I was looking for a way to talk on the phone while simultaneously working on my computer. It seemed obvious to me that since people didn’t like listening to me on my speaker phone, a headset was in order.
In researching what to do, I came upon the Jabra A7010 bluetooth hub. Its purpose is to add Bluetooth capabilities to a standard desk phone. The list price on the Jabra site is $120 and there are many places on the Internet including Craig’s List where you can find it for around $50. I found one on a one day sale for $19.95 at NCIX.
The unit itself is pretty simple. You unplug the handset from your desk phone and attach it to the middle plug on the hub. Then you plug the hub into your desk phone. At this point, your desk phone will work even if the hub isn’t plugged in to an electrical outlet.
Once it is electrified, getting it work with a bluetooth headset is a 2 step procedure. Since it’s plugged in, it does beg the question how much electricity it consumes.
- Put the bluetooth headset into discovery mode.
- Hold the pairing button on the hub down for a few seconds until the light turns blue. It will then flicker for a bit and turn green. At this point you’re ready to go. If, for some reason, the light will turn red instead of green.
I personally own 2 Plantronic headsets and the manual says you should be able to get them both working with the hub at the same time if they’re multi-point. I was able to pair both of them to the hub individually but couldn’t get them both working at the same time despite trying a number of times. I guess mine aren’t.
Using the Hub with a Headset
Once your headset is paired with the hub you then use it in an almost similar way that you would a cell phone. You press the answer button on the headset which connects it to the hub and lift the desk phone’s handset to answer the call. When you’re done, you press the end call button on the headset and replace the handset. You can transfer from the headset back to the handset by pressing the end call button on the headset. There are controls volume of the dial tone and the microphone but it’s very unlikely that you’ll need to adjust them. I tried and it just caused the of hissing sound a radio makes when the sound isn’t properly adjusted.
Jabra makes a remote handset lifter GN1000 ($75 list) which integrates with the hub and lifts the handset for you. If I’m not mistaken, the lifter only works with a limited number of headsets. I don’t have one of those but I have seen other lifter models in use elsewhere and found that there was a tendency to forget that the lifter was up. As a result the phone would be left off the hook for long periods of time.
The Jabra A7010 does what it is supposed to do in a simple straight-forward way. It’s definitely worth the $19.95 I paid. If you can get it on special, it’s worth it.