Aastra 6730i: The Most Affordable HDVoice Capable Desk Phone?

The folks at Junction Networks / OnSIP have recently posted a review of the Aastra 6730i, a recent entry-level offering in the Aastra lineup.

The entire 67xx series features Aastra’s Hi-Q technology. Hi-Q includes the combination of the G.722 wideband codec and software based compensation for the physical properties of the transducers on the device.

You might think of Hi-Q like equalization in a traditional stereo system. If you know the frequency response curve of the hardware you can extend its capabilities by using frequency dependent gain to compensate for the natural roll-off at the ends of the devices capabilities.

Since the phone is DSP based anyway it has the requisite processing capability to perform the EQ function. Thus Hi-Q leverages the phones existing processing hardware to enhance it’s capabilities. It’s literally a case of brains over brawn.

Of course, there are very real limits to this approach. The OnSIP review finds that a Polycom IP550 still sounds better, but they do feel that the 6730i still offers a dramatic improvement in audio quality.

From some angles Hi-Q is a clever move. Unlike simply building a better handset Hi-Q doesn’t add significantly to the cost of the device. The 6730i is offered for under $70 making it easily the least expensive HDVoice capable phone around, at least for the moment.

Aastra’s approach with their Hi-Q technology is an interesting interim strategy. It get’s them into the HDVoice business without a hardware redesign, and that keeps the cost down. It’s a bold move that’s bound to make the 67xx series popular in corporate & SOHO settings.

  • Gotta say, I bought an Aastra recently and was thoroughly impressed. After using polycom phones for years, the ease of mass deployment really impressed me. As far as sound quality, the Aastra (for me) had an extremely impressive headset and handset quality. That being said, I still believe polycom makes the best speakerphones, period. The additional configurations that aastra supports (and how easy they are to work with) truly impressed me.

    • I guess I have to agree. I still have an Aastra 480i CT here, hold over from a time before I had a better cordless solution. It’s a decent phone, but doesn’t feel as well built as a Polycom. The speakerphone feature was usable, but not in the same league as PLCM.

      HiQ kinda follows in this pattern. They use the software and electronics to compensate for less capable physical hardware.

  • Tim

    I’ve got one aastra 57i (and sidecar) and 2 ip550s and one ip650.

    I love the functionality on the aastra phone. Maybe I’m not as good with the polycoms. Sound quality aside, the overall end user experience on the aastra is much better than any of the polycoms.

    If I could merge the two into one phone, life would be good.

  • We started a new business with three of these 6730i phones (using onSip) and have added more as we’ve needed them. It’s hard to argue with the price point, and inexpensive hardware or no, the G.722 sound quality is night and day better than narrowband. The phone is very comfortable and easy to navigate, with the configurable hard keys being more than enough for our purposes.

    Granted, I’ve never tried a more expensive HD phone like one one of the Polycoms. Still, what’s great about SIP is that we can mix and match if our budget grows (or our thirst for even better HD audio demands…)

  •  I have an Aastra 6730 i IP phone working on our telephone system, Ozeki Phone System XE.