AstriCon 2009: It is all HD voice (handsets)

Glendale, AZ – Walking the exhibit floor, it was difficult to find a handset that didn’t have HD voice embedded in it.  Well-known names such as Cisco, Panasonic, Polycom, and snom, as well as newcomers Aksys Networks and Yealink all had G.722 handsets available for viewing.

Cisco’s line of SPA5xx IP phones — including a $130 4 line model — all include G.722 codec support as standard feature. Fashonistas should note that the low-cost model isn’t pretty, but the Cisco representative pointed out that in certain situtations such as in a reception area you don’t need a hot model phone with a color LCD screen.

Next to Cisco, Panasonic’s line of SIP end-points had a high-end/high-tech look that one might expect of a high-end consumer product rather than a stodgy business environment.

Aksys Networks brought its KONNECT Office Phone System, another evolution of the “PBX”-less/every phone is a PBX model. Up to 30 phones can operate in a stand-alone fashion, while Asterisk provides support for larger numbers of end-points and more sophisticated features.

Snom displated the 870, its latest high-end SIP phone complete with color touch screen and a pair of USB ports; one for WiFi connectivity, one for configuration/application loading. “It can do everything but make french fries,” one snom rep said to onlookers.

Yealink, distributed by AlloyCP, bragged of “Enterprise HD IP Phones” incorporating the Texas Instruements TITAN chipset, but  the company also brought along basic SIP end-points — perhaps the only handset company that did so.

To be fair, the resellers represented on the exhibit floor had a mixture of non-HD and HD phones, but non-HD-capable phones are quickly becoming extinct.

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