When it comes to portable business speakerphones, Plantronics Calisto 610 is a very reasonable choice.
It delivers excellent audio, it is easy to use, it is compatible with most softphone clients. And last but not least, it is a relatively affordable product.
True, it is not as advanced as the newer business speakerphone like the Calisto 3200 or its bigger brother Calisto 7200. For example, it does not have built-in Bluetooth like them.
Nevertheless, the Calisto 610 proved more than adequate in a typical home office environment. Whether it is a one-to-one conversation or a group call, it was able to provide a quality experience.
Initially released in 2014, Plantronics Calisto 610 is still a viable option by most means.
Appearance & Design
Upon unboxing the Calisto 610 package, users will find the speakerphone, a black carrying pouch and the included USB cable.
This pouch makes it easy to carry around or to prevent it from accumulating too much dust. The pouch is slightly padded, which is reassuring for people who are frequently on the go.
The speakerphone itself has a square form factor. This in itself distinguishes all Poly/Plantronics products from their competitors.
The Calisto 610 has a plastic body, but it does not feel cheap. It has 4 large buttons located along its edges.
These are not sensory buttons – like some of Jabra’s models – but they are still very responsive and reliable.
As expected, this is a speakerphone that is extremely easy to use. It is very stripped down and it only has the most basic buttons.
The volume adjustment buttons, the mute button, the accept/reject button – all of these are self-explanatory.
The only thing that did not become evident immediately was how to handle an incoming call while already on a call. However, this also turned out to be as simple as it gets.
First, users simply need to press the Call button to hang up the first call. Then, users need to press it again in order to take the second call.
In addition to the buttons, the device also has a battery level indicator. A small but essential feature.
The Kensington lock is an accessory that provides a peace of mind in exchange for its affordable price.
The Calisto 610 has a port allocated for a Kensington lock. This way, users can secure the speakerphone device when it is left in unattended public rooms. And this is how it works.
The device also has a rubber bottom that prevents it from slipping when placed on polished surfaces.
It is always nice when a product has emphasized the important stuff. This is exactly the case with the Calisto 610. For it delivers a life-like sound. In both directions.
It is equipped with a wideband audio system, optimized for the human voice. What ‘wideband’ means is that it picks up a greater frequency range.
This way, it is able to reproduce human speech more clearly and accurately.
In addition, the full-duplex ensures that both sides will benefit from the wideband system. Simultaneously, Calisto 610 also has built-in technologies to reduce any background noises.
The final component that makes for the all-around great audio performance is the omnidirectional microphone.
‘Omnidirectional’ is another way of saying that it is able to pick-up a voice coming from all sides of the room.
The advanced microphone really makes it presence felt when placed in the middle of a conference table.
Whereas laptops prioritize the sound coming from right in front of them, the omnidirectional microphone covers all sides.
So far, so good. But all of these sound like pretty generic claims. Unless backed by practical testing.
And when tested, the Calisto 610 matched and even exceeded expectations. A crystal-clear voice from the other party. A crystal-clear voice from this side. No signal interruptions.
True, the sound is not as polished as some heavyweight like the Yamaha YVC-200. But it certainly is clear enough to eliminate any frustration having to do with poor sound quality.
In other words, it is good enough for the average heavy business user.
Keep in mind that the 610 is a product, specifically developed for the human voice.
This means it might not be all that suitable for music. The sounds might come out as high-pitched and irritating.
This is not an isolated case, but rather typical for the entire category of business speakerphones. Therefore, it cannot be really considered as a disadvantage.
(Connectivity & Compatibility)
The Calisto 610 is a breeze to connect with PC/laptops. It is a simple plug-and-play process via USB.
This means that there is no need for installing any additional drivers or for manual configuration.
The device is compatible with both Windows and Mac.
However, users can download Poly’s Hub Desktop software if they wish to customize their experience.
For example, users can use it to select their ringtone or to keep an eye on their battery on-screen. Moreover, they can operate speakerphone directly from the app.
Also, users will need the software in order to fully integrate the speakerphone with their softphone client of choice.
On that note, the Calisto 610 is perfectly compatible with most softphone platforms: Avaya, Cisco, IBM, Skype, and others.
When tested with Skype, it delivered a very smooth experience. Skype was able to automatically detect the speakerphone and set it as the default audio device right away.
Afterward, during a call, all the Calisto 610’s buttons interacted flawlessly with the application. All of that contributed to an enhanced conversation experience.
The Calisto 610’s included USB cable is just 20-inch long. This would prove insufficient in certain set-ups.
However, the included USB is detachable. Therefore, users can use their own, extended cable.
The device also has a 3,5 jack in case some situations might demand it.
Something final to keep in mind: do not connect the device to a docking station or a hub. It will simply not work properly.
The Calisto 610 has a built-in battery that lasts for up to 7 hours of talk time. It takes only one and a half hours to charge fully. This is actually quite quick.
Most other similar devices take at least 3 hours, and some might take up to 5 or 6 hours.
The Calisto 610 comes with a limited 2-year warranty from authorized resellers. Advice with your reseller about the conditions of the warranty.
Overall, the Plantronics Calisto 610 is a rock-solid speakerphone. It covers all the basics, and it passes its audio tests with flying colors. And as a bonus, it takes very little time to charge.
All of that, coupled with the device’s affordability, make it a relevant and attractive option.