Jabra Speak 710 Review – The ideal speakerphone for business travellers and offices

By 28th May 2017Audio, Reviews

Jabra Speak 710

The Jabra Speak 710 is Jabra’s latest take on a portable business speakerphone. With a small form factor, 15-hour talk time and 10-watt speaker, the Jabra Speak 710 promises to be an ideal accessory for business communication and conference calls. Does it fare well in reality? Let’s put it to the test in our hands-on review.

Research from Jabra shows that one out of three conference calls are delayed due to audio issues, and 15% of meeting time is spent ensuring that the parties on the other end of the phone can hear the conversation clearly. Jabra’s solution to this problem comes in the form of the Speak 710 – a portable business speakerphone with features that ensure that calls are loud and clear, and no more time is wasted.

Before reading on, do note that this is an in-depth review which will cover each aspect of the product extensively. Want to get straight to the conclusion? Click here. Otherwise, read on!

 

Specs at a glance

Audio

  • 10 Watt Speaker (peak output), HiFi grade audio
  • Stereo sound when linked to another Jabra Speak 710
  • Omnidirectional microphone (hosting up to 6 people per unit, 12 when linked)

Connectivity

  • USB 2.0 audio/charging cable – for PCs and Laptops
  • Bluetooth 4.2 / Bluetooth Low Energy – for Smartphones, Tablets
  • Bluetooth Dongle for older devices without bluetooth
  • Bluetooth range: 33m
  • Paired devices: 8
  • BT Profiles: Headset profile v1.2 , hands free profile v1.6, A2DP v1.2, AVRCP v1.5

Battery Life

  • 15 hours talk time
  • 480 day standby
  • 3 hour charge time

Other features:

  • Smart button to activate voice assistant
  • Certified for Cisco, Avaya, Skype and other common VOIP applications
  • Integrated kickstand
  • Soft memory foam carrying pouch
  • Kensington lock slot

Appearance, design and build

Jabra Speak 710

The Jabra Speak 710 is a round, puck-shaped speakerphone which weighs in at 298g and fits nicely in the palm of the hand. It is lightweight, portable and easily stowed in everyday carry. The aesthetic design of the Jabra Speak 710 is beautiful and well thought out. The speakerphone sports a modern look, with a very nicely cut speaker grille pattern and Jabra logo on the front, and a simple matte, rubberized finish around the chassis.

Jabra Speak 710 ControlsSurrounding the speaker grille is a glossy black plastic ring with the speaker’s controls, where users can turn on the device, check its battery life, adjust the volume, and pick up as well as put down calls. The control ring hosts the Speak 710’s more advanced controls, such as the Smart Button, which activates voice assistants such as Google Now, Siri or Cortana when paired to a smartphone or laptop – and the Link Button, which allows users to pair two Jabra Speak 710s together for stereo sound and better teleconferencing. The control interface is fully touch based, and only lights up when the Jabra 710 is powered on. When controls are not used, the backlight fades, giving the speakerphone a minimal look.

Jabra Speak 710 Back

The back of the device holds the Speak 710’s external connectivity options – you’ll find a USB audio/charging cable which wraps around the chassis, and a USB Bluetooth dongle which sits nicely at a dedicated slot on the back. There’s also a kickstand on the back of the speakerphone, which allows you to prop up the speaker in a standing position.

Overall, the Jabra Speak 710 appears to be well built. We did not notice any flex or creaking when we applied some force to various areas of the Jabra 710. It can definitely survive a few knocks and the general abuses of office life, but we wouldn’t recommend taking this outdoors as it is not rated for dust and water resistance.

 

Connectivity

Users can connect to the speakerphone wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.2, or use the included Jabra Link 360 USB Bluetooth dongle and wired USB cable if they have older devices without Bluetooth. The wireless pairing process is both simple and fast, and we experienced no issues with connectivity – pretty much plug and play, as advertised.

The Jabra Speak 710 also lives up to its claimed wireless range of 33 meters – the speaker and microphone worked well up to 35 meters before we started to hear some distortion and cuts. The Speak 710’s wireless range is reduced when there are walls in the way, but it reaches far enough for office use – we found that the speakerphone could be used in a separate room or floor from the source device.

 

Microphone and call quality

To ensure that all calls made from the Speak 710 are loud and clear, Jabra has used a special omnidirectional microphone in the Speak 710. The omnidirectional microphone picks up sound from sources all around the speakerphone, and can comfortably host six people on one device, speaking from a distance ranging from half a meter to two meters away. Linking two Jabra Speak 710’s together extends the microphone range of the first device to the second one – allowing a total of twelve people to teleconference comfortably.

Does it work well? Pretty much! We think that the microphone quality of the Jabra Speak 710 is clear and crisp – it feels like speaking to someone who’s holding up their smartphone close to their face in speaker mode. We tested the Speak 710 against some common gadgets used for teleconferencing, such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Macbook Pro, and found that it performs better in most situations – the microphone produced clearer audio from all directions. We also tested the device with the UE Boom – a very common and well-regarded bluetooth speaker – and found that the Jabra Speak 710 performed much better.

 

Audio quality

Jabra Speak 710

The Jabra Speak 710 delivers a punchy sound signature, with loud and clear highs, relatively mellow mids – but very weak bass. The speaker gets pretty loud though, and is definitely powerful enough to be used in a conference room setting. There is little to no distortion even at maximum volume, but we found that the speaker tends to vibrate a little when loud music is being played.

The strong highs and mids work well for calls, producing clear and crisp voices. For music, we found that the Speak 710 sounded best when paired in stereo. Pop tracks such as John Mayer’s “Still Feel Like Your Man” and “Helpless”, as well as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” sounded enjoyable – with voices and lead instruments coming in clear. Some genres such as Funk, EDM, and Dubstep didn’t sound ideal though – bass heavy songs felt a little flat, and the speaker’s strong focus on highs produced very sharp – almost irritating audio. However, we have to say that most genres come out well on the Speak 710 and are generally enjoyable to listen to.

The Speak 710 also can be used to watch videos, movies and TV shows – and actually works very well when used in stereo. Although there can be a little lag between what’s shown on screen and the audio produced from the speaker from time to time, this is a common problem on most bluetooth devices and easily rectified by the smartphone or device automatically, or with a little tweak in the video player settings.

We also tried using the Speak 710 for gaming, but found that the audio lag was too significant to be used reliably. There is a one to one and a half second delay between what happens on the screen and the sound produced from the speakers, and this can lead to some bad gaming experiences especially on fast-paced, audio reliant games such as Overwatch, CS: GO and Mechwarrior Online.

Despite the speaker’s shortfalls in gaming, we have to say that it performs relatively well for music and videos, and is very well made for voice calls. After all, it is called the Speak 710 for a reason.

 

Battery

Jabra promises a 15 hour “talk time” with the Speak 710. Although it delivers on talk time, we tested the speaker in different scenarios to see how the battery performed in activities other than calling. In our mixed usage scenario, we managed to squeeze out a respectable 16 hours of battery life when we used the speaker in an everyday scenario – listening to music, watching TV and movies, and making calls across five days.

 

Day 1: 2 hours of listening to music, 1 hour of TV

Day 2: 2 hours of music

Day 3: 2 hours of video, 0.5 hour of music, 1 hour of gaming

Day 4: 6 hours of music, 0.5 hour of calls

Day 5: 1 hour of music

 

We also pushed the speaker to the limit in our maximum volume test – we left the Jabra Speak 710 on with music playing non-stop, and found that it lasted around 4.5 hours – a respectable time, considering that the speaker can get pretty loud.

At the end of our tests, we also measured the Speak 710’s charging time and found that it took around two and a half hours to charge it to full from zero (40.8% / hr) when plugged into a USB 3.0 port – slightly faster than the three hours advertised.

Overall, we think that the Speak 710’s battery life holds up as promised, and is definitely good enough for office use. It can power through daily use for around four to five days easily, and should be good enough to last executives who need to use these on out of office trips.

 

Potential issues and disadvantages

It goes without a doubt that the Jabra Speak 710 is a well-designed product. There aren’t any glaring problems we noticed, save for some very minor potential issues pertaining to build and design.

Although the long USB charging/audio cable on the Speak 710 is a great connectivity option, it is a potential weak point because it is non-detachable, and not reinforced in any way.  If the cable gets accidentally damaged, that would render the 710 useless until the wire can be replaced at a service center. We hoped that the Speak 710 would use a MicroUSB or Type-C port for connectivity, since wires can be replaced and users can purchase a longer or shorter cable to their liking.

The speak 710 also lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack –  and while that is not a problem with newer Bluetooth-equipped devices, it might prove to be an issue with much older products. A wired connection is always more reliable than a wireless connection, so it would have been good if Jabra could have included a ‘backup’ 3.5mm jack to enhance the reliability of the device.

 

Should you get the Jabra Speak 710?

Overall, the Speak 710 is a fantastic product for business use. It handles calls very well, plug and play connectivity works as intended, battery life is great, build quality and design is top notch, and the link functionality and smart button are great features. It’s worth the investment if you are an executive or business traveler, and you need to host voice calls very often. If you are an office manager and are looking for a good teleconferencing speakerphone with more features than the usual wired polycom, this is the perfect device for you. Bottom line – The Jabra Speak 710 will help callers save the time and hassle of figuring out if they can be heard loud and clear, period. The Speak 710 works well as a lifestyle device too – it fits well in modern homes, and is loud enough to fill rooms with music, and works great for movies and entertainment.

However, we have to say that the Speak 710 might not be worth the money to the average consumer. The Speak 710 retails at S$525, a relatively high asking price for a bluetooth speaker as compared to the other offerings in the market.

 

Consider the competition:

The Sennheiser SP20ML is a very similar speakerphone which works similarly to the Jabra Speak series. It is cheaper at $S220, can be used for music and movies, and can be linked to another SP20ML via a wired adaptor. However, keep in mind that the SP20ML doesn’t have any wireless connectivity whatsoever and was released in 2014.

The Logitech P710e (~S$171) is also another business speakerphone to consider – it is popular in the United States, has wireless bluetooth and wired functionality, a similar 360 degree audio and microphone setup, and 15 hours of talk time. It even has an integrated stand for you to place your mobile device on, if you need to use it for video calls. However, this doesn’t have any link functionality of sorts and is also older compared to the Jabra Speak 710.

If you are looking for a more lifestyle, outdoor-focused speaker, we recommend that you consider Ultimate Ears’ lineup – especially the unbelievably loud and waterproof UE Boom 2 (S$207). Despite the middling microphone quality, the UE Boom series can be used as a speakerphone too, and also has a similar link function to the Speak 710 called “Double Up”. You can even pair up to 50 UE Booms in the new Party Up  feature, which is fantastic for parties and events.

 

Our verdict:

Get the Jabra Speak 710 if you are a business traveller or an office manager – it’s great for the workplace and travel. If you are the everyday consumer – consider it if you make calls often and if you have cash to spare, otherwise, there are more affordable alternatives out there which don’t perform as well as the Speak 710 but do the job as a speakerphone. The Jabra Speak 710 sells at S$525. It’s available in Singapore now, but we’re still trying to confirm which retailers stock the Speak 710 and the length of warranty offered to local buyers.

 

Build Quality & Design: 4/5

Features: 4.5/5

Performance: 4.5/5

Battery Life: 5/5

Value for Money: 1.5/5

Overall: 3.9/5

 


 

We’d like to say a special thank you our friends at Jabra and GlooPR for loaning us two Jabra Speak 710’s for review. We’d also like to take this opportunity to mention that this was not a paid review – advertorials and sponsored articles will be clearly labeled at the beginning of all articles.

Billy Zheng

Author Billy Zheng

Billy is a writer and photographer based in Singapore who aims to bring readers an insightful local angle on the hottest consumer electronics. He has a huge passion for gadgets and mainly covers smartphones, laptops, PC’s, wearables, cameras, and audio equipment. Outside of work, he plays the guitar, experiments with web + graphic design and plays lots and lots of computer games.

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