I received the Plantronics P420-M a couple of weeks ago, and finally started testing it.
I have to admit that my experience with speakerphones has been less than stellar in the past, and I was fully prepared to not like this speakerphone. After using it the last few hours and making several calls and receiving several calls, I have nothing but good things to say about this device.
Setting up the device was easy. I used the wizard in my Communicator client to set the microphone and speaker volumes. I also found it very easy to set the speaker volume by using the buttons on the device.
I tested calls through my Communicator client to other Communicator clients in my network, I tested with a federated partner, and I tested it by connecting to PSTN lines. In all cases, the sound quality was fantastic from the speaker and the microphone picked up well. The echo that I am used to hearing with speakerphones was almost non-existent when using this device. Of the fifteen or so calls that I made, only one person asked if they were on speaker, but I blame that on the fact that I walked a little too far away and was raising my voice to compensate.
I think this device would be perfect for offices and small conference rooms. Since it is so small and portable, it is easy to assign it to a person rather than a room so it can be carried around. I don’t believe it would be a good solution for larger conference rooms. Because it is so easily portable, I don’t see it being left in a conference room as a dedicated device. It would be very easy for it to walk away.
The mute button is clearly labeled, easily accessible, and lights up well to make it clear when it is on mute and when it is not on mute.
All in all, for those that hate headsets and for those that have a need for a speakerphone in an office or small conference room, this is the device for you.