[Review] Jabra Speak 710.

This is the first time I see a speaker which looks like an old school electrical mosquito repellent and I was wondering how will this thing justify its selling price which is RM 1750 (excluding GST). Probably my initial judgement was…..well, I won’t say that it was entirely wrong but let’s put it this way. The Jabra Speak 710 definitely has its unique selling points. To find out more, keep on reading but before that, shall we take a look at the spec of this device? Let’s do it.

 

JABRA SPEAK 710 KEY SPECIFICATIONS
Weight 298 grams.
Connectivity options 100 cm USB cord and bluetooth (via dongle for PC or without dongle for phones etc).
Wireless range up to 30 m / 100 ft.
Peak output power 10 watts.
Charging interface USB A.
Microphone type omni-directional.
Talk time up to 15 hours.
Price RM 1750 (or RM 1855 including GST).
What’s inside the box Jabra Speak 710, Jabra Link 370 USB adapter, quick start guide, Neoprene pouch and warranty leaflet.
 

Certifications :

  • Microsoft (Skype for Business)
  • Cisco (Cisco 7800 series, Cisco 8800 series, Cisco Jabber, Cisco VXME eLux – HP ThinPro – SUSE, DX series)
  • Avaya (Avaya Communicator, Avaya One-X Agent, Avaya One-X Communicator)
  • Mitel (Mitel 68XX series, BluStar, MiVoice)
  • Unify (Unify OpenScape series)
  • Alcatel-Lucent (ALU Open Touch 8xxx, ALU OpenTouch Conversation, ALU PIMphony, IP Desktop Softphone)
  • Citrix (HDX RealTime Optimization Pack)

 

INSIDE THE BOX

 

The Bluetooth dongle (Jabra Link 370 USB adapter) is attached to the speaker itself and you will find it right next to the stand. It is firmly attached and you need to use your finger to chip it out. The quick start guide is almost useless. It is multilingual but nothing much for you to learn from there. The instructions are pretty basic and as such, I suggest you to watch some YouTube videos to learn on how to operate the Speak 710. Anyway, operating the speaker is as easy as 1-2-3. So, don’t worry much about it.

The warranty leaflet says that the Speak 710 comes with 2 years warranty. That’s a good news but I don’t know why, all the gadgets that I have will only start giving me problems IMMEDIATELY after passing the warranty period. I hope the Speak 710 will be kind enough to me.

The Neoprene pouch will be suitable to prevent the speaker from getting scratches but it is not going to protect it from a heavy fall or whatsoever. It is a good quality pouch but it is quite thin. I wish the pouch has thick cushioning inside.

 

THE OUTLOOK

  

 

Like I said earlier, it looks like a mosquito repellent, probably a classier version of it. I don’t know why I felt like that, probably because this is the first time I see a speaker like this or it can be due to the USB cord which you have to roll at the back of the speaker. However, I must admit that the Jabra Speak 710 is very solid and while holding it, you will know that it has a great build quality.

This device is also very portable, which is the key selling point. You can easily carry it anywhere and it is very lightweight, weighing just 298 grams. The touch sensitive buttons are backlit. So you will not have problem operating this gadget even in a dark room.

In case you are wondering why is the speaker facing the ceiling when you are not a spiderman, there is a stand behind the speaker and I hope that addresses your concern. By the way, the speaker is also meant to be used flat facing up (facing the ceiling) for example in a meeting room where everyone is sitting around the speaker. In that way, everyone can hear the voice from the speaker clearly. So it is a win-win situation.

Although you can connect the Jabra via Bluetooth (without the dongle) as well as via USB, the dongle will be very useful when you need to connect it to your PC which is under your table and pull the speaker right to the other end of the table (the USB cable will be too short for that). I was also told that when your are using the speaker on your laptop, it is better to connect it via the dongle or USB cable even though your laptop has a built-in Bluetooth chipset. This is because the built-in chip will usually be a shared chip for Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth and the quality of the Bluetooth connectivity might be a bit patchy when both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are being used at the same time. That’s where the dongle comes in handy.

As for the USB cable, it also charges your speaker while it is connected to your PC. So yes, the Speak 710 has a built-in battery so that you can use it wirelessly without depending on any external power and the battery lasts for about 15 hours before requiring a recharge.

When you place your Speak 710 on the table, the rubberized grips do a great job making sure that it doesn’t move. Even when you set it standing, the speaker is still sturdy on the table.

 

INITIAL SET UP

Setting up the Jabra Speak is the easiest thing to do on earth. Everything is touch sensitive and there are seven buttons around the speaker. Before the device is turned on, you could only see the power icon which doesn’t light up. Just press and hold the power until the speaker lights up.

Once it is up, press and hold the Bluetooth icon until it turns from white to blue (and starts blinking). Once your device is connected to Speak 710, the Bluetooth icon will no longer blink and you are all set.

There is also an option to connect two Jabra Speak 710 (distance must be within 6 ft or 2 metres between each of them) and to do that, you just need to press the ‘link’ button which looks almost like an ∞ symbol or 2 overlapping circles.

The battery icon will show you the battery status. There is also a triangular icon on the Speak 710 which is called the smart button. It is a voice assistant and works something like Google Now. You can ask for something e.g. weather or time and also instruct to call or send message to your contact. That function works perfectly well and I’ve nothing bad to say about it.

 

SOUND QUALITY

 

The main thing that we consider when it comes to a speaker is the sound quality, especially when you are paying thousands for it. Rest assured that the Jabra Speak 710 will not disappoint you in this segment. The sound quality is not the best that we’ve heard but it is very good overall. For a speaker of this size, the audio quality is definitely commendable. It doesn’t break / crack at high volume. The bass is good and I truly enjoyed listening to my favourite songs via the Jabra Speak 710. I wish I could get 2 units of this and enjoy an immersive stereo sound quality but the hefty price tag is a bummer (yes I am a poor bloke).

As for the volume, it is extremely loud for a speaker of this size. I’ve never got a chance to blast it on full volume because it is already too loud for me at just 60%.

If you ask me whether the sound quality is worth the price that we are paying for the speaker, I am not able to answer that because it is not comparable to your bulky home theatre system where you can’t carry it anywhere. The Jabra Speak 710 is unique and it will suit those who wants a speaker that produces good sound, portable to carry around and doesn’t require external power. It is totally in a different league and it will not be right to compare it with your conventional speakers which produces superb sound but has its own set of limitations.

 

JABRA SPEAK 710 FOR CALLS

The Jabra Speak 710 is very essential for corporate individuals. As you can see in the spec sheet above, it is Skype, Cisco etc certified and that makes it a must have device for someone who always communicates via online e.g. conference calls via the internet or even via conventional calls.

Now, how does it fare in my review? Overall the voice clarity is good. It supports HD voice and the conversation is ultra clear. The microphone is omni-directional and it picks sound from any direction which makes it suitable for conference meetings.

 

 

When tested the device, my conversations were not very loud and I wonder why. Of course, the loudness was decent but I wish it could have been even louder especially to the other party who is listening to me. Even when I connected the speaker to the PC and did a voice recording, my voice was crystal clear but it wasn’t loud enough. Logically, I can’t be going too near to the speaker and start speaking. It doesn’t work that way. It is currently set up in such a way where the speaker is on top of my table, facing me and I am comfortably sitting without leaning towards it.

Again, the loudness level is fine but not TOO LOUD. So if you are considering the Speak 710 for this reason, I suggest you to go to any Jabra distributor and give it a try before buying.

 

FINAL VERDICT

The Jabra Speak 710 impressed me very much but for a person like me, there is no need for a speaker like this. That is why I would say that the target market for a gadget like this is very small. It is catered for someone who wants a good quality speaker which is also portable and light weight. Jabra representatives told me that it is more for corporate users and I assume that is why the price is massive. RM 1750 for the Speak 710? Seriously, that is expensive.

In US it is being sold for USD 299 which comes to about RM 1300. So you might consider buying directly from US using external sources but then, I wouldn’t know if your 2 years warranty is still applicable because I don’t think Jabra offers international warranty for its products.

Another thing that I was disappointed about is the fact that a device worth RM 1750 doesn’t even support NFC. Even mid-range speakers nowadays have NFC and I am not sure why Jabra didn’t implement that feature in Speak 710.

TechMalaysia's score for Jabra Speak 710

Summary

7.5/10
  • Outlook
  • Sound quality
  • Set up
  • Features
  • Value for money
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