VXi ConneXt – Review

By Danny Hayasaka

February 26, 2014

Received my VXi ConneXt Deskphone/PC Switch

In the Box: ConneXt switch box, Phone to ConneXt cable, ConneXt to USB cable, QD cable (VXi, Plantronics and Jabra QD variants available), Headset Stand, User Guide, Warranty Info card

Set Up: Easy. Attach headset stand to the base. Connect QD coil cord to the base and run along the cord management system on the underside of base. Connect base to phone patch cable. Connect the USB cable to base.

There are A, B and C switch settings on side of ConneXt depending on the phone you are connecting to. “A” switch setting is the most common (Polycom, ShoreTel, Panasonic, and others). “B” for Cisco 6900, 7900, 8900 and 9900 Series and “C” for Avaya 1600, 9600 and 96×1 Series.

Additionally, there is a built-in microphone boost. There are 8 settings (1-8). Position #1 (default) is when no additional boost is needed. Position #8 is for maximum microphone boost.


I have no desk phone so I was only able to connect to my PC with Microsoft Lync. Lync recognized the device as VXi 2-Wary Switch V1.0

If I was connected to the desk phone, I would use the toggle switch on ConneXt to switch back and forth between desk phone and PC.

Making calls. I used my Microsoft Lync client to make calls. The audio quality was really good on my end. There was a delay in “answering” a Lync call however after I went into Control Panel à Sound and made VXi 2-Way Switch default, there was no delay.

VXi VoxStar UC Review

By Danny Hayasaka

December 17, 2013 – January 14, 2014

Received the new VXi VoxStar UC Bluetooth Headset and USB Dongle

In The Box: VoxStar Bluetooth headset, USB Bluetooth Dongle, ear hook, ear cushions and rings, headband, neckband, USB to micro USB cable, AC power adapter with USB port, VXi VoxStar UC Quick Start Guide

Set Up: Charging is simple. Connect micro USB connection to back of VoxStar headset. Connect USB plug to AC Power Adapter or to USB port on PC. Headset charging, the LED will illuminate red and blue when fully charged.

To turn headset on, hold multi-function button (MFB) for 2-3 seconds, if you are wearing headset, headset will state, “Power On”. To power off, hold MFB for 3-4 seconds and you will hear, “Power off”.

When you first connect USB dongle to PC, a series of drivers install before device is ready for use. VoxStar automatically pairs to USB Dongle when VoxStar is turned on and USB dongle is connected to PC.

You can also go to www.vxicorp.com/usb for more info on configuring your specific operating system.

To pair headset to mobile device, from headset turned off, press and hold MFB for 5-15 second, it will state “Discovering”. Place your mobile device into Bluetooth pairing mode. Select VXi VoxStar as your device. Once connected/paired, it will state “Your headset is connected”.

You can make and take calls via Lync. The only negative is that you can NOT answer Lync calls remotely. However I hear VXi is “working on that”. Folks may overlook lack of remote answer capability once they realize how good the noise canceling mic is. I have three different comparable Lync optimized audio devices and the VXi VoxStar provides much better noise canceling mic ability.

Conclusion: VXi has produced a pretty great product. There are currently other Bluetooth headsets that allow you to pair to mobile and PC/Laptop via USB dongle however, the great noise canceling mic really takes this product to another level. Plus the three included wearing styles and multiple charging options are very nice features. I would definitely recommend this product to those in need of a Bluetooth with exceptional noise canceling mic.

Logitech banner

Logitech Speakerphone P710e Review

Received the New Logitech Mobile Speakerphone P710e – certified for Skype for Business

Set Up – With the Logitech P710e, setup is very easy, only one cable. USB cable attached to speakerphone and has cable management. There is also AC power adapter with the USB port so you can charge via standard wall outlet or power strip.

Use – the Logitech P710e Speakerphone is very simple to use. Here’s how:

Via PC: Connect the USB cable to PC it registers and sets it up as a device option via Skype for Business.

Once Logitech P710e is selected, I can make calls via Skype either by clicking to call or dialing like I normally would. If I get a call, I can click on accept call or I can simply touch the green handset icon on P710e to answer. The P710e rings when you have an incoming call. You can increase and decrease the speaker volume. There is also mute feature available at your fingertips.

Via Mobile Device (Smartphone/Tablet): The Logitech P710e allows you to pair via Bluetooth and/or NFC (Near Field Communication). To access Bluetooth, simply press and hold Bluetooth button until the unit is in pair mode. Go to your mobile device Bluetooth menu and select the Logitech Speakerphone:

If you have NFC enabled device, simply tap a mobile device to NFC icon on P170e. Your device will ask if you would like to pair to Logitech Speakerphone.

Another cool feature of the Logitech Mobile Speakerphone P710e is the sliding top that allows you to sit your mobile device for better experience. It’s great for video calls (seated vertically) as well as for watching videos (seated horizontally).

Other features of the Logitech Mobile Speakerphone P710e:

  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for enterprise-quality audio
    • Advanced DSP technology enables precise tuning for both the mic and speaker so conversations are more life-like.
  • Wideband audio
    • Hear and be heard in true wideband audio, so those on both sides of the call can enjoy a life-like communication experience.
  • Optimized for Cisco® compatible** and certified for Skype® and Skype for Business
    • Ensures enterprise-quality audio and an integrated experience with most all business-grade UC platforms.
  • Dynamic Equalizer
    • Automatically switches between voice and music modes, delivering the best sound quality and EQ for what the user is listening to.
  • Headphone jack
    • Plug a headphone directly into the Logitech Mobile Speakerphone P710e when additional privacy is desired.
  • Acoustic echo cancelation and noise-canceling microphone
    • Optimized to hear and be heard even in noisy workspaces, this is a mobile speakerphone users love to use.
  • Visual incoming call indicator
    • Onboard LEDs flash to provide a visual alert when a call is coming in.
  • Zippered neoprene carrying case
    • Protect the speakerphone in style with the zippered neoprene carrying case.

Great features but how does it sound? I have been using for close to a month now for quick calls as well as long conference calls. I haven’t had anyone complain about audio quality yet via Skype calls.

When it comes to mobile device calls, the audio quality is good, however not as good as Skype calls. Of course, I’m also at the mercy of our weak Wi-Fi signal. So I’m certain that plays a factor. I used for Facetime call and I could see and hear very well. It’s also a good speaker to listen to streaming music from your mobile device.

I believe Logitech has a winner with this device. As the business world turns to more and more web-based and mobile applications for communications and collaboration, the Logitech Mobile Speakerphone P710e is a great device, especially when paired with a Logitech webcam like the C930e or Brio 4K Pro Webcam.


Plantronics Blackwire C325-M

Plantronics Blackwire C325-M Review

Unboxing: The new Plantronics Blackwire 300 Series. Plantronics will sell these in bulk via the case. Call One, however, will break cases and sell as 1ea. Blackwire 300 Series come packaged in bubble wrap, well at least headset portion. USB cable/inline control are wrapped in a plastic baggie. This Blackwire C325-M included is Quick Start Guide and pretty nice, mesh-like storage bag with zipper.

Plantronics Blackwire C325-M


Headset: I am evaluating the dual ear Plantronics Blackwire C325-M model optimized for Microsoft Lync. Looks just like the other 300 series except for two differences: leatherette ear cushions and foldable speakers that allow the headset to lay flat. The microphone boom is flexible however it does NOT have a 360-degree rotation.

Plantronics Blackwire C325-M

USB Inline Control: It’s standard inline control. Call Answer/Hang Up button, Volume Up/Down and Mute. Placement of inline is actually higher up/closer to the headset so it’s not down by my foot. It’s in a more accessible location/position. The answer/hang up button didn’t work. I can’t seem to answer or hang up using inline control. The Mute button works well.

Plantronics Blackwire C325-M



Comfort: It’s “ok”. The Plantronics Blackwire C325-M is not the most comfortable, however, not uncomfortable either. I headband does seem to feel like it’s digging into the top of my head.

Plantronics Blackwire C325-M

Set Up: USB headset, plugged it in and allowed drivers to be installed. It is Lync optimized so once the device was ready for use, it became an Audio Device option via Lync client.


It’s also detected via Plantronics software:

AudioQuality: It’s “ok”. Not spectacular but it works. I can hear and be heard. The person on the other side stated I sounded “muffled”. I’ll make a few more calls to identify if isolated or not. Other calls state I sound good and clear.

Summary: Not certain how this product is priced compared to existing Blackwire 300 Series however, I’m assuming it will be lower price point than Blackwire 500 and 700 Series. After just an hour of wear, I find myself wanting to take it off. The headband feels like its digging into my head. May I just have a pointy head. Also, it feels like it’s squeezing my head. I’m certain after a few days it will loosen up.

Logitech Wireless Headset Dual H820e – Review

May 7, 2013

Received the New Logitech Wireless Headset Dual H820e – Optimized for Microsoft Lync

Set Up – Very easy. Only two cables: power and USB cables – The “W” and “N” is Wideband and Narrowband switch.


Use – Very simple design. The base is heavy and solid feeling.

  • Answer/Hang Up Button on the back of microphone boom – When engaged in a call, back of boom lights up to indicate in use
  • Mute switch also on the boom. When depressed, small red light on tip of Mic boom lights up red. Not certain how useful that is since when you are wearing the headset, it’s tough to see the tip of the mic
  • Volume Up and Down is two separate buttons and are shaped differently to help you differentiate. Nice feature
  • Lync Optimized – Software/Drivers install automatically – and becomes selectable audio device option via your Lync client
  • Audio Quality – The audio quality is good. I experienced no major issues – you can hear me breathing as I was walking up/down stairs. Noise canceling is “ok” however anyone speaking in normal tone nearby can be heard.

Concerns –

  • Weight – as I mentioned, the base is heavier than most wireless. I’m concerned as to what that will do to shipping costs for larger deployments/orders
  • Service – We haven’t been selling Logitech products long and to date, I’m not fully versed in their service offering. Basically, what happens if the headset breaks within the first 30 days, 30+ days and after the warranty expires
  • Accessories – Not currently aware if there are available accessories, i.e. spare headset, spare ear cushions, ac adapter, USB cable
  • Battery Life – Again, new to wireless line of headsets, not certain how long a battery life when it comes to Talk Time as well as just how long before the battery will need to be replaced – which goes back to accessories – also, does H820e series have field replaceable batteries?
  • Only Headband Style Options – No Convertible Model
  • Only USB connectivity – No multi-connectivity variant/s


This is simple to set up and use headset. Because it connects only via USB, you’re limited to PC only applications. While more and more businesses are shifting to VoIP softphones or UC platforms, there are still plenty of hybrid platforms out there with a desk phone and PC based voice applications. (and let’s not forget the mobile space of laptops, tablets & smartphones. This is not a mobile employee (road warrior) solution as it requires AC power to operate.

The range was good, the audio quality good. Easy to use.

The challenge is Plantronics and Jabra have been out there promoting, pushing complete UC portfolios for many years now so unlike the first couple of years where Plantronics and Jabra were relatively unknown in the IT space, they are now the top two UC device players when it comes to headsets, especially wireless.

Because Logitech is bigger than both Jabra and Plantronics, you certainly cannot dismiss their attempt at entry into the headset world.


Review of Jabra Link 850

Review of Jabra Link 850

This is our review of the review of the  Jabra Link 850. The Link 850 is a new amplifier/switcher box that allows you to connect to a PC and Desk Phone. In our case we are connected to a Polycom CX600 phone plus our Microsoft Lync (Now Jabra Direct) client online.

What’s In the Box: Link 850, Jabra QD to Modular Lightweight Coil Cable, USB Cable, Telephone Interface Cable, Switch Cover with Screw, Secondary Locking Cover


Review of Jabra Link 850

Set Up: Set up was fairly simple following the included Quick Start Guide. I connected the USB cable my PC. Next I connected the QD cable and then the telephone interface cable to telephone. Because I will primarily be making Lync calls via my PC I switched the Telephone to PC switch to the PC icon. Not certain having the Telephone/PC switch on the underside of the Link 850 is the best placement. The switch should be on top where it can be easily accessed. The handset/headset switch is prominently located on the top portion of the Link 850.

Review of Jabra Link 850

Use: In our Review of Jabra Link 850 we made initial test call using a GN2025-NC headset. The sound quality on my end was really good. I had to decrease the volume which was simple via the large scroll volume control directly on top of base. Our voice platform is Microsoft Lync 100% of calls run through my PC. That meant there is no need to transfer between phone and PC. I like the large mute button. In call centers that is a “must have” feature. You can easily see if you are muted or not.

I have multiple Lync optimized devices connected to PC to include Polycom CX600, Jabra PRO 9470, Plantronics Calisto P830-M and Plantronics Savi 740-M. Although I selected Link 850 as audio device. When calls came in, they would route to the PRO 9470. If I made a call, it would go through the Link 850 & GN2025.

I watch multiple videos online. After going to control panel on PC and selecting the Link 850 as default audio device, PC audio from videos would automatically default to the Link 850/GN2025.

Audio Quality: The audio quality of receive and transmit were very good. I had no complaints in terms of my transmit volume or quality. The speaker/receive quality was really good. As I mentioned earlier, I had to initially turn down the volume.

Comments: I like the smaller form factor/footprint. I like the secondary headset port for training purposes. A concern some folks may have is that when using two headsets on Link 850, neither headset wearer can hear the other headset wearer. Both can hear the caller and the caller can hear both persons. Will the inline mute switch work in this scenario? Customers will ask. Will standard Training-Y cables work?

Call Center Agents with limited workstation space will appreciate this smaller Link 850. I didn’t really read the instructions (as most folks will not) so I don’t know what the other two switches do. There is a switch with an icon of a music note and “OFF”. There is another switch with what appears to be an icon of a head wearing headphones and “OFF”. Just by looking, I don’t what those switches do. For the music note I assumed “streaming music” but I’m not certain. Then there is the circular cover with the icons of a closed and open lock. I opened it to see what was under cover. Just by looking, Still not certain what the purpose is nor what the second circular cover is for.

I have access to USB ports however, there are call centers and companies that don’t give their employees access to USB ports due to security issues. That causes concern in reference to power. There is optional USB AC Adapter connection available.

Conclusion: I like the direction Jabra is headed in terms of reducing size of amp while adding more functionality capability. Removing battery cost factor is going to be a benefit to many organizations. Removing the need for AC power is also a benefit in organizations that don’t have AC outlets available. Of course regardless of what you do to an amplifier, the fact remains the audio quality must be on point and the Link 850 delivers with great audio quality in both receive and transmit. There are some concerns and issues that I would like to see ironed out before firm decision is made to replace GN8000 and GN8050-TCA. I don’t have any pricing so I couldn’t offer feedback in that regard.

Jabra PRO 930

Jabra PRO 930

Model: Jabra PRO 930 USB (930-65-503-105) Optimized for Microsoft Skype for Business

Jabra PRO 930

Set Up

Set up is fairly simple. There are only two cables to connect; the AC power to outlet or power strip and USB cable to PC or laptop USB port. Additionally, I have Jabra PC Suite installed (which is now Jabra Direct).


We have Microsoft Lync (now Microsoft Skype for Business) so the PRO 930 was recognized once connected to USB port and became one of my device choices (I also have PRO 9470, Savi 740 and CX600 connected to the same PC). I charged for about an hour before I began to use.

 Jabra PC Suite (Now Jabra Direct)

Wearing Styles

I wore the Jabra PRO 930 headband style. It’s comfortable. Pretty standard headband fit. Replaced to ear hook for today. Changing from headband to ear hook was fairly simple. Snap off the headband and snap on ear hook. I personally am not a fan of over-the-ear. So far it’s comfortable. I’ll see how it feels after a full day of wear. Changing wearing from right to left ear was also fairly easy. May want to consider including instructions on how to change ear hook from right to left ear. A first-time headset wearer may not know you can pull the ear hook off and I didn’t see anything in the hard copy Quick Start Guide.

Sound Quality

I have made and taken calls on the Jabra PRO 930. The speaker volume is good. You do have to remember where the “+” and “-“ keys are depending on whether you are wearing it on the right or left ear. If on right ear “+” is the top button. If on left, it’s the bottom button.  The transmission volume and sound is good. I did have one instance where I “cut out” for a brief moment. For now, we’re attributing that to the internet connection. It hasn’t happened since. The noise-canceling microphone is sufficient for my work environment. It suppresses background noise.


I don’t have exact range, however, I am able to roam around the entire 2nd floor of our office without losing the call or the sound quality degrading on the Jabra PRO 930. From my desk to the end of one corner of our building is about 60ft. It’s about 90ft-110ft to the other corner of our office.


It’s a clean design with a small footprint that doesn’t take up much desktop real estate. I have worn now for a few days both headband and over the ear style. Both styles are relatively comfortable but I prefer headband style and is comfortable and light enough to be worn for an 8hr work day. I’ve only had a few days so I can’t answer to durability but so far so good.


Overall the Jabra PRO 930 appears to be a very good product. It’s easy to set up, use and operate. It’s comfortable and light enough to be worn all day. The Jabra PRO 930 tested comes in at $285.00.

VXi V100 & L50 Handset

VXi V100 & L50 Handset

Packaging – For the VXi V100 & L50 Handset, I have a beta unit so I’m not certain if the actual production models will be packaged in plain white boxes however, in order to keep costs down, it may.

Included in the V100 box was the V100 base station, headset, ear hook, headband, neckband, telephone line splitter, base jack cable (mod to mod), tel wall jack cable (fat mod plugs), ac power supply and standard patch cable (mod to mod).

Included in the L50 box was the lifter, ring detector and anti slip pad.

Set Up – With the VXi V100 & L50 Handset, I normally don’t read through the instructions (I try and behave like the majority of typical customers) however all the various cables and unique design of the lifter had me scratching my head so I briefly skimmed through the instruction manuals.

Initially I tried to set up like all the other current wireless headsets on the market. The “base jack” cable did NOT work. I used the standard patch cable and also had to go through the switch settings and found that on our InterTel phones, Switch Settings B and D seem to work.

The L50 Lifter is very different when compared to the current handset lifters in the market. Instead of “lifting” the handset, it’s a plunger that presses the hookswitch button on the phone. There are a couple moving parts so it took some trials and adjusting to get it just right. I will say that it appears to work much faster than current lifters on the market.

Wearing Styles – When using the VXi V100 & L50 Handset, I personally prefer the neckband wearing style. The earpiece can be changed to be worn on the left or right ear. Not certain if the production model will be better built but after a few changes from the left to right, the earpiece no longer stays in place and pops right out.  It seems to have worn out the groove that holds it in place. The headband is fairly standard and works like it should, it’s easily adjusted for left or right ear wear. The earhook is okay however I’m not certain it will be for everyone since there is a non-removable tip that enters the ear. When I wore over the ear, it was comfortable at first however after a few hours the eartip portion began to cause some pain & discomfort.

Test Calls – A test call to an internal extension yielded the switch setting results of B and D. I made a call to an outside line to simple test if I could hear and be heard. I did make some adjustment to the mic volume via the controls on the base unit.

Range – I was able to go throughout the entire 2nd Floor of our building. I literally walked to each corner on the top floor and was still able to hear and be heard. I lost connection when I went into our Shipping Dept which is on the 1st floor of this building.

Normal Work Day Use – The battery life is sufficient to last the entire day. While I am away from desk, I do get an audible beeping when my phone rings and can answer remotely with no problems. The sound quality is good in both receive and transmit. I haven’t lost any calls and I can’t stress how “fast” the lifter answers and hangs up. It’s the fastest one I’ve used to date.

Final Thoughts – In terms of competing in the today’s marketplace, the VXi V100 & L50 Handset appears to be a direct competitor to the very popular Plantronics CS55. In a side by side comparison, the VXi V100 appears to be the better value/choice.

CS55 & HL10 V100 & L50
MSRP: $379.95 MSRP: $350.00
Operating Frequency: 1.9GHz DECT Operating Frequency: 1.9GHz DECT
Talk Time: Up to 10hrs Talk Time: Up to 10hrs
Standby Time: Up to 50hrs Standby Time: Up to 120hrs
Range: Up to 300ft Range: Up to 300ft
Wearing Styles: Over the ear, headband, (Optional neckband sold separately @ $19.95ea) Wearing Styles: Over the ear, headband & neckband all included
Conference Capability: none Conference Capability: Ability to conference two headsets on one base station