Plantronics Calisto

by Volker Weber


I have always been impressed with the quality of Plantronics products. Today I started using a Calisto 825 desktop speaker and although I can only use part of its potential it has already won the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. The 825 connects to your PC and your mobile phone. The 830/835 device will also connect to your phone line, but that particular model was not available yet. It would allow me to ban the landline phone from my desk.

The Calisto is essentially a hands-free device. You can take any call on your PC (or Mac) and route the audio through the Calisto. On a PC, with supported software, you will also be able to handle the call from the Calisto. Dial a number, accept a call, put it on mute, set the status. It connects to your mobile phone at the same time, so you can handle those calls on the Calisto as well. And if I had the 830/835 model, it would also connect to my plain landline through an RJ11 jack.

The little extension at the right is portable microphone on a charger. The 8x0 devices come without that extension, the 8x5 models have it. The use case is simple: if you don't want to stay in front of the device, you can attach that mike to you your shirt or lapel, and transfer the call to that mike with the push of a button. Now you can roam around the room without compromising the audio you transmit. It's easy to listen to the speaker when away from your desk, but the microphone has to be with you unless you want to sound like speaking through a tube.

The Calisto 825 is powered over USB, which means the computer has to be on for it to work. You can plug in an external 5V/500mA power supply to keep it on for your mobile if the computer is off. Since the 830/835 are designed to replace your desktop phone, in addition to connecting to your computer softphone and your mobile, it will come with the power supply.

If you do a lot of conference calls at your desk, you want the Calisto. If there is other people around you, you probably want the Voyager. You may look like something is growing out of your ear, but the sound quality is just amazing.


(Der Calisto Link verweist auf den Voyager)

Marc Kaysen, 2011-03-03

I use a Plantronics MCD100 at home, a fantastic piece of kit. Using Sametime Unified Telephony in my home office it's always on, so great for incoming and outgoing calls without picking up a headset and worrying if it's charged.

However, people keep calling me on my mobile phone, and I hate the experience of holding a conversation with any sort of mobile device held up to my ear and not having two hands free. So having one of these Calisto desktop devices, where I can pick up the call to my BlackBerry (as well as those to SUT) would be ideal.

Darren Adams, 2011-03-21

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe