Polycom Communicator

Polycom Communicator
  • Polycom Communicator
  • Polycom Communicator
  • Polycom Communicator
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Sound and Clarity, Buttons, Wind-Up USB Cable Storage, Headphone Jack

Cons

  • Price, Installation Process

Bottom Line

If you need a VoIP speakerphone, this is an excellent choice.

Would you buy this?

The Polycom Communicator is a convenient VoIP speakerphone built specifically for Skype which provides full-duplex, two way telephone conversations via the Internet. While the design and performance are of a high calibre, it still barely justifies its hefty price tag.

The Communicator features an intelligent design that includes a fold out stand for optimum voice positioning. This stand doubles as a USB cable cover for storage. When opened, the rear of the Communicator is a handy wind up storage compartment for the USB cable. Of course, it's not as good as being wireless but this design adds a nice touch of convenience to the unit. A USB connection means the Communicator doesn't require any batteries or additional power sources to operate.

Unlike the NetComm V35 Portable USB Speaker Phone For VoIP, the Polycom Communicator has a number of buttons on the front of its casing including the Volume Up/Down, Mute, Skype launch and a Call key. The buttons are in the centre of the unit and are surrounded by a glowing LED ring which glows bright green when you are in the middle of a call. The buttons on the Communicator work in tandem with Skype which means you'll have to install the included drivers and software before you begin. Setting up the Polycom Communicator isn't as quick as we would have liked. New users are required to download software from a link provided on the installation disk and installation takes a few minutes.

The Polycom Communicator produces clear and crisp conversations with a minimum of echo, distortion and feedback. We were pleasantly surprised by its performance during testing and it can even be used as a speaker for other applications, such as music and games. We wouldn't recommend the latter if you want optimal sound quality (of course, nothing beats a good set of PC speakers), but it did perform better than we expected considering its prime use is a handsfree speakerphone. If you want privacy during calls, the Communicator also features a built-in stereo headset port.

Quality of service depends on a number of factors including your Internet connection and your PC's audio capabilities, but we were impressed with the Communicator. Our calls were as clear as a regular landline phone and our callers were unaware we were using VoIP. The Communicator includes 30 free minutes of SkypeOut calls and free Skype Voicemail for one month, as well as a carry case which makes it ideal for travelling.

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