusted by swiping up or down on the left slider or in the Bang & Olufsen app.

Users can monitor and adjust their own voice level during an active call by swiping up or down on the left slider or in the Bang & Olufsen app.

The Bluetooth 5.1 active wireless range is listed at 12 meters (40 feet). Speaker size is 40mm, speaker impedance is 24 Ohm, speaker bandwidth is 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

The B&O Cisco 980 headphones provide up to 47 hours per charge with Active Noise Cancellation. Charging time is listed as 120 minutes; or 3 hours after 10 minutes of quick charging.

Webex by Cisco sells web conferencing, videoconferencing and unified communications as a service, along with a contact center for service applications. It was founded as WebEx in 1995 and taken over by Cisco Systems in 2007.

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By Greg Tarr

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