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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The Gigaset A580IP, Gizmo5 & Google Voice

siemens-a580ip-160This is just too handy to remain hidden away in a comment so I thought I’d make it a proper post on it’s own. Gigaset Communication‘s Tony Stankus responded to a question asked in a comment on my A580IP review. The question was, how to setup the A580IP for use with Gizmo5 and Google Voice?

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Google Voice & Why Free Makes Me Nervous

GoogleVoiceLogoI’m an early adopter and I admit that freely. I opened a Grand Central account early its history, converted that to Google Voice when the time came, and have generally been impressed with the service. But I don’t use it much. I truly don’t feel that I can afford to use it for a variety for reasons.

The internet has created this crazy new paradigm of free services. The list is lengthy; Google apps, Twitter, Hotmail, Facebook, Blogger, Yahoo Pipes, Posterous, Gmail & WordPress.com are just a few. Free services are literally everywhere these days, like manna from heaven.

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