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VTech enters the audio conferencing phone ring…

By Danny Hayasaka

December 23, 2015

There are multiple audio conferencing/speakerphone manufacturers. So why should anyone consider VTech ErisStation’s? Because VTech offers a much demanded feature: Completely wireless mics!!!

Some will say, wait a second…Revolabs offers wireless mics and speaker and Polycom offered wireless mics for a hot second. You’re right however the VTech ErisStation design and price may peak your interest.

Currently VTech ErisStation Conference Phones with Wireless Mics come in three flavors.

Let’s get right into the main differentiating feature: Portable DECT 6.0 microphones with Orbitlink Wireless Technology

The wireless mics are really the star here. How often do conference call participants have to “lean in” towards the speakerphone so they can be heard? We have weekly conference calls and I like to “walk and talk”. That can sometimes be a problem the further I get away from the mics of traditional speakerphones. Enter in the VTech ErisStation Conference Phone with Wireless Mics. I simply grab one of the mics and I can walk and talk to my heart’s content and still be heard clearly. Additionally, the other participants in the room can easily be heard by strategically placing the wireless mics around the table. And of course, the base station itself has two fixed mics (VCS704 and VCS754) (VCS702 has one fixed mic on base station).

The other cool feature is the wireless mics all have their little slots on the actual unit. You can easily see if mics have been returned for charging.

These units are feature packed!

  • Two-Year Standard Warranty
  • DECT 6.0 wireless microphones with Orbitlink Wireless Technology™
    • Place the wireless microphones anywhere in a conference room and enjoy interference-free, high-quality sound.
  • Ample Wireless Mic Talk Time
    • VCS704 and VCS754 provide up to 8 hours of wireless mic talk time
    • VCS702 provides up to 12 hours of wireless mic talk time
    • Up to 70 hours of standby time per wireless mic
  • Full room coverage
    • Choose models with one fixed and two wireless mics (VCS702) or two fixed and four wireless mics (VCS704, VCS754) for maximum room coverage and participation.
  • Premium sound quality
    • Thanks to features like full-duplex technology, digital mixing and audio equalization, nothing is lost in translation.
  • Charging built-in
    • Magnetic charging bays in the base phone ensure the wireless microphones are always charged and ready
  • VCS754 offers USB connection to PC/Laptop for use with softphones or to act as better PC speaker

For more detailed specifications and features you can check out VTech’s ErisStation website: http://businessphones.vtech.com/products/product_list/erisstation

I tested VCS704 initially and have to say I was impressed with the audio quality of the speaker. The feedback I received from the folks I called all state they can hear me loud and clear. Just for fun, I took the mic and went far enough away that I could no longer hear the speaker however, was told that I could still be heard. It’s highly unlikely anyone will roam 150-300ft away from base but it’s nice to know you can.

I know it’s a small thing but having set up multiple conference phones in my time, VTech ErisStations only have one cable going into the base unit. This may a huge thing in the way of cable management on conference room tables.

I also set up the VCS754 and connected to my PC via USB for use with Microsoft Lync/SfB. It doesn’t allow answer/hang up from unit itself but if you are using Lync or other PC softphone/UC platform, it’s nice to know you have this option for better audio quality conference calls with wireless mic capability. USB cable is included with purchase of VCS754.

Conference calls are given. They happen all the time. There are multiple conference room sizes/furniture configurations and varying amounts of people. There are times when there is a main speaker and there are times when all participants need to talk. Let them be heard by passing them the wireless mic offered by VTech’s ErisStations!

Phone or Headset in Lync environment?

June 26, 2014

By Danny Hayasaka

I remember the planning days when we decided to make the switch from an old Inter-Tel phone system to Microsoft Lync. Even though we were using headsets attached to our desk phones, we still felt it necessary to provide employees with desk phones and headsets.

I believe it took about three months, before the majority of our employees removed the phones off their desk. In a 100% Lync environment, a headset and webcam are all you really need. Of course some folks still can’t make the transition so they must have a desk phone.

The key to knowing whether or not you provide a desk phone, is understanding employees’ roles and how they “work” on a daily basis. In addition to Lync, do they have mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) they have to connect to?

I personally get to test/evaluate many of the devices for Lync so my desk and book shelf are full of multiple products from various manufacturers (Yes, I love what I do).

The way I work, requires me to pair to my PC for Lync calls as well as my mobile phone. Great products that provide that connectivity are the Jabra Motion UC+ MS, Plantronics Voyager Legend UC-M (B235-M), Sennheiser Presence UC ML, and VXi VoxStar UC. All these models allow me to pair to my PC via Bluetooth USB Dongle and my mobile phone via Bluetooth. Regardless of where call comes from (PC or mobile) I can answer with one headset. Additionally, at the end of the day, I can drive home and use same headset for hands-free driving.

However, there are still areas of an organization that require something other than a headset. For example, conference rooms, training rooms, etc. require conference phones or conferencecams. Polycom and Logitech make great Lync optimized devices for those areas like the Polycom CX5100, CX5500 or even CXC8000. From Logitech you have the BCC 950 and CC3000e ConferenceCams.

As I mentioned earlier, some folks will NOT wear a headset and MUST have a phone. Fortunately there are Lync optimized IP phones available from Polycom, HP and Aastra. Then there are a host of Lync compatible phones from AudioCodes, Spectralink, Polycom and Snom that offer multiple features.

How each individual employee works should dictate which device is best. It’s important to seek out a device-centric vendor who specializes in Lync optimized/compatible devices that can guide you through the MANY options that are available and help with best practices. If the vendor uses Lync themselves, like Call One, Inc. it’s a plus!