Chances are, these days if you talk a lot to people as part of your job, you’ve got a wireless bluetooth headset to talk on the phone; maybe a wired microphone to talk to friends via Skype/Lync, Google Hangouts, or similar; and a headset at the office that’s hardwired into your office phone. Jabra’s done a really good job with the Jabra Motion Office, making it so you only need one.
The Jabra Motion office is a base with built in touchscreen that connects to a landline or the headset port of your office telephone, it’s got a Bluetooth adapter that connects the headset to your computer, and it’s a Bluetooth 4.0 headset that connects to your cell phone. It’s got a 300 feet range from the base, and maybe a 100 foot range from a paired bluetooth device, although all ranges depend on several factors (and it could be 300 feet, I couldn’t get that far away when I was testing it on the cell).
The Jabra Motion Office headset exists paired to the base and a cell phone, so you can switch between a landline, computer connection, and a cell phone call without ever changing earpieces.
The earpiece is designed for traveling, and Jabra includes a carrying case with charge cable and ear gels so you can take it on the road, but with an eight-hour talk time the number of times I would probably use that case is pretty low. Obviously your needs will differ.
The Motion Office with a cell phone
Pairing to my HTC One M8, I played with the Motion Office earpiece for a while. I can’t really tell the difference in either call quality or weight between it and the Jabra Motion I reviewed a while back. I’ll point out, though, that the worst part of the call quality is the carrier I’m on, so there’s not going to be much I can tell on this side until such time as Sprint gets decent voice and data service in areas I’m in.
As a headset for listening purposes, it sounded as good as any mono headset would.
The Motion Office at the office
It should be noted that there are a TON of office phones out there. The Motion Office will work out of the box with most that have a headset jack, but you might need to have admin rights to the phone system in order to program buttons (on my NEC system we had to program a softkey as the headset button).
Ancient phone systems might require a physical handset lifter, so do your research and talk to IT before you assume it’s going to work.
If you’re just wanting to hook it up to an analogue landline, you’re probably golden.
With a phone call into our phone vendor as our phone system didn’t list headset programming in my quick guide, I got the base unit plugged into the phone system and started its automatic testing. I didn’t document every step, but the display on the base unit walks you through it.
At one point it had me dial a Jabra number, it did some sort of auto tuning, and I had a working headset that was adjusted correctly.
Calls sounded pretty much exactly like they do on the handset. Clear, crisp, responsive. At least when I was talking to someone on a landline.
As a headset I couldn’t really ask for more other than perhaps having a dial-pad available for when I’m stuck on hold with some service that requires me to enter a number after 15 minutes of hold time and have wandered far away from the phone.
I didn’t test out the system with a VoIP service like Skype, mostly because the people I do talk with on these services have really underpowered bandwidth and computers.
The Motion Office also features an option called hot desking. This allows you to take any Motion headset and pair it with a new base just by plugging it in and choosing yes on the touch screen base display. Only having one of these sort of put a damper on my attempts at playing musical chairs with the co-workers.
The Jabra Motion Office software suite allows a wide range of options. The first that I noticed was the computer recognizing the Jabra device, and realizing that the firmware was out of date. I was walked through installing new firmware in the base unit and I’m assuming the connected headset.
Above: slight issue with computer detecting Motion Office and wanting to restart right as it starts a firmware update and says under no circumstances restart. Just don’t restart if this happens.
You can connect to a series of softphones including Avaya, Cisco, CounterPatha, IBM, Microsoft, NEC, ShoreTel, and Skype. It appears you can plug in more softphones as part of the software. One of the options appears aimed at call centers and allows you to change what happens when these softphones are busy.
One of the things I discovered is that the Motion Office has NFC like the Motion did. You can instantly pair just by tapping the hotspot on the motion to the NFC activating region. It’s buried in downloadable a user manual and not mentioned in any product lit I can find, but it makes pairing an Android phone absurdly simple – tap and paired.
The user manual is worth a read if you’re considering getting one of these. The Motion Office can do so much I start feeling it may be a job in and of itself just attempting to utilize the thing to its full potential.
The Jabra Motion Office is pretty cool. If you’re on the phone constantly it makes transition from office to car to home much more transparent, although after a couple of hours wearing the device you’re going to be reminded that it’s still there.
In theory you can take a call at work, forward it to your cell phone, then transfer it to your softphone/VoIP… this will require a bit of finagling however and is dependent on your phone system’s abilities.
As an IT pro who works in the phone industry occasionally, this thing is amazing and worth it. As someone who uses a cell phone, a business line/landline, and VoIP software I find it neat but more than I’d want to pay. You’ll have to make up your mind on whether it’s worth it for what it brings to you. Either way I like it.
The Jabra Motion Office retails for $380, but you can find them at Amazon for $209.99.