July 11 2010
The thing about using Skype for business is not just that it’s free, but that it’s also infinitely better quality than fixed-line or mobile phones – as well as including a video option which seems to get better and better.
And with this superb new Skype headset, communicating for free via your existing broadband is also more private and convenient than having all calls on speakerphone. The Freetalk Wireless Stereo Headset is comfortable enough to stay on your head for hours at a time, if you’re having an especially garrulous day, and, as it’s stereo, it also offers perfectly decent wireless music via your laptop or desktop.
The headset folds up into a neat travel case for business trips, and connects by radio via an unobtrusive USB dongle, rather than Bluetooth, which is still slightly cursed by connection difficulties, pops and crackles. The Freetalk’s boom microphone range is impressive; I make it up to 10 metres, which means that, if you’re a hyperactive call-maker, you can pace about your office and not sound as if you’re fading in and out.
This is nice, gentle, practical gadgetry. It’s a small outlay that might alter the way you work. Just don’t let yourself fret too much about exactly how Skype earns its living. I don’t know if I’m unusual, but years ago I bought a pile of those SkypeOut points, for calling non-Skype numbers (and supposedly providing Skype with its dough) and have used about a pound’s worth in all that time.