Gadgets plantronics_calisto_620

Published on December 21st, 2012 | by Greg


Plantronics Calisto 620: Nifty Bluetooth Speakerphone

We live in a connected world, that still can feel a bit disconnected at times. For parents who want to stop having separate conversations with the kids, or business partners who want to put the phone down and be able to talk freely while focused, a speakerphone can be the best way to keep in touch without having to hold the phone up or try to share it. Of course, most smartphones offer built-in speakerphone capability, but it’s rarely pleasant and always obvious to the other side of the call.

The Plantronics Calisto 620 is a definite improvement over many speakerphone options, including the one built into your phone. Battery powered and very portable, it’s cute, comes with a nice carrying case, and even includes a Bluetooth connection dongle in the box, so you don’t need to worry about fussing with your laptop or desktop configuration.

What we liked best about the unit were the convenient and obvious buttons. Using them is a bit audible to the other end, but all of the functions are present and readily adjustable. Unlike some systems, this one can cover a mid-sized room and offers a 360-degree, full-duplex, multi-microphone solution. Compatible with both PCs and Macs as well as smartphones, setup was a piece of cake, and there is a small utility installed that lets you see the battery life of the unit. There are indicators on the speakerphone itself, as well, and the rated life is seven hours, or five days on standby. We experienced no dropouts or issues, and A2DP works well for music but the unit isn’t exactly loud or audiophile-quality.

The only reservations we had were on audio quality- it rated well, but still had a bit of a tinny echo to it, on both sides. We tried both single and multi-person calls, and it handled voices from different directions well, better than many competitors. But those on the other end found it a little compressed sounding. Background noises did some muted, though, which is great. And the price is certainly right: $115 is a decent deal for a speakerphone that comes complete with a Bluetooth connection dongle and a two year warranty.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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