Review of Jabra Link 850

By Danny Hayasaka

Dates Evaluated: 6/12/2012-6/19/12

The Jabra Link 850 is a new amplifier/switcher box that allows you to connect to a PC and Desk Phone. In our case we are connected to a Polycom CX600 phone plus our Microsoft Lync client online.

What’s In the Box: Link 850, Jabra QD to Modular Lightweight Coil Cable, USB Cable, Telephone Interface Cable, Switch Cover with Screw, Secondary Locking Cover

Set Up: Set up was fairly simple following the included Quick Start Guide. I connected the USB cable my PC. Next I connected the QD cable and then the telephone interface cable to telephone. Because I will primarily be making Lync calls via my PC I switched the Telephone to PC switch to the PC icon. Not certain having the Telephone/PC switch on the underside of the Link 850 is the best placement. The switch should be on top where it can be easily accessed. The handset/headset switch is prominently located on the top portion of the Link 850.

Use: Made initial test call using a GN2025-NC headset. The sound quality on my end was really good. I had to decrease the volume which was simple via the large scroll volume control directly on top of base. Our voice platform is Microsoft Lync 100% of calls run through my PC. That meant there is no need to transfer between phone and PC. I like the large mute button. In call centers that is a “must have” feature. You can easily see if you are muted or not.

I have multiple Lync optimized devices connected to PC to include Polycom CX600, Jabra PRO 9470, Plantronics Calisto P830-M and Plantronics Savi 740-M. Although I selected Link 850 as audio device. When calls came in, they would route to the PRO 9470. If I made a call, it would go through the Link 850 & GN2025.

I watch multiple videos online. After going to control panel on PC and selecting the Link 850 as default audio device, PC audio from videos would automatically default to the Link 850/GN2025.

Audio Quality: The audio quality of receive and transmit were very good. I had no complaints in terms of my transmit volume or quality. The speaker/receive quality was really good. As I mentioned earlier, I had to initially turn down the volume.

Comments: I like the smaller form factor/footprint. I like the secondary headset port for training purposes. A concern some folks may have is that when using two headsets on Link 850, neither headset wearer can hear the other headset wearer. Both can hear the caller and the caller can hear both persons. Will the inline mute switch work in this scenario? Customers will ask. Will standard Training-Y cables work?

Call Center Agents with limited workstation space will appreciate this smaller Link 850. I didn’t really read the instructions (as most folks will not) so I don’t know what the other two switches do. There is a switch with an icon of a music note and “OFF”. There is another switch with what appears to be an icon of a head wearing headphones and “OFF”. Just by looking, I don’t what those switches do. For the music note I assumed “streaming music” but I’m not certain. Then there is the circular cover with the icons of a closed and open lock. I opened it to see what was under cover. Just by looking, Still not certain what the purpose is nor what the second circular cover is for.

I have access to USB ports however, there are call centers and companies that don’t give their employees access to USB ports due to security issues. That causes concern in reference to power. There is optional USB AC Adapter connection available.

Conclusion: I like the direction Jabra is headed in terms of reducing size of amp while adding more functionality capability. Removing battery cost factor is going to be a benefit to many organizations. Removing the need for AC power is also a benefit in organizations that don’t have AC outlets available. Of course regardless of what you do to an amplifier, the fact remains the audio quality must be on point and the Link 850 delivers with great audio quality in both receive and transmit. There are some concerns and issues that I would like to see ironed out before firm decision is made to replace GN8000 and GN8050-TCA. I don’t have any pricing so I couldn’t offer feedback in that regard.

 

Jabra Supreme UC Evaluation

Received Jabra Supreme UC last week during EnterrpriseConnect in Orlando, FL. It is part of the Jabra Mobile series. A few of the Jabra Mobile devices have recently been made available to the CC & O (Business) side of the channel to include the Jabra Supreme UC which is the Jabra Supreme Bluetooth Headset with Bluetooth USB Dongle.

What’s In the Box:  Jabra Supreme Headset, Mini USB Bluetooth Dongle, USB Charging Cable, USB port Car Charger, AC Adapter, User Guide mini-CD

Set Up: I plugged USB dongle to free USB port on my PC. It took just a little bit for the USB device to be recognized and prepared to work. Pairing to USB dongle was very easy. Basically, I just turned Jabra Supreme “on” by flipping the mic boom out.

I have Supreme paired to my iPhone which was very easy as well. Basically, you press the “Voice Command” button on the boom and say: “Pair New Device”. It places headset into pair mode. In the iPhone select Bluetooth menu. Select Jabra SUPREME. It pairs up fairly quickly. It is iPhone compatible so you do get battery life icon on iPhone. Additionally, it is A2DP so you can stream music from your iPhone to the earpiece.

In Jabra PC Suite device is recognized as Jabra LINK 360. See screenshots to see the available functionality you have via Jabra PC Suite (Jabra Control Center).

Use: The Jabra SUPREME UC is a very easy to use Bluetooth device. You simply “flip” the mic boom out to turn the device on. Place on the ear. Once on it literally tells you “Power On”, then it will tell you, “Connected”. Because I am paired to PC and iPhone, it tells me, “Two devices connected”.

Now that you know you are connected you can answer and hang up calls by pressing the answer/hang-up button on the earpiece. This is a beta unit so I don’t know if later rev’s will change Lync Presence status while I’m on a mobile phone call. When I make a call via Lync, my Presence status does change to “In a call”.

The audio quality is good. There were some early transmit issues however, they seem to be corrected now. I’ve had multiple conference calls with the unit and the Supreme holds up well and currently, the talk time appears to hold me through the day.

Conclusion: This is a great addition to the Jabra product portfolio. It’s a great fit for the “road warrior” or any employee that prefers a smaller, sleeker form factor and is using a softphone client or mobile phone as their main mode of communication.

It was very easy to set up and use and even better if Jabra PC Suite is installed. I would recommend this device.

Jabra PRO 930 – Evaluation

Date of Receipt: 10/13/11

Date of Eval Completion: 10/19/11

Model: Jabra PRO 930 USB (930-65-503-105) Optimized for Microsoft Lync

Set Up

Set up is fairly simple. There are only two cables to connect; the AC power to outlet or power strip and USB cable to PC or laptop USB port. Additionally, I have Jabra PC Suite installed.

 

We have Microsoft Lync so the PRO 930 was recognized once connected to USB port and became one of my device choices (I also have PRO 9470, Savi 740 and CX600 connected to the same PC). I charged for about an hour before I began to use.

 

 Jabra PC Suite

 

Wearing Styles

I wore it headband style. It’s comfortable. Pretty standard headband fit. Replaced to ear hook for today. Changing from headband to earhook was fairly simple. Snap off the headband and snap on earhook. I personally am not a fan of over-the-ear. So far it’s comfortable. I’ll see how it feels after a full day of wear. Changing wearing from right to left ear was also fairly easy. May want to consider including instructions on how to change earhook from right to left ear. A first-time headset wearer may not know you can pull the ear hook off and I didn’t see anything in the hard copy Quick Start Guide.

Sound Quality

I have made and taken calls. The speaker volume is good. You do have to remember where the “+” and “-“ keys are depending on whether you are wearing it on the right or left ear. If on right ear “+” is the top button. If on left, it’s the bottom button.  The transmission volume and sound is good. I did have one instance where I “cut out” for a brief moment. For now, we’re attributing that to the internet connection. It hasn’t happened since. The noise-canceling microphone is sufficient for my work environment. It suppresses background noise.

Range

I don’t have exact range however I am able to roam around the entire 2nd floor of our office without losing the call or the sound quality degrading. From my desk to the end of one corner of our building is about 60ft. It’s about 90ft-110ft to the other corner of our office.

Design/Comfort/Durability

It’s a clean design with a small footprint that doesn’t take up much desktop real estate. I have worn now for a few days both headband and over the ear style. Both styles are relatively comfortable but I prefer headband style and is comfortable and light enough to be worn for an 8hr work day. I’ve only had a few days so I can’t answer to durability but so far so good.

 

Summary

Overall the Jabra PRO 930 appears to be a very good product. It’s easy to set up, use and operate. It’s comfortable and light enough to be worn all day. I haven’t seen pricing on this yet. Pricing will be a fairly

VXi V100 Wireless Headset & L50 Handset Lifter Review

Dates: 1/6/10 – 1/11/10

By: Danny Hayasaka, Call One, Inc.

Packaging – I have a beta unit so I’m not certain if the actual production models will be packaged in plain white boxes however, in order to keep costs down, it may.

Included in the V100 box was the V100 base station, headset, ear hook, headband, neckband, telephone line splitter, base jack cable (mod to mod), tel wall jack cable (fat mod plugs), ac power supply and standard patch cable (mod to mod).

Included in the L50 box was the lifter, ring detector and anti slip pad.

Set Up – I normally don’t read through the instructions (I try and behave like the majority of typical customers) however all the various cables and unique design of the lifter had me scratching my head so I briefly skimmed through the instruction manuals.

Initially I tried to set up like all the other current wireless headsets on the market. The “base jack” cable did NOT work. I used the standard patch cable and also had to go through the switch settings and found that on our InterTel phones, Switch Settings B and D seem to work.

The L50 Lifter is very different when compared to the current handset lifters in the market. Instead of “lifting” the handset, it’s a plunger that presses the hookswitch button on the phone. There are a couple moving parts so it took some trials and adjusting to get it just right. I will say that it appears to work much faster than current lifters on the market.

Wearing Styles – I personally prefer the neckband wearing style. The earpiece can be changed to be worn on the left or right ear. Not certain if the production model will be better built but after a few changes from the left to right, the earpiece no longer stays in place and pops right out.  It seems to have worn out the groove that holds it in place. The headband is fairly standard and works like it should, it’s easily adjusted for left or right ear wear. The earhook is okay however I’m not certain it will be for everyone since there is a non-removable tip that enters the ear. When I wore over the ear, it was comfortable at first however after a few hours the eartip portion began to cause some pain & discomfort.

Test Calls – A test call to an internal extension yielded the switch setting results of B and D. I made a call to an outside line to simple test if I could hear and be heard. I did make some adjustment to the mic volume via the controls on the base unit.

Range – I was able to go throughout the entire 2nd Floor of our building. I literally walked to each corner on the top floor and was still able to hear and be heard. I lost connection when I went into our Shipping Dept which is on the 1st floor of this building.

Normal Work Day Use – The battery life is sufficient to last the entire day. While I am away from desk, I do get an audible beeping when my phone rings and can answer remotely with no problems. The sound quality is good in both receive and transmit. I haven’t lost any calls and I can’t stress how “fast” the lifter answers and hangs up. It’s the fastest one I’ve used to date.

Final Thoughts – In terms of competing in the today’s marketplace, the VXi V100 appears to be a direct competitor to the very popular Plantronics CS55. In a side by side comparison, the VXi V100 appears to be the better value/choice.

CS55 & HL10 V100 & L50
MSRP: $379.95 MSRP: $350.00
Operating Frequency: 1.9GHz DECT Operating Frequency: 1.9GHz DECT
Talk Time: Up to 10hrs Talk Time: Up to 10hrs
Standby Time: Up to 50hrs Standby Time: Up to 120hrs
Range: Up to 300ft Range: Up to 300ft
Wearing Styles: Over the ear, headband, (Optional neckband sold separately @ $19.95ea) Wearing Styles: Over the ear, headband & neckband all included
Conference Capability: none Conference Capability: Ability to conference two headsets on one base station

 

Jabra T5330 Review

– By Danny Hayasaka

 

Packaging – Retail

It looks wonderful however as a distributor I would prefer bulk packaging.

 

Set Up – I’ve set up many, many headsets in my day so this was fairly easy. One of the different things about this unit is, according to the User’s Guide (yes, I’m a nerd and read it), you can actually connect directly to the headset port of phones that have one.

 

Instead of the switch settings A-G like other GN Netcom wireless units and amplifiers, there are only A, B, C on the underside of the base. The “transmit” control switch is also on the underside and has level’s 1-3. You can connect the GN1000 RHL to this model which is nice.

 

The headset itself has an answer/hang-up button, “receive” volume control (must be on call to adjust) and mute switch.