Deal Alert: Logitech H820e Cordless Headset

logitech-wireless-headset-dual-h820erightLong have I harped on the merits of a headset in business communication. I also like to move around while on longer calls, which makes a cordless headset very attractive. While I do appreciate the finer qualities of my Sennheiser DW Pro 2, I also accept that it’s a costly beast. So that ability to recommend a less costly option is also appealing.

Today Daily Steals is offering the dual-earpiece version of Logitech H820e DECT cordless headset for just $79. That’s down from $199 MSRP. It is currently listed on Amazon at around $161.

This is a DECT based headset that connects to a computer via USB 2.0. Thus it can be used with any soft client you can name, including; Blink, Bria, GotoMeeting, Hangouts, Jitsi, Lync, Skype, etc.

It’s wideband-capable and has a battery life that will likely outlast your voice. The cordless range, reported as up to 100m, should be more than adequate.

Some might prefer the single ear model to this dual-ear version, but at this price why be picky. The dual-ear version is still in mono, but better at isolating the user from noisy surroundings.

The product being offered is “recertified”, with a 90 day warranty. The deal is only valid through to the end of this afternoon.

Update: this deal has been extended and now seems to be running through to June 2nd.

LiGo’s Top 10 Cordless Phones For 2014

Ligo Top 10 Cordless Phones For 2014A good quality cordless phone can be an important tool in the home or home office communications arsenal.  In the past I’ve written about my experience with the Gigaset SIP/DECT cordless phones, which began when I discovered their S675 IP model, even before it was offered in North America. I actually order one from LiGo, a leading UK-based online reseller.

That generation of the Gigaset products were especially interesting as they included some IP-connected, SIP-capable models. These SIP/DECT products offer considerable advantages over the combination of an analog connected cordless phone and an ATA. I made the case for such systems way back in 2008. The argument offered then still holds up well in 2014.

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New Gear: Plantronics Voyager Pro HD

You may recall that in the spring of 2011 I reviewed the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth cordless headset. Even after it was replaced around the office by the Sennheiser DW Pro2 this little Bluetooth headset was a welcome travelling companion. That is, until our younger Labrador chewed it to bits a few months back.

At the time of the unfortunate incident I wasn’t exactly flush with cash so I decided to make due with the wired headset that came with my Galaxy Nexus. That headset has proven irksome. Last week I was compelled to order a new Plantronics Voyager Pro HD .

Occasionally manufacturers will provide sample gear for evaluation. While I might write a positive review about such a device, nothing underscores that opinion like spending from my own pocket to replace the when it’s lost. Such is the case with this headset.

Hopefully, in the coming week or two I can find some time to setup the Gigaset DX800A and find out if the VP HD handles HDVoice calls as well as the VP UC.

Grandstream Introduces New SIP/DECT Cordless Phones

Grandstream has today introduced a pair of new cordless SIP/DECT phones. According to their press release (broken link removed) the DP715 is the basic system, including the DECT base/charging stand and one handset. The DP710 is an additional handset with a simple charging stand.

Looking into the details I see specifications typical of the current generation of consumer DECT systems. A DP715 base supports five registered handsets and up to four concurrent calls.

The claimed cordless range is also typical of DECT systems…that is very good indeed. I’d expect excellent battery life as well.

The handsets have a built-in speakerphone, which can be handy in a home office.

They are described as having three ring-modes:

“Linear Mode, all phones ring sequentially in the predesignated order

Parallel Mode, all phones ring concurrently and after one phone answers the rest phones may place new calls

Shared Line Mode, all phones ring concurrently and always share the same line, similar to an analog phone”

The system supports remote configuration via a web portal or provisioning server. That last part is critical for uptake by ITSPs who want hands-off provisioning at an end-user site.

What I don’t see in the specifications is any support for HDVoice. They list support for all the usual suspects (G.711, G.723.1, G.729A/B, G.726 and iLBC) with respect to narrowband codecs.

The company’s web site lists support for TR-069, IP v6 and Skype as “pending.”

Grandstream has long been a price/performance leader. Priced at $85 and $49 respectively, these new devices extend that pattern. They should prove interesting to SOHO users on a budget.

First Look: Gigaset C610A & L410

Gigaset C610AL410_TR_whi_300 Some weeks ago Gigaset sent me a a couple of their newer US offerings to try. The first of these that I’ve unboxed is the new C610A Cordless DECT phone with the L410 Hands-free Clip.

Unlike the various Gigaset systems I’ve considered in the past, the C610A is not an IP-capable system. It sports just one old school analog line interface. Normally I wouldn’t even trouble myself to take such a phone out of the box.

The C610A itself is a pretty basic phone. The DECT base includes voicemail capability, with a small speaker on the base so that you can listen to voice messages at the base even if the handset is elsewhere. The VM system can also be used to record a call in progress.

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Review: Zelher P20 Bluetooth Headset

Zelher P20 BT Headset 200 Some time ago I made it clear that I actually prefer a headset with a boom mounted microphone. The Etymotic ETY.COM is an example of such a device, as is the now defunct Plantronics .Audio 615m. It’s also true that the current trend in Bluetooth wireless headsets leans towards designs that are much less conspicuous.

Some months back I became aware of Zelher, a small company that offer a pair of what appeared to be very interesting Bluetooth headsets. I emailed the company inquiring about the products, specifically whether they supported HDVoice. Their response indicated that the company was going to offer a stereo headset for music use later in the year, but said nothing about support for wideband voice in the existing products.

I looked on Amazon to see that the Zelher P20 listed at $99, but was typically offered for around $60. At that price I wasn’t about to buy one just to satisfy my curiosity. A few weeks later I found the P20 offered by a daily deals web site for just $40. That was a bit more tempting.

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