Polycom SoundStation 2 versus SoundStation 2 Expandable

How do I find which version of Polycom Sound Station is right for me?

The Sound Station 2 or the Sound Station 2 EX?

If you’ve been hunting around for a Polycom Sound Station 2 conference phone you’ve probably seen that there’s two variants, the standard Sound Station2 and the Sound Station 2 EX

So what’s the difference between the SoundStation 2 and the 2 EX?

Simple – the EX means expandable, which means you can add a twin set of extra microphones. The standard version has no expansion capability

So which Sound station model should I choose?

This depends on the number of users that are going to be around the unit.

The more people you have in the meeting room, the more chance that someone is sat quite a distance from the conference unit. The standard unit will comfortably pick up voice from someone approx.. 2 metres away from the unit. Beyond that you may need to consider adding extra microphones.

How many users will each Polycom Conference phone variant suit?

Polycom SoundStation 2:
As a guide six or seven people can sit around the standard unit, no extra microphones required.

Polycom Soundstation 2 – Expandable
Eight to twelve people, and you will probably need to add extra microphones.

Don’t forget to consider the future

If you are confident there will never be more than six people, then the standard version is fine. If there may be more and you want to future proof yourself, then opt for the EX version. There’s no upgrade from standard to EX, so if there’s any doubt opt for the expandable version. You don’t need to purchase the extra microphones with it at the start. You can purchase these at a later date, if and when required.

Did you know there is a Wireless Polycom Sound Station?

Please note there’s a wireless version of the Sound Station 2 (The Polycom Sound Station 2W)

This is only available in an “EX” expandable version, so its already future proof.

And if you want to know how easy it is to set up the Polycom SoundStation 2 (+EX version)

You can read our previous blog post:

How do I connect my Polycom SoundStation 2 to my phone lines?

Connecting a polycom sound station 2 conference phone to analogue lines

How do I connect my Polycom SoundStation 2 to my phone lines?

So you’ve got your brand new Polycom Sound Station (sometimes known as a spider phone) and you’re ready to go. You just need to connect it to the outside world and get your conference started.

To understand how it connects, the best thing to do is to simplify what you have, think of your new Polycom Sound Station 2 as a basic analogue telephone. Essentially that’s exactly what it is, albeit with some very powerful microphones and speakers.

However, for the purpose of understanding how to connect it, simply view it as an analogue phone

 

Will my Sound Station connect directly to a phone line?

Yes, it will plug directly into an analogue phone line, just like your line at home or your fax line at work. Plug it directly into the wall socket and away you go, it will work quite happily.

 

Can I connect my Polycom Sound Station to my business telephone system?

It’s more likely that you want to use your conference phone in the office, and that you have a business phone system there which you want to connect to.

This is fine, you can run your Polycom Sound Station by connecting it as a telephone extension and dialling via your phone system.

When you plug the unit into a wall socket, the socket must wire back to an analogue extension port on your phone system. Pretty much all business phone systems will have the capability of connecting an analogue phone. If you have structured cabling (Category 5) this may need a socket patching to an analogue connection.

If you’re not techy, and this seems complicated simply run this information past your IT contact or your telephone system maintainer. To them this will be very straight forward, and they’ll have you up and running very quickly.

 

We use Skype for Business; can I connect my Polycom Sound Station 2 to my PC?

You can’t use the Sound Station 2, you need a different version. Polycom have a range of compatible IP conference units that connect by USB.
We recommend the following: The Polycom IP5000, the IP6000 and IP7000.

 

If you have any questions relating to the Polycom range of conference units you can call us on 0800 644 0424, we’ll be very pleased to help you

how to choose the right speakerphone for iPhone and other Smartphones

How to choose the right speakerphone for an iphone

Its time to find out which speakerphones for iphone will be correct for you……

First of all, just to clarify things from the off….

This hopefully, extremely helpful information is not just about conferencing & speakerphones for iPhone. It covers any smartphone with Bluetooth and a headset jack. Which is pretty much every Smartphone, isn’t it?

As mobile phones have become more and more powerful, it stands to reason they were going to be used “more and more” for everyday business needs as well as watching inane social media videos on “kittens and Russian car crashes” (but enough about that) So consequently, there has been a huge increase in iPhone and mobile phone users wanting to make conference calls away from the more traditional way of a “Conference Phone in the boardroom” More and more people are searching for the correct speakerphones for iphone.

Now its important to make an important distinction between “Speakerphone & Conference phone” while they both do essentially the same job, the Speaker phone is for up to 5 people where as a top end conference phone can cope with 24 people sat around a very big desk.

Let’s move on with 4 essential questions you need to answer to ensure you get the correct speakerphone:

 

How many people will be sat around my speakerphone?

If you have read this far, you will already know, you really have a maximum of 5 people who can sit around an iPhone and a speakerphone before the call will start to sound rubbish (not for you, for the people on the other end of the call)

Top Tip:
If its more than 5 people then move up to a fully-fledged Conference Phone

How do I connect my Speakerphone to my iPhone?

This is the easy bit as all the modern Speaker phones will connect via 3 ways:
Bluetooth
3.5mm Lead (goes into the headset jack)
NFC (on some conferencing units but NOT all)

Top Tip:
As much as we all love wireless technology (its less cluttered – unlike modern life eh) there is a presumption that Bluetooth is the obvious choice. So why is it that some manufacturers suggest using a 3.5mm lead plugged directly into the headphone jack is the preferred way to go?

Well the quick answer is old technology is tried and tested and just works well (its similar to wired and wireless headsets, they are better than they were but not as good at call quality than a wired headset)

But hey: Try it both ways and see what suits your environment.

What type of call are you making via your Speakerphone?

Gone are the days of plain old boring BT calls as now we have Skype & Skype for Business, Vonage, Unified Communications like Cisco Jabber and other offerings from Avaya, Polycom, Mitel. The manufacturers have you well and truly covered here, because, as the technology changes then so do the speakerphones.

Top Tip:
If you are using a UC platform to make calls (Skype, MS Lync etc) just choose a Certified Speakerphone for your UC application. The conferencing unit will be designed around the technology ensuring you get great call quality and a great connection (see question 2 about that)

What brands of Speakerphone for iPhone (iPhone X, Smartphone, Galaxy S8 S9 etc) should I be looking at?

OK, this is where the gloves come off and usually sparks a “I prefer this brand” war of words. But the rule of thumb is…

Don’t be “brand conscious” be “quality conscious”
Don’t be “cost conscious” be “ability conscious”

My personal recommendations for the best Speakerphones for iPhone and all mobile smart phones and that’s after you have read the last 3 questions are these:

The Jabra Speak 510 Speakerphone £113 plus VAT

Jabra 510 speakerphones for iphone and all other smartphones

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sennheiser SP 20 Speakerphone £113 plus VAT
(no bluetooth connection on this unit but sound quality is excellent)

The Sennheiser SP20, one of the best portable speakerphones for iphone and all other mobile phones with bluetooth

 

 

 

 

 

 

And why do I personally recommend these?

  • perfect for up to 4 people
  • So easy to set up
  • Got great sound quality
  • Works perfectly on Skype, MS Lync or any other UC softphone platform

Do you have a question on anything to do with Speakerphones and or Conference phones?
or would you like to learn more?

let us know below or call us on 0800 644 0424 (UK Mon-Fri)- we are here to help!

Watch a quick video here for the Jabra Range