I have been testing different audio devices for use with Teams/worklife use since the summer. First one of those I want to write a review is Poly Calisto 5300 Speakerphone.
- USB-C + USB-C dongle. There are also USB-A models available
- Up to 16 hours of talk time
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Charge by connecting with wire to USB-C (or -A if you have USB-A model)
For more details check out Poly’s Calisto 5300 page.
How did I use it
You can connect Calisto 5300 to computer with either a dongle or wired. The wire is not too long if you use that with a desktop computer. This device is intended for a personal use with optimal speaking max distance of 1 meter from the buck. It doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work from a longer distance and when you use the BT600 dongle you don’t have any issues with reasonable distance.
My use was primarily with the dongle and with a desktop computer. The good battery time made the use very carefree and now and then I would connect the buck to the computer with a wire to charge it. If I had a headset with lousy 16 hours of use time I would consider it bad, but in this case it is about talk time and not using it all day with music and calls. So the battery lasts quite well – in fact it can be used for almost two fully packed days.
The big thing is that this buck is also the Teams Certified. It makes the use with Teams more steady and less eventful while providing a good audio connection and also provides the option to use Teams-button for answering / ending the call. In short: it enhances the usability of the device with Teams.
I didn’t connect the buck to my phone via Bluetooth – I saw no need for that yet.
Since I was working from home the distance to the buck was never the issue – it was situated between me and monitors. The microphone picks up the audio very well – I got good praises from other meeting participants telling me that the audio was loud and clear. Just be careful how loud your keyboard can be. Teams latest noise cancelling feature that rolled out recently helps with this issue as well.
What limited my use was that in those days or times when rest of the family were present I obviously didn’t want to use a speakerphone. Also if I was jumping between music and calls I preferred to use a headset (no, you don’t use this one to listen to music). And the last one was when I concerned that my keyboard would make too much noise – in time I got less worried about this one.
I love the simplicity and clearness on the speakerbuck. One switch to turn it on/off – when the dongle is on the computer this makes it really easy to use even when I don’t keep it on all the time.
Mute is easily accessible with a large button – as well as volume controls next to it. The Teams-button is also easy to use with the buck. The colors are also providing visual cues: I especially like the muted red.
It works great with Teams and I had absolutely no issues with it technically. I didn’t test the range but I suspect it will work over a decent meeting room table ok. It is very portable due to it’s size and good talk time gives it plenty of freedom.
Once the traveling to customers resumes I see a lots of reason having this in the laptop bag so it can be used in a meeting room instead of a standard computer microphone. I would not use this one in noisy environments – I didn’t test it too much but overall omnidirectional single mics are rarely good on reducing ambient noise. And for the music I use a headset – not a speakerphone.
Calisto 5300 is a great and simple speakerphone when you are working from home and nobody else is at home – or when you have small groups in a meeting room participating in a online meeting.
I got this device from Poly for testing.