Review: ClearOne Chat 160 USB Conference Phone

In my travels there have been times when I’ve engaged in some very long phone calls. It may be that I’m speaking to my wife while killing time in some far off hotel, or perhaps consulting with an associate on a tech support matter. In such circumstances I’ve come to believe that a USB attached speakerphone and a soft phone can be a very convenient combination.

USB attached audio devices are handy when you have a computer readily available. Being USB attached they save you the trouble of finding a way to provide network connectivity for a traditional IP conference phone.

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Jazinga Review: Asking Your Opinion

In a few days our friends over at Small Net Builder will finish polishing the stone that is my Jazinga review and post it online. I’ve been thinking about live support for the review in some fashion. That is, I could put the system online and let readers dial-in to experience the IVR, leave voice comments, etc. I’d work up an monster IVR maze just for the purpose.

It would be at a local Houston area number that arrives over IP. It could also be available as a SIP URI. I’d leave it up for perhaps a couple of months, or until activity was completely gone.

What do you think? Is it worth doing? Leave a comment, or send me a tweet.

Jazinga Review Submitted, Coming Up For Air

I’ve been crushed the past week trying to get my Jazinga review down on paper. With a final review by my wife it was off to the publisher late last night. I can finally come up for air.

There’s such a difference between blogging on something that catches my imagination and 3,000 words that capture the essence of a device. Just a little time left working on supporting images, which will definitely be submitted today.  I’ll post a link once it goes online.

BTW, we’re working to have someone from Jazinga on a coming edition of the VUC call.

TMCNet Reviews snom m3

This morning I see that TMC Net’s Tom Keating has posted a review of the snom m3.  Tom says;

The snom m3 SIP wireless (DECT) phone is one of my favorite VoIP phones. I’ve been testing and reviewing it for a few months but haven’t had time to write up the review until now. First, let me point out that the problem with IP-PBXs is they typically give you a desk phone or a softphone with no real mobility options to walk around, which is critical in some vertical markets, such as retail and manufacturing. Even sales professionals want the flexibility to take calls while roaming the office. In the past, I have used analog telephony adapters to connect my cordless phone to my SIP-based IP-PBX, but the cordless phone lacks multiple lines, call transfer, call conference, call waiting, or even a message waiting indication (MWI).

This exactly mirrors my experience, from the initial statement of the snom being a favorite, right to the expression of frustration with using ATAs and traditional cordless phones. I’ll have more to say about that shortly.

It took some effort to get the little phones from ABPTech, one of snom’s US distributors. I was fortunate enough to get two back in February from the initial shipment. These have now been through three firmware upgrades (described here, here and here) and are working well.

I expect to purchase the snom DECT repeater shortly, as well as a third handset.

My original review remains online here and at www.smallnetbuilder.com.

Spectralink 8002 SIP Wifi Handset

The rumor has been confirmed true, I’ll be writing a review of the new Polycom Spectralink 8002 SIP WIFI handset. It arrived Wednesday. I’ll be installing new WMM capable wifi APs in order to facilitate this review. The review itself will eventually appear at www.smallnetbuilder.com.

I’m really looking forward to this. Many thanks to the folks at Small Net Builder and Polycom for making it happen.