First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
NetComm V35 Portable USB Speaker Phone For VoIP
- Design, Doesn’t require drivers, Works with any VoIP application
- Volume and Voice Levels, Expensive
If you specifically need a speakerphone for VoIP capabilities, the V35 should fit the bill. At this price though, we were expecting better audio and microphone quality.
Price$ 128.70 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 3 stores)
Looking like something out of the latest Star Wars film, the NetComm V35 Portable USB VoIP Speakerphone is a pretty attractive device. A perfect companion to the Apple iMac G5 (20-inch), the V35's minimalist design is complemented by its performance and ease of use.
Finished in an all white plastic with a clear blue centre that houses a mono speaker, the V35 does look attractive even if its doughnut shape is a little odd. The V35 is extremely simple to set up and perhaps the most user friendly piece of computer hardware we've reviewed in quite some time - just plug it in and away you go. The unit doesn't require any drivers, so this means it will work with all operating systems, including Mac OS X. The V35 is powered by your computer's USB so there's no need for a seperate power connection.
The V35 operates by plugging into your computer's speaker and microphone jacks. This sounds fine but has one disadvantage in that it becomes your computer's main audio source - as if it were a set of speakers. This means you won't be able to listen to music and have the V35 plugged in at the same time.
Continuing the trend of simplicity is the features list; a mute button (that conveniently glows orange when activated and green when deactivated), a volume slider and extra speaker and microphone jack ports are all you'll find on the unit. A minor complaint we have is with the cords; rather than protrude from the back of the V35, they are mounted to the front, meaning it is hard to sit the unit facing towards you on your desk.
We tested the V35 with Skype, but it is compatible with any software application that uses a microphone and headphone. Our major complaint is with the audio levels; even at full volume the V35 lacks a significant punch and you'll need to make sure that your environment is noise free for it to be effective. Considering it's a speakerphone this is a pretty big factor. The inbuilt microphone worked well when we were close to the unit, but it suffered as we moved further away. During testing we were only able to sit about two metres away from the V35; anything further and the unit didn't clearly pick up our voice.
Commanding an RRP of $129, the V35 is a hefty investment to make for such a basic piece of hardware. It's not a bad product by any means, but at this price we were expecting significantly better quality.
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