Device Review: Jabra UC Motion and Speak 510 MS

In my previous post I talked about the new offerings from Plantronics. Well it wasn't long before Jabra sent me their latest and greatest with the UC Motion and Speak 510. Between the two different offerings from each vendor there are some differences and depending on what you want I am sure there is a solution available for what you need. I am not going to compare the sets of devices from the different vendors here. I really like products from both vendors and they have both come a long way in the last couple of years with some great offerings.

Jabra UC Motion

Jabra’s new Bluetooth headset has a lot going for it. It really is packaged great and although the travel case is a bit bulky in your pocket it is sturdy and will protect your investment. In my book a sturdy case is a good thing because my laptop bag gets thrown around while traveling. I also think that the case is a good size to add more features to in the future like a battery backup charge. What impresses me even more though is how they put the inside of the case together to be a complete place to store everything and also act as a stand.


The ear piece is well put together. I have found it pretty comfortable and the fact that closing the boom turns the device off is smart. The only thing I have issue with is the volume slider. Its kind of odd and although it works just fine I do find it a little difficult to adjust the volume with at times. The dongle for plugging into the PC is, well a dongle:) I do like the LED indicators to show your on a call and its probably one of the smallest I have seen.

I like this device a lot and have used it with Lync and my cell phone and both have worked great. I believe this is their best headset yet across all headset classes and competes well with Plantronics similar offerings. Nice job Jabra.

Jabra Speak 510 MS

I do and always have had a preference for the Jabra Speak 410. The Speak 410 was a great device and I think what Jabra did to improve on this device was smart and appropriate. The Speak 510 MS adds a nice Bluetooth capability but still kept the ability to use the USB cable connection as a way to utilize the device and not just as a charging port. Good choice in my opinion.


The 510 is going to be the device to beat in this category. For a small compact speaker phone I have used it in meeting rooms that can seat 16 people successfully. Although microphone extensions would be handy, its such a great device that in most circumstances they really are not required.

I have used the Bluetooth option paired to my cell phone and with Lync on an iPad and both worked flawlessly. It really is a leading class device that keeps getting better. This is one device that I cant say anything negative about. I carry one with me everywhere I go.

Overall Jabra has done a great job on these devices and in my opinion their build quality and comfort for the wireless headset has improved considerably over previous offerings. I am looking forward to what they can do to keep improving these already impressive products.


Frustrated by Jolly Roger 1

I was checking out the latest iteration of the Jabber iPad app and this was the first review that came up. Interesting read. I promise everyone I did not write this and I have no idea who the author is.

------------------------------Customer Reviews------------------------------------------------


by Jolly Roger 1

I spent about 3 to 4 hours of my precious weekend time trying to figure out this product, as well as other Cisco products.

I have the WebEx Meeting account for up to 3 people. My online WebEx account indicates what my "Jabber ID" is. In Jabber for iPad, I input my Jabber ID...didn't work. Then I put in my email...didn't work. I was brought to a screen to select my product. I selected WebEx Meeting. Then it asked for my email again. This time it worked.

This is where things got much worse. I discovered that there appear to be MULTIPLE accounts and/or apps that interact with each other, instead of a simple "one app fits all." Jabber appears to be simply a portal. For instant messaging, you need another account. I guess I'm using Web Ex Meeting for this. Then, you need to have a THIRD Cisco product/account for audio and video (see more below). Then, for meetings, you need to use a FOURTH app...I'm using WebEx Meetings. What a nightmare!!

So, then, the app asked me for the account I use for video and audio. I thought it was my WebEx Meeting account since that has video...didn't work. You can then click "Jabber for Telepresence" and it asks for a user name and password to create this account...doesn't work. I just get an error message that the user name or password is invalid or that the account has been deactivated.
Then I spent hours trying to figure out what "audio and video" product by Cisco will work. The "help" file was no help at all. There were multiple products by Cisco on the website, many replaced by other ones, to make it even more confusing (as if that wasn't enough). Trying to find out HOW to get these products was equally as confusing and frustrating.

I THINK I may have found a way to obtain Jabber for Telepresence, which I THINK might work. I just didn't have any more time or wits to open up another dang account and spend more time on something that MAY work.

WHY HAVE ALL THESE ACCOUNTS NECESSARY???!!! It should be easy enough to simply create something akin to a Skype account...maybe call it "Jabber by Cisco." And have ONE email (user name) and password for BOTH instant messaging AND audio and video!! And, if you are using a desktop device, like a Mac or PC, that same user name and password should be used there as well.
Either I'm missing something, or Cisco needs to wipe the slate clean and create ONE app that does everything where you need only ONE account. I believe Cisco also needs to make the navigation of their website MUCH easier, in addition to being able to easily acquire a product of interest. Just terrible!

Additionally, adding contacts is broken. I had a contact I was trying to add, and I sent him an invitation through the app. This contact did the same for me. Prior to installing Jabber, I had added this person as a contact on WebEx Meeting in my account while using a PC. Jabber created two entries for this person and when my contact installed Jabber on his iPad, the entry of him using my PC showed him as "available" and online. The contact entries on both our ends that were created from within the Jabber app showed "waiting for confirmation." But, we never received any request, in the app, by email, etc.! With the entry created by the PC, we were able to instant message each other. When I clicked "call," it rang on his end, but the app did nothing when he tried to answer. He couldn't call me at all.

There is also a way to create customized statuses, such as "out to lunch," "be right back," etc. Great. I like that. But, when you do this within Jabber you can't select the color. For example, when I created "Be Right Back," I feel it should be yellow. Jabber automatically made it green. However, in my WebEx Meeting account accessed by my PC, I could select the color (either green, yellow or red).
It's a shame. The interface of Jabber looked promising, but there are more bugs and issues in this app (and in Cisco) that make using it impractical if not impossible. Time to go back to the drawing board, in my opinion!

--------------------------End of comment ----------------------------------------------------------

For those that want to check out Lync 2013 for iPad:


Device Review: Plantronics Voyager Legend UC, C710 & C720

I am not sure what's going on at Plantronics these days but they have some serious product development going on right now with some great new offerings. As every regular reader knows by now I am by definition a device junky. You name it, at one point or another I have listened to it or put it in or on my ears from every device manufacture. Some devices I liked and blogged about and others, well they collect dust on my shelf under the never to be talked about.

What's in my laptop bag(s)?

Recently Plantronics have sent me some of their new releases that have impressed me. The Voyager Legend UC, C710 and 720 have some neat new features. I have basically built my self 3 laptop bags that I rotate though, each with different devices so I can sample them all. I also vary the computing devices as well with my laptop bags. It looks something like this:

Bag 1 - The meeting/travel bag- Used mainly when traveling or doing meeting work and I don’t need to demo much. I don’t have  VGA converter for my Samsung device but I probably should as it would make my life a lot easier.

Computing device – Samsung Series 7 tablet – Windows 8

USB devices – Voyager Pro, Jabra Speak 510

Bag 2 – Serious computing bag – I can run a complete environment to demo Lync 2013 from this bag. I also use this bag when I am required to demo the desktop client mainly because of my previously mentioned lack of a VGA converter for my Tablet devices. I should get clever and remote into my home lab but there is nothing like the security of taking your lab with you on the road sometimes.

Computing device – HP Elitebook (I call it the beast because it has 32gb of RAM, 8 core CPU and weighs 7 pounds)  – Windows 8 64bit

USB devices –C710 or 720, Jabra Speak 510

Bag 3 – The demo bag – This more a secondary bag that I use when I can’t fit everything in another bag. Usually when I need to demo a bunch of different devices. As you have guessed by now I do a lot of demo’s.

Computing devices – Surface RT/iPad V2 – Windows 8 RT and iOS

USB device – C435,C620, Jabra Speak 510

I am constantly switching out devices and changing things up. So if you ever wondered how I manage to test different devices that’s how I do it. I build complete laptop bags and just take the one I need for the day or possibly two depending on what I am demoing. I am in the process of building an Apple bag with a full MAC and iPad setup to demo Lync’s cross platform capability but that’s a work in progress, mainly because I have no bag for it. I also have my home setup which varies quite a bit depending on what I have available to test. Right now the BCC950 from Logitech has been my main stay device at home but I just added a new Logitech 910 webcam and the Plantronics C720. I also have one of the new Logitech headsets which I am looking forward to trying out.

C710 and C720

Obviously the C710 and C720 are similar. The only difference is one is single ear and one is dual ear but I have been testing both to see if there is any difference in comfort, which there isn’t.

Cool things to note are:

    • Bluetooth capable – You can pair a Bluetooth capable Smartphone with the headset
    • Smart Sensor Technology – Automatically answers the call when you pick up the headset
    • Carry Case – not quite a hard case but not a soft case either. Takes up a little room in your laptop bag but does a great job of protecting your investment.

Like other USB Lync certified devices it functions as you would expect with device enablement in Lync 2013. The Plantronics Spokes Software will add more functionality but its not a requirement to use this device.


Of course most importantly what does it look like while wearing. See below, I am wearing the dual eared version pictured:

image                       image

Okay, so I wont be gracing the pages of Vanity Fair any time soon but you get the idea.

I really like this device, it does a good job of blocking out background noise and is super comfortable. I also like the Bluetooth option. Seem like this really has become a standard option on the more feature rich devices. Music sound quality is great and while its not going to compete with purpose built music headsets it still does a good job. The build quality is also very high on this device but at $149 retail I would expect so. Overall it’s a solid device with great sound and build quality.

Plantronics Voyager Legend UC

When I first got this device I was a little set back by the case. I wasn’t really sure what to make of it and being as I am not a big smartphone headset guy, even though people try to convince me to be otherwise, I didn’t really use this device much. That was until I was stuck one day and this happened to be the only headset in my laptop bag. So I grabbed it and plugged it into my Samsung Win 8 Tablet. It worked great and I was super impressed with the quality.

So much like other headsets on the market in this price range it supports pairing with PC and smartphone but with the Plantronics Spokes software you can add  functionality. As an example showing your presence as on a call when on a cell phone in Lync. It also has voice commands and a bunch of other features that really I don’t use but they have them if that’s your thing. I just wanted to focus on things that caught my eye.

There are two areas that I thought were unique to this device and showed that Plantronics is really thinking about design. First is the case. The case will charge your device as well as give a visual indicator of how much charge is left on your device. Super smart. I am constantly forgetting to charge gadgets and the first time I needed this device I actually hadn't charged it in weeks and it had been just sitting in my laptop bag. I pulled it out and it worked without a hitch. I can’t say the same for some other devices I have had that I have forgotten to charge (Cisco Flip I am talking about you). See below to see the case. I have highlighted the charge indicators.


The second thing I really like was the physical on and off button. Doesn’t sound very fancy but I hate those devices with soft buttons that you need to press two buttons to turn it on and off. This one I can see and its done I don’t need to worry about draining the battery.


All up this is a great device that I really liked. If you find your self constantly forgetting to charge you headset this might be the device for you. It retails around the $199 price so for what you get its not a bad deal even at full retail.

Logitech, Jabra and Plantronics keep exceeding my expectations around devices. All three companies are doing exceptional work and its great to see them going head to head as it keeps the innovation in this area alive and well. I also appreciate the support that each of these companies have shown me over the years with making sure I have the latest and greatest to show and test.