Polycom's mix of IP phones hits the high notesFollow @pvenezia
The IP 4000 I received was running a much older 1.6.2 version of the Polycom firmware, versus the current 2.1.1 version, and upgrading it wasn't as automatic as it should be, assuming that the phone boots and locates the boot server properly. The problem was that the IP 4000's default settings for the DHCP server option were different than those in the newer phones. Once I modified these settings to match the later models, the phone booted, updated its firmware, and popped online, ready to go.
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Call quality on the IP 4000 is superb. I ran it in a mix of environments, from very quiet offices to a noisy lab with lots of ambient noise. Talking to folks on land lines and cell phones, I found that the IP 4000's noise cancellation could overcome high levels of external noise and deliver reasonably crisp audio. In fact, it performed quite well even when placed directly between the speaker and a loud air conditioner. At $1,099 MSRP, it’s not a cheap solution, but it’s arguably the best of breed. The heritage of the IP 4000 is full of top performers, and this edition is no different.
SpectraLink NetLink e340 wireless handset
There are many Wi-Fi VoIP handsets on the market now, running the gamut from the low-end consumer devices from Linksys and ZyXel to high-end corporate devices from Cisco and SpectraLink. These phones generally follow the same basic configuration path as their wired counterparts but require more device-specific configuration to allow them to gain access to the network, such as specifying the encryption type, ESSID (extended service set ID), and passwords. Generally, they’re also stand-alone units. The SpectraLink e340 fits the former generalization, but not the latter, as it works with a SpectraLink Voice Priority (SVP) server and supported access points to ensure good voice quality.
The handsets are sleek, with a small LCD screen, a few multifunction soft buttons, and a charging base. Initial configuration of the phones is handled locally, and the phones can be assigned static IP addresses or get them from a DHCP server. In addition to the normal network configuration, you must also enter the IP address of an SVP server. The SVP server is a proxy server for the phones, acting as an intermediary between the SIP PBX and the phone itself.