Tired of being tied to an uncomfortable headset when making Skype calls? Untether yourself with the new VoSKY Chatterbox, a plug-and-play USB speakerphone from Actiontec Electronics. Just plug it into a free USB port on your PC and start talking. The powerful speaker and microphone will carry and pick up sound up to 12 feet, so you can even walk around the room while youâ€™re catching up with friends and family.
First of all, in case you do not know about Skype: Skype is a service that lets you make and receive free phone calls with excellent sound quality. This is possible because Skype routes phone calls through the Internet instead of traditional phone lines. To make and receive these calls, both parties need to download software, available for free on the Skype website. Once both parties have installed this software, they talk to each other through headsets attached to their computers. Their computers must be running the Skype software and connected to the Internet for the entire phone call. You can visit www.skype.com for more information about how Skype works.
Secondly, who’s Actiontec? Founded in 1993, Actiontec Electronics is dedicated to enriching consumers’ lives with great connectivity solutions. Actiontec’s current products include a complete line of broadband connectivity devices as well as a diverse set of broadband-powered solutions, including DSL modems, wireless networking devices, home gateways, routers, VoIP devices, and digital entertainment set-top-boxes.
Chatterbox comes with a USB cable and the palm sized device. The device has a built-in microphone, a headphone jack, a built-in speaker, a light that lights when plugged into a USB port and three buttons including a mute button (which changes the light to red) and volume up and volume down buttons. The device feels solid and will take a few falls without as much as a scratch. What can I say but I’m a bit of a clutz and I’m glad the product was manufactured with quality.
On to the review, which just so happened to be the easiest review ever! According to the Chatterbox website, there are only three steps. The first step is to Connect. Simply connect the Chatterbox to a computer via the USB cable. After a few seconds the device will be recognized and setup automagically. Next, you Call. By using Skype, you make a Skype call like you usually would. Finally, you simply need to Chat. Use the Chatterbox like a handsfree speakerphone. That’s all there is to it.
Next the Geeks (I had the Chief Gadgeteer on a Skype call) wanted to test the quality of the microphone. According to the box, the microphone should be able to pick up voice from as much as 4 meters away. I stood just over 10 feet away from the Chatterbox and I could be heard fine on the other end provided cheap speakers were replaced with a headset on the Gadgeteer’s side. Also, I could hear the conversation fine from that distance.
The Chatterbox offers a full duplex speakerphone. Full duplex simply means that you can listen and talk at the same and is absolutely necessary for speakerphones. Also, the device has DSP-enhanced sound quality and echo cancellation.
What I really like about the Chatterbox is the fact its portable. The device is small enough to easily carry around in your laptop case for Skype speakerphone ability while on travel. Actually, since it is USB based you do not need to worry about downloading any additional drivers or software so you can leave your laptop behind and simply plug and talk into any computer provided Skype is installed on it.
Another reason I enjoyed using the Chatterbox is because I never feel comfortable using headsets with microphones. In fact, I really hate wearing headsets. The Chatterbox plays the ringing when receiving an incoming call through the speaker on the device. The Chatterbox lets you wander around the room and not be tethered via a cable to a computer while talking. Headphones obviously do not work well with a group while the hand-free Chatterbox would work in that situation.
The Chatterbox has several groovy factors working for it including being simple to setup,
is a quality manufactured product, is full-duplex and the Skype speakerphone is small and portable
so you can pack in your laptop bag and use on travel.
Not a whole lot is sucky with the Chatterbox.
The small and compact Chatterbox is packed with plenty of features including being full-duplex
Chatterbox performed exactly as advertised and made Skype sound great.
The device survived a couple of drops and still works perfectly!
For $29.95, the device performs better than most headsets I’ve been though that cost more
The Chatterbox allows you to make and receive Skype calls through a speakerphone which is