EPOS IMPACT 860 ANC Review – The Best Headset for Open Office Environment?

This is the year 2024. The impact of COVID is diminishing, but society has learnt that working from home actually works. Nevertheless, season comes, season goes. Many employers have started to encourage their employees to start working in the office again at least for one day a week under the banner of hybrid working arrangement.

But because of this, you might still not have everyone in the office at the same time because Bob likes to come to the office on Mondays, Jack is only available to attend the office on Wednesdays, and Michelle is currently working from overseas. So virtual meeting applications like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are still very much in play, except some of the meeting attendees are now joining from their rowdy office space rather than their quiet corner in their homes.

Noise has become something inescapable in virtual meetings. Joining a virtual meeting involves trying to finesse the mute button to make sure everyone else in the meeting is not disturbed by the noisy neighbour sitting next to him. If this is something that you are struggling with day by day, EPOS audio offers the solution for you in the EPOS Impact 800 series headphones. And I get to experience IMPACT 860 ANC first hand.

IMPACT 800 Series: Be the best in the New Open Office

The tagline has a nice ring to it. So I did what any curious person does and brought this earphone to the office. And before you ask, yes, I brought it in when there is a lot of people in the office, and also yes, I sat in the middle of the busy zone in the office where video calls were happening right, left, and centre. And boy, IMPACT 860 ANC did not disappoint.

Like any other headphones with active noise cancelling, it really could minimise the sound from our surroundings. I could clearly hear the distinction between the voice from my zoom calls and other noise from outside my calls. But this is to be expected. Not super surprised about that. But what impressed me though, was the microphone noise cancelling technology that was powered by EPOS AI. I intentionally set the headset microphone setting to unmute in all my calls and I checked with a colleague that no outside noise can be heard from my mic. I mean there was a literal fire alarm test happening with a loud siren and an announcement operator voice during a video call and no one in the call noticed it. For me, this is really groundbreaking and definitely very useful.

The second thing I noticed was the lack of any visual feedback on the buttons you have on the headset. But little did I know that you could get the state of the features through audio feedback. When you plug it into the computer, it will say “Power on”. When you mute or unmute, it will also tell you. This is really cool and it makes sense to get the audio feedback since visual feedback means taking the headset off which can be disruptive to your flow.

The next best thing which is kinda cool is how thoughtful the creators of IMPACT 860 ANC are. I really appreciate the little things they provided to enhance the experience with the product like the inclusion of USB-A adapter in the packaging. They also provided an earphone bag which is super useful for me. In short, I really feel the love and I am thankful for it.

Despite all the good things I mentioned above, there were some things that I did not fully enjoy with the product. The first one was the synthetic leather padding they have on the phone. Synthetic leather can be warm if worn for the extended period of time. Secondly, the outer layer of the leather might come off into tiny leather flakes after a while, especially with the mixture of constant sweat dripping on it (again it is synthetic leather and can be warm on your head and ears). However, it’s understandable that having leather padding is necessary to get the best noise isolation (compared to those more-breathable, suede ones).

The only other thing I dislike about the headset is how the microphone has to be placed at a particular angle to sound perfect. When I pushed the microphone down to my chin, my voice would sound a little low and far. But when it is pushed too high up, it would sound a bit trebly. In any case, I received a few complaints from other meeting attendees when the microphone was not set at the perfect angle. The fact sheet/quick user guide does mention that it has to be near the mouth within 2-3 cm and I guess this is necessary for the active noise cancellation to do its magic.

EPOS IMPACT 860 ANC Review Conclusion

In conclusion, IMPACT 860 ANC is definitely something that I would recommend especially if you work in an open office environment. Granted, there are some minor things that can be improved here and there, but the advantage of the active noise cancelling both for the headphone and the microphone far exceeds my expectations, especially its usability in a noisy open office environment. It is so good that going forward, I will be using the IMPACT 860 ANC instead of my gaming Sennheiser headphone for all of my work calls.

EPOS IMPACT 860 ANC is available now at EPOS AU website and retailers around Australia. It has A$219 RRP and also available at Amazon (#ad).

EPOS IMPACT 860 ANC Review
Overall
4.5

Summary

The EPOS Impact 860 ANC excels in providing exceptional noise cancellation for both headphones and microphone, making it the perfect solution for open office environments and ensuring uninterrupted and clear communication during meetings.

Pros

  • Excellent noise cancelling on the microphone, perfectly designed for open office environment
  • ANC for Audio
  • Audible Audio Feedback
  • USB adapter included with a case
  • Pretty good for the value

Cons

  • Synthetic leather, can feel warm if worn for extended period
  • Microphone has to be at the perfect angle to get the perfect sound
  • No Bluetooth
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