Proper communication in the workplace is the most important aspect of any business. The best intentions, plans, and people in the world can’t get anything done if they can’t communicate properly. There’s a reason why opening lines of communication in war is always the number one priority.
In today’s business environment, communication more often than not from a cellphone than a landline. Remember what those were? Unless you’re the president of the United States, chances are you make nearly every call from that mobile device. And for good reason: the best phone is the one you have with you. And with the changing business landscape, that means that call quality had better not screw up, especially if you’re trying to hold a conference call. Most smartphones just can’t handle a simple speakerphone call without everyone sounding like an echo or worse.
The Logitech Mobile Speakerphone P710e is the company’s first entry in the smartphone market. It’s built specifically to handle conference calls for smartphones, though it’ll work with just about anything thanks to the Bluetooth connection, so even if you’re in the new age and host calls over Skype or Google Hangouts from your laptop, you don’t have to be limited by your computer’s audio hardware. However the P710e is built specifically for smartphones, and as I’ve seen with today’s laptops, they don’t really need better audio technology. I’ve used the P710e with a number of devices, though mostly an iPhone 5 and 5s.
The quality is good; it produces very clear audio for the listeners, so everyone on the other end comes across pitch perfect. However, those on the other end don’t always hear very well. In my use, typically in more confined rooms that have an echo problem, the P710e didn’t catch my voice clearly unless the microphone was pointed directly at me. Which meant that at times, it was impossible to use because it simply didn’t pick up other voices because of the echo. That’s not to say that listeners on the other end heard an echo; they just didn’t hear the voice at all, or else it was too quiet.
In treated rooms without echo, this isn’t a problem. The P710e is easy to hear and to speak into. It didn’t matter if the calls were placed over cell networks or over Wi-Fi; however, you may find the call quality differ based on your carrier, phone, location, and/or Wi-Fi strength.
The best thing about the P710e is the tiny size. It has a small divet that opens up to place a smartphone/tablet, though because it connects to devices wirelessly, you don’t have to put the device there. With laptops, the P710e can also be connected via USB to both charge and transmit audio over USB. The 120x120x40mm body can almost fit in a pocket, and it’s great for travel and storage. Touch-sensitive controls make it very easy to adjust the volume and control calls. And even at that size, it will last up to 15 hours of call time.
While the P710e is certified for Lync and Skype, the trouble with the microphone catching voices in rooms with bad echo problems is a serious limitation. For my own business, it forced us to switch from using the P710e to something else, typically an iPad Air or MacBook Pro (the former of which proved excellent for the situation).
Depending on your office situation, the P710e may not be the best alternative for wireless communication. If your offices have a serious echo problem, then I recommend sticking with something like an iPad Air, which is both a great communication device and also the best tablet on the market. Obviously it has the difficulty of not being a phone. If, however, your offices do not suffer from an echo problem, then the Mobile Speakerphone P710e is a great purchase at $170.