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 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.
Yesterday I received my third Nexus 7 (2013 edition) by way of a Groupon deal that ends later today. The offer is new, not refurbished, versions of the 16 GB model for $149. That’s down from the $199 list price, which was an unbelievable bargain in the first place.
There are dozens of cheap Android tablets to be had, but few that run Lollipop. In my case, my existing Nexus 7, which has a few scrapes and nicks, will be rotated into a utility role, very likely as a pseudo-Squeezebox.
Again, these are “recertified” devices with a 90 day warranty. They are USB plug-and-play, HDVoice-capable, Microsoft® Lync™ and Cisco® compatible. They should work with any soft client. Logitech also claims up to 10 hours of talk time and 300 feet of walkabout range.
This time I could not resist. I ordered a couple. One for me to try and one to be gifted onward.
I’ve used the Voyager Pro HD with my netbook, desktop, Nexus 7 tablet and Galaxy Nexus cell phone. It worked well with every device and handles wideband audio if the other ends also supports HDVoice.
In the past I’ve used the Voyager Pro HD with a PolycomVVX-500 desk phone. This was possible using the optional BT300 USB BT dongle from Plantronics. This worked well, but of course adds cost to the overall solution.
More recently I have used the Voyager Pro HD with the new PolycomVVX-600, which has a built in BT radio. In both cases the Voyager Pro HD provided long battery life, HDVoice and hook switch control.
Some time ago the folks at Gigaset showed me their DE380-IP-R desk phone. It was about the time that they were just starting to ship their SIP/DECT products to the US. When they sent me some sample gear for evaluation a lone sample of this little desk phone came along for the ride.
I tried the DE380-IP-R for a short while but never really put it into service. I used it just long enough to confirm that it was truly wideband capable, supporting G.722.
The simple truth is that I found the phone to be just a little too quirky for my tastes. There are things about it that seem too Euro-centric in their design or implementation. Further, with a retail price of around $140 they were simply too odd when compared to the newly released Polycom Soundpoint IP335, which is also wideband capable.