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Improving Your Work Life: Electronic Hookswitch for Remote Answering

Posted: July 28, 2021
Author: Jack Rice
Woman  using an electronic hookswitch for remote answering with a Leitner headset


Having to sit at your desk all day can be a drag. Luckily, an electronic hookswitch (EHS) can take some of the monotony out of your work day.

Remote Answering: A Brief History

Remote answering gives you more freedom and mobility at home or in the office, meaning that you can go for a stroll or take a bathroom break without worrying about missing your calls. An electronic hookswitch gives you the latest and greatest remote answering capabilities.

Remote answering did not start with EHS cables. It was first made possible by a device called a handset lifter. Using a robotic arm, the handset lifter physically lifts your phone from its receiver with the touch of a button; we still love our handset lifters.

What are the benefits of a hookswitch?

If your phone is compatible with it (not all are!), the electronic hookswitch modernizes and streamlines the remote answering process. You’ll no longer need the lifter, which means a more consolidated, less bulky workplace. You just hook up your cable, and voila!

On a desk phone, an electronic hookswitch cable will allow you to take a call from up to 350 feet away. Pick it up, chat it up, and hang it up without even setting foot near your desk. No more sprinting back to your workstation to hop onto that conference call. Take it from the couch! Your bed! The patio! The world is your oyster (well, 350 feet of it)!

How does an EHS cable work?

An electronic hookswitch cable works through a grapevine of communication between your phone and your wireless headset. See the incredibly out of scale diagram below.

Diagram of electronic hookswitch, headset, and desk phone connection

One end of the cable connects to the desk phone itself (1), and the other goes into your headset base (2). The hookswitch (3) detects when your desk phone is ringing either digitally (not pictured) or via a microphone (4). The microphone tells the hookswitch, the hookswitch tells the headset base, and the headset base tells your headset. It’s one big game of telephone. To answer your telephone.

How do I know which EHS to choose?

It's not as easy as you might think; there are lots of device combinations you might find in an office, and each combination will require a different EHS cable. So how do you know which hookswitch you need? Check for brand compatibility! This is a two-step process. Make sure the EHS cables work with (1) your desk phone brand and (2) your headset brand. Some brands need different cables from others, while some work more universally. Look to the EHS product description to confirm compatibility with your devices.

If you’re not sure, give our Headset Advisors a call at 1-800-HEADSETS (432-3738). We’d love to help you figure it out.

Why doesn’t my headset just come with remote answering?

Incorporating remote answering right into a headset requires working with phone technology to directly link it with the headset. The problem is that most phone companies don’t like sharing their technology with others. The EHS is their compromise; they built a secondary device that helps their phones communicate with headsets without sharing their technological secrets with others. The hookswitch is the middle man between the phone and the headset.

Your next question is probably “Okay… Then why don’t you put an EHS cable in the box?” The answer is that we don’t want to provide you with an accessory you can’t use. Since our Customers use a wide variety of phone brands, we aren’t able to include your EHS in the headset box; it would be a bummer to get your headset and cable in the mail, only to discover that the cord we gave you doesn’t work with your phone.

Fair enough. How much does this thing cost?

It depends on the brand and compatibility. The hookswitches and hookswitch cables on range from $17.95 to $99.95.

Will an EHS work with my phone?

Not all phones have a port for an EHS cable. Most landline phones don’t. However, the majority of brands with VOIP phones (phones that use internet connection for calls instead of a traditional phone line) have models that do. If you have a VOIP phone, there’s a good chance it’ll connect with an electronic hookswitch just fine. Once again, give our Headset Advisors a call at 1-800-HEADSETS (432-3738) if you need help figuring it out!

That was a lot of Info. Can you sum it up?

Remote answering with a hookswitch (Hookswitch? Hook switch? The world may never know.) or lifter is easy, compatible with most VOIP phones, and won’t break the bank. It’s the perfect supplement to your current setup. Unsure what you’ll do with all of that mobility? Allow us to give you some suggestions:

  • Take a walk around your building. Whether you’re working from the office or your own home, you can get those steps in without worrying about missing a call.

  • Recline. No matter how comfortable your office chair is, the sofa in your living or break room is probably comfier.

  • Learn a new skill. Could someone confined to their desk learn to do a handstand during work hours? We don’t think so.

No matter what you do or where you go at work, take your calls with you using an electronic hookswitch cable for remote answering.

We're here when you need us.

Need some extra guidance? Our seasoned Customer service experts are more than happy to chat. Just call 1-800-HEADSETS (432-3738) or email