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Plantronics Savi Office WO100

Unified communications — the integration of IP telephony, conferencing, messaging, presence and IM — is becoming increasingly prevalent in businesses, and obviously has a strong voice component. To serve this market, headset manufacturer Plantronics has come up with a clever wireless unit, the Savi Office WO100, that lets you use desk phones, soft phones and PC-based audio with maximum flexibility.

Unified communications — the integration of IP telephony, conferencing, messaging, presence and IM — is becoming increasingly prevalent in businesses, and obviously has a strong voice component. To serve this market, headset manufacturer Plantronics has come up with a clever wireless unit, the Savi Office WO100, that lets you use desk phones, soft phones and PC-based audio with maximum flexibility. The Savi Office WO100 from Plantronics (from £179 online) lets you mix and match calls between your PC and a desk phone. The Savi Office WO100 comprises a base unit with connections for power, the optional handset lifter, your desk phone and your PC (mini-USB), plus a slot-in headset cradle/charger that can be detached and moved to another base unit if necessary. The wireless connection is DECT, with a range of 115 metres. We were supplied with a convertible headset that uses either an ear loop or an over-the-head band. An over-the-ear unit is also in the pipeline. A single multipurpose button on the headset lets you control volume, call muting and call answer/end. We found the sound quality to be excellent. Two buttons with corresponding LEDs on top of the base unit let you switch between the PC and desk phone connection. If you want to mix PC and deskphone audio — for example, adding a fixed-line caller to a VoIP call or vice versa — you can use the audio control on the supplied PerSono Suite software (below).
The PerSono Suite lets you control which connections (PC, desk phone or both) you hear, and tweak other settings. Plantronics rates the convertible headset's battery life at 9 hours and the over-the-ear unit's at 6 hours. After exploring the Savi Office WO100's functionality and getting used to wearing the over-the-ear headset, we found it a pleasure to use. Knowledge workers will increasingly employ multiple communications channels, and a product like this will soon be standard rather than specialist office issue. Charles McLellan