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Aug 28

Speakerphone Audio Quality Comparison

While there are a lot of reviews for Skype for Business certified speakerphones, I have never come across a review that lets you hear what they sound like.

I took the three speaker phones I have (caveat: all given to me for free by the vendors) and made some recordings for you to hear.

Three speakerphones

Plantronics, Sennheiser, and Jabra

I used the “Check Call Quality” feature in the Skype for Business client to run the test. The back-end is also a Skype for Business server pool.

I used a Yeti Blue microphone to record me saying the same phrase each time. That phrase is:

I would like to have a pear for supper.

It doesn’t mean anything other than it has some “plosives” to add a little complexity. It’s also a short phrase that fits within the time window provided by the Call Quality test.

To record the dialog I used a Yeti Blue microphone which is a pretty good USB microphone I picked up recently. I placed it about (8 inches/20 cm) away from the center of the speakerphone.

You may hear some background white noise. That is my Hyper-V server which is running my Skype for Business lab. I also normalized all of the audio files to -1.0 db which may enhance some of the white noise.

Note that everything you hear is recorded via the Yeti Blue microphone. So when you hear the prompts, that is a very good example of how the speaker sounds. When you hear the recording of my voice played back, that should give you an idea of how good the microphone is.

First is the Plantronics Calisto.

calisto_p825

Next is the Jabra Speak 510

accessories-4730b-450x350

And finally the Sennheiser SP20.

Sennheiser SP 20 ML

Sennheiser SP 20 ML

 

I won’t say which I liked better or worse. I don’t want to taint your opinion. Also keep in mind that sound quality is a very important factor when selecting a speaker phone but it isn’t necessarily the most important.

  • Some of these support Bluetooth,
  • Some have a built in battery
  • One has a portable microphone
  • One has a jack to to play music off your phone with
  • Plus other unique features

 

1 comment

  1. Jeff Schertz

    I've performed some of the same tests, but in live Lync calls and noticed similar difference between these products.  The one thing I'll add is that the playback you hear is a result of the device's own microphone. I found that two of these units differ in that one has a superior microphone while the other's speaker is better.  So with Unit ‘A’ I sound excellent to the other person but they do not sound as good to me, and vice versus with Unit ‘B’. I actually had the best personal experience by using two devices and configuring one as the speaker and the other as the Mic, but that was silly.  Today I use a USB speakerphone that beats all of these in both recording and playback audio quality, but unfortunately it was never actually released as a product. 🙁

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