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A New Conference-Call Tool Makes Group Calls from the Road Easier

Jabra's new portable speakerphone makes it easy to organize a group call on the go.

For conference calling on the move, Jabra's CD-sized Speak 410 tool offers the next best thing to being there.
For conference calling on the move, Jabra's CD-sized Speak 410 tool offers the next best thing to being there.
Photo© David Johnson

Jabra has cleverly addressed a unique small-business dilemma: how to hold group conversations outside of formal conference rooms. Its Speak 410, a CD player-sized conference-calling tool, really is effective on the go.

The Speak 410 ($160 at hellodirect.com) jacks into any PC via a standard USB port and supports most any digital phone software package--even tricky ones like Microsoft Lync. And the Speak 410 does a heck of a job holding a quality conference call in most any quiet room.

Calls are easy to initiate. Just plug in the unit, start the call and everyone nearby can be heard. We also were impressed by the quality of so-called full-duplex calling, which means everyone can talk at the same time and still hear each other.

Certainly there are limits: A noisy airport is still no place to have a conference call. But if your business does the digital Bedouin thing--huddling up with laptops in a circle when traveling to solve a problem--having the Speak 410 nearby can make it easier to hear everyone's opinions.

Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.

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This article was originally published in the May 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Talk Among Yourselves.

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