Usually when a product arrives from Sennheiser it is a set of headphones but this time there was a difference. Even so, being Sennheiser, the product was concerned with the delivery of audio but instead of a wearable set of headphones, the new product is meant to be positioned on a desk or table with the audio being delivered to those within the immediate vicinity of the device. This is the Sennheiser SP20 speakerphone.
Circular in shape, the SP20 speakerphone has a diameter of 110mm with a height of 28mm and weighing 210g. Mounted on a black plastic base with rubber pads to help absorb any vibrations that might occur, the top of the speakerphone unit features a heavily perforated band running around the sides with silver and black bands decorating the unit’s top. The inner silver circular area is also heavily perforated with rings made up of small holes and featuring the Sennheiser logo. Viewed from side-on, the device does give the overall effect of a miniature flying saucer that has a bulls eye decoration on the top of the saucer.
Initially concealed within the body of the unit, until required, are wrap around leads providing Type A USB and a 3.5mm jack plug connectivity. Measuring 64cm in length, the lead with the 3.5mm jack plug wraps around the plastic base of the unit and will connect to a smartphone or tablet. Slightly longer at 76cm, the USB lead wraps, cummerbund style, around the centrally positioned waist just below the silver perforated band.
As well as the decorative markings, the top of the speakerphone has a few control options. There are red and green telephone handset symbols which served various purposes when you press these buttons. Their main purpose is to accept or reject incoming calls. They also have the ability to manage multiple calls and turn on/off power when both buttons are held down simultaneously. In addition there are Plus and Minus symbols to adjust the volume level and a centrally positioning button that displays volume level and battery feedback plus mute the unit’s microphone.
Included in the box with the speakerphone unit is a Quick Guide. This is a folded sheet of paper which, for some reason, has the exact same content made up of minimal text and illustrations demonstrating the same features on both sides of the paper which does seem rather a waste of paper. The Quick Guide mentions that there is a free Sennheiser PC computer application that can be downloaded from a provided URL. However when I tried this, the downloaded file was of a format that my Windows system was unable to recognise which tended to knock this feature on the head.
The SP20 speakerphone has a built in battery. This can be charged using the USB lead which can be connected to a computer or mains source with an appropriate adapter. Holding down the red telephone button will provide feedback in the form of coloured LEDs arranged around the centre of the unit as to the available battery capacity.
While the main purpose of the SP20 device is to act as a speakerphone for single or conference calls, it does have a second string to its bow. It can also be used to provide the audio delivery of music and other forms of entertainment, such as a video presentation or movie, to whoever is in attendance. In all cases you are recommended to turn the volume level up on the smartphone or tablet to its highest levels and use the volume controls on the speakerphone to achieve the optimum audio level for the audience.
With its size and weight, the Sennheiser SP20 is eminently portable. It can easily be slipped into a pocket or bag. In fact Sennheiser include a circular zipped pouch for transporting the speakerphone between locations. Despite the disappointment of not being able to take advantage of the provided software application, the SP20 speakerphone proved to be a capable device that is more suited to a business rather than home use environment. Sennheiser has priced this product at £180 although I have seen it listed at £104 by Amazon.co.uk.
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