A hands-free system is practical, especially in the home office, where you can do everything you want. Telephoning with full freedom of movement is a real added value here. There are various options for the hands-free experience, from the smart home device to Bluetooth solutions to the 360 – Grade conference phone. You can find tips for powerful devices and inexpensive alternatives here. In the video you can see how to activate the Bluetooth connection on the laptop.
A hands-free function is integrated in many devices. To help you find the right solution, we present four options and give you a top recommendation and a price tip. First, we'll explain how to use Amazon Echo in your home office. Then we introduce Bluetooth speakers with hands-free function. Conference phones are also an option for at home. Finally, we give you recommendations for comfortable Bluetooth headsets.
Fully networked: Amazon Echo for the smart home office
With Amazon Echo and voice assistant Alexa, shipping giant has made Amazon smart home applications accessible to many people. This not only includes retrieving information from the Internet, you can also make calls using the voice assistant. If there are several Echo devices in the same network, you can use them as an in-house telephone.
It is more interesting for many users to make phone calls with other contacts. This works either directly via the Alexa app, which connects two call participants with one another – provided both have installed the app on the mobile phone and confirmed the phone number. Or you can link your Skype contact list with the Alexa app and make calls via Skype. With Alexa voice control, you can easily make calls from any Echo device. On the other hand, if you want to use Skype for Business, for example for conference calls, you need a paid Alexa for Business account.
Amazon now offers a range of Echo devices that can be used use for phone calls. Alexa makes contacts on call and reports incoming calls. All devices are equipped with a microphone and loudspeaker, the more expensive devices also have a display and a webcam, so that you can also make video calls. Unfortunately, the Echo Connect model, which connects the Echo Speaker for VoIP telephony to the landline connection, is currently not available.
Recommendation : Amazon Echo Show 8
You get full multimedia support with the Amazon Echo Show 8 . In addition to the sound equipment, the intelligent loudspeaker has an 8-inch display with HD resolution (1280 x 800 pixels) and a 1 megapixel webcam. You can also start a video call with a voice command – or stream videos. The Alexa voice output is supplemented by text information. In addition, inputs via the touchscreen are possible if voice commands are not sufficient. The sound output with the two 10 – Watt stereo speakers is satisfactory, but is not up to really good models. Bluetooth speakers can be coupled on request. The usual Alexa functions are on board, and the integrated camera cover ensures privacy.
The Amazon Echo Show 8 is for round 130 Euro available. A smaller version with a 5.5-inch display and 480 p – Resolution is also available, this Amazon Echo Show 5 costs around 90 Euro.
Price tip: Amazon Echo Dot ( 3rd generation)
The Amazon Echo Dot is the cheapest entry into the Alexa world and in the 3rd generation the sound quality has been improved a little. However, you shouldn't expect top-quality sound or surround sound from the small speaker; a Bluetooth speaker can be coupled for listening to music. However, everything is functional on board: Alexa provides helpful information from the Internet, you can control smart home devices and make phone or Skype calls with a voice command. The speaker and microphone are sufficient for this. You are also free to distribute several copies of the compact device across the home and thus work flexibly anywhere, hands-free.
Den Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation) you get for around 60 Euro. The model with additional LED display for time and outside temperature is for around 70 Euro available.
Multifunctional: Bluetooth speaker with hands-free function
Thanks to the battery, Bluetooth boxes can be used very flexibly. You can place the speakers exactly where you need them, not only outdoors but also in the home. It is particularly advantageous if the speakers can be used as a hands-free device. Not all devices have this function, but corresponding models can be found relatively easily. We have an existing hands-free function in our Bluetooth speaker leaderboard out. If the box is paired with the smartphone, the existing voice assistants can of course be used. Since the devices are primarily music speakers, you generally benefit from the good sound quality.
Recommendation: JBL Xtreme 2
The Bluetooth speaker JBL Xtreme 2 is number one in our leaderboard. The sound quality is excellent, music reproduces the box balanced and at a powerful volume. In addition, the equipment is lavish and the 10 . 00 0 mAh battery ensures a long battery life. If you want to use the JBL in the home office, good water resistance is probably less important, but it is still practical. Fortunately, the hands-free function with noise suppression is firmly integrated, so you can make calls via the paired smartphone. But of course you can also connect the box to a notebook or PC and use the integrated microphone for other apps.
The Bluetooth speaker JBL Xtreme 2 is for round 180 Euro available. This is not a bargain, but an acceptable price for the good quality. Many JBL devices can be linked together.
Price tip: Creative Halo
You can get a Bluetooth speaker with hands-free kit for little money. The Creative Halo doesn't have any Top sound quality and the equipment is not particularly lavish. Even the LED light show, which can pulsate in color with the music, has little use in the home office. But generally the price-performance recommendation from our leaderboard is a solid sounding and durable device. And with the hands-free function you can make calls anywhere in the apartment.
Den Creative Halo already exists for around 30 Euro. This is a strong price for the Bluetooth box.
Virtual conference room: speakerphone for the table
A conference microphone and speaker is ideal for when there are several people in the room. But even if you want to move freely in the room while you are speaking, it is useful. The devices are omnidirectional and can record the sound from all sides, sometimes even with several microphones. There is also active noise suppression.
Recommendation: Jabra Speak 510 + MS
The Jabra Speak 510 + MS the manufacturer recommends for conference rooms with up to 6 people. But even if you use the speakerphone alone, this is 360 – Degree microphone extremely practical. Connect the conference speaker via Bluetooth or USB cable to the appropriate device, which works with a smartphone, but also with a notebook or PC. The MS version of the Jabra is specially optimized for Microsoft apps, for example Skype for Business, but Google applications and similar solutions also work well. The manufacturer gives the battery life in Bluetooth operation with about 15 hours on, this does not matter for connections via USB cable.
The conference speaker Jabra Speak 510 + MS you get for around 120 Euro. That is a fair price for the good voice quality and mobility. Cheaper and more expensive Jabra models are available.
Price tip: eMeet M0
If You can do without Bluetooth connectivity and battery with the eMeet M0 a pure USB conference phone. The device uses four microphone arrays for voice recording from all sides, according to the manufacturer these are grouped with up to 10 people finished. There is also an AI-supported noise and echo suppression. The device is optimized for various conference applications in Windows and iOS, a software setup is not necessary. LEDs on the top help with the control. The speaker has a good quality for voice reproduction.
The eMeet M0 is for around 75 Euro available and therefore quite cheap. Other models of the manufacturer have a battery and Bluetooth support, but are significantly more expensive.
One ear free: Bluetooth headset for flexible working
With the Bluetooth headset you can make calls without any hindrances and loss of quality. This applies in particular to the mono headphones: the earplug with microphone sits lightly on one ear, the other ear remains free. Thanks to the full audio equipment, you still get the full voice and sound quality. In addition, the headsets are designed for comfort so that you can wear them throughout your working hours. Noise suppression is on board.
And if it doesn't have to be wireless at the desk, you have even more options. In our Gaming headset buying advice you will find great recommendations for models with cables, for example.
Recommendation: Plantronics Voyager 5200
The Bluetooth headset Plantronics Voyager 5200 fits into each ear with the included earplugs and offers an excellent sound. In addition, there is a talk time of more than five hours, a simple connection with the smartphone and a convenient control including app. Booms, earphones and ear hooks are adjustable, so you can choose the ideal fit. The microphone has great quality and noise suppression, so that your voice clearly reaches your conversation partner. In addition to the buttons, the Plantronics has its own voice control so that you can really work hands-free. The battery life is good, if not outstanding.
The Bluetooth headset Plantronics Voyager 5200 you get for just over 80 Euro. You can buy a special charging case. Further models of the manufacturer are available.
Price tip: Jabra Talk 2
If you do not have the Bluetooth headset in your ear during the entire working hours, you can also choose a cheaper model. The Jabra Talk 2 has a good speaker and a solid microphone despite its low price. The fit of the ear hook is less suitable for long-term use. If you only want to make hands-free calls occasionally, the quality is satisfactory. The Bluetooth pairing works smoothly and an app is available.
The Bluetooth headset Jabra Talk 2 only costs you 35 Euro – a real price-performance recommendation.