Here’s a short list of things that we think would make great gifts for the VoIP geek in your life. Whether it’s a just-starting-out VoIP Geek, like my coworkers son taking a year of University in Spain and needing to call home cheap, or the more accomplished of the nerdy…these items should hold considerable appeal.
Oh, and by the way, I tried to make them affordable as well. So now…onward…and in no particular order:
1. A USB Speakerphone
Curiously, back in 2007 when I had just started this blog the Polycom C100 was my one and only holiday gift recommendation. The logic behind that post remains sound even as we approach 2010.
Whether you use Skype or some other soft phone these little gadgets are really handy. What with various voice chat services like Babytel and Vivox woven into Facebook and other social media sites a high quality speakerphone attached to a PC or Mac is becoming more and more useful.
I’ve previously described my experience with various models over the years. My favorites are the ClearOne CHAT 50 and Polycom C100, which will run you $80-120 depending upon where you shop.
At the far end of the cost spectrum it appears that IOGear is reselling the old MVOX100 that I once used. I see that Ecost.com is offering it for the very modest price of $3.99! It’s not the greatest device, but at that price, hey…if it gets used twice it’s earned it’s keep. And it fits in a holiday stocking!
2. A Gigaset Cordless SIP DECT phone
Normally I would not recommend buying a VoIP Geek a phone as it’s a very personal thing. However, the Gigasets are really very compelling devices and not widely known.
The low-end A580IP is under $100 from online retailers like Best Buy, Amazon and E4Technologies. It lets you give the gift of HDVoice to someone who might not appreciate just how great it can be.
The middle of the range S675IP are very nice with color LCD displays. Starting at around $140 for one handset and the DECT base they do cost a bit more.
The nice thing is that for a home phone system you can mix and match the various models of handset to one DECT base. Put the ubber fancy SL78H where it will be seen by guests, and the more modest A58H in the garage as appropriate.
Well, I said it was a short list. The trouble is that most things in the realm of telephony are really personal choices. Often, too personal to be practical as a gift item. But if I come up with any more ideas I’ll update this post.
My family often tells me that “they need a list” and I do think that anyone who needs such a list feels that need well before the holidays are upon them. So this year I’m trying to be out in front of it, at least a little bit.