Looking for a good Skype-phone

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mfacey, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #1
    I'm using Skype for pretty much all my outgoing and incoming calls these days.
    For the past year or so our phone solution was the Siemens M34 USB which is a USB dongle that acts as a handset for my Siemens Gigaset cordless phone. It forwards incoming skype calls to the cordless handset and allows me to access my skype contacts and call through skype from the handset as well.

    The only problem is that the USB dongle and software is windows only. These means running a "old" P4 Dell tower just for that skype connection. You can guess how that goes. First few days its fine but then skype seems to disconnect from time to time and I have to hook up a screen and keyboard and mouse to get it going again. Highly irritating. To make matters worse the connection is unreliable and the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired.

    So yeah, I want a different solution.

    I've looked into a few options.
    1. Dual mode WiFi and landline cordless phone (like the one from Netgear) that runs Skype onboard. These appear to be a bit average in performance so far though.
    2. Get a cheapo usb phone that is mac compatible and get rid of the old tower.
    3. eh... well that's it. Well I guess I could use the built in mic on my powerbook but it causes a lot of echo which means I need to use earphones. Its all just too much hassle to be honest.

    So, any suggestions? What do you guys use?
     
  2. krazo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    #2
    I just bought the Netgear SPH-200D, doesn't have the WiFi capability but otherwise works very well!

    Belkin also has a WiFi model, but no landline support: http://www.belkin.com/skype/howitworks/
     
  3. mfacey thread starter macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #3
    Thanks for the tip on the Netgear one. I thought they only made that Wifi phone (which doesn't get particularly good reviews). I had actually already placed an order for the RTX Dualphone 3088 which is slightly cheaper, but I have now canceled and gone for the Netgear. The better warranty and the trusted name sold me immediately. It also seems to be getting pretty decent reviews from what I've read. With a bit of luck I'll be picking one up tomorrow! :D
     
  4. krazo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2006
    #4
    No prob. There is also a rebate on that phone, just google "Netgear SPH-200D Rebate" and you should be able to find the PDF to fill out.
     
  5. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #5
    Can someone please take a look at the power brick it came with to see if it can work in a 220V socket? I might get someone to buy one of these for me from the states :)

    I too am stuck with a non working M34 and was quite peeved for a while.
     
  6. epiphany macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Rocklin,CA
    #6
    From the specs given on the netgear site, it says that the power bricks for the base station and cradle are 'localized to the country of sale.'

    If this is true, they are stupid. Logistically, and pricewise, it doesn't make sense unless the mark-up variation between countries was huge.
     
  7. mfacey thread starter macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #7
    The "powerbrick" I got with mine (well the two actually) are both all in one ac-adapters. They're also tied to 220V for me here in Holland. The price over here wasn't actually too bad compared to the US. I paid €155 which is decent if you take into account the 19% tax we pay.

    I picked up the Netgear today and my first impressions are very positive. The sound quality for Skype to Skype is miles better than through my old Siemens M34. Landline calls are also decent although not quite a good as my old Siemens DECT phone. Not a problem though, the skype quality makes up for.
    Installation was a piece of cake. Figuring out the logistics of all the cables was infinitely more difficult than setting up the phone itself. Took me 10 mins altogether. Very satisfied!
     
  8. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I've got a Belkin wireless - it's ok but thats as far as I'd go -the battery life is a bit rubbish, and the interface is not what you'd call slick. It sometimes complains that it can't join a network when I'm standing next to the router, and then joins it anyway (why???!!). Cost about £100 when I got it and has saved me a lot of money, but thats because of Skype, not Belkin. Would be ok if it was £40-50 ish, in hindsight not worth more.
     
  9. joeconvert macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    TX
    #9
    I do a fair amount of work calls on Skype throughout the day. I had been using the bluetooth headset I normally use with my Treo. It seems to do a nice job when paired with the Macbook.
     
  10. arjen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #10

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