Multipoint explained. One headset for all your phones.

by Multipoint explained. One headset for all your phones. Daniel Gniazdo

Imagine a future where a single headset takes care of all your calls and audio. Say it’s playing music from your laptop, when your cell phone starts ringing. Music is paused, and the headset is now channeling the cell phone call. You press a headset button to start a second call through a connected desk phone, and then you merge the two calls together into a conference – all without taking off your headset.

Does that sound a bit like science fiction? Well, it isn’t. This technology is called “multipoint,” and it’s been here for a while.

PRO9470_Multiple_Devices

A bit of history: While Bluetooth headsets have been around since the year 2000, being able to connect one to more than a single phone at the same time is a relatively new development. Multipoint technology emerged in the mid-2000s and has been continuously refined and improved ever since. But what in the world is it, and how does it work?

Let’s take a look:

Simple multipoint

In the case of simple multipoint, a Bluetooth headset is connected to two separate devices at the same time. When one of them rings, the headset knows which one it is. So when you answer the call, the headset will automatically stream it from the right device.

If you’re already talking on your first phone, the headset will alert you if there’s an incoming call on a second one. You can then pick up this second call directly from the same headset.

In practice, simple multipoint is useful in many different cases. For example:

  • Having a work and personal phone with you, both connected to the same headset.
  • Using the headset for Skype without losing connection to your primary cell phone.
  • Playing “Candy Crush Saga” on your tablet with full sound effects without worrying about missing an important call on your work phone.
  • You get the picture…

Here’s a short video that illustrates the concept rather well:

Simple multipoint comes with one minor inconvenience: When you answer a second incoming call, your headset actually drops the connection to the call you’re already on. So you can inadvertently hang up on your best friend while answering a nuisance call from a telemarketer.

Fortunately, something called “advanced multipoint” takes care of that issue.

Advanced multipoint

Advanced multipoint is almost exactly the same as simple multipoint…except more advanced. Bad jokes aside, the primary function of advanced multipoint is the same: There are two connected devices and one headset that can answer two separate calls.

But – in the case of advanced multipoint – the first call is not dropped when you pick up the second incoming call. Instead, the first call is put on hold, so you can return to it once you’re done with the other one. In fact, you can keep switching between the two calls, putting them on hold interchangeably.

With advanced multipoint, you can quickly yell at the bothersome telemarketer and get back to your friend at the press of a button. Advanced multipoint is becoming the standard for most new Bluetooth headsets.

Triple connectivity

Some of the newer professional headsets take this a step further. These headsets have a docking base with a nifty touch screen. The base unites all of your connections – from cell phone to desk phone to computer. As such, you can connect to three devices at once and control them all via the touch screen.

These professional headsets let you not only switch between calls but even merge them into one conversation. So now you can make your friend yell at the telemarketer on your behalf. I discuss this triple connectivity in more detail in this blog post.

The majority of today’s Bluetooth headsets have multipoint and work with multiple devices. To see how connecting your headset to multiple phones works in practice, watch this video.

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14 Responses

  1. rroyal35 February 13, 2017 / 11:45

    So simple jabra headphines like Classic and Mini are multipoint? (simple or advanced?) It would be helpful if it were specified in the specs…

  2. cucu lescu January 10, 2017 / 13:24

    I need to pair to three phones at the *same* time. So Advanced Multipoint with 3 not 2.
    will you manufacture such a device anytime soon?

  3. venkat October 15, 2016 / 10:27

    I have a bluetooth headphone. Perhaps it is not even a simple mutipoint. But I suppose I pair the headphone both with my cell phone and alsoTV whenever i want to speak in cell phone I do not use tv (I switch off). when I want to hear audio from TV I put bluetooth in cell phone “off” though it is NOT unpaired. in such a case I suppose I can get audio from tv.

    Is my assumpltion correct?

  4. Sylvia Ives August 28, 2016 / 13:14

    I want to be able to listen to a television show through headphones and hear a caller at the same time. Is this possible?

  5. Onedee Tentee May 25, 2016 / 01:46

    You explained “Mulitpoint” but failed at explicitly defining what “Multiuse TM” means. Since the ‘TM’ denotes a trademark and not a Standard I’m left wondering what ‘Multiuse TM’ really means. All the headsets I’ve looked at on Jabra’s site only say “Multiuse TM” and NOT ‘Multipoint’. Does it mean “Mulitpoint” or “Advanced Mulitpoint”? If not, what exactly is it?

    • Daniel Gniazdo May 25, 2016 / 08:23

      Hey Onedee,

      You’re right, that part isn’t explicitly covered in the above post. I’ll do so here.

      Multiuse (TM) is simply Jabra’s branding term for multipoint. So for all intents and purposes, “multiuse” = “multipoint.”

      As for whether it’s advanced or simple multipoint. You can be quite sure that if it’s a new headset that came out within the last five years or so, it has advanced multipoint.

      Hope that helps,
      Daniel

  6. karim May 17, 2016 / 08:45

    we need a list of jabra devices that supports two phones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Daniel Gniazdo May 17, 2016 / 10:27

      Hi Karim,

      All Bluetooth headsets (including Jabra’s) support two active phones (and up to 8 paired phones). The only difference is whether these two are handled via simple or advanced multipoint, as described above.

      If the headset came out within the last five years or so, it’s almost certain to have advanced multipoint.

      Hope that helps,
      Daniel

  7. Taylor March 21, 2016 / 16:25

    Could compatibility for multi-point and advance multi-point be added to the product pages? I’m finding it a bear to figure out which products support this feature and if they do, which version. For example, the Jabra Move doesn’t list anything on the product page, but under the PDF technical specs it does.

    • Daniel Gniazdo May 3, 2016 / 14:23

      Hey Taylor,

      If it helps, most of the newer headsets that came out over the past few years will have advanced multipoint rather than the basic version. It’s really becoming the go-to standard.

      Best,
      Daniel

  8. Sharath Raju February 22, 2016 / 07:31

    Nice helpful article.

    • Daniel Gniazdo May 3, 2016 / 14:21

      Hey Sharath,

      I’m glad you found this useful!

      Thanks for stopping by,
      Daniel