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Triple Threat

Take landline, VoIP and cellular calls without taking up much space on your desk.
December 1, 2007
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/186630

Here's one headset to rule them all: Plantronics' new Calisto Pro series deskset includes a sleek and light Bluetooth ear ornament capable of taking landline, VoIP and cellular calls wirelessly up to 33 feet away from the Calisto base station. The other base station inhabitant is a wireless handset that looks and works like a cell phone and lets you converse up to 300 feet away from the base station without interfering with other wireless devices, thanks to DECT 6.0 technology. The handset includes a built-in speakerphone, a background noise-canceling microphone and the ability to ingest up to 200 Microsoft Outlook contacts.

At first, I thought it looked too small for comfort. But it actually nestles in your palm more comfortably than most cordless alternatives, and since it's twice the size of a cell phone, it offers positive control for one-handed dialing. A big and bright LCD makes it easy to see operational icons, contact information and calling menus.

For VoIP, you connect the base station to one of your PC's USB ports and install the PerSonoCall software. You choose from a long list of available VoIP services to activate, including Skype; the phone book utility that comes with Calisto Pro will transfer your Outlook contacts to Calisto's phone book and identify incoming callers on-screen, the way caller ID does. A quick visit to your cell phone's Bluetooth handshaking routine opens a communications channel with the Calisto Bluetooth headset. After that, you can take landline or VoIP calls on the handset or switch between landline, cellular and VoIP calls by pushing a button on the headset.

While there are other devices that blend two phone types, this is the first I know of that blends all three and frees me from having to switch between the wired headsets and/or handsets of three types of phone services. How about you? Worst case scenario: You remove a wired headset or two--maybe a VoIP handset--from your desk and get a wireless headset from the decades-long leader in headsets.