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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!

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:

New Yealink UC Workstation and WH66

The Yealink UC Workstation and WH66 as well as WH67 will redefine your workspace. This device features a DECT Wireless Headset, Speakerphone, Qi Wireless Mobile Phone Charger, 4-inch touch screen, Built-in USB Hub (two additional USB ports), connectivity to PC and Mobile Devices, compatible with all major communications platforms to include Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This device has a ton of features to support a variety of use cases for work from home, open offices, and independent offices. Plus, it has great NC mic performance and wireless range for ultimate flexibility.

So, what’s it like?

All-in-one UC Workstation

The Yealink UC Workstation is more than a single base, it eases the management of business communication demands and other USB devices. It also delivers great flexibility with a set of integrated features to facilitate your daily routine. It is professional, collaborative, and available.

Wireless Freedom & All Day Power

No matter when and where your conversation begins, the Yealink WH66 can always catch up your steps. With up to 160m wireless range and 14 hours talk time, it is suitable for users’ daily communication needs. In addition, the product supports high density installation in the open office, which allows up to 200 users (Europe) enjoy the wireless communication at the same time.

One For All Devices Management

The Yealink USB Connect is available for the management of multiple Yealink USB devices, including headsets, speakerphones, and webcams. All the settings can be done through Yealink USB Connect, for example, the setting of the basic and premium function of WH66, which is convenient and efficient for daily use.

Our Experience with the work station

Here at Call One, we are loving this new Yealink UC Workstation and WH66. When it comes to conferencing, mobile use, and headset range, this might be the top dog in Q1 and Q2 of 2021. There is so much to cover on this new product, so stay tuned for more blogs and videos. Check out our latest where we breakdown this new product:

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!

Yealink UH36 USB Headsets

12 Days of Call One | Day One: Updated Yealink UH36 USB Headsets

 Yealink UH36 is a USB wired headset especially designed for Unified Communication, office, and contact center professionals, featuring high-quality audio, exceptional wearing comfort, proven integration of Yealink IP phone and device management platform, ensures your every conversation a great experience. Yealink UH36 USB headsets come with USB and 3.5mm jack connectivity options, free to plug into various devices: IP phone, PC, tablet, and smart phone. UC and Microsoft Teams variants available!

Yealink Dynamic EQ and Wideband HD Audio Technology make every conversation rich and clear on UH36 headsets. The passive noise cancellation and the noise-canceling microphone eliminate background noise, enhance the audio privacy in the workspace.

Features and Specifications:

  • Dual or single headset
  • Plug and Play ready
  • USB connectivity to Yealink IP Phones, includingT41S/T42S/T46S/ T48S/T42U/T43U/T46U/T48U/T53/T53W/T54W/T57W/T58A/VP59 USB and 3.5 mm support to PC and Mobile Devices
  • Noise-canceling microphone
  • High definition voice/wideband speaker performance
  • Protection technology (safeguards users from acoustic injury)
  • Integrated LED lights and updated warning tone
  • 330° posable boom arm for quick adjustment

Before and After the Update

On the outside, nothing is noticeably different with the design, comfort, or weight of the product. The real change is what lies within. With our testing (Video below) we found a slight increase in microphone quality, with a sharper yet smoother sound. Things like the mute, volume up/down, and the dedicated Microsoft Teams button transfers over to the current model.

Overall we are impressed with the updated UH36, and the performance it puts out. If you have any question regarding the product, feel free to reach out to one of our reps and they’ll be sure to help with any questions.

This is our fist 12 Days of Call One video, where we compared the sound quality of the original Yealink UH36, and the new updated UH36. How do they compare? Well, see for yourself: