Clear One Chat 50 Personal Speaker Phone (910-159-001)
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- Product Group: Office Products
- Product: Office Electronics
- Product Brand: Monoprice
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A speaker phone for individual or small group use. The CHAT 50 USB connects to PCs for rich; full-duplex audio communications; and can be used with VoIP softphones; web collaboration; instant messaging; and any other applications requiring two-way audio. A perfect addition to the office or conference room for greatly enhanced collaboration. Network (RJ-45): Yes Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports: 1 USB: Yes Weight (Approximate): 8.80 oz Package Contents: CHAT 50 USB Speaker Phone;USB Cable; Green Compliant: Yes Green Compliance Certificate/Authority: RoHS. Genuine Imported Products from USA. Prices include Import Custom Duties and Taxes.
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Global-Solution||Pine Infratel||ICONIC INC.||Appario Retail Private Ltd|
|Item Dimensions (Length * Breadth * Height)||10.41 x 4.83 x 9.65 Centimetres||—||17.78 x 13.72 x 5.59 Centimetres||7.11 x 4.34 x 9.5 Centimetres||13 x 5.2 x 18.1 Centimetres|
|Item Weight||227 grams||—||318 grams||163 grams||222 grams|
Top customer reviews
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The only issue I've ever had is that I am primarily a mac user and the software that you need to use to set up the chat 50 only runs on windows. I didn't think it mattered because when I connected it to the mac it worked immediately. But when I connected my cellphone, there was a very distinct echo that I could only fix by getting a Windows machine set up so I could configure the chat 50 properly. Other than this, I've been very happy with this purchase. So much in fact that I've just purchased 2 more units.
There is detailed instructions for using with "iPhone" (no reference to generations) in their support literature including the list of adapters and cords needed to make it work. I bought all of the necessary adapter (only available Apple) and cords over the past 10 days only to find that it doesn't work. It took 5 calls to technical support before I got someone expert enough to tell me straight up that it doesn't support any iPhone beyond generation 3.
I'm returning the Chat 50. I'm stuck with these cords and adapters.
To their credit, the ClearOne Tech Support Manager that informed me of the compatibility helped me identify a solid solution. He advised to only get a Bluetooth device (nothing corded) and spoke very highly of the Jabra offerings....specifically mentioning the Jabra Freeway.
The device is compact, durable, and easy to use. The speaker is fine for conversations and fills up the room. It's great for conferences in offices or small-midsized conference rooms. The mike is evidently fine, too, and picks up conversations from around the table (though I've never been on the receiving end of this device). Sometimes I lean into it to make sure I'm heard, but I find I do that more in small offices where there are echoes than in larger rooms where my voice doesn't have to compete with itself. The ability to capture voice is what matters to me in most cases, as I want other people to hear me well while I'm hands-free. I do sometimes play music through it, but that is not one of its strengths compared to the many small music speakers that are available. However, for business purposes, what's important is a clear speaker/mike for teleconferencing than for music.
FINAL UPDATE: after 1 week of attempted use, I found it often would mute or be completely silent when I attached to my Samsung cell phone. My phone works fine with a headset so the problem is with the Chat 50. Thankfully returns are easy with amazon. Not recommended at all for cell phone use (my primary purpose) so I lowered my rating from two stars to one. I will find another product.
First, it is indeed a USB speaker/microphone combination (mono, of course) and it connects almost flawlessly to windows without software (sorry, no mac in my house). I found on Windows 7 it automatically setup just fine. The speakers in my laptop remained the default sound device, and the Chat 50 became the default communicator device (Skype, Lync, etc, use it). On Windows 8 it became the default sound device which caused problems as some key applications refuse to use it (e.g. Chrome would produce no sound in youtube). The fix is to right click the speaker in the toolbar (I assume most sane people use the desktop) and choose Playback Devices for the dialog to fix this. This is a windows bug that should have been noted at the ClearOne website.
The ClearOne website is awful. Even after poking around for 5 minutes you'd wonder if they still support the Chat 50. You'll find the URLs listed in the quick reference (including the URL for the product manual) do not work. Look under the Resource Library under "Unified Communications" and you'll find what you need.
The software may not be worth downloading. The first clue is that the application installer is not signed. Ok, unprofessional (this is ClearOneChat_ver_2_1_25.exe). The next clue is in the EULA. I know nobody really reads these, but I skimmed this as I was planning to use it on a corporate issued laptop. I found this little nugget (and I quote): "SUPPORT. No support will be provided." Really.
So on to the real problems which you'll find when you attach it to a cell phone. BTW, you need a TRRS (4 conductor) audio cable for this. I purchased the YCS Basics 3 foot 3.5mm male to male 4 conductor cable. The Chat 50 manual (once you find it) is very clear that the Chat 50 must be configured for your specific cell phone. So I launched the software and look around in the "database" of preconfigured phones. I found they have one Samsung phone in the database. Yes, one. No iphones either. I counted 44 devices total in the database, and my database and firmware are current. So this means you'll be tweaking it yourself to try to get it to sound good. I've played with it a little, but sound quality is still not great (some crackling, probably due to volume too high).
Finally, there is the power issue. While it is true the Chat 50 can be powered by USB, it can only be powered via USB if it is connected to a device that has initialized it as a USB speaker. It won't work if you try to power it via a USB power adapter, or if you have a laptop that powers USB while suspended. That's right...if your laptop suspends your conference call is over even if you are using a cell phone. You need to purchase an external power brick. Very disappointing. And yet-another-power-brick in my travel bag. Blech.
UPDATE: I talked to ClearOne and confirmed that a power brick is required for the Chat 50 if a PC isn't connected (and unsuspended). I was quoted a power brick for $44 which also requires a power supply "clip" (the prongs -- interchangeable for international travel) for $31. So that's $75 for the power source (!). I haven't seen these for sale at amazon yet, but search anyway as that could easily change.
That's enough for now. I haven't researched the history of this product, but it feels like it is old and abandoned. You can make it work, and it is probably ok if all you need is a USB speaker/mic. But keep looking if you want an external speaker/mic for a cell phone.