I recently became fortunate enough to gain possession of a good variety of Plantronics devices to showcase at a presentation I'll be doing on Lync. I have the Calisto 540 desk phone, the Calisto 420 speakerphone, the Voyager PRO UC, the Savi 430 and the Blackwire 420. The one thing all these devices have in common is they are all optimized for Communicator/Lync.
A few quick notes on each device:
- The Blackwire 420 is a very comfortable, nice-sounding binaural USB-corded headset with integrated volume, mute and call pickup/hangup buttons. It folds flat into a little carrying case, making it ideal for travel. This replaces my old Plantronics one-ear headset, which didn't really travel all that well.
- the Calisto 420 speakerphone really just a speaker with 360-degree microphone that will fit in your hand. Its perfect for ad-hoc conference calls and is fairly portable.
- The Voyager PRO UC is replacing my BlueAnt. It fits over-the-ear, connects to my mobile phone and my PC at the same time, has great wideband audio quality for Lync calls and is super-comfortable to wear (and doesn't fall out of my good-for-nothing ears). As for how it deals with extraneous noise, like wind on the hammock, I can't tell yet. It's November, and definitely not hammock weather in these parts. My only wish is that it were DECT 6.0 so I could wander far away from my PC, as I tend to do while on long conference calls. It charges via a USB cable only, so while its not great if you're in the office, its fine if you're on the road....which this is meant for.
- The Savi 430 has the same form-factor as the Voyager PRO UC, but it doesn't do Bluetooth. It does have DECT 6.0 for my wanderings and a nice desk charger, just like the Savi Office. Now if I could take the DECT 6.0 and the desk charger option of this headset and the Bluetooth capabilities of the Voyager PRO UC and mash them together, then that product would be the absolute perfect headset for all my needs.
- Last but definitely not least is the Calisto 540 desk phone. It's a perfect, inexpensive deskphone for people who still want a standard phone experience. It connects via USB to your computer and is driven by Lync (it won't work on its own like other more expensive phones). You can use it like a regular deskphone, or you can use Lync to dial, answer, hang up etc. This phone has the capability to really make a strong showing in the corporate world. It's simple, inexpensive, doesn't require its own power supply or network connection, and still provides users with a rich Lync experience.
Plantronics really has done a great job with their Optimized for Lync line of products. In my opinion, they are the ones to beat in this segment of the market. Whether or not you choose Plantronics devices for your company or yourself, I believe that any device you pick should have the Optimized for Lync logo on it. Doing so might cost you more than your typical $20 POS, but in the long run it will pay for itself in ease-of-use, better performance, reduced helpdesk calls, and lower frustration levels.
In case of lawyers, please note that the opinions presented here are mine alone and are not representative of my employer or any other vendor, Plantronics included.