When I started DailyTekk back in 2012 as a side-project, my full-time job was as an IT Director. That was before DailyTekk became a real business. So I know from experience that IT guys and gals have a lot on their plates each day. Aside from making purchases and planning for the future, aside from meeting, aside from putting out all sorts of fires there just isn’t a lot of wiggle room for anything new to go wrong. As much as office workers want their computers, network, phones, copier, email and printers working right, the IT department wants them to work right even more.
That’s why I was intrigued with the Jabra Speak 810 conference call speakerphone. I like Jabra products in general (see my glowing recent review of the Eclipse Wireless Headset) and have found them to be very trustworthy and high-quality. In general, I think Jabra makes the type of device that an IT guy like me could get onboard with.
The Speak 810 is designed for conference rooms with up to 15 attendees. That means it’s meant for serious business. It can connect to a host phone a couple of ways, features intelligent microphones that weed out background noise and clarify voices wherever a person is sitting or standing in the room, can produce clear sound even at high volume and is compatible with softphones from companies like IBM, Cisco, Avaya and Skype.
I mention my experience as an IT Director because back then one of the biggest headaches I had to constantly deal with was the speakerphone situation in the conference room. It never worked the way it was supposed to. It felt like it was at least a decade out of date. If a meeting was taking place, there was almost a guarantee that I’d be called on to get things working. It wasn’t just an inconvenience to me, but to the meeting participants as well.
What I like most about the Speak 810 is that it’s genuinely easy to setup and use. No IT guy is even necessary. Since our lives (even our corporate lives) tend to run on our smartphones these days, it only makes sense to have a smartphone-first conference call system. If you’re needing to plug into the landline to make your conference calls, you’re way out of date.
The Speak 810 connects to your iPhone or Android device via Bluetooth or via the standard headphone jack.
On my end, the voices of people I connected with were always clear and very understandable. And I was surprised at just how loud the Speak 810 could get — more than loud enough to clearly fill up a large conference room.
Call quality is basically excellent all-around with one exception. There were times when people on the other end of a call when I used Bluetooth to connect to the Speak 810 complained of not being able to hear me as well as when I just used my iPhone without the speaker on the same call. It could, of course, have had to do with any number of things: my cell coverage, the other party’s cell coverage, location of the conference room, etc. I’m inclined to give the Jabra 810 the benefit of the doubt, though, and assume these issues were phone related rather than Speak 810 related.
If you’re on a super-important call, you might want to use the jack to connect to your phone just to be certain. Calls made in this manner will come through as clear as possible every time.
I really love the buttons and light on the Speak 810. Combined it forms a very easy-to-use and easy-to-understand user interface. The buttons are easy to click and make a satisfying “click” to let you know you’ve been successful. Green lights mean talk or on and red mean mute or off.
One especially important feature is the mute function. When muted, the Jabra lights up red all around the speaker to let your team know it’s alright to speak privately and candidly. Great feature.
Actually the buttons are not buttons at all but are touch sensitive spaces on the outer rim of the Speak 810. I like this approach a lot for a couple of reasons. First, they stay cleaner. There’s never going to be any dust buildup. Second, it just looks clean and sleek.
And looks matter more than most executives realize when making purchases of this nature. The equipment your company uses sends a message to clients and employees alike concerning how “with it” the management is. And the Jabra Speak 810 says, “We’re on top of everything. We’re ahead of the game.”
The Speak 810 makes cable management a breeze. Built-in cable wraps underneath the speakerphone make cable storage easy — again, this former IT guy is impressed.
All-in-all I’d say the Speak 810 is as impressive a conference speakerphone as one could imagine. From one IT Director to another, this speakerphone has the looks and the performance to be a no-brainer addition to your department’s budget. Absolutely recommended.