skip to Main Content

Polycom’s VVX-500 Finds A Home On My Desk

polycom-vvx500-300px At long last I’ve purchased a Polycom VVX-500 for my desk. A year ago I participated in the beta program for this outstanding desk phone. A such I’ve had one to use well before they launched in October 2011.

However, Polycom devices involved in a beta program ship with a boot loader that will only load beta firmware. Once the device was officially shipping and release firmware available I could not longer update the VVX in my possession. This wasn’t initially an issue, but when OnSIP started to support Polycom UC v4.0+ firmware with their provisioning server I thought it would be good to more completely integrate my desk phone with our OnSIP account.

I might like to review the VVX-500, but that seems a little weird. As I was involved in the beta program I was bound by the companies standard non-disclosure agreement during the period of the beta. Once the device launched various other people reviewed it. I’m not sure that it’s worth my time to commit to a full length review, but there are some items worth noting about the VVX-500. I can certainly point these out from time to time.

Read More

The Questionable Economics Of EHS Cables & Lifters

If you spend a lot of time on the phone then I believe that you need a proper headset. Many headsets require some form of interface hardware to connect to a desk phone. Many IP phones, like my Polycom Soundpoint IP series, require the use of an “Electronic Hook-Switch” (aka EHS) cable or a mechanical lifter.

A mechanical lifter is a Flintstone-like approach to hook switch control by purely mechanical means. It literally lifts the handset to take the phone off-hook, replacing it down again to hang up the call. To me this is essentially a kind of telephony steam punk.

Moving to 21st century methods, an EHS cable allows some aspect of the headset to control the hook state of the phone electrically. That is, it allows you to answer or hang up a call using switching that’s built into the headset. This may be true with both wired and wireless headsets.

To be blunt, lifters and EHS cables just aren’t cheap. The few times that I’ve had to buy an EHS cable it cost in the $50 – $80 range. That’s a considerable price when compared to the cost of the headset or the desk phone itself.

Read More

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.

Read More
Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: