I was lucky (and fast… and skilled…) enough to claim a Jabra Speak 410 Speakerphone as my AzureCon challenge bounty. There were some challenges related to shipping and all the prizes got dispatched pretty late, but Microsoft resolved the impediments and was very communicative throughout the shipping process and my unit arrived today so no rants from me on this. My only concern is that I had to pay a USD 40 duty on the import about which I am not sure whether I was liable to or whether it could have been avoided. Anyways..
What is This Stuff?
I am not new to Jabra device family, I already own a Jabra UC MS device which I use daily with my phone and laptop and I love it for its utility, quality and ease of use. I think Jabra has the best family of products for the IT folks. Talking about Jabra Speak 410, simply put, this device is a UFO like speakerphone (an add-on to your device microphone and speakers) that can be connected via a USB cable or a 3.5 mm headset jack. It is quite portable and compact (size of a CD\DVD) and due to some diligence applied during the designing of this product, the connecting cable wraps around the device itself and need not be carried separately. My unit has Microsoft Azure branded on it, so I can show off my love for the technology :)
There is no installation necessary to make it work, just plug the USB cable in your laptop and you are set. By default it sets itself up as the default communication device, you can make it your primary speaker from the audio settings to make all sounds play through it.
- My DHL packet containing my device. The duty receipt came along!
- Inside the outer carton!
- The paperwork!
- The Goodness!!
There are five touch points on the panel, two for volume control, one to mute the sound and a call accept and reject button. The console is very responsive to touch and responds to commands with a reassuring click sound. There is no built-in battery as it requires a constant power supply through the provided USB connector. Sound quality is great for both microphone (as told by others) and speaker. You can make the conversation private by plugging in your headphone to its 3.5 mm headphone jack while still using its microphone.
Do You Absolutely Need It?
If the sound quality of your laptop is average and you are mulling over buying an (bit expensive) add on speakerphone, then yes, you should consider investing in this device. Jabra speakerphone will also prove to be useful if your team huddles around your system to join a standup call or a meeting as the sound is pretty loud. I personally prefer to keep my conversations to myself and have a laptop with decent sound quality, so I will keep it in my bag just to flaunt it!!
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