Phoenix Audio Spider VoIP Conference Phone Unboxing Review

The Spider is Phoenix Audio’s latest top of line conference phone series delivering HD audio, noise/echo cancellation, dual connectivity, as well as the popular daisy chaining capability. The SIP version MT505 connects to SIP service via Ethernet cable or your computer via USB, while the PSTN version MT502 connects with your analog phone line as well as computer via USB.

Highlighted Specs:

  • Bridging between USB and VoIP/SIP/IP
  • Use alone or daisy chainable up to 14 units of MT503 or Quattro3’s
  • Interactive dial pad with backlights
  • 4 mic beamforming array with directional LED lighting
  • DSP based algorithms:  echo canceling, noise reduction, de-reverb, automatic gain control
  • Supports PoE (Power over Ethernet)

Phoenix Audio Spider PackagePhoenix Audio Spider Package Interior

 

 

 

 

 

Upon opening the package, we can see the Phoenix Audio Spider conference phone came well packed with foam cushioning and cut-outs to prevent shifting damage during transit.  The content includes the Spider conference phone, 48V power supply with international adapters, USB cable, and Ethernet cable for SIP version (phone cable instead for PSTN version).

Phoenix Audio Spider Package ContentThe Phoenix Audio Spider aluminum casing has a more matte finish to help prevent unpleasant finger prints.  At 7″ diameter and 1-7/8″ in height the Spider is discrete and visually pleasing.  Phoenix Audio also added foam lining to the bottom of the unit to help keep it in place and prevent scratches.  The soft-touch keypad is back-lit when active or off when the unit is on standby.

Initial boot-up took a couple minutes then from there on the set-up was pretty simple via Spider’s GUI interface – just minutes after plugging in we are having our first test call.  The menu options are pretty self-explanatory via on-screen prompts, but you can also check the user manual for a flow-chart.  The settings can be changed both manually on the unit itself or via its web interface.

PhoenixAudioSpider-Standby IMG_20141111_170744 IMG_20141111_170717

We tested using the Spider conference phone from various distances up to 7 feet away and is happy to say our voices were picked up very well.  Our voices sounded clear and natural for the caller on the other side with minimal or no background noises.  The Spider’s proprietary directional beamforming array (seen by blue LED light under Spider’s grill) followed each speaker’s voice around the room with stunning accuracy.  (Note:  For those who don’t enjoy LED light shows, the red and blue lights can be turned off via menu option.)  In conclusion, an individual Phoenix Audio Spider conference phone unit would be sufficient for any small to mid-sized conference room. For larger settings you can daisy-chain up to 14 sub-units for additional expansion.

Additional Resources:

 

Mitel Discontinues Aastra 675xi Series SIP Phones

As part of its brand transformation after purchasing Aastra, Mitel announced end-of-life for Aastra 675xi series SIP IP phones to make way for Mitel’s new and improved 6800i series.  For those wanting to continue with the Aastra 6700i series, the 673xi series are a great substitute as well.

Aastra-Mitel-Phones

If you liked Aastra 6757i SIP phone:

  • Mitel 6867i, part of the new 6800i series IP phones, offers higher spec at a lower price point.  Additional features include color LCD display, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.
  • Alternatively, Aastra 6737i provide same look and price range as 6757i plus more features like dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.

If you liked Aastra 6755i SIP phone:

  • Mitel 6867i would also serve as a good step up from 6755i with additional features like 10 programmable softkeys (no paper label keys), EHS/DHSG headset port, and wider range of accessories (including expansion modules).
  • Or go with Aastra 6735i which provide same look and price range plus additional features like dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.

If you liked Aastra 6753i SIP phone:

  • Mitel 6865i, part of the new 6800i series IP phone, offers higher spec and competitive pricing with its larger LCD display, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.

Popular DECT IP Phone Comparison – Yealink W52P vs. Panasonic KX-TGP500

Many users who are looking for more mobile freedom while still keeping great call quality and business phone features are turning to cordless IP DECT phone systems.  There are many cordless DECT phone options in today’s market, but two of the most popular are Yealink’s W52P and Panasonic’s KX-TGP500.  With similar price ranges, below is a quick comparison between the 2 models.


Yealink SIP-W52P

Yealink SIP-W52P

  • Indoor range: 50m
  • Outdoor range: 300m
  • Color screen: Yes
  • Simultaneous calls: 4
  • SIP Accounts:  Up to 5
  • Cordless Handsets:  Up to 5 (W52H)
  • HD Voice: Yes, handset with wideband
  • Speaker: Full-Duplex
  • Talk time: +10 hours, 100 hours standby
  • PoE: Integrated PoE (Class 1)
  • ECO Mode: Yes
  • Cat-iq 2.0: Yes
  • Remote Phonebook:  Yes
  • On-screen conferencing instructions
  • Special:  Increase range with up to 6 repeaters (RT10)
  • See Yealink W52P Product & pricing


Panasonic KX-TGP500

Panasonic KX-TGP500

  • Indoor range: 50m
  • Outdoor range: 300m
  • Color screen: No, grayscale
  • Simultaneous calls: 3
  • SIP Accounts:  Up to  8
  • Cordless Handsets:  Up to 6 (KX-TPA50B04)
  • HD Voice: HD Codec on DECT radio
  • Speaker: Half-Duplex
  • Talk time: Up to 5 hours, 240 hours standby
  • PoE: No
  • ECO Mode: No
  • Cat-iq 2.0: No
  • Remote Phonebook:  No
  • No on-screen conferencing instructions
  • See Panasonic KX-TGP500 Product & Pricing


 

Simple Guide on How to Install Avaya B179 on IP Office

The Avaya B179 IP Conference Phone works perfectly with Avaya IP Office.   It is supported on IP Office R5.0 and higher, and requires an Avaya IP Endpoint license.  We will provide a basic tutorial here to get your Avaya B179 IP Conference phone connected.  Please see the Avaya B179 Install and Admin Guide for a more in-depth guide.

Avaya B179

1)   First, let’s make sure the IP Office is setup correctly:

  • Log into your IP Office
  • Go to the License Tab > Make sure you have an Avaya IP Endpoint license available (the 3rd Party IP/SIP Endpoint will not work)
  • Go to System > LAN1 or LAN2 (whichever interface is connected to the network the B179 is on) > VoIP tab:
    • Check “SIP Registrar Enable”
  • Create a new extension by selecting Extension > create SIP Extension
    • Add a valid Base Extension number i.e. 8000
  • Create a new user by selecting User > create User:
    • Add a valid Name ie Extn8000
    • Add the Base Extension number that was previously created. i.e 8000
    • Go to the Telephony tab > Supervisor Settings tab:
      • Put a numerical password in the “Login Code” field.  For testing purposes we can use 8000.

2)   Then, configure the Avaya B179:

  • On the B179 conference phone:
    • Press Menu > Status > Network
      • Set or Confirm the IP Address of the phone (DHCP/Static)
        • This IP address is used to log into the web interface of the phone.
  • Web Settings:
    • Enter the IP address of the phone into a web browser of your choice
      • Login with the default credentials
        • User: Admin
        • Password: 1234
    • Settings > SIP
      • Enable Account 1
        • Account Name: This is what is shown on the display of the B179.
        • User:  IP Office Base Extension number i.e. 8000
        • Registrar: IP of LAN1 or LAN2 IP Office interface (whichever is used)
        • Realm: *
        • Authorization Name:  IP Office Base Extension number i.e. 8000
        • Authorization Password: Enter the “Login Code” setup for the user.
        • Save values
    • Settings > Networking
      • These fields are used to make sure your B179 is setup correctly to the network
        • IP Address: IP address of B179
        • Net Mask: Subnet mask of the network on which the B179 is connected
        • Gateway: Local gateway on the network on which the B179 is connected
        • DNS info can be manually specified
        • Save values
        • Reboot the phone and the B179 should register with the IP Office

This should get your Avaya B179 IP Conference Phone connected to your IP Office for testing purposes.  Then from here on, you will want to fine tune your settings and secure your phone following the Avaya B179 Install and Admin Guide.

Jabra Fall Wireless Promo – Free EHS or Lifter with Jabra Motion Office or PRO-9400 Headset!

Having the right mobility headset is now a mainstream must-have in daily business life where open collaborative office spaces and mobile employees are the workplace norm.  It’s becoming more and more difficult to carry out a clear and productive conversation with all the noises and distractions around you.

So take advantage of Jabra’s Fall Wireless promotion (9/1/2014-12/31/2014) and get a free EHS cable or Remote Handset Lifter for remote call management with eligible purchase!  Qualifying models for this promotion include any variants of the Jabra Motion Office or Jabra PRO 9400 series headsets.  There is no minimum or maximum purchase required, simply make your purchase with us then visit Jabra’s promo website to claim your free Jabra remote call management accessory!

Jabra Motion Office

Jabra Motion Office Headset provides true wireless freedom, allowing users to connect to all their phones to one headset.  You can even transfer calls between phones as you head out the door to continue the conversation!

  • Triple connectivity for desk, softphone, and mobile devices
  • Up to 300ft of the latest Bluetooth wireless range
  • Easy, intuitive call control from headset and base
  • 128 bit encryption for security

JabraPro9450 

Jabra Pro 9400 Headsets is a high quality wireless option with technology that will withstand the test of time!  Use it with your regular desk phones now, and with your PC softphone when you are ready for Unified Communications!

  • Dual connectivity for desk phones and UC softphones
  • Up to 450ft of wireless range and up to 10 hours of talk time
  • Wideband audio, noise-canceling microphone, and user friendly touchpad

Terms and Conditionswww.Jabra.com/FallWireless

Promotional offer: Purchase a Jabra Motion Office or Jabra PRO 9400 series headset from an authorized Jabra reseller and become eligible to receive a free Electronic Hook Switch (EHS) cable or Remote Handset Lifter (RHL) – up to a $75 retail value. No minimum or maximum purchase requirements.

Promotional Period: September 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014. All claims must be submitted to Jabra and postmarked on or before January 15, 2015. Claims received after that date will not be honored.

Eligibility: This promotion is open to all end-customers in the United States who purchase either a Motion Office or PRO 9400 series headset from an authorized Jabra reseller. By participating in this promotion, the customer accepts and agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. Employees of Jabra, its resellers or its distributors are not eligible for this offer.

Fulfillment: Unless otherwise specified on the online claim form or in the email accompanying the proof of purchase, Jabra will determine which EHS cable or RHL lifter will be provided.  This determination will be based on the compatibility with the customer’s telephone model. If a telephone is not compatible with Jabra EHS cables as referenced in Jabra’s compatibility guide, a Jabra RHL lifter will be provided.

The free EHS cable or RHL lifter will be shipped directly to the customer at the address listed on the original invoice.  If multiple product purchases are made and placed on the same purchase order and invoice, all free products will be shipped to the address on the invoice.  Delivery is typically 2-3 weeks for order fulfillment under normal conditions.

Administrative: This promotion is the exclusive property of Jabra and any use by unauthorized parties without the expressed and written consent by Jabra is prohibited.  Jabra reserves the right to audit any claim at any time to ensure the validity of the proof of purchase.  Jabra reserves the right to cancel this promotion at any time and for any reason without notice.

EHS cables and RHL lifters provided under this program are not for resale. Jabra will only allow returns for claims of   ”Out of Box Failure”.  This promotion cannot be combined with any other active Jabra offers and/or programs.

How to Manually Configure Polycom VoIP Phone to Asterisk

Polycom makes some of the best quality SIP VoIP Phones on the market.  They work well with most IP-PBX and Hosted VoIP Providers.  While most manufacturers and providers will have their own setup guidelines (which you should follow first), there are times when you may need to manually configure your Polycom VoIP phone.  We will provide a very basic guide on getting your Polycom phone manually registered to an Asterisk SIP-based system here.

First you will need some basic information to register your Polycom phone:

  1. IP address of the Polycom phone
  2. IP address of the Asterisk system and SIP Port used to register (usually 5060)
  3. SIP extension number and phone password from your Asterisk system for your Polycom Phone

Once you have obtained the information, open up your web browser and enter in the IP Address of the Polycom phone in the Address Bar. Once it prompts you to login, use the following user name and password (assuming it is still default):

  1. Username: Polycom
  2. Password: 456

When logged into the Polycom phone’s user interface go to the Lines section (may be under Settings on newer firmwares) and Line 1.  Enter the information into the following fields:

  1. Display Name: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system ie. 2000
  2. Address: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system ie. 2000
  3. Label: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system ie. 2000

Under Authentication

  1. Authentication User ID: SIP Extension Number assigned on the Asterisk system, i.e., 2000
  2. Authentication Password: Phone-password assigned on the Asterisk system

Under Server 1:

  1. Address: IP Address of the Asterisk system
  2. Port: Port number for SIP registration ,i.e., 5060
  3. Leave all other settings default.

Submit to Save settings, which should prompt you to reboot the phone.  Check to see if the Polycom phone is registered properly by pressing on the phone: Menu/Settings > Status > Lines.

You should be all set!

Best Practices for Securing Your Avaya IP Office

With the ever increased threat of hacking, it is very important to follow proper steps in securing your public facing devices. Breaches can occur from multiple fronts, i.e., allowing any SIP and VoIP traffic in your system, improper firewall configurations, and of course not changing default passwords. With Avaya IP Office, there are several steps in making sure your system is locked down as much as possible. Avaya has issued a technical bulletin on doing this with the following basics:

Review your existing installations and/or new deployments.  Determine any security risks and requirements then implement these changes:

  • Change security defaults and passwords
  • Remove any unnecessary accounts
  • Disable any unused services/interfaces
  • Enforce strict password policies
  • Make sure users and extensions are secure
  • Make sure trunks/lines are secure
  • Prevent and block unwanted Calls
  • Secure user voicemail and one-X Portal accounts
  • Block unnecessary and limit IP network exposure
  • Make sure management applications & configuration data are secure
  • Make sure servers running IP Office applications are secure
  • Activate reporting/monitoring of your system
  • Test for vulnerabilities
  • Install latest software updates/service packs

Even with these steps taken, you will want to continually monitor your alarms and logs to detect any unusual activity.  Always keep up with security advisories and make sure to keep your system up-to-date with the latest patches and upgrades.

Please read the document, Securing your IP Office Guidelines, for full detail on securing your IP Office.

 

Replace your Cisco IP Phone System with Digium and Get Discounts!

Digium Q3-2014 Promo

Are you currently using a Cisco IP phone system?  Cisco is discontinuing their UC solution for SMB customers and have declared it end of life (EOL) for nearly a year. Their EOL announcement included Cisco’s UC300 and UC500 series; the support entitlements for these platforms will begin phasing out January 1, 2015.

For many SMB customers, this is a great time to start replacing those Cisco phone systems with a Digium Switchvox solution – which can often be purchased for less than the annual cost of a Cisco support contract!  From now thru September 30 December 31, 2014 Digium will offer additional discounts up to 15% off MSRP to help you make the switch.  Simply contact one of our helpful representatives here at The Telecom Spot to start!

Note:

  • Digium promotion is for qualified product purchases July 1 – September 30, 2014 by end user customers only.
  • Customers must request this promotional discount at time of order placement as neither Digium nor The Telecom Spot can provide promotional discounts after orders have been invoiced
  • Only qualified Switchvox products are eligible for the promotional discount.  This include Switchvox appliances, Switchvox SMB software, Switchvox subscriptions.  A complete list of qualifying products and part numbers are listed below.
  • This offer does NOT apply to cold spares, updates and maintenance, subscription renewals, phone feature packs, extended hardware warranties, phones, Digium cloud services, or any other items that are not included on list of qualifying products
  • This promotion applies only to new Switchvox solutions replacing existing Cisco telephony solutions.  Digium may contact customer to confirm the replacement for their promotional claim audits.

Eligible products for the Cisco Replacement Promotion

Digium Part Number / SKU Product Description MSRP
1AS800010LF Switchvox 80 Appliance, NA $3,140
1AS800011LF Switchvox 80 Appliance, AU $3,140
1AS800012LF Switchvox 80 Appliance, EU $3,140
1AS800013LF Switchvox 80 Appliance, UK $3,140
1AS3100010LF Switchvox 310 Appliance, NA $4,040
1AS3100011LF Switchvox 310 Appliance, AU $4,040
1AS3100012LF Switchvox 310 Appliance, EU $4,040
1AS3100013LF Switchvox 310 Appliance, UK $4,040
1AS3600010LF Switchvox 360 Appliance, NA $5,850
1AS3600011LF Switchvox 360 Appliance, AU $5,850
1AS3600012LF Switchvox 360 Appliance, EU $5,850
1AS3600013LF Switchvox 360 Appliance, UK $5,850
1AS3800010LF Switchvox 380 Appliance, NA $7,990
1AS3800011LF Switchvox 380 Appliance, AU $7,990
1AS3800012LF Switchvox 380 Appliance, EU $7,990
1AS3800013LF Switchvox 380 Appliance, UK $7,990
1AS4500010LF Switchvox 450 Appliance, North America $9,850
1AS4500011LF Switchvox 450 Appliance, Australia $9,850
1AS4500012LF Switchvox 450 Appliance, Europe $9,850
1AS4500013LF Switchvox 450 Appliance, United Kingdom $9,850
1AS4700010LF Switchvox 470 Appliance, North America $12,975
1AS4700011LF Switchvox 470 Appliance, Australia $12,975
1AS4700012LF Switchvox 470 Appliance, Europe $12,975
1AS4700013LF Switchvox 470 Appliance, United Kingdom $12,975
1SWXSMB00DL Switchvox SMB Software Download $2,745
1SWXSMB00DVD Switchvox SMB DVD with Reg Code $2,765
1SWXGSUB1 1 Switchvox Gold Subscription for 1 User $70
1SWXGSUB5 5 Switchvox Gold Subscriptions for 5 Users $350
1SWXGSUB25 25 Switchvox Gold Subscriptions for 25 Users $1,750
1SWXGSUB100 100 Switchvox Gold Subscriptions for 100 Users $7,000
1SWXPSUB1 1 Switchvox Platinum Subscription for 1 User $100
1SWXPSUB5 5 Switchvox Platinum Subscriptions for 5 Users $500
1SWXPSUB25 25 Switchvox Platinum Subscriptions for 25 Users $2,500
1SWXPSUB100 100 Switchvox Platinum Subscriptions for 100 Users $10,000
1SWXTSUB1 1 Switchvox Titanium Subscription for 1 User $60
1SWXTSUB5 5 Switchvox Titanium Subscriptions for 5 Users $300
1SWXTSUB25 25 Switchvox Titanium Subscriptions for 25 Users $1,500
1SWXTSUB100 100 Switchvox Titanium Subscriptions for 100 Users $6,000

 

How to Extend Analog Phone Line (POTS) through ethernet via SIP/VoIP (FXO/FXS)

There are some situations where you need to have an analog phone line where there are no existing cable runs except for a data network.  Or you may simply want to extend analog phone line(s) to a remote site.  No worries!  We have a solution for you that utilizes Grandstream SIP VoIP ATA’s and Gateways in Peer-to-Peer mode.  There are 3 different scenarios with appropriate solutions:

1) Peer-to-Peer using ATA’s only.  Click Here for the solution using Grandstream HT502 and HT503’s.

grandstream-p2p-ht

2) Peer-to-Peer using ATA’s and Gateways.  Click Here for the solution using Grandstream GXW’s and HT50x’s.

grandstream-p2p-ht-gxw

3) Peer-to-Peer using Gateways only.  Click Here for the solution using Grandstream GXW’s.

grandstream-p2p-gxw

These are 3 different examples of extending your analog lines (POTS) over a data network utilizing Grandstream’s cost effective solutions.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact any one of our The Telecom Spot representatives at 866-369-3394.

Now Carrying DrayTek Vigor Network Routers!

draytek-products

The Telecom Spot now carries DrayTek networking products!  DrayTek’s Vigor product line ranges from cost effective feature rich SoHo routers to super fast VPN concentrators and superior routers for Medium and Large Enterprises.

Some highlighted features:

• Gigabit Multi-WAN, Multi-LAN
• Object Based Firewall
• State-of-the-Art VPN Features
• Web Content Filtering
VoIP optimized QoS and Bandwidth Management
• VLAN Multi Subnets – Multi DHCP
• WiFi 802.11n with Multi SSID and rate limit
• Simple captive portal, User Management
• Centralized Management via SNMP or TR-069

DrayTek routers incorporate common features such as NAT, DHCP server, Access control, DMZ, DNS forward, SNMP, etc.  There are no license costs and DrayTek provides free firmware updates.  All features are included except an optional and low-cost subscription to 3rd party web content filter.

Select the right security router today will give you peace of mind and save you and your company more down the road.  Contact our helpful sales reps today for more information.

draytek-vigor-2960