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Old 12-28-17, 02:08 AM
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Tips for Cubicle / Noise-Cancelling Headphones Without Sacrificing Hearing the Phone

Hey all,

I work in a cubicle, and I often find it difficult to concentrate on focus-intensive tasks (which encompass much of my work) due to all of the background noise.

Using headphones definitely helps me to focus, but due to my responsibilities, I have to keep the volume pretty low. (In addition to having to hear my phone ring and to answer it, I have to be able to hear/answer the phones of my coworkers in the surrounding cubicles that have stepped away briefly). Basically this renders them useless. I'd like to be able to use headphones (preferably that are noise cancelling) to listen to music, but still be notified when a phone call comes through on my office phone. Being able to have the phone conversation through the same headset would also be a plus to prevent distractions while on the call.
I'm not sure if such thing exists, but one idea that I had would be some type of "splitter" device that would allow me to connect noise cancelling headphones (with a microphone) to both my office phone AND to my music-playing device (my iPhone or my work PC). This theoretical device would default to the sound of the music-playing device. However when a call comes through, it would switch to the office phone, where I could choose to answer it or decline it. If I were to answer it, the phone conversation would occur through the headset and its microphone.
Does anyone know of such a device? If not, do you have any other suggestions that might be able to help?

I would prefer not to reveal to my supervisor that I have ADHD (so that rules out asking to move my cubicle).
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Old 12-28-17, 05:48 AM
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Re: Tips for Cubicle / Noise-Cancelling Headphones Without Sacrificing Hearing the Ph

Can you not connect the phone to the PC and get it to interrupt whatever you're listening to when there's a call?
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Old 12-29-17, 08:53 AM
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Re: Tips for Cubicle / Noise-Cancelling Headphones Without Sacrificing Hearing the Ph

One thing that is done in noisy environments is to have both ear protection/ AND earbuds.

The earmuffs provide the sound protection and the buds are connected to the phone's 4.5mm jack socket(or wirelessly) to listen to music/receive calls.

Downside is the shock when the phone rings!
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Old 12-29-17, 02:01 PM
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Re: Tips for Cubicle / Noise-Cancelling Headphones Without Sacrificing Hearing the Ph

I have my desk phone foward calls to my cell phone number. The cell phone would naturally let calls interrupt any music I'm playing. If your music headphones are the type that have a microphone, you should automatically be able to hear/speak for calls through the headphones.

You can ask IT to help you set this or something else up if needed. I don't think you need to disclose to get them to do this for you.

At my work anyway, a lot of people want to listen to music while working.
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Old 12-29-17, 07:55 PM
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Re: Tips for Cubicle / Noise-Cancelling Headphones Without Sacrificing Hearing the Ph

If you can forward the calls to your cellphone that could work. A co-worker has his phone flash several times rather than ring so that could be the answer.
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