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Although I’ve participated in quite a few online conference calls over the past years I’ve never actually paid much attention to related peripherals. However since as of late some of you have asked for reviews of such devices i started scouting around to see which manufacturers have them in their product lines. The fact however that most of you are not really looking to spend much on such devices gave me a hard time since finding something to fit that description without of course sacrificing quality was not an easy task. Luckily our friends over at Jabra don't only carry Bluetooth and wired earsets/headsets in their product lines but they also manufacture high quality professional/enterprise class VOIP (Voice Over IP) compatible products such as the SPEAK 410 USB Speakerphone we have here with us today.
GN Netcom, led by the Jabra brand, continues to build on its standing as one of the world’s leading and fastest growing suppliers of hands-free communications solutions. With approximately 875 employees and sales offices around the world, GN Netcom develops manufactures and markets a broad range of wireless headsets for mobile users and both wireless and corded headsets for contact center and office-based users. GN Netcom’s business activities also include its original equipment manufacturing (OEM) business to a wide range of global customers including mobile phone, PC and PDA manufacturers.
The Jabra Speak 410 is basically a compact speakerphone that looks a lot like a flying saucer (especially in the dark) and can be used both for conference calls and just as a portable speaker and/or a standalone microphone for your PC. It connects to your Windows or Apple based system via USB and but it also features a 3.5mm mini-jack so you have the choice of connecting it with a more powerful external speaker system. Some of you may also notice that Jabra sells two different versions of the SPEAK 410, the normal and the Microsoft certified one. Well as far as i can tell the only difference between both units is that the Microsoft certified version is optimized for use with Microsoft Lync an enterprise-ready unified communications platform by Microsoft with which you can start/join web conferences and/or make phone calls to your contacts. However although i don't have Microsoft Lync I’m pretty certain that both SPEAK 410 versions support it (besides it says so on the box) along with Skype, MS Office communicator, Avaya IP software/Agent, Avaya one-X® Communicator, IBM Lotus sametime, Cisco UC client, Cisco WebEx connect and with pretty much every VOIP solution out there. But compatibility aside is it really any good?