There is a lot of competition in the small speaker phone range these days. Initially it was all about size and audio quality, but today we find that new features, extending use cases as well as aesthetics, is what driving popularity of these little gems.
The Jabra Speak 710 is no exception. The usual default expectations are that its light weight, portable and just works. Aesthetically the Jabra Speak 510 (the 710’s predecessor) has always been appealing. It would be challenging to improve on this, however Jabra have done well in adding a mixture of metal to the plastic housing improving its appeal. More importantly, I think (IMHO) that the metal covered speaker has reduced the likelihood of audio vibration\distortion you might expect with an all plastic unit.
The arrangement of function buttons and status\indicator LED’s in a circular pattern around the unit perimeter has always caught my eye.
Simply a beautiful design.
My favorite features include:-
- The combined metal\plastic finish, both beautiful and solid
- The kick stand that tucks away very well (also metal improving robustness)
- Dedicated Bluetooth Dongle slot below the unit (this was my biggest concern – I have lost a few of these little suckers in the past)
- Its the only Touch-based control interface (no physical buttons) in this range and also boasts backlit buttons which are auto dimming when in use
- Smart Button to activate my mobile phone voice assistant (Compatible with Siri, Cortana and Google Now)
- A new link button allowing you to pair two units together via Bluetooth to create larger coverage and a much richer audio experience, and yes its stereo.
- I like how the USB cable wraps around the unit, out of the way, neat and tidy. Hate looking for bits when getting setup
- Connect via Bluetooth or USB (great when power is low on the unit)
- Bluetooth will connect to two devices simultaneously (in my case, my iPhone and PC)
- I like how the device announces that its connected (and connects automatically when I plug the dongle in to my PC – no guessing if its connected or not). That said, I’d like to see controls where this can be turned off
- Ridiculous Bluetooth range, my test was a tad further than the Jabra stated 30 meters. Only started glitching at about 34 meters
- Superior sound quality! Not only is it very noticeably better than the 510, but I found it to be better than both the Plantronics and Sennheiser equivalents (and that’s before pairing two together)
- Good for listening to music, again two paired units took this to a whole new level
- When listening to music and a call comes in, music is automatically paused. Also resumes automatically when the call completes
- 12 person Con call by pairing two 710s or 6 with a single unit
- Microphone quality is noticeably improved from the days of the 510 (arguably the best in this range of small form factor devices
- The output base is slightly low when listening to music
- Cost, at around NZ$518 its not cheap, that’s almost twice the price of the 510 at NZ$273, considering the improved quality its still well worth the purchase
- No 3.5mm jack (for those days when Bluetooth just isn’t playing nice). This feature was present in the 510 but has been dropped
- USB Cable is attached to device (same as the 510),this increases the risk of cable damage with movement. Would love to see a detachable cable
What got my attention was the ability to daisy chain the Jabra Speak 710’s. Typically device daisy chaining is by means of cables, although that’s considered more reliable, its untidy and makes the hardware look like a last minute slap together. The Jabra Speak 710 however has that elegant boardroom device look and feel. Dare I say, it looks expensive.
Overall, this is an outstanding device and I believe that its become a real contender to the “Spider” conference phone ranges. A new baseline has been set, well done Jabra!