Here inside the (socially distanced) Inspect-a-Gadget test lab, we know Jabra for its high-usability form factor earphones and earbuds.
But now, in 2020, we are indeed socially distanced, so Jabra wanted us to play with its professional quality speakerphones, the Speak 750 to see if it fits the need of the remote workforce who will be Zooming each other in and out of various other collaboration platforms from Microsoft Teams and others.
Out of the package experience: well, Jabra always makes sure you don’t just get a nice product, you get a nice little hard-wearing fabric zip-up case to transport your product around in.
Powering up, there’s no real need for the instructions (which are actually provided) i.e. it’s ‘intuitive’ enough (as they say in marketing-land) to look for the Bluetooth button yourself, pair up a couple of devices and get going.
Although this product is designed with business use in mind with full duplex audio to offer natural conversations and effective collaboration, it also found its way on top of our kitchen microwave pretty quickly as the sound is really deep and velvety if you’re playing rock & pop music — maximum volume was ‘too loud’, but with no distortion, so that’s a pretty good benchmark.
Jabra has kept this work-life balance element in mind (as in the build-design of its Evolve2 85 headset) and the firm clearly realises that people (especially today, after what 2020 has brought us) will use the same products for home use that they do for professional work tasks.
“As work continues to transform and many of us embrace hybrid working models, plug-and-play technology that offers business grade quality wherever we are, is seeing a huge increase in demand,” notes the company, in a press statement.
So this isn’t just a loudspeaker, it’s a full blown Unified Communications (UC) platform product that you can use to answer calls with and get far better microphone sound pick-up than you could expect from most normal laptops.
The product itself is certified for Microsoft Teams and can connect to up to two Bluetooth devices at a time (concurrently) and it has 360° sound pick-up with up to 11 hours battery life on just one charge.
How does the new normal sound?
Jabra says that this new addition to its Speak series is engineered to support conferencing needs in the ‘new normal’ for online meetings. The audio system picks up sounds allowing everyone in the room to speak and be heard simultaneously even while social distancing.
Owing to full duplex (allowing natural communication in both directions), the Speak 750 ensures both sides of the conversation are being transmitted at the same time. This means that conversations are able to flow as they would in person.
“As the world of work changes, collaboration continues to remain a key priority for global businesses. The Jabra Speak 750 is suited to every meeting room scenario imaginable and takes flexible working to the next level – whether it’s a socially distanced call in an office room or a make-shift conference in your living room, the premium quality full duplex setting makes calls easy and collaboration simple,” said Nigel Dunn, managing director, Jabra EMEA North.
The company cites research which suggests that 10% of the average 60-min meeting is being wasted on technical difficulties — Inspect-a-Gadget would suggest that it is perhaps more half of that, but the figure itself does speak of the general disconnect that many people have when collaborating online.
The Speak 750 Microsoft Teams variant has a dedicated Microsoft Teams button which allows instant connection to colleagues. It is compatible with all leading Unified Communications platforms and has a Smart Button that can be programmed for Siri, Google Assistant or Speed dial.
Pricing and availability: available from authorised Jabra resellers, the Jabra Speak 750 is £255 MSRP at the time of writing.