Setup and features
Setting up the Plantronics Savi Office system is pretty easy. First you have to connect it to a power source, of course. To use it with a desk phone, you would attach the included phone cable to the base unit, and then connect your desk phone's receiver to the cable (the cable has a small hub built-in). Then you complete the circuit by attaching the end of the cable to the now-empty receiver jack on the phone. Now press the subscription button for the base unit to communicate with the phone. At this point, open up the panel on the side, and make sure the configuration setting is set to A, and that both volume controls for the desk phone are set to the number 3. To make a call, press the desk phone button on the base unit, press the call button on the headset, and lift up the phone receiver. You should be able to hear a dial tone. If you don't, you can change around the configuration settings and volume controls until you hear one. Once you do get a dial tone, you can make a call as you usually would.
If you're too lazy to lift up the phone receiver, the Savi Office system comes with an optional phone lifter accessory. It's essentially a lever with a motor attached. To use it, you place the lever underneath your desk phone receiver, and connect the cable from the lifter to the base unit. Now when you press the Desk phone button, the lever will then mechanically "lift" your phone receiver so that you can make a call. When we tried this on our desk phones in the office, it worked very well, but we still had to manually place the receiver back in place after we were done with the call.
To use the Savi Office system with VoIP applications on the PC, you'll need to install Plantronics' Persono Suite software. After that, just connect the USB cable to the base unit and the PC, and your PC will recognize the Savi Office hardware. Your audio control settings will change to reflect this. Make sure to press the PC Talk button on the base unit. Now when you make a call with a VOIP application, which Plantronics calls "softphone" applications, you can use the Savi Office headset. The Persono Suite software also lets you connect a softphone call with a desk phone call as a conference call. You can also use the headset with iTunes since it supports PC audio--you can set it so iTunes pauses whenever there is an incoming call, and resumes playback when the call ends.
Performance and conclusion
We're overall pleased with the audio quality from the headsets. We heard our callers loud and clear with plenty of volume. They sounded natural, with little background noise. On their end, callers said that we sounded like we were on a regular phone - they couldn't tell we were using headsets. They couldn't hear a lot of environmental noise either, perhaps due to the noise-canceling properties on both headsets.
Though the Savi Office is not ideal--we're not pleased that we can't use this with a cell phone--it delivers on its promise of a wire-free office environment so you're not tied down to your desk when making and answering calls.