Jabra Speak 810 Review

Jabra’s Speak 810 is a speakerphone, whose main mission is to cater to medium-sized meetings with up to 15 participants. It is the upgrade to the Speak 510 and Speak 710, which can only handle conferences with up to 4 and 6 people, respectively.

So far, so good. But how does the Speak 810 perform in practice? Does it live up to its promises for crystal-clear call quality and enhanced collaboration?

The short answer is that yes, it does. The two-way on-call quality in a medium conference room proved itself fantastic. Also, it is straightforward and easy to pair and use.

Nevertheless, there are some things to be mindful of. For the most part, these are some general limitations inherent in all business speakerphones. Such as the poor sound quality when playing music or the unreliability of the Bluetooth connection in some cases.

At a Glance

The Speak 810 comes in two variations – UC and MS versions. There is a lot of confusion regarding the real difference between the two, therefore it deserves a bit more attention.

According to most reselling websites, the only difference between the MS and the UC version is that the MS version allows plug-and-play connectivity with Skype-for-Business straight out of the box. That is, nothing additional must be downloaded or configured.

On the other hand, the UC version enables plug-and-play connectivity with most other major softphones. But moreover, the UC version is also able to seamlessly integrate with Skype-for-Business as well.

Conversely, the MS version works perfectly fine with other softphones and conference platforms other than Skype-for-Business. So, what is the real difference then?

In the case of the MS device, Skype-for-Business automatically would set the MS-dedicated Speak 810 device as the default speaker. In the case of the UC version, this must be done manually. 

Yes, this is the only difference.

Moreover, users can determine whether to use their Jabra device in its UC or MS version. This is an option that can be set from the Jabra Direct software utility.

Overall, the best recommendation is to buy the one that comes at a cheaper selling price. Especially given that you can switch between the UC and MS at will.

Design

Perhaps the most obvious thing to be addressed about the Speak 810 is its size. It is not as compact as other business speakerphones, but this is understandable given its extended participant capacity.

Also, unlike most compact speakerphones, this Speak 810 is not rounded. Instead, it has the shape of a pill tablet. The shape mimics the shape of conference tables. The extended shape enables the microphones at the edges to be as far-reaching as possible.

The Speak 810 is almost half a meter long and weighs almost precisely 1 kilogram. There is no carrying pouch or harder zipper case included with it. In that sense, the Speak 810 is not exactly a ‘portable speakerphone’.

Whereas such a device would spend most of its time in the conference room, a little protective bag would have been reassuring.

Nevertheless, the Speak 810 is built solidly and it looks representative enough on any business desk.

Like the other devices from the Speak series, the Speak 810 has touch-sensor buttons. They are very responsive and operating the speakerphone is a breeze from the start.

The bottom part of the Speak 810 is designed as a cable management system. It accommodates the Speak 810’s USB cable and jack when not in use. This is a nice little touch, as it reduces the cable mess (an evident problem in some conference rooms).

The Speak 810 is not wall-mountable!

Audio Performance

Jabra has built a reputation for providing high-quality sound across all categories. And the case is no different with the Speak 810. When tested, the speakerphone performed flawlessly in both directions.

In a room medium-sized of 15 people, everyone was able to hear the other party. Conversely, the other was able to hear everyone in the room – regardless of his/her distance from the speakerphone. 

The speakerphone’s major highlights are the six ZoomTalk microphones. These are optimized to pick up nothing but human speech.

If the microphones detect any other type of sound, it is automatically blocked from making it any further.  

The advanced ZoomTalk microphones have a pick-up range of 10 feet. This makes it ideal for the slightly bigger conference rooms. In comparison, the smaller Jabra Speak 510 has only 6.

The six advanced ZoomTalk microphones are located at the edges of the speakerphone. In this way, they can pick up voices coming from any side. The pick-up range amounts to 10 feet. This makes it absolutely perfect for medium and some large conference rooms.

However, keep in mind that the Speak 810 is optimized for human speech. That is, it is not very good for music. The sound comes out high-pitched and shallow. This is a common thing to consider when it comes to business speakerphones.

Nevertheless, some users might have the wrong expectations (based on factors such as size and price).

Connectivity & Compatibility

Connecting devices to the Speak 810 can be done in more than one way. The speakerphone is equipped with Bluetooth 4.1 technology, a USB cable, and a 3.5 mm jack.

The Speak 810 has all the connectivity tools. The USB cable is 2 meters long, whilst the 3.5 jack is just over 1.

In addition to these, the Speak 810 also has an included Bluetooth dongle. This dongle is used for wirelessly connecting the speakerphone to a PC/laptop.

The reason why a USB dongle is needed is that most PC devices either don’t have Bluetooth or if it does – it is extremely unreliable. It is not uncommon for calls to simply cut out mid-way, due to a failed connection.

Now, even with the dongle, the USB connectivity is more stable than Bluetooth. But this is a general limitation of Bluetooth technology. Nevertheless, the advantage of Bluetooth is the flexibility coming with a wireless connection.

The Speak 810 is powered with an AC cable, included in the default pack. The obvious advantage here is that users need not worry about batteries. But on the other hand, the device must be positioned close to a power adaptor.

One extremely handy feature about the Speak 810 is that it has a dedicated USB charging port. This is especially convenient, as devices sometimes need to be changed mid-way through an important call.

The Speak 810 is perfectly compatible with most PC softphones and VOIP clients such as Skype for Business, IBM Sametime, Cisco, and Avaya.

Warranty

The Speak 810 comes with a standard 2-year warranty.

Please take note that this applies to authorized resellers only.

Final Word

The Speak 810 is a rock-solid assistant for medium to large conference rooms. The voice quality is superb both ways and any undesired noises are eliminated from the conversation. Also, it is very easy to use, and it will require minimum training.

This makes it the perfect solution for enterprises looking to expand their dedicated conference gear.

However, for users looking for a personal speakerphone or one that would be able to handle meetings in small conference rooms, the Speak 810 UC might be a bit too much. Instead, they might wish to opt for something smaller, however of a similar quality rank.