Jabra is looking to differentiate itself from the myriad of accessories companies on the market by providing a portfolio of compelling products including headsets and speakerphones aimed exclusively at the professional market. As a company, Jabra, which is originally based in the US, was acquired by a Danish company called GN back in 2000. Since then, it has grown to a reasonably popular brand in the western world, so much so that it has had to open an anti-counterfeiting program.
I was sent three top-of-the-range Jabra devices aimed at the mobile power user/telecommuter. They are not cheap but an iron-clad certification by the likes of Cisco, Siemens, Avaya, IBM, Microsoft, Toshiba, Polycom and Alcatel-Lucent make them pretty much a foolproof purchase for any enterprise buyers.
The Jabra Motion UC MS+ (£217 at Misco) is a monaural Bluetooth headset that comes with its own travel and charge kit. It is optimized for Microsoft’s enterprise communication and there are more affordable versions (without the accessories). The model we tried (SKU 6640-906-302) came with a USB cable, a Bluetooth USB dongle, a USB charger (essentially the gorgeous-looking case with a magnetized USB port) and three different sized ear gels (one of which is on the headset). When used with a UC client, you get full integration, including automatic updating of your UC presence status when on a smartphone call; the headset’s “Busylight” indicator also ensures that you avoid interruptions while the dual microphone means better than average sound quality. Jabra also says that the Motion UC MS+ has a battery life of up to seven hours with a talk range of just under 100m. More functionalities can be accessed through Jabra’s free PC Suite, which can be downloaded here.
The Speak 510 (SKU 7510-209 and £107 at Misco) is a circular personal speakerphone that doubles as a standalone speaker. It can connect to any computer tablet, smartphone via Bluetooth or USB and comes with its own travel case. Its shape makes it ideal for small team calls as it is omnidirectional. Its outer rim is peppered with LEDs and capacitive buttons (power on, power off, call on, call off, volume up, volume down, mute and Bluetooth on/off). It has a 3.5mm jack plus a built-in noise filtering technology which should work wonders in a busy office environment. The Speak 510 has a battery life of up to 15 hours according to Jabra which is pretty impressive and like the Motion UC MS+, you will be able to use the PC Suite to make the most out of this peripheral. Note that it will connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices using BT 3.0. A brief play with the device left me with a positive impression. Both my laptop and my smartphone recognized seamlessly and within seconds, I made a call on Skype.
The third device I fondled was the Jabra UC Voice 750 Duo (SKU 7599-829-409 and available for £51.59 at Misco). It is a traditional corded headset designed specifically for unified communications deployments. It comes with a two-year warranty, a microphone boom, voice controls on the wire and connects to your device via a USB port. In theory you should be able to connect it to any device with a micro USB port (which would imply the use of a converter). Pity though that it can’t go to the 3.5mm port of a smartphone/tablet. As expected, the headset is fairly comfortable to wear, crucial if you have to wear it for dictation purposes or for long calls.
Check out this exclusive report that looks into whether IT and communications tools are killing morale and productivity in the entreprise. The document has been published following a research commissioned by Jabra earlier this year that assessed the state of the nation when it came to flexible working.