Tip For Adding An Expansion Handset To A Gigaset C610A IP SIP/DECT System

In recent weeks there has been a long running thread over at the DSL Reports VoIP forum. It revolves around differences in the menus on the handsets the ship as part of a Gigaset C610A IP SIP/DECT phone system vs C610H expansion handset.

The menus on the handset show or hide certain options depending upon how the handset was intended to be delivered. It might deliver as part of a C610A IP system, in which case the menu option to “Select Services” is shown. The handset may be configured to deliver as part of a Gigaset C610A-L410 combination. Since that system is not IP-capable the “Select Services” menu is not shown on the handset.

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Affordable Cordless Mobility In The Home Office

Obi-Hai-S12-KX-TSC11-trio-300sqEarlier this week Bill left a comment asking for a recommendation about a phone and cordless headset combination. His requirements seem quite sensible and he expresses some frustration with his existing gear. His situation seems one that could be very common, so I thought it worth highlighting before trying to make some recommendations.

Here’s his comment in full:

Sorry for bringing back an old thread – but am hoping you might have some advice. I am a home office worker & spend a lot of time on the phone with colleagues & customers. I’m not using a speakerphone – but I am currently using a Plantronics S12 headset & Panasonic KX-TSC11 phone connected to an OBi110 for both POTS and VOIP capability. The audio quality is just “ok”, and the S12 creates an annoying hum when I raise the microphone volume.

I would like to upgrade to a better (binaural, over the head, no little buds sticking into my ear) headset, preferably DECT to enable me to stand and move about a bit while on calls (is DECT a safe bet for call quality & consistency?). Also it would be convenient to have a built-in answering machine if the quality is very good.

The *paramount* concern is that my voice quality sound loud & clear to callers. I would also like the devices to be wideband-capable (realizing this only affects VOIP).

Do you have any suggestions for a phone/headset combination for this scenario? Thanks very much in advance!

Bill’s existing gear bears examination. With just a few minutes of Googling I found that the Panasonic KX-TSC11 is a very basic analog phone. They’re available for around $45 and have only one analog POTS connection. Panasonic refers to it as an “Integrated Telephone System” which seems a bit puzzling to me. It’s a bit like calling a pen a “fully manual correspondence creation system.” It’s an entry-level analog phone.

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Gigaset C610A IP Now Available In The US

gigaset-c61H-skinned-200At long last the Gigaset C610A IP is available in the US. Gigaset recently issued a press release highlighting this very fact.

Much of the detail of the press release was already known from the product announcement back at CES. However, they have announced a possibly cute connection to SkinIt, a service that offers decorative skins for consumer electronics devices.

SkinIt are offering decorative skins for several Gigaset models. So if you really need a Hello Kitty skin to fit into your décor…you can have it. It seems more likely that someone would pick some classic art pattern to match their décor, or perhaps upload a custom image to brand the device unique to your company.

At $30 for each skin they’re not exactly cheap, but then it’s not outrageous either, given that you really want it to match your room. I expect that some will see the value in the skins. Myself, I like the classic black color of the unadorned device.

In related news, now that the C610A IP is available in the US I’ve added a note to this effect to the end of my 2009 review of the A580IP.

Since that review was published a number of people have commented that the A580IP was perhaps a bit too spartan in its feature set. At the time I thought it best to describe the lowest cost system being offered, especially since the S675IP was already reviewed elsewhere.

The C610A IP is now the baseline model that I would recommend. While the A580IP remains the least costly starter system, the C610A IP has the best price/performance mix of the various starter systems being offered. The S79H remains my preferred handset, should you need to add more handsets to the starter system.

New Gigaset Firmware

Earlier this week the Gigaset C610A-IP that I’ve had for the past month reported that there was a new firmware release available. Glancing over at the Gigaset web site I see that the C610A-IP is not yet listed in the US version of the site. Nor is the related firmware in the download section. That means no release notes to help make the decision about installing the new firmware.

I know that Michael White at E4 Technologies has been awaiting a shipment from Gigaset. Visiting Amazon.com I see that the C610A-IP remains listed as not currently available. I expect that the US arm of Gigaset is eagerly awaiting literally a boatload of product.

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New Gigaset Products At CES 2011 In Las Vegas

This past week I made a quick trip to Las Vegas. The vast majority of people in Vegas were attending CES 2011. My time there was short. My primary reason for the trip was to attend the HDVoice Summit organised by Dan Berninger. That meeting was held in a suite at the Aria Hotel where are array of HDVoice, capable products were on display, including the latest Gigaset offerings.

Gigaset issue a press release detailing the new product offerings. As expected they were launching a couple of new desk phones aimed squarely at SOHO & SMB applications. At the HDVoice Summit there was a DX800A setup and connected to David Frankel’s ZipDX wideband conference bridge.

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