Last week a nice surprise arrived via courier – the new Yamaha PSG-01S speakerphone for Skype. Described by Yamaha as a ‘Sound Gadget’, the idea behind this device is that it acts as a speakerphone for Skype calls when upright and doubles as stereo speakers when lying on its side.
The Yamaha PSG-01S Speakerphone
It’s a highly portable device and perfect for packing in your laptop case. The speakerphone has several clever features. When on a Skype call you can lay the device on its side to mute the microphone. The device chimes to warn you when switching from phone to speaker mode. If the device is being used as stereo speakers (listening mode) and a Skype call comes in, turning the device upright allows the call to be answered. The speakerphone has a series of LEDs around the top which indicate the current status; nice idea but not obvious what they mean without referring to the user guide! Everything you’d expect from a quality speakerphone is there – echo cancellation, background noise reduction and support for super wideband audio. The build quality is excellent; it has a solid feel to it and is finished in brushed metal. Connectivity is standard USB2.
Making a call is simple and uses both the Skype client on your PC and the on-hook / off-hook hardware buttons on the speakerphone. Call quality is outstanding and it’s a great enhancement to Skype, especially as an alternative to a headset. However, the one bizarre thing about the Yamaha is the price. The Skype store is selling it for £199.90 and I can’t work out who would pay that price for a speakerphone. It’s undeniably a great bit of kit but that price point seems too high. The quality may well justify the price but I don’t see users paying that sort of premium which is a shame because anyone using the ‘Sound Gadget’ will love it!
The Yamaha PSG-01S is available from the Skype store.