I was curious how the TL7610 headset would stack up against the GN 9350 headset, which I reviewed. Both are DECT 6.0 headsets, however, the GN 9350 headset doesn't seem capable of "pairing" with home DECT 6.0 phone systems, which was a minor complaint for some. The AT&T TL7610 headset on the other hand does allow you to at least wireless pair with any 2008 AT&T DECT 6.0 cordless products . Curious if it supported the GAP standard and registration with 3rd party DECT phone systems, I asked an AT&T spokesperson who responded, "The headsets are not GAP compliant. GAP compliance does not really exist in North America. We are simply able to program our handset registration algorithm into the cordless headsets, so our cordless telephones see it as an accessory headset." Well, 3rd party DECT phone systems aren't supported, but at least it can pair with AT&T DECT products.
Another unique advantage of this headset over competitors' headsets is that the TL7610 is the first headset to support both analog lines and desktop corded phones in the same product. Other headset manufacturers use a different model for PSTN connections and corded business systems. I really liked how flexible it is - it can work with a home analog line or a corporate desktop phone (including VoIP phones) using the handset cord. In fact, I first tested the headset by connecting it to an Aastra 57i CT IP telephone and it worked perfectly.
Installing the headset was a breeze and the instructions include a Quick Start Guide as well as a detailed User's Manual. You can configure the headset to work using three options. Option 1 lets you connect the headset base to a corded or cordless phone - including multi-handset cordless systems. All you need to use is a line splitter which is included with the phone and then follow the diagram in the manual which directs you to color-coded dots on the headset base, making it very easy to make the connections. Option 2 lets you connect the headset base unit directly to your home/office analog wall jack. You'll be able to answer calls with this option, but you'll need a telephone plugged into the same telephone line somewhere else in the house/office or a dial pad - AT&T sells the TL7601 dial pad separately. Option 3 lets you connect the headset base with any corded telephone for multiple line systems and PBXs/IP-PBXs.
I tested option 1 and option 3 and it worked flawlessly. Option 2 is essentially the same as option 1 minus the splitter, so there was no point in testing it. I really liked the diagrams and the color-coded dots on the headset base which "dummy proofed" connecting the headset using any of the three available options.
AT&T TL7610 Side Profile View
The TL6610 supports a "lifter mode" for use when you are connecting the base unit to a telephone handset cord (option 3). I had to turn this mode on in order to answer/make calls. This does obviously require me to manually lift the handset receiver off of the Aastra 57i CT. However AT&T sell an optional automatic handset lifter called the TL7000.
The headset was already paired to the base but just for testing I followed the instructions and re-paired the device pretty easily. I then roamed to the furthers part of TMC offices and couldn't get the headset to lose connection. I headed outside into the parking lot and was able to get pretty far before losing connection. Definitely superb range on this headset. The headset itself sports 4 buttons: On/off, volume up, volume down, and mute/flash. The on/off button flashes blue, reminding me of most Bluetooth headsets that have a flashing blue light. When charging, the on/off button stays a solid blue. Adjusting the volume on some competing headsets I've tried was a nightmare due to tiny recessed buttons - not so on the TL7610. It was very easy to adjust the volume using the pronounced up & down volume arrow buttons.
- Excellent range - up to 500 feet using DECT 6.0 technology
- Extended battery life of up to 12 hours talk time [Update: I'm now told its 5 days standby and up to 8 hours talk time]
- DSP enhanced sound quality using SRS licensed technology
- Lightweight with multiple wearing styles
- Works with corded and cordless 1-line and 2-line phones
- Works with multi-line business systems
- Expandable to 2 headsets (Uses TL7600 - sold separately)
- Conference capability - up to 2 headsets
- Multiple connection options for home and office use, including IP and digital PBX telephones
Wireless phone capabilities in the office helps improve business productivity in this age of multitasking. Like all DECT headsets I've reviewed, they are a bit larger and heavier than Bluetooth headsets, but the TL7610 is still fairly small and light for a DECT headset. Business executives will surely like the aesthetics of the sleek looking headset base and headset piece, which will fashion their desk. I really like the AT&T TL7610 headset. It was pretty comfortable, had excellent range, and very good battery life. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Relatedly, I look forward to checking out AT&T's TL7650 which adds a USB connection to a PC so you can use it with VoIP applications such as Skype. It's not available yet, but will be soon and I promise to review it as soon as I can get my hands on one.
Pricing for the TL7610: MSRP: $199.95 though this headset can be purchased online for much less.
You can buy the TL7610 headset through www.telephones.att.com, select Best Buy locations, Office Max, and Amazon via this link where I see it available inexpensively for $129.99.