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UC Speakerphones Hybrid Work

Top 5 Picks for UC USB Speakerphones for Hybrid Work and Work from Home

One thing we have all learned from countless hours of video meetings via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and more is that audio is critical. Don’t get me wrong, great video resolution from a business webcam certainly enhances the overall experience. But, if you cannot hear or be heard, the productivity of the video meeting suffers.

Corded USB Headsets and Wireless Headsets certainly fit the bill when it comes to providing professional-grade audio quality. Those fortunate enough to have a dedicated workspace in their home or corporate office may find a personal USB Speakerphone to be extremely beneficial. They are a great primary or secondary audio device. As organizations develop device standards for hybrid and remote work, USB speakerphones should be included as options. USB Speakerphones offer these key features:

  • Always On – Every speakerphone listed in this blog has a USB cable that can be used to power the speakerphone when connected to a computer. No need to change batteries or use an additional AC power supply. Just plug into your computers USB port to start using.
  • Mute feature – When on a call, the mute button is your friend. These speakerphones have a prominent mute button that allows you to quickly mute to block out undesired noise from pets, children, lawn mowers, blenders, significant others or even a cough or sneeze from you!

I have tested several personal USB Speakerphones from these leading brands: Poly, Jabra, EPOS, Konftel, Yealink, and Yamaha UC. You can check out the multiple test videos in this Business Personal and Small Group Speakerphones Video Playlist.

Price

Personal USB Speakerphones range in price from MSRP of $99.95 for a basic Poly Calisto 3200 all the way to $329 for the premium Jabra Speak 750 and $349 for the Yamaha UC YVC-330 that supports up to six people.

Connectivity

Beyond, USB-A or USB-C corded connectivity, some speakerphones offer USB Bluetooth dongles for wireless connectivity to your computer and Bluetooth and/or NFC pairing to your mobile device. Some include a 3.5mm jack and select models include a 3.5mm headset port.

The 3.5mm headset port is an ideal option for use cases that require the user to switch from public to private conversation by simply plugging in a 3.5mm headset. These models offer this feature:

Models with Bluetooth and/or NFC are great for pairing your mobile device. This greatly improves the overall audio quality of voice calls and streaming music and media! Please note that not all Bluetooth models include a USB dongle for wireless connectivity to your computer.

Compatibility

Business-grade speakerphones are compatible with all major communications and collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex, 8×8, and more.

Select models have met Microsoft Teams specification certification requirements. This peripheral certification program ensures USB devices like headsets, speakerphones, and webcams are plug and play and will work, to include call control with no extra configuration required. Some devices are Skype for Business certified with Teams upgrade. Newer devices will be Certified for Microsoft Teams and include a dedicated Teams button with LED indicator.

Full Duplex

Full duplex speakerphones allow a more natural conversation since both parties can transmit audio simultaneously. Most speakerphones support half-duplex where each party can transmit audio one at a time. Currently only select USB speakerphones have full-duplex audio.

My Top 5 Picks for USB Speakerphones 

For over a year, like many I have been working from home. As empty-nesters, my wife and I are fortunate to each have dedicated rooms in our house to use as offices. She is a Director of Human Resources and like me spends a lot of time on voice and video calls. My wife has long curly hair, so headsets are not her friend. She prefers to use a speakerphone. I spend most of my days on video calls or, filming videos for our YouTube Channel. Even back in our corporate HQ, I had a dedicated office so my set ups are similar minus the revolving door of people that would physically come in and out of my office. Now it is IM’s, texts, and impromptu video meetings. Because I test audio and video devices as part of my role, I have several devices always connected.  

Please note, no manufacturer is paying me, and I am not in any affiliate program. These are my picks based on my personal tests and preferences. 


1. Jabra Speak 750 – This is my current default USB speakerphone. The audio quality is superb, and I love the kickstand feature which helps to reduce the footprint and direct the audio towards me. And, like the Jabra Speak 710, it has the Link button that allows you to wirelessly pair two Speak 750’s to cover a larger area. Check out this video comparing the Speak 710 and Speak 750! 

2. Poly Sync 20 – I love the way this sounds when streaming music! In addition to the Jabra Speak 750, I have the Poly Sync 20 paired to my mobile device so I can play music in between video meetings and if I happen to get a mobile call, I use it for improved audio quality. As an added feature, I take advantage of the USB port to keep my mobile phone charged! Get a complete audio and video solution with the Poly Studio P5 Webcam with Poly Sync 20 for only $249.95! See and hear the Poly Sync 20 in action! Check out this video on the Poly Studio P5!   

3. Yealink CP700 – This is the younger sibling of the Yealink CP900, but I must tell you, I’m a fan of the kickstand feature. The audio quality is very consistent throughout calls across multiple platforms and it is priced at MSRP of only $129! (currently on our website Yealink CP700 only $104.95!). Unlike the other models that provide a neoprene carry case, the Yealink CP700 and CP900 include a solid, sturdy carry case to provide greater protection as you travel back and forth between locations. Watch this Yealink CP700 vs CP900 Video! 

4. Yamaha UC YVC-200 (Black or White) – Yamaha UC solutions don’t get enough attention in my opinion and they have great sounding products. All speakerphones mentioned have a Microphone Mute button so the other party cannot hear anything you are saying. The YVC-200 also includes a Speaker Mute button. Let’s say I’m jamming out to some music via the YVC-200 and my wife comes in to ask me something, I can very quickly hit the speaker mute button to quickly stop the sound. You can also get complete audio and video solution including the YVC-200 with these bundles.  

5. Jabra Speak 510 – This rounds out my list. This is a solid performer that has been around since 2013. This speakerphone just works. Plug it in and start using it across all collaboration platforms. And would you believe I don’t have a video on this device? I have added to my list of videos to film. You cannot go wrong with the Jabra Speak 510.  

When it comes to audio devices, it is important to stick with leaders in this space who develop solutions that provide professional audio quality, are easy to set up and use, and are compatible across all business collaboration platforms. As an authorized partner and reseller, Call One, Inc. can help guide you to which audio and video devices are best for your organization and multiple use cases. Contact us to learn how we can help you do your business better!

Questions to ask when selecting audio and video devices for Hybrid Work

As businesses settle into the new normal, some are adopting hybrid and flexible work models where teams and departments split between working remotely and working in office. Models will vary depending on organization.

Due to the massive surge in demand for USB audio and video devices the first few months of the pandemic, established leading brands had a hard time keeping up. Many organizations and people purchased audio and video devices from lesser-known brands and vendors.

Companies are now beginning to establish audio and video device standards after a year of dealing with “whatever was in stock”. Supply Chain is ramping back up and the leaders in the personal business audio and video device space have product flowing once again.

Organizations are looking for high-quality devices that are durable, reliable, easy to set up and use, and are compatible across the major business communications and collaboration platforms. Some IT Teams are also looking into device management software to help them monitor and manage devices remotely.

When it comes to selecting audio and video devices for your team members, it is critical to understand the individual users’ role and their environments. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • Where will they be working? In the office? At home? A combination?
  • What are the noise levels? Quiet, standard Office, Loud? Check out our What’s the Decibel Level Blog and Video.
  • What will they be connecting to? Desk phone (brand & model), Computer, Mobile device, a combination of those, other?
  • If computer (Windows or MacOS, USB-A or USB-C), what communications and collaboration platforms are being used? What is the primary voice platform? Check out this blog and video on What’s the difference between UC and MS Headsets!
  • Is their setup the same in their home as their office? If not, what are the differences?
  • Will they get a set of audio and video devices for each location or are they expected to transport to and from home and office?
  • If at home and their audio or video device breaks or quits working, what is the expectation? Are there plans to supply a secondary or backup device?
  • Do they have ample USB ports?
  • DECT and Bluetooth wireless headsets provide connectivity flexibility and the benefit of mobility. What’s the difference between DECT and Bluetooth and which should you select? Check out this blog and video!
  • Do your IT teams need the ability to monitor and manage devices? Device manufacturers like Poly, Logitech, Jabra and others offer device management software solutions
Jabra Direct Xpress Selecting Devices for Hybrid Work

Authorized partners like Call One, Inc. with over 34 years of experience and a nationally certified Women’s Business Enterprise and Woman Owned Small Business can help narrow down your audio and video device choices. We work hand in hand with all the leading brands to include Poly, Jabra, Logitech, Yealink, JPL, EPOS, and more. Together we can develop customized solutions for your teams wherever they work. You can also take advantage of our Agent in a Box service and have the required components packed in one box delivered to the office or to individual residential addresses nationwide.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation to help you select the right audio and video devices for your organization!

How Agent in a Box Delivered

How Call One, Inc’s Agent in a Box service helped to deliver thousands of Headsets

Call One, Inc. Agent in a Box service was designed to help businesses simplify delivery of the technology individual employees need to do their business better.

The Challenge: The technology and devices an employee needs to work often spans across multiple brands. They might need a headset, a webcam, speakerphone, monitor, docking station, cabling, etc. Typically, organizations source the different components from multiple vendors. Then often have different shipping and delivery dates. This causes delays and makes it difficult for IT teams or individual employees.

The Solution: Call One, Inc. Agent in a Box.

  • One Vendor
  • One Delivery
  • Hardware & Cabling
  • Imaging & Asset Tagging
  • All in one box

Here’s a real-life example of how Call One, Inc.’s Agent in a Box helped to deliver thousands of headsets and required cabling to help simplify IT teams to deploy the solution.

Customer: Fortune 100 Transportation Company

Use Case: New Phone System was implemented and needed new headsets and cabling for each workstation. They requested single ear and dual ear kits that included a single or dual ear headset, phone cable and USB adapter cable. Customer was looking for a way to make staging easier for their teams to deploy thousands of headsets and cables.

Solution: Call One, Inc. Agent in a Box – Our team created two kits. Palletized them and shipped to appropriate location.

The end result, customer received entire delivery on the same day. The individually labeled boxes helped to reduce time in staging and physically deploying since all the components needed were in one box.

If you would like to learn more about Call One, Inc. Agent in a Box contact us, M-F, 8am-5pm ET at 1-800-749-3160 or sales@calloneonline.com. For more information about the Agent in a Box service, continue here.

EPOS SP30 Yealink CP900

EPOS Expand SP30 vs Yealink CP900 | Speakerphone Comparison

The EPOS Expand SP 30+ and Yealink CP900 with BT50 dongle come in at an MSRP of $259. In this blog/video, we provide similarities and differences between them and then we have some fun. We do a mic pick range test and also a speaker audio test. Watch and listen for yourselves below. Between the EPOS SP30 and Yealink CP900, which one do you think sounds better to you?

If reading is more your style, check out the specs on these speakerphones:

Features

  • Optima HD voice
  • Microphone pickup range up to 6.5 feet / 2 meters
  • Full-duplex technology
  • Noise suppression (NS)
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
  • Acoustic echo cancellation (AEC)

EPOS Expand SP30

Features

  • Experience plug-and-play conferencing anywhere Portable with Bluetooth® or USB-C connection, multipoint connectivity – for up to three devices
  • Get exceptional audio performance for conference calls, music and multimedia With EPOS VoiceTM technology, ultra-low distortion speaker and two echo and noise-cancelling microphones with advanced algorithms
  • Natural conversation experience With industry-leading duplex performance that allows simultaneous speech
  • Crafted to perfection From premium-quality materials in a compact, lightweight design with convenient cable winding and safe dongle storage
  • For personal or shared use In huddle rooms for up to eight participants with a choice of automatic or manual reconnection for an optimal user experience

During our test and direct comparison of the EPOS SP30 Yealink CP900, we found that both speakerphones do a tremendous job at outputting quality audio. That being said, you normally wouldn’t be blasting music out of one of these, but it’s still interesting to compare! For the price they are set at you can’t go wrong with either one. Your personal use case should be the deciding factor. Want to see the full run through? Check out our latest video below where we put them head-to-head:

Poly Sync vs Konftel Ego

12 Days of Call One | Day 10 | Poly Sync 20 vs Konftel Ego

The Poly Sync 20 and Konftel Ego both have MSRP of $169. Both are compatible with all major UC platforms to include Microsoft Teams. In this overview, we go over similarities, differences, and unique features of each. We also do a mic pickup range test and a new thing we want to start including with Speakerphone videos, we do our best to allow you to hear speaker audio quality of each. Take a look and listen, which would you choose for your use case?

POLY SYNC

Features

  • Enjoy remarkable sound from meetings to music
  • Reduce echo and noise so everyone hears you clearly
  • Slim and portable – take it with you anywhere
  • It goes as long as you do with up to 20 hours of battery life

GRAB THE PERFECT SPEAKERPHONE FOR MEETINGS AND MUSIC, WHEREVER YOUR DAY TAKES YOU

Let’s face it: the audio on your laptop and smartphone aren’t great. Sound like the professional you are with Poly Sync 20 USB/Bluetooth smart speakerphone—for remarkable audio anywhere. The Poly Sync 20 is Zoom certified for a seamless Zoom communication experience.

KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOUR VOICE WITH MULTI-MICROPHONES THAT TRACK THE TALKER, NOT THE NOISE.

Focus on what’s being said and help keep echo and noise out of the meeting with the smart multi-microphone array. You and your remote participants sound amazing with the high-performance speaker.

PROGRAM YOUR FAVORITE FUNCTION SO IT WORKS WITH A SINGLE TOUCH.

A programmable button puts your favorite function at your fingertips—play/pause music, last-number redial and voice assistant—it’s up to you. What’s the status of a call? You’ll know even from a distance by the highly visible light bar.

KONFTEL EGO

Despite its size, the Ego delivers crystal-clear sound thanks to Konftel’s unique OmniSound audio technology. It’s ideal for a meeting with a couple colleagues in one of your smaller conference rooms or in a hotel room when you are away from the office.

Features

  • Small and portable
  • Compatible with Skype for Business
  • Meeting size: up to 6 people
  • OmniSound® with HD audio
  • LCD screen

The Konftel Ego works seamlessly with Skype for Business, Cisco Jabber, Avaya Communicator and other conferencing tools. The Ego has a headset port, and the built-in battery gives you the option of completely cordless use. A smart and clear LCD screen on the Konftel Ego makes it easy to see which function is active. LEDs also light up on the side in different colors to indicate the function. In short, the Konftel Ego gives you full and effortless control. The Konftel Ego also received a Red Dot Award for “Excellent product design” in early 2016!

See how both the Poly Sync 20 and Konftel Ego preform in a head to head test! What are your thoughts? If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us: 1-800-749-3160 or contact us here.

Yealink CP 700 and CP 900

12 Days of Call One | Day Five | Yealink CP700 vs CP900

Yealink offers portable USB/Bluetooth speakerphones for personal use, small groups and on the go. Speakerphones are a great addition to your collaboration devices tool kit along with a great headset. The Yealink CP700 and CP900 support all major VoIP and UC platforms like Avaya, Broadsoft, Counterpath, Google, Microsoft, Vonage, and Zoom. With portable design in mind, the CP700 speakerphones have a lightweight design and are small and compact enough to carry in a laptop bag or backpack. (A travel case is also included.)

The Yealink CP900 is designed with six directional microphones positioned around the base, which pick up sound from any direction in 360 degrees, so participants do not need to huddle round the speakerphone while speaking, enabling them to converse naturally in an immersive, flexible setting. Both models include a dedicated Microsoft Teams button. Not only can they be used for voice and video calls, but you can also stream media like your favorite music! Which Yealink Speakerphone is best for you and your work environment?

The Specs

CP700

  • The Yealink CP700 is a portable, personal speakerphone that offers plug-and-play connectivity; plug into your PC, tablet and smartphone via Bluetooth wireless pairing or USB wired connection.
  • The CP700 packs Yealink HD voice quality, with two omnidirectional microphones and Yealink audio algorithms for an elaborate speakerphone experience and 360-degree voice pickup ability.
  • With high-quality echo cancellation, you can keep yourself focused on video conferencing and virtual meetings, without the hassle of feedback.
  • For calls on the go, the Yealink CP700 provides up to 10-hour talk time and premium battery life, as well as call controls accessible on the device directly.
  • The speakerphone also comes with a protective zipper bag, so you can carry it back and forth from working from home to the office.

CP900

  • Premium HD Voice for calls and music
  • 360-degree microphone pickup range of 6.5ft distance
  • Six-microphone beam-forming array for full-duplex performance
  • USB or Bluetooth connectivity for notebooks, smartphones and tablets
  • Portable design
  • Compatible with T53, T53W, T54W and T57W phones if running V85 firmware
  • USB connectivity

So, between the two, which speakerphone performs better? Check out our video where we test, overview, and share our opinions on the Yealink CP700 and CP900. Enjoy!

Best headsets and speakerphones for Zoomsgiving

Best Webcams and Speakerphones for Zoomsgiving and other celebrations!

The year is 2020 and we’ve done virtually everything…virtually. The holidays are no different. Many will be celebrating physically apart connected via video meeting platform from Zoom, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, or other available options.

The focus of this blog will center around things to consider when selecting a webcam or camera to capture the moment this Zoomsgiving or other celebrations! Two key things to consider are the field of view (FOV) and audio. Celebrations will range from one to one, one to many, and many to many. In order to capture everyone in the frame, a wider field of view is optimal. FOV ranges from 54 degrees to 180 degrees depending on brand and camera model. Some brands offer software that allows you to adjust FOV and other settings to improve overall video quality.

Smartphones and tablets today have nice built-in cameras that can access multiple video meeting and conferencing apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, Google Meet, etc. Enjoy the moment by getting a stand or mount to hold the phone or tablet. Depending on where you position the smartphone, you may want to consider a Bluetooth Speakerphone to set in the middle of the table so everyone can hear and be heard.

Best Webcams and Speakerphones for Zoomsgiving
Mobile image quality

Many laptops have built-in cameras, microphones, and speakers. The video quality may not be the best and almost always, the built-in audio in laptops is horrendously bad. It’s best to look at an external webcam and audio device for Zoom or Teams conferencing.

Best Webcams and Speakerphones for Zoomsgiving
Laptop image quality

The new Logitech C505e offers a FOV of 60 degrees. (Watch Logitech C505e Video). This tighter shot is great for one person.

These cameras offer a wider field of view that can be adjusted via remote control or software:

Watch the video to see these cameras in action to see some of the best webcams and speakerphones for Zoomsgiving!

Lastly, you will want to look at a good USB or Bluetooth speakerphone designed to work with the various video meeting platforms and applications. Strongly consider a speakerphone that offers full duplex for more natural conversation. The new Jabra Speak 750 and Poly Sync 20 offer full-duplex audio while on Zoom calls!

Jabra Speak 750 video https://youtu.be/ANwzNdCEXrY

Poly Sync 20 video https://youtu.be/GkbPGy-aYWg

See a full list of webcams and speakerphones here!

Speakerphones for Mobile Devices

July 24, 2014

By Danny Hayasaka

When it comes to Speakerphones for mobile devices, there are a variety of options available. I personally have used Jabra, Plantronics, Logitech and recently Sennheiser’s speakerphone solutions for mobile devices.

Why would you need speakerphone for mobile? Better audio quality. Like most folks, all contacts are stored on my mobile phone. It’s easier and more convenient to just call from mobile device for ad-hoc conf call. The issue is the audio quality of the speakers and mic from most mobile devices is poor. If you have two or more folks who need to participate in call, it’s a good idea to have speakerphone that can enhance the audio quality.

To keep this blog short, I’ll concentrate on just the smaller speakerphones by Plantronics, Jabra, Logitech and Sennheiser that are great for two to four people. Polycom, Konftel and ClearOne also provide solutions for mobile devices.

Plantronics, Jabra and Logitech provide Bluetooth connectivity to mobile device where Sennheiser offers 3.5mm plug audio cable connection. Logitech also supports NFC (Near Field Communications).

 

 

Plantronics Calisto 620

This unit offers dual connectivity to PC (via USB dongle) and Mobile device (via Bluetooth). It is a rechargeable wireless device with up to 7hrs of Talk Time with up to 5 days of standby time and includes neoprene carry case. I do have a concern with this unit. You have USB cable and AC Wall Charger option however those items don’t fit in carry case. They do offer a little slot on the underside of unit to slide USB dongle into for storage.

 

 

Jabra Speak 510

The Jabra Speak 510 and 510+ models both offer dual connectivity PC (via USB dongle) and Mobile device (via Bluetooth). They are also rechargeable and wireless with up to 15hrs of Talk Time. Both the 510 and 510+ include a hardwired USB cable that conveniently wraps around base for storage and portability. The 510+ includes a USB dongle for wireless connectivity to PC and neoprene storage case.

 

Logitech P710e

This unit has some cool features that some may appreciate. In addition to Bluetooth, the Logitech P710e also supports NFC (Near Field Communication). You must be connected via USB cable to use with PC but that’s ok as it also has nice USB cable management system on the underside. It does include rechargeable battery and provides up to 15hrs of Talk Time.  The P710e has unique feature none of the other speakerphones offer which is a device stand for your mobile phone or tablet. At first, most will wonder, “Why?” I have a couple reasons: 1. Stability when doing video call with smart phone or tablet. 2. Great stand when watching movies via mobile device. Also includes neoprene carry case.

 

Sennheiser SP 20

The Sennheiser SP Series are the latest additions to the personal/small group speakerphone space. Please note currently neither SP 10 or SP 20 models support Bluetooth or NFC.  Only the the SP 20/20 ML variants offer mobile device connectivity via 3.5mm plug. Both SP 10 and SP 20 models connect to PC via USB. The SP 20 offers USB and 3.5mm audio cable management around the base of unit for easy storage. Also includes a neoprene carry case. It also has rechargeable battery for wireless use with mobile device and provides up to 20hrs of Talk Time.

But which sounds the better?

Based on my own personal testing, I’m going to rank them in order of best to okay as none were horrible when it came to audio quality, it’s just some stood out. Additionally, I’m ranking in terms of both speakerphone audio quality during call as well as streaming media audio quality.

Ranking for Audio Quality via Call

  1. Jabra Speak 510/510+
  2. Sennheiser SP 10/SP 20
  3. Plantronics Calisto 620
  4. Logitech P710e

Ranking for Audio Quality for Streaming Media

  1. Sennheiser SP 20 (Hands down, no contest. Sennheiser SP 20 has sound-enhancement profile that makes streaming music sound awesome)
  2. Plantronics 620
  3. Jabra Speak 510/510+
  4. Logitech P710e

Again, these are just my rankings based on personal use with Microsoft Lync, iPhone and iPad.