Regarding portable business speakerphones, Plantronics Calisto 610 is a very reasonable choice.
It delivers excellent audio, is easy to use, and is compatible with most softphone clients. And last but not least, it is a relatively affordable product.
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 adequate in a typical home office environment. Whether a one-to-one conversation or a group call, it provided a quality experience.
Initially released in 2014, Plantronics Calisto 610 is still a viable option by most means.
Table of Contents
Appearance & Design
Upon unboxing the Calisto 610 package, users will find the speakerphone, a black carrying pouch, and the USB cable.
This pouch makes it easy to carry around or prevents it from accumulating too much dust. The pouch is slightly padded, reassuring for people 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 only has the most basic buttons.
The volume adjustment buttons, mute, and accept/reject buttons are self-explanatory.
The only thing that did not become evident immediately was handling an incoming call while already on a call. However, this also turned out to be as simple as it gets.
First, users must press the Call button to hang up the first call. Then, users must press it again to take the second call.
In addition to the buttons, the device has a battery level indicator—a small but essential feature.
The Kensington lock is an accessory that provides 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 in unattended public rooms. And this is how it works.
The device also has a rubber bottom that prevents slipping on polished surfaces.
It is always nice when a product emphasizes the important stuff. This is the case with the Calisto 610, which 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 can 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 omnidirectional microphone is the final component that makes for the all-around great audio performance.
‘Omnidirectional’ is another way to say that it can pick up a voice from all sides of the room.
The advanced microphone makes its presence felt when placed in the middle of a conference table.
Whereas laptops prioritize the sound 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 is clear enough to eliminate frustration with poor sound quality.
In other words, it is good enough for the average heavy business user.
Remember 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 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 there is no need to install 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 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 speakerphones directly from the app.
Also, users will need the software to integrate the speakerphone with their softphone client of choice fully.
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 could automatically detect the speakerphone and immediately set it as the default audio device.
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 inches long. This would prove insufficient in certain setups.
However, the included USB is detachable. Therefore, users can use their extended cable.
The device also has a 3,5 jack in case some situations demand it.
Something final to remember: 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 lasting up to 7 hours of talk time. It takes only one and a half hours to charge fully. This is 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. Advise your reseller about the conditions of the warranty.
Overall, the Plantronics Calisto 610 is a rock-solid speakerphone. It covers all the basics and passes its audio tests with flying colors. And as a bonus, it takes very little time to charge.
All that and the device’s affordability make it a suitable and attractive option.