One of the stickier lessons from my youth was understanding the value of using the right tool for the task at hand. This is the belief underlying my oft-stated assertion that you should never use a speakerphone when a headset or conference phone is more appropriate. A headset is ideal for one person, a speakerphone might service two-or-three people in an ad hoc gathering around a desk. A larger group demands a proper conference phone.
Back in 2010 I was fortunate to be able to review the Polycom SoundStation IP 5000 SIP conference phone. It’s an ideal device for someone who has a large office or small meeting room. It microphone array easily accommodates a group of 4-6 people around a small conference table. It’s physical size ensures that it won’t be in the way.
Like many things bearing the Polycom name, it’s a high-quality device featuring bone fide Polycom HDVoice. Such quality is not without a price. However, I recently found the SoundStation IP 5000 offered on Amazon for a very attractive $285.
That price is not much more than a decent quality desk phone, making it ever more practical to put a proper SIP conference phone at the far end of that executive office or in the small meeting room. At that price even very-SMBs can afford the right tools to communicate well in a small meeting situation.
Tis the season to be frugal. Does you holiday gift list include someone who could use a premium Bluetooth headset? Here’s a good candidate; Daily Steals is today offering the Plantronics Voyager Legend for just $39.
This the very headset that I have been using for the past year. It’s the follow-on to the Voyager Pro HD that I reviewed in-depth. It’s improved in almost every way.
Amazon has the device listed at around $70, while MRSP is $99. That make the $39 offer very attractive indeed. That is, if you need such a trinket. It’s too good an offer not to share.
Update 12/8/2013: Not a day or two after I saw this offer I saw another online discount store offering the same device for $109, marked down from a reported $129 list price. That’s just silly since Amazon has the device (Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth Headset – Retail Packaging – Black) for just $69.
This morning’s email reveals that Daily Steals is offering the Plantronics Savor M1100 BT headset for a rather modest $20. While not a device that I’ve tried myself the M1100 was well reviewed by TMC back in 2012 when it first shipped.
The review includes a good deal of technical detail about its capabilities. The fact that it supports wideband audio and A2DP are key features in my realm.
Plantronics own page for the product indicates that it’s been discontinued. After 18 months that completely to be expected. If you need a BT headset, it’s hard to see how you could go wrong with this M1100 for a paltry $20.
This morning I have found that sellout.woot.com is offering the Plantronics .Audio 476 DSP Portable USB Headset for a rather impressive $14.99! This offer, which is available for one week or while supplies last, is for new devices, not refurbished goods. The MSRP is $49.99.
The .Audio 476 is described as “for laptops” which implies two things; the design folds down for easier transport, and the cable is not especially long. The specs list the cable as 6.5 feet. The specs also indicate that the headset is more than capable of HDVoice.
$15 is pretty cheap for a decent USB headset. I must admit that I am tempted, even if it’s just to have a spare headset in a drawer.
Monday afternoon an email arrived announcing E4 Technology’s new promotion of the Polycom VVX Series desk phones. As I am a huge fan of the VVX Series I thought this worth sharing.
You may recall that I long ago reviewed the VVX-1500. It remains the single best sounding desk phone that I have ever used!
However, I recently replaced the VVX-1500 that had occupied the corner of my desk with a VVX-600 model. The VVX-600 is much smaller and sounds almost as good as it’s larger kin. It’s Bluetooth capable, which is certainly handy. With the optional camera module installed the touchscreen VVX-600 is capable of HD video (720p).
Continue reading “Psst. Hey, Buddy! Wanna Buy A Great Phone?”
Next week the IETF will be holding a conference in Berlin. Part of that conference is a Technical Plenary Session about the Opus audio codec scheduled for Monday, July 29th 5:40-7:40pm CET.
The IETF usually streams much of their conferences so people who are not free to travel may still participate. Quite often there’s an audio stream, sometimes there’s video and a web share of any slides. They usually stream from several of the meeting rooms, as multiple sessions are typical going on in parallel.
This coming Monday’s Technical Plenary is also going to be the basis of an experiment. The session is going to be streamed via WebRTC. That means that anyone with a WebRTC capable browser will be able to monitor the session. It further implies that the session on Opus will in fact be streamed using Opus…which seems only fitting.
The session will be recorded for those who cannot participate live. Since 5:40pm is Berlin is 10:40am in Houston I’m hopeful that I may be able to list in using Chrome.