GN Netcom Online Indicator/Headset Stand
by Mike Montez
Has this ever happened to you?
You're on the phone, talking to a client or customer, and a co-worker walks up
to your desk and starts chatting. You try to listen to conversations, but find
your attention is divided, and you can't catch everything that's being said from
either your caller or your co-worker. If you use a headset, this may happen frequently.
It can be difficult for others to tell whether you're on the phone, particularly
if you're not talking at the time.
Wouldn't it be great if you could hold up a sign that says: "Hey, I'm
on the phone. As much as I'd like to give you my undivided attention (ahem),
I can't do both at once. Please hold your horses, and I'll be with you in just
a second?" (Or something to that affectyou may be less annoyed by
that sort of thing than I am.)
While you wouldn't do that in practice (right?), there are other ways to accomplish
the same end. If you have a GN Netcom headset with either the Universal or Multimedia
amplifier, you can let your co-workers know that you're on the phone without
having to say a word, or divert your attention from your phone call. To add
to the utility of the GN Netcom Online Indicator/Headset Stand (Item
#2799), it doubles as a hanger for your headset.
Installation and operation
The GN Universal and Multimedia amplifiers (Models 8000 and 8050, respectively)
include headset stands. These are nice bonus features, and they give you a good
way to keep your headset off your desk. The hanger is inserted into the back
of the amplifier and extends upward about 8 inches, ending in a U-shaped hook.
The Online Indicator is actually a headset hanger (with an indicator built
into it), and installs just like those mentioned above. However, the Online
Indicator includes one feature that distinguishes it from the standard headset
hanger: a flashing LED
located in the center of the translucent hanger. The top of the hanger turns
a vivid orange-red when you're using the headsetand should be sufficient
to let the folks in your office know that you're on the phone.
Best of all, the Online Indicator is plug-and-play. You can install it as easily
as you'd plug in a toaster.
One thing I noted when I was testing the product was that the Indicator tended
to turn off when the line was completely silent for more than 5 seconds. By
what I suspect is a related process, the Indicator Light turns on whenever I
pick up the receiver and get dialtone. That leads me to the conclusion that
the system isn't "smart" enough to recognize exactly what you're doing
when you're on the phone. It is, but it's only activated when the headset is
picking up conversations or other sounds through the headset. While this isn't
ideal, think of this: how often are you on the phone and not using it for conversation?
On balance, the Indicator will function just as you'd expect nearly all of the
The Indicator is a low-power device, so you can use it with just 2 AA batteries.
In fact, the product ships with 2 AA batteries, so you're good to go right out
of the box. Now factor in the power-save feature GN Netcom incorporates into
its headset amps, and you should be able to expect a full year between battery
For convenience, and to eliminate the need for replacement batteries, you can
also use an optional AC adapter instead of the batteries.
The bottom line
The GN Online Indicator will save you plenty of paint and poster board, as it
helps eliminate interruptions. This is especially true if your telephone calls
are the lifeblood of your business; now you have a friendly, low-maintenance
way of keeping your attention focused. You're sure to enjoy improved productivity
and possibly avert one of life's little irritations.