- Bluetooth speakerphone, has all the functions of a Bluetooth headset, 20 hour battery life
- Too large to be portable, not well designed, poor microphone implementation
We have taken quite a liking to Jabra products in the past, but this particular unit comes up lacking in many respects
Price$ 165.00 (AUD)
Jabra traditionally make Bluetooth headsets, so were intrigued when we heard about the SP500 - essentially a Bluetooth speakerphone for your mobile - and expecting big things.
In our testing of Bluetooth headsets, we have found a number of problems. They can be too large or too small, too loud or not loud enough and almost without exception, many of them are uncomfortable to wear and often attract strange stares from passers-by. While the SP500 won't actually solve any of those problems, it does free you up from wearing a headset, as its designed to sit on a desk or be placed in a car, rather than behind your ear.
For use in an office, the SP500 can be placed on a desk, much like a speakerphone. For car use, there are two mounting options - a suction cup for the windscreen, or a clip for the visor. While the clip worked well enough on our visors, we would recommend the suction cup, as a device this heavy falling of the visor will manage to give you a hefty knock on the head if it falls.
While Jabra has impressed us in the past with the stylish JX10, the SP500 isn't the most appealing piece of hardware we've seen. First off, it's quite large and a protruding boom mic doesn't help. This limits the portability of the unit, as you won't be able to carry it around with you comfortably. Secondly, it lacks the usual slick design of other Jabra products we have reviewed in the past.
We paired the SP500 with our Nokia 6230 for our testing. What we liked most about the SP500 is that in terms of operations, it possesses exactly the same functions as a Bluetooth headset. We were expecting many features to be missing, but the SP500 supports voice dialing, last number redial, muting calls, swapping calls and rejecting calls.
As with most Bluetooth devices, there is one main Call button which performs most of the functions of the SP500, such as answering, ending or rejecting calls. A volume dial and mute button are one side, while the pairing button and power input are on the top.
Interestingly, the SP500 uses two inbuilt rechargeable batteries. This allows it to have 20 hours of battery life and usefully, it can be charged from a wall socket or in your car. The device can also be used while it's being charged, meaning Jabra has really put some thought into ensuring you can get the most out of the unit.
In terms of sound quality, we found this unit suffered from the same constraints as most other headsets. On some calls, the quality was excellent, but other callers noticed a slight echo. We also found that the microphone didn't pick up sound from more than a few metres away which limits its use as a speakerphone. In fact, we didn't much like the microphone at all and real issues with. Not only does it look odd, but it doesn't function well either, and if you had plans of using the SP500 as a speakerphone, we found you had to turn it so the mic is facing you if you want to speak. Not particularly practical.
According to the manual, the SP500 can be placed into 'Office' mode, but we couldn't discern a major difference in terms of the quality. While perhaps those who would prefer not to use Bluetooth headsets may pick up one of these units, we can't really see a large market out there for a product such as this, especially as most mobiles now ship with in-built speakerphones as standard.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Google wants to solve the Android update problem once and for all with Project Treble
- Intel concerned about name of John McAfee’s privacy phone
- Low-cost Android phones to get iPhone features with new Qualcomm chips
- Qualcomm's Quick Charge 4 is coming in phones midyear
- Apple's next iPhones may cut corners on memory due to price squeeze
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTLead Drupal DeveloperQLD
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTSales Client Services Manager (Mid-market)QLD
- CCBusiness Process AnalystNSW
- CCManaging Architect - Satellite - TelcoVIC
- FTSolution Architect - Datacentre / StorageVIC
- TPICT Customer Support OfficerNSW
- FTTechnical Solution ArchitectSA
- FTDigital Developer | LAMP Stack | Digital AgencyNSW
- TPICT Customer Support OfficerNSW
- CCJava Developer / System Designer - Aus Citizens OnlyWA
- CCFront End DeveloperQLD
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- CCMDM DesignerVIC
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Activations Performance Analyst | $700pdVIC
- FTApplications Project ManagerQLD
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- CCGraduate DeveloperQLD
- FTBI and Report DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelNSW
- FTLooking for Software TestersACT
- CCChange ManagerWA