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TsooRad is a blog for John Weber. John is a Lync Server MVP (2010-2014). My day job is titled "Principal Consulting Engineer" - I work with an awesome group of people at CDW, LLC. I’ve been at this gig in one fashion or another since 1988 - starting with desktops (remember Z-248’s?) and now I am in Portland, Oregon. I focus on collaboration and infrastructure. This means Exchange of all flavors, LCS/OCS/Lync, Windows, business process, and learning new stuff. I have a variety of interests - some of which may rear their ugly head in this forum. I have a variety of certifications dating back to Novell CNE and working up through the Microsoft MCP stack to MCITP multiple times. FWIW, I am on my third career - ex-USMC, retired US Army. I have a fancy MBA. One of these days, I intend to start teaching. The opinions expressed on this blog are mine and mine alone.

2013/05/09

Plantronics Savi W440-M Device Review

Disclaimer:  Plantronics provided the device

The Plantronics Savi W4440-M is a DECT device that works very well.  You can read the official market-speak here. It comes out of the box with a plethora of choices in wearing style:  headband over the top, wire-bandy thing around the back of your head, and a customization kit for doing the single ear thing with in-ear choices.  If you cannot find a fit using this device you must be an X-Man or other mutant.

Minus the AC adapter and the quick-start guide, here is what comes out of the box. 12 different in-ear fitting options should provide something for everyone.

photo 1

Here is my mug with the in-ear setup.

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Build quality appeared to be first rate, audio quality was great.  In the complaint department, the “over the head” head-band gave me a headache and made me feel unbalanced.  My SO says I am unbalanced by nature, but that is a different discussion.

Lync Integration

As with other Plantronics devices, this thing just worked right out of the box.  I plugged in the dongle (to a USB hub port no less), waited an inordinate amount of time for the headset battery to charge, and wala!  It worked.  Lync picked it up right away, I did nothing special and the Savi W440-M was up and working.  While taking calls, the volume button worked as expected.  I “discovered” – primarily because I only read the documentation if I can’t work it out myself – that the volume button pushes in to provide muting.  Ha!  The Lync client recognizes the headset button pushes and displays status as desired.  Again, I did not play with the suggested software download.  And again – for my usage level, I did not need it – Lync recognized and used the device to my satisfaction.

Range Issues

I had what appeared to be pretty good range.  I went to the far end of my office space (my yard) and only at the far corners did the audio start to break up.  If you use the software (see above) you can change the range settings.  I was using whatever comes out of the box (see the online user guide) and should have had 300 feet of unobstructed range.  I don’t think I got quite that much before experiencing audio quality issues – after the fact I measured a 125 foot straight line to where the quality was dropping off.  Who knows what was between me and the dongle at that point, but at least one set of coated windows and insulation.

Summary

Range issues aside (and really who needs to go to the corner market while on a call?) the Savi W440 is a very nice device.  And the range issue could very well be my environment.  Usability, wearing comfort, Lync integration (Optimized for Lync), and build quality all point to this being a great choice for your next headset.

YMMV

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