Every Friday afternoon for many years we’ve called up our colleagues at Yankee for a weekly review. We’ve experimented with various technologies for this call, from regular old telephones to our own VOIP system to Skype, using USB headsets and internal computer microphones.
Since we moved to the Reinventorium earlier this year two important things have changed: Johnny and I are now in the same office, making talking on headsets from our respective computers results in a confusing melee of feedback and echo; and we’re outside the Internet from our dedicated VOIP server, exposing our VOIP traffic to the vagaries of the network (rather than the vagaries of a single Ethernet cable up to the server).
The combination has a resulted, we have reports from Dublin HQ, in conference calls that, on their end, sound muffled and confusing. Not the best setup for getting business done.
So I committed to solving the problem, and test number one is a Jabra Speak 410 USB speakerphone, purchased on eBay for $95. It arrived yesterday. I did a simple test this morning, using the SoundCloud Mac App to record the same passage — the first paragraph or so of the Gettysburg Address on the Jabra 410, with my old and battered Nexxtech USB headset and with the internal microphone in my MacBook Air. Here are the results: