Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
| VoIP & Gadgets blog - Latest news in VoIP & gadgets, wireless, mobile phones, reviews, & opinions


Callpod Drone VoIP Bluetooth Headset

November 14, 2008

Callpod's new Drone USB Bluetooth adapter turns your mobile phone's Bluetooth headset into a headset/mic for your PC or Mac allowing you to receive Skype or other VoIP calls using your high-end Bluetooth headset (Plantronics, Jawbone, etc.). Just connect the Drone into the USB port of your computer, and it will immediately connect with your Bluetooth headset or headphones to provide streaming music and voice over a 100 meter (328ft) range. When a Skype call comes in, Drone switches over to the call automatically. It supports the A2DP (Stereo) Bluetooth profile.

Of course, many PCs and laptops come with Bluetooth built-in, making this device unnecessary.

Ultimate Ears -- Very Sweet ...

October 10, 2008

Talk about a sweet sounding and feeling headset!  

Ultimate Ears' Super.Fi 4vi is designed for the iPhone and features voice integration with in-line microphone and control button.

(But it still worked great on other phones -- like the BlackBerry Curve.)

The 4vi incorporates the same speaker technology and sound signatures used in their custom personal monitors, which are used by some of the music industry's top artists.  The phones deliver detailed bass with crisp and clean mids and highs. In addition, the noise isolating design reduces ambient interference and enhances sound quality.

The ultra compact and lightweight housing gives a very comfortable fit, while an inline control button allows you to answer and end phone calls and control music and video playback functions.

Oh, and did I mention you hardly know you have them on?

Price: $149.99

Trade in your Headphones cash back offer

June 26, 2008

 Time to upgrade your headphones or ear buds for some high-quality iPod music listening? Not to mention some high-quality VoIPing, Skyping, etc. etc. Well, why not get cash back for your headphones to offset the costs of a new one?

New Jawbone headset is sexy

May 15, 2008

The new Jawbone, made by Aliph, is 50% smaller than the original Jawbone. This Gen 2 Jawbone Bluetooth headset enhances the original Jawbone's claim-to-fame capability - namely its superb ability to suppress background noise.

Here's some more pics of this sexy Bluetooth headset:

The noise reduction feature was originally called "Noise Shield" but is now called "NoiseAssassin". Jawbone's NoiseAssassin technology feels your speech with its patented Voice Activity Sensor (VAS). The Jawbone headset uses the VAS to distinguish the sound of your voice from ambient noise with incredible accuracy and then uses proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms to subtract the noise so only the sound of your voice comes through.

The NoiseAssassin technology was originally developed by Aliph for DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which creates and delivers breakthrough technology for the U.S.

Plantronics SupraPlus HW251N-USB Wideband Headset

April 11, 2008

Rich and I reviewed the Plantronics SupraPlus HW251N-USB Wideband headset, featuring wideband codec support for use in VoIP applications such as Skype and Microsoft Office Communicator. Rich actually got two pre-production models and was kind enough to give me one of the SupraPlus headsets. Actually, he wanted me to be his guinea pig to test the audio quality since I get to hear and review quite a few VoIP products.

We tested the monaural style Plantronics SupraPlus HW251N-USB using both Skype and Microsoft Office Communicator. The audio quality was quite good.

Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth

April 1, 2008

Say hello to the new Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth Earpiece Collection! According to Plantronics, the Plantronics Discovery 925 "blends Distinctive VFrame™ Design with award-winning audio technology for the ultimate in Bluetooth performance."

Plantronics, Inc. today unveiled the Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth earpiece collection, a signature line of designer headsets for both men and women. Delivering exceptional audio performance, complemented by bold lines and distinctive finishes, the Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth earpiece represents a technical craftsmanship previously unseen in the mobile accessories category.

The revolutionary design of the Plantronics’ Discovery 925 Bluetooth earpiece provides outstanding incoming and outgoing audio clarity in any environment. Central to its performance is the unique VFrame™ design, structured to follow the contours of the face and draw the microphone closer to the mouth for a headset that is as much objet d’art as it is audio ingenuity.

Trade your Bluetooth Headset for a Jawbone

January 7, 2008

Just got an email that Jawbone is offering their Jawbone Bluetooth headset in exchange for your current Bluetooth headset. The deal is you visit their booth at CES, give up your old BT headset, Jawbone will smash the competing BT headset into tiny little pieces (for recycling purposes of course) and they'll hand you a brand spankin' new Jawbone. A brand new Jawbone in exchange for my current old Bluetooth headset? Wow!

Windows Vista USB Audio Driver Problem Fixed

May 17, 2007

Windows Vista Ultimate Edition is my latest desktop machine at work and some USB audio devices have given me nothing but problems. While most USB audio devices have installed just fine, since they use the standard Microsoft USB audio class, some devices, such as a Jabra Netcom 9350 wouldn't install correctly. Apparently Vista does mandatory DRM checking for USB Audio Devices. I've heard of many users complaining that their Bluetooth headsets no longer work once they upgraded to Vista due to this new DRM protection.

Plantronics .Audio <strike>910</strike> 920 headset

March 6, 2007

The Plantronics .Audio 910 (replaced by the new 920) Bluetooth VoIP headset was recently released. It works with Skype and other VoIP softphones, so I'll have to get my hands on one to review. Looking at the Plantronics .Audio 910/920 features, it looks very similar to the Plantronics 510-USB headset I reviewed. Just look at the product photos to the right, including one from my Plantronics 510-USB review.

Accutone USB500 Skype Ready VoIP Headset

February 16, 2007

I just discovered an interesting new USB headset specifically designed for Skype called the Accutone USB500. On the headset's USB cord it has an in-line controller that lets you dial Skype, page up/down through Skype contacts, adjust the volume, popup the Skype client, mute Skype, and hang-up Skype - all without touching the keyboard!

It's also a stereo headset with good-sized 40mm speakers, perfect not just for Skype, but gaming with lots of bass as well.

It has an MSRP of $56.00

Here's a closer product shot:

Here are the features:

• Comfortable leatherette ear cushions
• Noise canceling microphone with built-in wind screen
• Digital stereo sound with high fidelity 40mm speakers
• Echo Cancellation & Digital Signaling Technology
• Exclusive compact Skype in-line digital control unit
   Activates Skype features without touching the keyboard
   Digital volume and muting controls
   Answer incoming calls
   Disconnect call upon completion
• Digital volume and muting controls
• Online and muting status LED indication
• Comes in black or PC blue
• Acoustic shock protection circuitry
• Accutone Sound Experience & Skypemate software
• USB plug-&-play, Windows & MAC compatible
• Single-side cord for a tangle free binaural headset

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