Small portable speakers suitable for work meetings have, unsurprisingly, had something of a renaissance recently. Jabra has a neat little offer in the shape of its Speak 750. At £255 (ex. VAT; 306 inc. VAT, or $312.96 from Amazon in the US) it’s rather more expensive than the Poly Sync 20 I looked at last month, but it offers many similar features including certification for Teams and Skype for Business.
The speaker is circular, and can lay flat on a desk or sit upright if you pull out the kickstand from the rear. It’s nice to have the two options. The 90cm USB charge/connection cable winds around the back of the speaker so that it’s out of sight when the speaker is stowed. You get a neoprene case for protection during travel, and the small Bluetooth dongle that you might need for wireless PC connection stows securely on the underside of the speaker if it’s not needed.
There’s a printed setup guide in the box, but the whole pairing process is so easy that the guide isn’t really needed. The same goes for everyday use. It’s all very intuitive.
All the controls are on the rim of the speaker in a clock-face arrangement, and they’re touch controls. The power button sits at the six o’clock spot, while the battery indicator is at one o’clock, for example. The controls are white, although an incoming call triggers green answer and red reject options, and when you’re connected to a Bluetooth device the Bluetooth symbol is, naturally, blue. Apart from the power and battery indicators, the buttons only pop up as they’re needed.
Outside of these touch controls, right on the outer edge of the speaker, twelve lights at the same clock-face intervals occasionally come into play. As you adjust the volume they glow white in increasing or decreasing numbers. When you tap the battery indicator they glow green, the number shown depending on the amount of charge remaining.
Pairing takes just a few seconds, and you can pair with up to eight devices, connecting to two at any one time. Pairing with both my laptop and smartphone, and leaving both connected, was no problem, and I could take and make calls with either device.
Audio is full duplex and the sound quality is good, while 360-degree microphone pickup meant I could move around when on a call. People I spoke to on voice and video calls all said that I sounded clear and sharp.
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Inevitably the Jabra Speak 750 will be used for non-work purposes too, and I used it to stream radio and music from my phone during the testing period, with pleasing results.
You can link two Jabra Speak 750s using one of the touch buttons on the speaker’s outer face. It’ll automatically make the connection if the two speakers are within four metres of each other, delivering stereo output. Unfortunately I only had one speaker to test.
Battery life is pretty decent: Jabra quotes up to 11 hours of talk time, with a charge time of 180 minutes.
The Jabra Speak 750 performs well and is easy to set up and use. The stereo pairing feature could be useful, if you can afford two of these premium-priced devices.
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