Plantronics Cuts Through the Noise with Four New UC Devices
Santa Cruz-based audio communications company Plantronics this week released four new unified communications audio devices focusing on audio quality and noise management. The new products are the Blackwire 725, Plantronics' first UC stereo headset with active noise canceling; the Voyager Edge UC; the Calisto, a portable speakerphone; and the Clarity 340, designed for users with vision, hearing, or dexterity challenges.
"There's been increasing emphasis on the importance of a reliable, high-quality, seamless user experience when communicating and collaborating today, and rightly so," said Rich Costello, senior research analyst for unified communications at industry research firm IDC. "The new Plantronics offerings not only address these important requirements, but also the surrounding noise factor on both sides of the call."
Avoid the Noise
The $179 Blackwire 725 (pictured above) is designed for users who need to focus in noisy office environments. It has active noise-canceling technology, a noise-canceling mic, and hi-fi stereo performance. Its wide-band audio and digital signal processing mean clarity in incoming calls. The Dynamic EQ feature optimizes the user's voice quality when on calls and automatically adjusts the equalization settings when users are listening to music or multimedia.
It's Plantronics' first UC product with active noise canceling technology. The C725 standard version is built for UC applications and softphones from manufacturers including Avaya, Cisco, while the C725-M is optimized for Microsoft Lync.
The Voyager Edge UC ($199) is aimed at mobile UC users who need to be heard and want to use their Bluetooth-enabled communications devices in tandem, including laptops, smartphones or tablets. The Voyager Edge UC includes a small Bluetooth USB dongle that provides wide-band audio to your laptop. The model also comes with its own portable charging case.
The $149 Calisto 610 is a corded USB speakerphone that enables the ability to create on-the-go conference calls for small groups. It lets users hear remote participants with high-quality, omni-directional audio, and comes in a form factor that integrates with any softphone. The unit's bi-directional microphones activate in the direction of the speaker's voice. PC wide-band audio and digital signal processing reduce drop-outs and echo with acoustic echo canceling.
The Calisto 620, available at the same price, is a portable wireless UC speakerphone that connects to a laptop or smartphone and makes it into a conferencing device.
The Clarity 340 ($149) is an amplified UC handset designed for knowledge workers with vision, hearing, or dexterity challenges. The handset-style phone features amplified sound, a large-text screen and large buttons for dialing.
It contains four tone settings to accommodate specific hearing loss patterns; an amplification option to 30dB of wide-band audio and noise cancellation; is hearing aid-compatible; and includes a connector port for a neckloop-style telecoil coupler.
"You can't always control your environment and you certainly can't control your caller's environment," said Bill Loewenthal, Plantronics vice president for enterprise product solutions. "So we help ensure workers have solutions they need to block out the noise, allowing them to have a high-quality communication experience wherever their workplace is."
The Voyager Edge UC, Blackwire 725 and Calisto 610 are available now. The Clarity 340 will be available in March.