Perhaps the easiest way to get a sense of wideband quality is to try Skype. The software’s setup is extremely easy and it supports all the common computer platforms. Calls between Skype accounts are wideband when the available network bandwidth supports its use. That would be almost always for most people.
So after months of badgering people about G.722 based wideband capabilities in soft phones I’ve settled on using Counterpath’s Eyebeam v1.5 as my principle soft phone. I have it installed on my laptop and netbook, both systems that travel with me all the time.
Having finally found a soft phone that I lets me take advantage of the wideband capabilities of our hosted IP-PBX installation I was left to consider the audio I/O requirement in support of Eyebeam. To address this need I’ve recently been experimenting with both wired headsets and USB speakerphone devices. I started with the Plantronics .Audio 480 analog headset as detailed previously.
Last Christmas my wife got me one of Plantronics .Audio 480 headsets. I’d seen this model of headset offered for a while, and since I’ve used noise reducing headphones for listening to music for many years, the idea of a similar approach to a VoIP headset was intriguing. She knew that I was searching out a wideband capable SIP soft phone and thought that a suitably capable headset might enhance my traveling arsenal.
My earlier experience with noise reducing headsets started with the venerable Sony MDR-NC10…which I simply loved, and had several sets over the years. I found them both comfortable to wear and very effective. The concept of soft rubber-tipped ear buds that form a noise blocking seal into the ear canal was simply brilliant.
Some days I think that I’m unique in my dedication to VoIP-ish pursuits. Of course that can’t possibly be true or no-one would be reading this stuff at all. But how many people do you think are so dedicated to the matter that they wear a VoIP capable headset while travelling?
My wife is a very patient woman, well much of the time. And I am very grateful, well most of the time. This past Christmas she gifted me a new Plantronics .Audio 480 wired headset. This week is my first business trip since the holidays so I decided to bring it along.
This trip finds me in Toronto. Normally I’d just use my cell phone for everything but international roaming rates are very high. Most typically a week in Canada adds $100-150 to my monthly T-Mobile bill.