Modern office life means that many of us are regularly on video conference calls via Teams or Zoom, connecting to staff in other branches, states or even countries. Some of our jobs allow flexible working, much of which is done from home, but many have returned to the office. Those offices are often open plan which has its benefits but comes with a challenge of ambient noise.
The EPOS IMPACT 1000 is a wireless headset that is designed for people working in open office environments. It features active noise cancellation (ANC) to block out background noise, a high-quality microphone for clear communication, and a comfortable design that can be worn for long periods of time.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using the EPOS IMPACT 1000 and it’s now time to share my experiences in a full review.
Firstly the design of the IMPACT 1000 is great, a sleek modern design that looks great and I’m including the stand in that commentary. If this thing is going to sit on your desk, it better be functional and look good as it’ll be in your eyesight for many hours in the day.
The headset itself is thin and light, but not so light that it feels cheap, it’s confidence-inspiring that this is likely to last for a number of years.
The headset top band features a cutout that makes it appear a little strange when looking at it in isolation, but when you understand that cutout is what allows the headset to recharge through the dock, it’s genius.
You certainly don’t feel anything different when wearing it, but this wireless induction charging allows you to simply place it on the dock between uses and it’s then always charged, always ready to go.
The ear cups are made of soft, memory foam and the headband is adjustable, so the headset can be comfortably worn for long periods of time.
The ear cups rotate in both directions, as does the microphone arm. This design decision is a great one, allowing the headset to be worn in either direction, so if your preference is to have the mic on the left or right, this headset can work in both orientations.
While I didn’t do it personally, the headset is portable enough to take with you, so if you decide to work from a coffee shop, you could easily throw this in your bag or laptop sleeve, making it easy to take with you on the go.
Back to the dock, I think it’s a really nice design, although some may complain it has a large footprint on your desk. This does provide weight and a firm base to ensure it never tips over. It’s matching black in colour which means it compliments the headset, appearing as if they’re all designed together as a single product. Being business-focused, there’s no RGB, just a single white LED that illuminates when charging the headset and it gets power from the USB-C cable that routes out the back of the stand.
The IMPACT 1000 has a number of features that make it a great choice for office work, particularly those who work in an open office.
These features include:
Active noise cancellation: The ANC on the IMPACT 1000 is very effective at blocking out background noise, so you can focus on your work without distractions. There’s times when you will need to hear the world around you, like when someone approaches you to talk. To enable talk through, just press the button at the bottom of the left ear cup, have the conversation, then press again to re-enable ANC.
High-quality microphone: The microphone on the IMPACT 1000 is also very good. It has a wide frequency response, which means that your voice will sound clear and natural to the person on the other end of the call.
Triple Bluetooth connectivity: The headset can connect to up to three devices at the same time, so you can easily switch between calls, music, and your computer.
Wireless charging: The headset comes with a wireless charging stand, so you can easily keep it charged.
Long battery life: The headset has a battery life of up to 30 hours, so you can use it all day long without having to worry about running out of power.
Presence detection: Removing the headset pauses current playback including YouTube videos, music and more. Putting the headset back, then resume the media.
I tested the IMPACT 1000 headset at home, which at times, has plenty of ambient noise that I’d like to block out to focus on work. Whether it’s the robot vacuum cleaner, the family, a TV or the neighbour mowing their lawn, having the ability to press a button to activate ANC is great.
I found that Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) was very effective at blocking out background noise. For those times I was on Teams calls, I asked the other party how the audio quality of the microphone was, to which the reply was always very positive.
I also tested by recording audio locally and was equally impressed.
The battery life wasn’t something I pushed to the limits, typically the longest stint I did was 3-4 hours after which I placed the headset back on the dock where it recharged. I expect this is how most will use it, so unless you’re travelling this is really not an issue. The headset features a USB-C port in the base of the right ear cup, so taking a phone charger would also allow you to charge the headset should it go flat. A USB-C to USB-C cable would be a great choice, so you could charge from your laptop.
The headset connects wirelessly via Bluetooth. I have found that I can be at the other end of the house and still be connected, which is very impressive as many other wireless headsets and earbuds drop connectivity when I’m 15 meters and a couple of walls away from the office. This allows you to go grab a jacket from the bedroom, a drink from the fridge, or even continue listening to a webinar while eating lunch. Should you find yourself on a computer that doesn’t have Bluetooth, there is an included USB-A Bluetooth dongle. It is a little strange this isn’t USB-C.
This is a really great on-ear headset. There may be people who prefer an over-the-air headset, but for what this headset is designed to offer, it does a fantastic job.
About the only issue I have is the standard learning curve of a new headset. You’ll want to make a decision early on about which side you want the microphone to be, then commit to it as your button reference will be set by this.
Personally, I prefer it on the right, so my ANC/talk-through button is on the left, while the accept call button, volume control and power/Bluetooth toggle are on the right.
With the volume rocker being a forward or back motion, it’s not immediately clear which movement will result in an increase or decrease. I tend to like a headset where the volume up/down is positioned on the side of the ear cub, as it avoids any confusion, the top button increases volume, and the lower decreases it.
Price & Availability
The EPOS IMPACT 1000 series is available right now from EPOS directly and is priced as follows.
- EPOS Impact 1000 (1030T) – $485.00 (single-sided)
- EPOS Impact 1000 (1060T) – $505.00
- EPOS Impact 1000 (1060T ANC) + Charging stand – $735.00 (reviewed)
This is definitely on the premium side of the price point, with many decent headset landing around half of that. I will say the features, design and functions of this headset means its something you should consider as a multi-year investment.
By way of comparison, Apple’s AirPods Max headset costs A$899.00.
The EPOS IMPACT 1000 is a great headset for the open office and it wouldn’t be a product in 2023 if it didn’t have some form of AI in it.
The IMPACT 1000 uses microphone technology labelled as EPOS AI which is ultimately a noise-canceling algorithm that intelligently identifies the noise around you. The microphone uses beamforming technology to scan the surrounding environment 32,000 times per second, which allows it to effectively identify and shut down sources of noise.
The sound from the headset is great and its ability to cancel out the environment around you with ANC is exactly why this is pitched at business and enterprise customers. I think many home office workers have similar noise challenges are should also be a target market for this product.
It’s a great comfortable design and the wireless induction charging dock is as simple to use as your toothbrush. I do wish they added mobile phone charging in the base as well as the stand base is certainly large enough to incorporate a Qi coil.
The EPOS IMPACT 1000 is a great choice for professionals who work in noisy environments, such as open offices, call centres, and factories. It is also a good choice for people who want a comfortable and stylish headset for everyday use.