Obi Hai has been around a long while. Their niche has been ATA-like devices that were sufficiently sophisticated to provide hardware access to Google Voice. As was discussed when they appeared on VUC, the founders of the company were in involved in the earliest days of VoIP. More specifically, they were behind the development of Cisco ATA 186, the very first ATA.
In years past I’ve watched as others have expressed their enthusiasm for the OBi Hai ATAs, especially those who were trying to leverage Google Voice. GV has never been a significant factor in my working life.
A 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.
I’m especially interested in the following new capabilities:
New audio codecs: SILK (used by skype), G.722.1 (aka Siren 7), G.722.2 (aka GSM-AMR Wide band)
Video codecs changes: H.264 optimizations
Added RTP TOS support
Support for DNS SRV caching
While developed primarily on Linux Ekiga has long supported multiple platforms. I took a short while today to try the new release on an older Windows XP laptop. The Windows installer also installed the GTK libraries necessary to support the application. Installation was quick and painless.
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.
Invoxia’s NVX 610, which I reviewed not long ago, is an ambitious device, tackling various communication and entertainment functions all by way of an iOS host. With the NVX 610 selling for $599, it’s many capabilities come at a price.
Earlier this week Invoxia announced that they have started to deliver their new AudiOffice device. Announced at CES earlier this year, AudiOffice looks nearly identical to the NVX 610. The device is more targeted in its feature set, acting as a hardware dock for the purposes of desktop telephony applications.
Like the NVX, AudiOffice supports cellular calls, one SIP account and one Skype account. HDVoice support remains in the form of G.722 via SIP and SILK with respect to Skype calls. Compared to it’s larger sibling AudiOffice has fewer microphone (2 vs 8) and speaker (4 vs 8) elements.
Invoxia’s NVX 610 is a curious device. In some ways it defies description. Is it an iPhone/iPad dock? Is it a desk phone? Or is it a conference phone?
In truth, it’s all of these things. The question is, can it very good at all those functions? Or any of them?
These questions are what prompted me approach Invoxia for an evaluation unit. This review arises from the my experience with that device over the past eight months.
Let’s begin by considering a little bit about the company. Invoxia are a French company with strength in design and engineering. Amongst their team you will find considerable experience in telecom. In the past they have been involved in projects for BT and the French multi-national Thomson, including the SIP/DECT hardware that Comcast rolled out as part of its HomePoint offering.