Today we have another Jabra headset to review. Not an over-the-ears devices like the Evolve 80 though – no, this is one of their Bluetooth headsets. The Jabra Motion Office unit.
Device Page: JABRA MOTION OFFICE – Jabra.com
I admit to a little reservation when starting the review. Bluetooth headsets and me don’t tend to get along.
Well, until now.
The Motion Office is more than just the headset. There’s also a charging/connectivity stand with a small touchscreen. And a headset case. And cables. And a Bluetooth adapter.
This isn’t just a headset. It’s an extension to your Lync client. Irrespective of the platform on which you use Lync.
Setting Up the Unit
After the unboxing, you connect the headset to the base & plug it in. The touchscreen says the earpiece needs to charge for 20 minutes. And while you wait, why don’t you run through Setup?
The touchscreen provides instructions from then on. First it asks if you want to connect this headset to your desk phone. I did, connecting a given cable to the Polycom. It asked me to call a Jabra support number to complete the phone connection.
After that, it asked if I wanted to connect to a Softphone (PC)? Sure, why not? I plugged it into my laptop’s USB hub. The touchscreen suggested downloading the Jabra PC Suite for additional capabilities, at www.jabra.com/pcsuite. I did so.
PC Suite contains “Softphone Integration Modules” – these enable call control for third-party softphones. It’s a thorough list too – Skype, Cisco, NEC, Lync, ShoreTel and a couple more. I disabled a few that I know I’ll never use.
After the PC Suite installed, the touchscreen asked me, “Connect to mobile phone?” I said No to this one, for now. Didn’t need it, and I was curious when I’d see an option to connect it later.
Next up, Personal Preferences. Screen brightness, dimmer timeout, ringtones, volume controls. The touchscreen then kindly refers you back to the Quick Start Guide for Headset Use 101.
The headset/earpiece, when fully charged, has an 8-hour talk time. Enough for a full workday.
As I did with the last Jabra headset, I tested this one out by making some calls.
Test calls came:
- From Lync
- From cellphones
- To Lync
- To cellphones
Call quality was as clear as the Jabra Evolve 80 – which is impressive on its own, considering that had two wrap-around earpieces and the Motion Office only has one in-ear piece.
The calls are so sharp that, when I called a co-worker in the same workspace, the earpiece could pick up his voice through the phone AND spoken! (Which caused a funny echo effect in my ear. Moving away made it disappear.)
We’ve had touchscreens on our Polycom desk phones for a while now. The Motion Office’s touchscreen is smaller, and has one disadvantage: No ability to dial via touchscreen. However, that isn’t a requirement. Dialing through Lync or your phone works perfectly.
The touchscreen also lets you switch quickly between devices. Remember how I didn’t connect Motion Office to my cellphone at first? When I did (via the Call Options button on top-right), I could switch between it, my desk phone and my computer with a touch. They’re all represented by icons.
Which means I can choose from which location I take my call, within Lync. Forward calls to cell? Pick up with the earpiece. Simultaneous Ring? All devices will give the call to the earpiece.
Using voice commands with a Lync headset…about time! To find out which voice commands are available, tap the Voice/Mute Mic button when you’re not on a call. When you hear “Say a Command,” say “What can I say?”
The headset will give you a list of voice commands. The ones I received were:
- Pair New Device
Speak up; it needs clear instruction. I had a few funny looks while I walked around shouting, “What can I say? What can I say??”
The Bluetooth Adapter
The Motion Office headset will work without the base too. All you need is the Bluetooth adapter. Plug this little guy into your computer and poof, it pairs up. I took it and the headset out of the office for a test.
However, when I did, I encountered an issue.
ISSUE 1: When I plugged in the LINK 360 Bluetooth adapter, my computer saw the adapter just fine. But I couldn’t use the headset. I tried pairing, connecting to the headset, switching USB ports…nothing worked.
I tried using the Bluetooth adapter on another computer though, and it worked right away. There is a warning in the Jabra Get Started Guide – “The Jabra Link 360 and the base should not be plugged in at the same time.”
They weren’t plugged in, but I did install the base before I tried the Bluetooth adapter. I suspect this is what caused the issue.
ISSUE 2: Also, I did encounter a pause when the Motion Office base first connected to my laptop. It lasted long enough to make me think the installation had failed, and I eventually closed the window.
But a moment later the “Motion Office” icon showed up in my taskbar. All was well.
This was likely just my system taking its time on install. But I document it here in case others encounter it.
I’ve tried Bluetooth headsets in the past. None of them lasted. Either they were too flimsy & kept falling off my ear, or they had spotty call quality.
The Jabra Motion Office headset is much better on both counts. It takes me a second to get the thing on my ear, but once I do, it’s not going anywhere!
And neither is this headset. I really liked the comfort of the Evolve 80. (So did a co-worker, because he asked for it after reading my review!)
But the Motion Office? I’m keeping this one.
Next week we’ll return to Skype for Business 2015. But what will we cover? You’ll have to come back & find out.