Even though Jabra is known for its Bluetooth products like the Jabra Stone 2 and the Jabra Clipper, the company also makes a few PC products too. One such item is the Jabra Speak 410, a speakerphone that can be used for conference calls or just as a portable speaker for music. It has an attractive and compact design with simple controls, and can be used with a variety of VoIP clients. The Speak 410 is rather expensive at $159 retail, but you can get it for a little cheaper if you shop around online.
The Jabra Speak 410 has an appealing round disclike shape, with the large speaker grille taking center stage. The controls are housed on the rims of the device--the mute button is at the top, the volume controls are on either side, and the Talk and End keys are at the bottom. The buttons are touch-sensitive, and only require a light touch for activation. Underneath the speaker is a smaller disc that acts as a stand. It also provides a groove area for you to wrap the USB cord. Behind the speaker is a 3.5mm headset jack, in case you want to listen to headphones instead.
The Speak 410 works relatively simply. All you have to do is plug in the speaker to your computer. As of its launch, the speaker supports Windows XP through Windows 2000, and Macintosh OS 9 through the current version. Your computer should recognize the hardware immediately, but if not, Jabra does include a driver software CD.
We plugged it into our office computer, and our PC recognized it immediately. When it's powered on, the Speak 410 will display a tiny white LED at the bottom. When you adjust the speaker volume, 12 similar white LEDs will light up, indicating the speaker's volume level--all 12 light up if it's at maximum volume. When you press the mute button, the LEDs turn red.
The Speak 410 is optimized to work with Microsoft Lync, a software and service that allows for real-time communication across an enterprise. We don't happen to have this software, but fortunately the Speak 410 is also compatible with other VoIP applications like Skype. We made a couple of Skype calls with friends of ours, and voice quality sounded great on both ends. They sounded very clear with great volume, and they said we sounded quite impressive as well. The Speak 410 has an omnidirectional microphone, so that everyone in the same room can join in the conversation, too.
We also tested the Speak 410 as a speaker for music. We were very pleased with it on the whole. Songs sounded great when blasted at a high volume, and we felt the speaker throb as bass-heavy music played. Certainly, the bass is not as good as dedicated stereo systems, but it was good enough for a small speaker like this. To our untrained ears, it sounded great.
In conclusion, the Speak 410 is a fantastic little portable speakerphone for the occasional conference call, and it works as a decent speaker for music too. We do wish there was some sort of Bluetooth option to justify its high price, however.