Living With the Tech: The Sennheiser DW Pro2 DECT Headset Five Years On

It’s not often that I can say that I’ve been using a single device daily for over five years. The Sennheiser DW Pro2 DECT headset, which I reviewed in 2011, tops that very short list.

Sennheiser DW Pro 2 & Clients

This past week I’ve paid a little special attention to the headset. It’s long been connected to the Polycom phone on my desk. It’s been witness to my transition from a Polycom SoundPoint IP650, to a VVX-500, and onward to a VVX-600. It’s also connected to my desktop computer.

In general, the DW Pro 2 is still performing well. I have noted some curious things about it over time, including a couple new things just in recent weeks.

Continue reading “Living With the Tech: The Sennheiser DW Pro2 DECT Headset Five Years On”

Review: Aver Information VC520 All-in-One USB Conference Camera System

aver-vc520-with-boxPractically everyone has a webcam. But what are your options when a fixed webcam simply isn’t good enough? For example, how to adequately service a small meeting room? What some would call a “Huddle Room.”

When Google launched their Chromebox-For-Meetings they selected the venerable Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 as the camera. However, it wasn’t long before they rethought the offer, calling the initial offering the small room bundle (up to 8 people) and offering a large room bundle to accommodate larger spaces and crowds.

Continue reading “Review: Aver Information VC520 All-in-One USB Conference Camera System”

Deal Alert: Etymotic HF5 In-Ear-Monitors just $99

A set of Etymotic HF5 in-ear-monitors have graced my computer bag for the past few years. They are positively my favorite noise reducing headphones. The reasons are very simple; they reliably achieve a good seal in the ear canal, delivering relief from noisy surrounds. Further, they sound amazing.

Etymotic HF5 KitEtymotic headsets are based on a balanced armature design. Coming from an audiological background, this design is characterized by accurate reproduction. They’re notable for fast, crystalline mid- and high-frequency response.

I am told that some people may find the bass response lacking. Although, to my ears they sound awesome. The fact that they seal reliably ensures that the bass is fast and tight. There’s no sloppy boom-boom-boom here.

If you treasure both quiet and musical accuracy click on over to Massdrop who is offering HF5’s for $99 if a group of 10 people are interested. That’s down from MSRP of $149, while Amazon Prime has them for around $110.

P.S. – The HF5 are the model without a microphone, so they’re more about the iPod than the iPhone. You don’t need any pesky phone calls interrupting your groove anyway, right?

Comcast MPEG-4 Upgrades & TiVo

We love our Tivo DVRs. We’ve had them basically since the original Series 1 was initially offered. Our current compliment is a Tivo Roamio Plus with two Tivo Mini‘s.

Tivo Roamio Plus 600px

While there have been one or two times that CableCard related matters caused problems, Comcast and Tivo mostly get along. When problems do occur solving them, which typically falls to Comcast, has proven difficult. So, when we received an official notice from Comcast labeled “Equipment Update” we got a little nervous. Continue reading “Comcast MPEG-4 Upgrades & TiVo”

How-To: A Non-Bluetooth Wireless Headset for a Mobile Phone

Nexus 5 & Logitech H820eA few days back someone over at the DSL Reports VoIP Forum posed a question. Along with expressing some frustration with Bluetooth headsets, they asked how they might use a wireless headset that was not based upon Bluetooth with a mobile phone?

That is a curious question. I certainly understand that people can be frustrated with Bluetooth headsets. It’s something that I have suffered now and then.

Class 2 Bluetooth, which is limited to 2.5 mW radiated power, is the most common variety. It’s supposed to deliver a 10 foot range. That’s fine when a mobile phone is in your pocket, but inadequate when it’s on your desk and you need to refill your coffee.

Class 1 Bluetooth kicks the RF power up to 100mW, aiming to allow you to wander up to 100 feet from the host device. Unfortunately, to achieve this freedom to roam, both the host and the headset must be class 1 devices. AFAIK, no mobile phone has ever had a class 1 Bluetooth radio.

Continue reading “How-To: A Non-Bluetooth Wireless Headset for a Mobile Phone”

Can You See Me now? Microsoft Suffering New Windows 10 Webcam Strategy

It seems that others have now encountered the change in how Windows 10 handles webcams after the Anniversary update. Many applications simply never try to go beyond 720p30, so it wasn’t clear to me how many people would be impacted by this change.

After my initial post about this on 8/4 I dropped news of the trouble in the related support forums for OBS, vMix, and Wirecast. My thought was that people involved in the production of streaming media could possibly be impacted.

How ironic that in the two weeks since there’s been a flood of complaints about the Anniversary Update breaking webcam access in Skype. It hadn’t occurred to me that Skype, a Microsoft product(!), would also be impacted.

Continue reading “Can You See Me now? Microsoft Suffering New Windows 10 Webcam Strategy”