The rapidly evolving workplace and business practices have led to more mobile workers. Unified Communications has taken situational freedom even further than the BlackBerry did whilst there has been a small revolution of identity whereby staff have taken on some of the aspects of the freelancer which has made working from home or working on the road more acceptable.
Headsets have become multi use – connecting to VoIP, DECT, Wired and Bluetooth all in one model; telephone calls can be routed via softphone or mobile and the conference phone has also evolved.
Once the conference phone epitomised the essence of physical stability – it was an unmovable piece of furniture in a meeting room, almost imposing in its presence. Of course its long legacy with the likes of Polycom are unbroken and there is still very much a place for a conference phone in the boardroom, but there is greater and greater demand for a type of communications device which is portable and does the same job. We will point out here that the traditional conference phone will give better performance, especially for larger meetings or larger rooms..
So, what are the qualities of this new breed of conferencing phone?
In essence these new units are labelled as speakerphones and they are smaller than their predecessors and portable. It is now possible to carry around a small conferencing speaker in your bag ( we suspect that the briefcase is also on the way out ) and set up a multi person brainstorm, chat, conference within a minute.
There, naturally are already a lot of options on the market so we will list a few which demonstrate the breadth of the portfolio and also the variety of takes on this novel concept.
THE SENNHEISER SP30 / 30 PLUS
You just know that you can’t go wrong with Sennheiser as far as sound quality goes. The SP30 and SP 30 Plus models of portable speakerphone are no different. This sleek looking model supports direct Bluetooth connection and comes with a dongle for non Bluetooth enabled devices. It also is supplied with a convenient carry case. The Sennheiser SP30 has been optimised for use with Skype for Business as well as all UC Platforms. It gives a 360° microphone coverage which includes echo cancellation. The speaker has ultra low distortion and Voice Clarity. This speakerphone can also be connected via USB to PC.
JABRA SPEAK 710 SPEAKERPHONE
The Jabra Speak 710 is,in its own words a premium portable speakerphone, and we agree. Although not at the highest end of the price bracket it does indeed give crystal clear sound for both conversation and music ( HiFi Grade speaker ) . I nice touch is that it can be personalised to use Google Now, Siri or MS Cortana. The Jabra Speak has a battery life or up to 15 hours and uses DSP – Digital Signal Processing Technology.
POLYCOM VOXBOX BLUETOOTH USB SPEAKERPHONE
Polycom, kings of conferencing also have products within the speakerphone market. The VoxBox connects via USB and Bluetooth and makes use of Polycom’s HD Voice as well as Polycom NoiseBlock technology. This portable conferencing unit will cover a small meeting room with its 3m range and sits, unobtrusively with an ultra slim design. A further detail is that the VoxBox is IP64 rated – against dust ingress and liquid spillage..
YAMAHA YVC-200 PORTABLE USB
Formerly Revolabs – Yamaha have produced the YVC 200 portable USB speakerphone ( also connects via Bluetooth ). The unit features Adaptive Echo Cancellation and Ultra wideband Audio. The Omni Directional Microphone allows good coverage in a smaller conference area such as a huddle room whilst the speakers deliver astounding audio quality. The Yamaha Speakerphone is available in a choice of black or white and the on board rechargeable battery will support up to 10 hours of talk time.
PLANTRONICS CALISTO P7200 BLUETOOTH
As Plantronics have traditionally been known as a headset brand this could well be seen as the first hint of a merger between them and Polycom. In a similar design form to the Polycom VoxBox the Plantronics ( now Poly ) Calisto has 4x MEMS-Directional Microphones that provide crystal clear audio transmission with 360° microphone coverage. Wideband PC Audio, Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) work together to reduce drops outs and virtually eliminate echoes.
JABRA SPEAK 810 SPEAKERPHONE
The Jabra Speak 810 almost crosses the line in being referred to as a speakerphone as its capable of flooding a full size meeting room with rich sound. Admittedly its form is of the speakerphone size, sitting slim and low on the desk; but it is a fully fledged conference phone with Digital Signal Processing (DSP), Wideband Audio, and HD Sound – compatible with VoIP and Unified Communications – and certified for use with Skype for Business. The external USB charging port is just an added bonus.
If you require further information about portable speakerphones contact us via the form here or call us on 0844 824 6664 and we will be happy to help.