Plantronics Savi Go Wireless Headset for OCS

For the last two weeks or so I've been testing a preproduction unit of the Plantronics Savi Go wireless headset for OCS. I have a "tanjay" and a wired USB headset but I can't believe how much happier I am with the wireless "Go". And that's a perfect name for it. Normally when I'm on a call, especially conference calls, I'm chained to my desk by the OCS phone or USB cable. With the "Go" I can go around the office or around the house to do other things. While it enables me to do simple tasks like grabbing printouts it also came in handy this week during a meeting. I was presenting in front of a small group in a conference room and a larger group on the phone. Everyone is all too familiar with "speakerphone echo" so I decided to try using the Go and the webcam on my laptop. All the remote attendees could see the whiteboard via webcam and hear me clearly as I moved around the room. No exaggeration, it was the best mixed local/remote meeting experience ever outside of a telepresence room.

I'm sure you can tell I like the headset. I really can't explain the freedom, it's something you have to experience for yourself. Then again, I've never had a classic wireless headset so maybe I'm just getting caught up to the rest of the world?

Savi Go

The Plantronics Savi Go comes in an understated rectangular box. It's not flashy and definitely looks "all business". Inside it's packed well in a formed cardboard case. I wouldn't worry about shipping this to remote workers. It should survive all but the most destructive delivery workers. Once I got it unboxed I looked for instructions. Being a geek that lasted a fraction of a second and I plugged in the dongle. It just works. Imagine that, plug it in and it works. That's one of the big things I talk about when touting UC as a solution. From a user perspective the solution needs to just work. I never thought of applying to devices but it's equally true. It's one of the main user interfaces to the solution so it needs to be simple yet powerful, something that eludes many manufacturers and even many consultants. Back on track, Vista spent about 10 seconds identifying the device and making it ready for use then MOC (Microsoft Office Communicator) identified it as a certified device and automatically added it as my main audio device.

Making a call was simple. I just clicked "call" in MOC and the Go went into action. The sound quality was at least as good as my tanjay due to Plantronics' support for Microsoft's RTAudio codec. I noticed the maximum volume on this headset is a little louder than other Plantronics devices. That's a positive as some of their other devices can be a bit too quiet for some. Performance-wise I can't think of any negatives. It's the best OCS endpoint device I've tested so far.

That's not to say it doesn't have a couple quirks or additional features I'd like to see. The call control button was a little stiff at first but it has broken in nicely. Answering calls requires a positive snap on the button. However, if you press the button while not on a call you get loud dialtone in your ear. Since there's no way to dial from the Go I'd like to see this feature removed. As an additional feature, I'd like the call control rocker switch to allow me to scroll through my contacts in MOC. When the correct one is selected I should be able to push the button to make a call. Some other wired devices work like this and I found it very valuable. Most of the time if you're close enough to see your contact list you're in arm's reach of the mouse but other times it would be nice to control everything from the headset.

Overall, it's a great device. It does exactly what it's supposed to, does it well, and simply just works. Now that I've been using it for two weeks I can't imagine what I did without it! The Savi Go will begin shipping this month, June 2009, but if you want to get a headstart you can check out the documentation on Plantronics' website.

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