magic jack PLUS Now Officially Offering HDVoice

MAGICJACKPLUS-250pxThis morning’s news dump included an email from a marketing service being used by magic jack. Some while ago when I heard a rumor that Vocaltec was working on some means of supporting HDVoice in the next generation of their magic jack product/service. While the new magic jack PLUS started to ship backing August todays email was the first I’ve seen that actually mentioned HDVoice.

According to the web site for the service;

“magicJack PLUS™ service has received rave reviews and many people think it is the best Call Quality they have ever heard. The magicJack PLUS™ has added High Definition Voice. Best Call Quality and it’s FREE.”

The big change from magic jack to magic jack PLUS is in the hardware. The little USB interface device once required the used a computer. With an RJ45 connection to your home network the new version can run completely standalone. No computer required. This was largely a competitive issue driven by the NetTalk Duo.

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Review: Sennheiser DW Pro2 Cordless Headset

sennheiser-dw-pro2-and-Polycom-phones-250As you may already know, I believe that a headset is an important part of a sound strategy for effective communications in the home office. In fact, I’ve used a number or cordless headsets around my home office. Most of them, like the Plantronics Savi Go and Voyager Pro UC, were Bluetooth devices that were used in two roles; in the office and with a mobile phone. This meant that in the office they were used in conjunction with a soft phone on my desktop PC.

Over time I found that I really preferred to use the wonderful dedicated SIP phone that occupied the other corner of my desk. None of my existing headsets worked with my Polycom Soundpoint IP650 or VVX-1500, the two phones that have dominated my desktop the past few years.

To gain some insight I decided to poll a few knowledgeable people about their preferred headsets. Some of their responses referenced companies and products that were known to me, but one reply was completely unexpected…Sennheiser!

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The Deskphone Re-Imagined: Invoxia’s NVX610

In recent years we’ve repeatedly heard of the death of the land line, how large numbers of consumers are “cutting the cord” and turning to mobile phones as their only phones. Industry data on the continuing loss of land lines bears out this claim.

Many people, including VUC regulars like myself and Dave Michels, have been calling for a reimagining of the desk phone. The premise being that an innovative reconsideration of the desk phone could save the “Home Phone.”

The trend in cord cutting is not purely a consumer phenomenon. Given dispersed and highly mobile workforces some businesses are eschewing the traditional desk phone in favor of mobile phones. This is driven by many factors, notably; cost, convenience, and feature set in the light of smart phones.

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Win A Gigaset DX800A with HDVoice

Gigaset-DX800A-250Our friends at Gigaset are continuing to promote their wares to a broad audience, this time with a contest offering their DX800A desk phone. The DX800A has been available in Europe for a year or more, but has yet to be released in North America. It’s release is anticipated at the coming CES show in January 2012.

The Gigaset DX800A is a desk phone that incorporates a DECT base, supporting a number of cordless handsets. It’s HDVoice capable supporting G.722 audio over SIP.

It also supports the use of wideband audio over its built-in Bluetooth radio. I tried it using my Plantronics Voyager Pro UC while at CES last year.

Defining HD Voice vs HD Audio

Earlier today Doug Mohney of HDVoiceNews issued an interesting tweet;

Briefing with Tier 1 telco on #HDvoice. Product manager started using the useless marketing term #HDaudio. Maybe should use #HDtelephony?

I find myself agreeing with Doug’s assertion that “HD Audio” is not appropriate terminology. “HD Audio” is way too broad a term, and more appropriate used with respect to entertainment than telephony.

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Invoxia NVX 610: Executive Desk Phone Powered by iOS Device

As it happens, I was travelling last week so not able to attend the VUC call on September 30th that featured Invoxia. Thank goodness for the podcast because their product, the NVX610 certainly looks interesting.

In fact, it’s interesting on many levels. For the past few years there have been a number of people I know who have been seeking a re-imagining of the desk phone. Fellow blogger Dave Michels is one of the more notable folks calling for such an effort.

In exploring the space looking for a solution to our latent desire for a wholly new kind of executive desk phone we’ve been distracted by various things.

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