EPOS Expand 80 USB Bluetooth Speakerphone Review
So yet again those very clever people at EPOS Audio (some of you know them better as Sennheiser) have come up trumps with the new Epos Expand 80 Speakerphone from the ever expanding EPOS Expand "no pun intended" range of speakerphones. With all that’s going on in the world at this time, it seems an opportune moment for EPOS Sennheiser to bring out a higher end USB Bluetooth speakerphone like the EPOS Expand 80 and Expand 80T Speakerphone for MS Teams. Epos Audio have produced 2 variants of their new Bluetooth speakerphone, very similar to other products in the new EPOS stable.
The EPOS Expand 80 Speakerphone variants are:
Expand 80 UC standard edition Unified Communications to fit all the major platforms!
The Expand 80T for the ever popular Microsoft Teams version which may end up being the best seller as so many people are collaborating and conferencing on MS teams these days!
Note* I know you will likely be wanting answers to many questions re this product so I will add them in where I see fit, if you don’t see the question you need answering – contact Headsets4business So here is the first Q&A
What will the EPOS Expand 80 connect to?The expand 80 speakerphone is no slouch when it comes to connection possibilities offering four ways to connect your devices:
- USB cable for connection to PC/Mac (included in the box)
- Bluetooth via NFC (“Near Far Communication”) for smartphone/tablet etc
- Bluetooth on its own (smartphone/tablet etc)
- Bluetooth via the Sennheiser BTD 800 USB dongle (for PC) which is also included.
What is a dongle? a simple tiny plugin USB device for making any USB compatible device connect via Bluetooth. Its easy to use, set up and a very reliable way to enable Bluetooth. The next main thing most people will want to know is:
How many people or participants can the Expand 80 cover?
Ok so its important to let you know here that this "high-end" Bluetooth speakerphone is very expandable with the optional Expand 80 Expansion Microphone (see image 1 below) and you can add up to 2 of these to the main speakerphone (see image 3). Image 1: Expansion microphone for Expand 80
Image 2: The Expand 80/80T Speakerphone
Image 3: Expanding the EPOS Expand 80 speakerphone with expansion speakers
On its own without mics - the Expand 80T variant will cover 7 people On its own without mics - the Expand 80 UC variant will cover 16 people Then we add the mics… EXPAND 80 Mic With EXPAND 80T Speakerphone Participants with 1 Mic: up to 11 Participants with 2 Mics: up to 18 EXPAND 80 Mic With EXPAND 80 UC Speakerphone Participants with 1 Mic: up to 24 Participants with 2 Mics: up to 32 *In summary and much simpler: on MS Teams version 7-18 people on UC version 11-32 people and all from this very clever speakerphone. Pretty impressive hey? We haven’t tried that many people but if EPOS say its doable, they mean it!
How far realistically is the Bluetooth transmission range?EPOS says: EXPAND 80 Bluetooth® transmission range and media playback is only possible in the Bluetooth transmission range of the devices. The transmission range largely depends on environmental conditions such as wall thickness, wall composition etc. With a free line of sight, the transmission range of most mobile phones and Bluetooth devices is up to 25 meters. We say: Let’s face it no one should be trying to have a full blown conference call 25 metres from a speakerphone so don’t even try it, even if social distancing is required you can sit apart or stand apart relatively close to the expand 80, it wont let you down, the mics used cover 360 degrees and are amazing at pick up! What happens if you leave the Bluetooth zone? no problem, the minute you come back into it, the expand 80 will reconnect your device
How many Bluetooth devices can be paired to the Expand 80 speakerphone?you can pair up to 7 devices to the Expand 80 and it will remember all of them in its memory so no need to keep re-pairing your device How do I keep it safe? (after all this isnt a cheap device) The Expand 80 speakerphone has a Kensington Lock connection on the reverse which is a very effective way of ensuring no “light fingered” employee or other individual takes a fancy to this high tech piece of kit. Ok so what is a Kensington Lock? A Kensington lock is a security device that attaches a cable from a computer to a stationary object such as table. It is similar to a bicycle lock that attaches a bicycle securely to a railing.
What is the sound like on the EPOS Expand 80 & 80T speakerphone?Its from EPOS Audio folks, the sound is of the highest clarity and quality as you would expect from a collaboration of Sennheiser and EPOS who both come from a sound tech background.
The bigger question, is the expand 80 easy to set up?Absolutely, EPOS have made it about as fool proof as they can with simple instructions on there very helpful easy set up guide download it here (that’s for those people who actually read them that is, for the rest they will call us and pretend they haven’t seen the instruction booklet hmmm!!!)
Can I listen to music through the expand 80 speakerphone?Yes if you want to kick back after a stressful conference call listening to crystal clear music from EPOS Audio’s perfectly balanced speakers (yes we are biased) then it’s a simple button press!
The EPOS Expand 80 - In summary:
If you are looking for professional higher end USB / Bluetooth enabled Speakerphone for as little as 6 people or up to an impressive 32 (with expansion mics) then the EPOS Expand 80 is definitely worth the investment, mainly due to the fact it’s the best in class in a space that has some speakerphones which “do the job” but don’t always deliver on call quality or connection options – the Expand 80 covers all these bases and some. EPOS Audio are fast standing out in the crowd to show the other brands that for those people who care about call quality, clarity and connectivity there should only be only one choice. And on to your investment….. What does the Expand 80 speakerphone cost? Both variants (80 UC & 80T) cost the same
And one last thing..... All the Expand products have access to EPOS Connect which helps you manage pretty much everything like: Updates to firmware, changing audio settings and changes to the system. examples of supported settings and configurations in EPOS Connect for the Expand 80 are: •Bluetooth on/off, •Device name •Personal/shared mode, •Manage pairing list •Sounds and notifications including voice prompt language •Factory reset We hope this review of the EPOS Expand 80 Bluetooth speakerphone has covered most things you are likely to ask but feel free to call us or contact us if you need an answer not covered in the review