Published on December 21st, 2012 | by Greg0
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.