Last month Danish audio company Jabra announced a new range of premium speakerphones designed for home and office use, as well as life on the road when you might need to set up an impromptu conference call or Zoom meeting with up to six colleagues.
The all-new Jabra Speak2 75 is a direct competitor to the best-selling EPOS SP30T speakerphone that has established itself as a premium portable speakerphone in the past few years. The Jabra Speak2 75 is tapping into a market that has grown recently as more of us adopt hybrid working. In fact, according to Jabra’s 2022 Hybrid Ways of Working Global Report, 80% of all meetings are now conducted remotely or as a mixture of in-person and online.
The phenomenal growth in hybrid meetings has convinced Jabra to develop its new Speak2 range of intelligent speakerphones, which can be used for conference meetings, direct phone calls, streaming media, making presentations or even listening to music or watching a movie when the day’s work is done.
To date, some nine million speakerphones have been sold worldwide and Jabra hopes to carve out a dominant position in a swiftly expanding market. The company claims its new Speak2 range offers higher-quality audio in a form factor that’s both mobile and futureproof.
I recently had a chance to get my hands on a sample of the flagship Jabra Speak2 75 model and my first impressions are that this is a superb premium device that exceeds the build quality and finish of the evergreen EPOS SP30T, which is beginning to look a little dated.
The Jabra Speak2 75 is about the size of an ice hockey puck out of the box. It’s finished in black anodized aluminum and has a finely woven speaker grille made from sustainable material. A circular ring around the speaker grille hides LED symbols illuminating when the Jabra Speak2 75 is turned on. On the underside of the speakerphone, a fixed USB cable winds around the base for traveling.
You don’t have to use the USB cable to connect the speakerphone to a computer as the Jabra Speak2 75 includes a Bluetooth receiver. Jabra also supplies a high-quality USB Bluetooth dongle that provides super-wideband audio when connected to computers that don’t have Bluetooth built-in. Unfortunately, there’s no slot on the speakerphone for stowing the USB dongle, but the Jabra Speak2 75 is supplied with a smart felt carry case with a little pocket for holding the Bluetooth dongle.
Turning on the speaker phone illuminates the touch controls around the speaker grille. Some of these symbols are touch controls, including a power indicator, accept and reject call buttons, a battery level indicator, volume controls, and a Bluetooth status light. When the Jabra Speak2 75 is connected to a computer running Microsoft Teams, a dedicated Teams button lights up and varies in color depending on the status of the video meeting software.
The Jabra Speak2 75 can be used by just one person making a personal phone call or it can be used for a video meeting. Additionally, the Jabra Speak2 75 can be placed on a table where everyone taking part in a meeting can hear and be heard thanks to full duplex audio. This clever feature enables both sides in a meeting to hold a more natural, two-way dialog where everyone can speak simultaneously and still be heard at each end of the conversation without stilting the flow.
Built into the Jabra Speak2 75 are four high-performing beamforming microphones that feature Voice Level Normalisation technology. This is specifically tuned to eliminate any unwanted background noises while focusing on voices, making whoever is speaking sound much clearer.
Whether you use the USB connection or the built-in Bluetooth receiver for connecting a smartphone, the sound quality of the Jabra Speak2 75 is superb. The Jabra Bluetooth dongle also provides high-quality wireless communication with super-wideband audio on a desktop or laptop. The connection is incredibly robust and has a good range. During my tests, I didn’t notice a single dropout. The Jabra Speak2 75 also supports Multipoint connections, so you can connect to the speakerphone with your laptop and your smartphone and switch seamlessly between the two.
The Jabra Speak2 75 has a custom-designed Microphone Quality Indicator that appears as a 360˚ LED ring that shows how well the beamforming microphones are picking up voices. It’s easy to see if everyone’s voice is being picked up properly because the LED ring around the edge of the device will glow green. If the positioning is poor, the ring will glow orange or even flash when it’s not good enough. The speakerphone can be repositioned using the LED ring as a guide to produce optimum results.
The 65mm speaker built into the Jabra Speak2 75 is a full-range driver that reproduces sound, music and movie soundtracks incredibly well, considering its size. There’s plenty of bass on offer and the speaker’s midrange is tuned perfectly for the human voice. It makes it much easier to hear people on the other end of the line, especially compared to the usually poor quality of most laptop speakers.
Jabra also provides free Sound+ software for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. This classy software can update the Jabra Speak2 75’s firmware, customize its sound and tweak essential settings. And should you fancy holding a conference call while lazing on the beach, it’s good to know that the Jabra Speak2 75 is rated IP64 for dust and water resistance. A full charge of the onboard battery provides up to 32 hours of use before it needs to be topped up again. If the battery has run flat, it’s always possible to plug the Jabra Speak2 75 into a computer or a USB charger to get it working and charging again.
Verdict: The flagship Jabra Speak2 75 speakerphone is a superb piece of kit that’s ideal for the home office or life on the road. I believe this is the best premium speakerphone on the market and has eclipsed the excellent EPOS SP30T speakerphone. The Jabra Speak2 75 performs incredibly well, is superb at picking up voices around a meeting table, and has enough power to ensure everyone in the room can hear those on the other end of the line. The sound quality is so good; it’s also great for winding down in your home office or hotel room with music or sleeping with a favorite podcast. Highly Recommended.
Pricing & Availability: The Jabra Speak2 75 is available now and costs $369 / £297 / €339.
More info: www.jabra.co.uk/speak2