Category Archives: Buying Guide

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
  • SIP version 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 unit would be sufficient for any small to mid-sized conference room and a good conference phone to consider. 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


 

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.

List of Wireless Bluetooth Conference Phones

Looking for a wireless Bluetooth conferencing speakerphone to connect with your cellphone or Bluetooth-enabled devices?  Perfect for business trips, telecommuting, or holding smaller conference calls, check out the four options listed below for a current selection of Bluetooth-enabled speakerphones.

1. Jabra Speak 510 and 510+ Bluetooth and USB Speakerphone – $114.00 – $125.72

Jabra Speak 510

Personal wireless blue tooth and USB speakerphone device to conference anywhere, works with PCs and any Bluetooth enabled device. Jabra Speak 510 comes in both UC and MS Lync optimized versions and easily connect to tablets, mobile phones and headsets via Bluetooth.  Jabra Speak 510+ comes standard with Jabra Link 360 Bluetooth USB adapter. All three provides full compatibility with UC systems and VoIP clients

  • Up to 15 hours talk time
  • Plug-and-play connectivity to PC softphone / UC systems via USB cable
  • Built-in 3.5mm headset port to allow private conversations in open environments
  • 360-degree coverage with built-in omnidirectional microphone allowing attendees to hear and be heard from all angles
  • Digital Signaling Processing (DSP) technology allows crystal clear sound without echos or distorted sound at max volume level
  • Wideband audio and HD Voice
  • Bluetooth A2DP allows multimedia streaming
  • 1 year manufacturer warranty

2. Konftel 55W Wireless Bluetooth Conference Phone$299.95

Konftel 55WSimple and compact wireless bluetooth conference phone with HD sound quality and connects to computers, mobile phone/tablets and desktop phones (adapter required). VoIP calls can be bridged with desktop or mobile phone calls.  Easily combine and switch connections on the LCD colored screen’s smart user interface display. Konftel 55W also include call recording or dictations via SD memory card.  For smaller meetings up to 6 participants or up to 16 with optional expansion mic.  The Konftel 55W comes with a 6-metre electrical cable, AC adapter, battery, USB cable and a Quick Reference Guide.

  • Flexible connectivity options:  USB for VoIP calls, deskphones with optional adapter, cellular phone/tablets and headsets
  • Bluetooth options with cellular phone/tablets
  • Optional expansion microphones
  • OmniSound HD for superior audio quality
  • Rechargeable battery
  • LCD high-resolution color display
  • Switch and combine connections on the LCD display
  • Multiple languages in the phone and quick-reference guide
  • Record meeting on a SD memory card
  • Future-proof – can be upgraded
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

3. Plantronics Calisto P620 Bluetooth Wireless Conference Speakerphone – $107.85

Plantronics Calisto P620

Calisto 620 is Plantronics’ “no cord, no fuss” portable Bluetooth wireless UC speakerphone and perfect for small conference calls anywhere.  Small and lightweight, instantly transforms your laptop or smartphone into a high quality conference device.  It’s designed to simplify call management with an easy interface for answer/end, mute and volume on your laptop or smart phone, and it comes with a Bluetooth® mini USB adapter for always-ready PC connectivity.The Calisto 620 comes with both UC Standard version for Avaya, Cisco, IBM, Skype and more and also a MS Lync version optimized for Microsoft Lync 2010 and Microsoft OCS 2007.

  • Simplified call management with an easy interface on PC or mobile phone
  • Bluetooth mini USB adapter for always-ready PC connectivity
  • Up to 7 hours wireless talk time, and up to 5 standby time
  • PC wideband audio and Digital Signal Processing (DSP) reduces drop-outs and echo
  • Bi-directional microphones activate in the direction of speaker’s voice
  • Full duplex audio with 360 degree room coverage
  • Integrated A2DP lets you listen to streaming media from your mobile device
  • Includes a soft carrying case
  • 2 years limited manufacturer warranty

4. Polycom VoiceStation 500 Bluetooth-enabled Conference Phone – $357.00

Polycom Voicestation 500

Small Bluetooth-enabled conference phone with up to 7-feet microphone pickup range is ideally suited for desktops, offices, and other small rooms for 3-4 participants.  Connect with any Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones or computers wirelessly for hands-free high quality conferencing or plug in directly to use with any analog phone jack. Polycom VoiceStation 500 comes with the conference phone unit, power module, 21-ft console cord, 7-ft telco cable to RJ-11 telephone jack, 4-ft cellphone connection link, 4-ft computer calling cable and user guide.

  • Polycom Bluetooth-enabled voice conferencing designed for offices and small meeting spaces.
  • Perfect for small conferences with three to four participants with microphone range of up to seven feet
  • Use your Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone to connect wirelessly for hands-free voice conferencing, or connect to a Bluetooth-enabled computer for high-quality hands-free conferencing over Internet calling services such as Skype
  • 2.5mm applications port: plug into a wired connection for mobile phone and internet calling when Bluetooth is not available
  • Easy to use and install, no training required, connects into any analog phone jack
  • Patented Acoustic Clarity Technology. Full-duplex for simultaneous, natural, free-flowing conversation and more productive calls
  • Dynamic Noise Reduction (DNR) automatically reduces room background noise from fans, projectors, heating, and air conditioning for clearer sound and more efficient conferencing
  • 360-degree room coverage: a powerful, digitally-tuned custom speaker and three sensitive microphones provide uniform coverage from up to 7 feet away
  • Convenient controls: volume, mute, redial, flash and hold are located on an intuitive, easy-to-use keypad
  • 1 year manufacturer warranty

Introducing VXi Envoy UC Headsets

Just released, VXi’s new Envoy UC headsets is a great USB headset at an affordable price point.  VXi designed the Envoy UC to give users best-in-class sound quality for all variety of office communication situations, and they’ve done an excellent job at that.  The Envoy™ UC is currently available in two models: Envoy™ UC 3031U Stereo UC Headset (VXI-203349) and Envoy™ UC 3010U Monaural UC Headset (VXI-203352).

VXi Envoy UC Headset

VXi Envoy UC Headset

When testing out the new Envoy UC headset, we were pleasantly surprised at the rich and clear audio quality.  For those of us who enjoy some music while working on projects and in-between calls, it is a huge plus.  The Envoy UC’s microphone boom can also be easily positioned for best voice input.  The VXi Envoy UC headset is rated at 95% noise cancellation by 3rd party testing (CJS Labs) which is superior to many others in its range.  For users looking for a great headset for speech recognition or dictate software like Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeak, the VXi Envoy UC would also make a great option.

The headset is also light and comfortable enough to wear all day long with the soft leatherette ear-pads resting gently on the ear(s).  And the in-line control for volume, mute and call answer/end is another convenient feature.  All in all, this would make a great contender when considering UC headsets, closely competing with others such as Plantronics’ Blackwire 500 series headsets or Jabra’s UC Voice 550 series headsets.

Features: 

  • USB interface for plug-and-play ease of use.
  • Hi-Fi audio with DSP for clearer conversations and audiophile-quality sound.
  • Advanced noise canceling eliminates background noise and improves communication.
  • Works with popular UC and softphone applications.
  • Lightweight, comfortable design is easy to wear, all day.
  • Real-world durability stands up to every-day use.
  • Inline control of volume, mute and call answer/end.  (Call answer/end controls may require additional software – www.vxicorp.com/usb )
  • Two-year, hassle-free VXi manufacturer warranty.

Mechanical Specifications

  • Headset Weight:  Stereo: 4.29 oz.  Mono: 3.46 oz.
  • Headband: 11” expandable to 13”
  • Mic Boom: Flexible, snap-lock microphone boom

Receiver Specifications

  • Speaker: 36.0 mm wideband
  • SPL:  110 ± 3 dB at 1 mW (0.178 V) with IEC-318
  • Impedance:  32 Ω ± (15%) at 1 KHz, 0.178 V
  • Frequency Response:20 Hz – 20 KHz

Agency Approvals

  • CE, FCC, RoHS

Microphone Specifications

  • Microphone: 6.0 mm bi-directional noise cancelling
  • Ambient Noise Suppression: 95%
  • Frequency Response: 200 Hz – 8 KHz

 

 

Snom Increases IP Phone Warranty to Two Years

Snom has announced they are doubling their IP desktop phones warranty from one to two years to further protect customer’s investment.  This extended warranty will apply to snom phones purchased from July 1, 2013 by customers in North America, Carribbean, Central America, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

The products covered under the new 2 year warranty are:

  • snom 3xx series (300, 320,370)
  • snom 7xx series (710, 720, 760)
  • snom 8xx series (821 and 870)
  • PA1 paging adapter

 

Analog Personal Audio Conferencing Options

Despite the increase in popularity for UC conferencing devices, a high percentage of conference speakerphones sold today are still analog.  If you are one of the many who are still looking to procure an analog conferencing speakerphone for your personal or small meeting uses then this post will give you a few options to consider.

Option 1:  ClearOne Chat50 USB Plus

ClearOne Chat50 USB Plus

A personal speakerphone that connects to a variety of devices (including computers, telephones, mobile phones, MP3 players etc) for clear, full-duplex and hands-free communication.  Being full-duplex, it lets you listen and talk at the same time without cutting in and out of audio.  The sensitive microphone array has 120-degree audio pickup up to 8 feet away so you can talk comfortably.  The ClearOne Chat50 also has built-in echo and noise cancellation to prevent unwanted noises.

For analog use, you would connect the Chat50 to your telephone’s headset jack via the provided 2.5mm cable (it’ll also connect with cell-phones).  The Chat50 is small, slightly larger than a pack of cards so it takes up minimal footprint and is easy to take for travel.  The Chat50 is recommended if you want a good quality, no-fuss, simple-to-use conferencing speakerphone with an economical price.  The great thing about the ClearOne chat50 is you can also use it with your computer for webinars or Skype calls so it is more versatile.

Option 2:  Konftel 100

Konftel 100 Conference Phone

Konftel 100 brings you a great conferencing solution for smaller meetings up to 6 people.  This device uses Konftel’s proprietary OmniSound HD technology which provides full-duplex natural sound.  The 360-degree pick-up and reproduction let you walk and talk freely in the meeting space (up to 300 sqft range).  The Konftel 100 also comes with ultra-sensitive omni-directional microphone with 3 built-in surround speakers to provide clear reception throughout the meeting space.

Konftel 100 comes with dial pad and call control (volume, mute, flash, conference etc) buttons right on the front of the unit so you can make and manage your conference calls easily.  It plugs directly into your analog jack (bypassing the need of a separate deskphone), or to your phone system with an analog card via a modular 6/6, RJ11 port.  Because Konftel 100 only connects via analog, this is recommend if you are looking for a dedicated analog conferencing solution that’s practical, simple-to-use and is great quality.  If you would like to try one out, there is currently a 30-day trial offer on Konftel conference phones.

Option 3:  Polycom VoiceStation 300

Polycom Voicestation 300

A 3rd option would be the Polycom VoiceStation 300.  Similar to Konftel 100 it provides 360-degree room coverage but only up to 7 feet in range.  The Polycom VoiceStation 300 is more suited for personal and smaller conferencing with less than 4 participants.  The VoiceStation’s Dynamic Noise Reduction (DNR) actively removes background noises and Polycom’s Acoustic Clarity technology delivers clear, natural 2-way conversations.

The VoiceStation 300 also comes with dial pad and call controls (volume, mute, flash, hold etc) buttons on the front of the device and a handset phone can be plugged in for a more private conversation.  To use, simply connect the Polycom VoiceStation 300 into any analog phone jack.  The Polycom VoiceStation 300 is recommended if you only need analog connection for smaller or personal conferences and are more comfortable going with the Polycom brand.

I hope the options above will help you get started in selecting your analog personal audio conference phone.  If you’re looking for a personal conferencing device for your computer webinars or bluetooth devices instead, look forward to our next blog post which will go over just that.  If there are any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below or contact us at sales@thetelecomspot.com.

Meet the Konftel 55 & 55W Conference Phones

Meet the Konftel 55 series – a Swiss Army knife equivalent of audio conferencing phones.  Both the  Konftel 55 and the Konftel 55W are highly versatile – able to connect with computers, mobile phones/tablets and any IP or digital desktop phones (with adapter cables).  They are great for quick conferencing at your desk or small conferences of under 6 participants (up to 16 participants with expansion mics).  The only difference between the two models is the Konftel 55W has Bluetooth and supports expansion microphones.

Meet Konftel 55 & 55W
Konftel 55 Connection Chart
Features: 

  • OmniSound HD
  • Expandable with microphones (Konftel 55W only)
  • Headset connection
  • Rechargeable battery
  • High resolution touchscreen
  • Future proof with upgradable software
  • SD call recording
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

Konftel’s proprietary OmniSound HD audio technology delivers crystal clear full-duplex conversations (and HD audio during VoIP calls).  The sound is transmitted via Konftel’s hypersensitive microphone with 360° audio pick-up and speakers.  It has automatic echo cancellation, noise suppression, and an audio equalizer.  With this technology, Konftel assures you can freely move about the conferencing room without loss of audio quality or irritating clipping or echos.

Another great convenience is that VoIP calls on the Konftel 55/55W can be bridged with calls via desktop or mobile phones.  You can easily combine and switch connections via an LCD screen display interface which displays only the current connections.  And with built-in SD call recording, you can easily record calls or dictations and save/share the audio files via your computer with the removable memory card.

The Konftel 55 is now available for order thru The Telecom Spot website, and the Konftel 55W is expected to be in stock soon as well.  The Konftel 55/55W comes with an electrical cable, A/C adapter, battery, USB cable and quick reference guide.  To connect with any IP or digital deskphones you’ll need an adapter (sold separately and coming soon – part# 900102126 ) or other dedicated special cables for Avaya and Siemens phones.  Any questions?  Just leave a comment below for us or contact any of our helpful consultants.

Introducing Avaya D100/D160 – Finally a New Wireless Phone Option for IP Office!

After Avaya discontinued their popular Avaya 3810 wireless phones, our customers have always been asking for alternative recommendations.  Well, Avaya has finally answered the popular demands and came out with Avaya D100 SIP DECT wireless phone system!

Avaya D100 IP DECT Wireless Kit

Avaya D100 IP DECT Wireless Kit

The entire wireless system can be managed thru IP Office Manager with no additional configuration needed for a plug-and-play installation.  Not just a single-cell wireless system, it can be expanded with repeaters to cover additional area without more wiring.  The Avaya D100 base station is connected to the IP network and Power-over-Ethernet, and if you don’t have PoE switch you can also get PoE injectors like the Avaya SPPOE-1A to power the D100 base station.  It is compatible with IP Office R8.1 Feature Pack 1+ and while it does require IP resources like VCM module and IP client license per phone on top of that, at least we now have a more cost-effective wireless system for users who don’t require the robust features and range of Avaya IP-DECT and WiFi solutions.

Avaya D100 Architecture

Avaya D100 Architecture

The base station can connect with up to 8 Avaya D160 handsets and 5 Avaya D100 repeaters for added range.  The radio coverage for each D100 base station is 100-350 ft indoor and up to 7700ft in open field.  It supports IP Office features including Busy Lamp Field (BLF), Message Waiting Indicator (MWI), Programmable buttons, Emergency Calls, Hot desking and more.

Avaya D100 Repeater

Avaya D100 Repeater

The expansion D160 DECT handset offers similar feature and functionality found on 11xx/12xx SIP phones. Features including a 2×24 display, 4 soft-keys, 8 programmable buttons including support for Busy Lamp Field (BLF) and Speed dial and capable for up to 16 hours talk time or 7 days standby.

Avaya D160 DECT Handset

Avaya D160 DECT Handset

For more information, click on one of these product links below or contact us for assistance.