Plantronics releases Blackwire 700 headset, Calisto 620 speakerphone

Audio technology vendor targets businesses with Bluetooth enabled audio offerings
Plantronics' Blackwire 700 headset series headset

Plantronics' Blackwire 700 headset series headset

Plantronics is aiming to improve communication in noisy open office environments with a pair of Bluetooth enabled audio products.

For people who require a USB headset, Plantronics has the Blackwire 700 series, where the 710 model is mono and the 720 is stereo.

Plantronics A/NZ country manager, Graeme Gherbaz, says the Blackwire 700 series is the company’s “premium offering.”

“Different businesses have different budgets, so we have a ‘good, better, best’ approach to our product lines,” he said.

In addition to USB connectivity, the Blackwire 700 series comes with Bluetooth connectivity.

“In the enterprise, 50 per cent of calls still come in on mobile phones,” Gherbaz said.

“We give people the option to use both.”

If someone gets a personal call on their Bluetooth mobile, the headset can be disconnected from the USB cable for 10 hours of wireless talk time.

The Blackwire 700 series comes in both Microsoft Lync and regular editions.

“Microsoft has specifications about how Lync works, so there is an optimised version of the headset for Microsoft customers and the generic for others,” Gherbaz said.

In case someone wants to use the Lync enabled headset with other software, Plantronics’ Spokes software provides all of the connectivity needed to the devices.

Gherbaz says the difference between the two editions is not on the hardware level but on the firmware one.

“In almost all of Plantronics’ products, there are Microsoft Lync optimised and generic versions,” he said.

Plantronics’ Calisto 620 will turn a smartphone, tablet or PC into a conference phone either via Bluetooth or USB.

In addition to supporting Bluetooth enabled devices, the speakerphone comes with its own pre-paired dongle for USB connectivity.

“The speakerphone is multi-point, so can connect to a phone and PC at the same time,” Gherbaz said.

“No matter what device you have connected, you’ll get audible ringing.”

The Calisto 620 has seven hours talk time and comes fitted with multiple microphones, so in a meeting room environment it will pick up the voice of the person speaking and it will concentrate on that.

“People shuffling papers and doing something else on the sides do not get picked up,” Gherbaz said.

The Blackwire 710 (monaural) and 720 (stereo) are available for $169 and $195 respectively, while the Calisto 620 goes for $195.

Both products are available now.