Jabra 9450 Is First-Rate for All Kinds of Calls

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- With all due respect to media-darling wireless business device makers such as Apple ( AAPL), Motorola ( MOT) and RIM ( RIMM), there is another, darn important wireless story looming: so-called unified business communications.

Though you may not have heard of unified biz comm, you know more about it than you'd like to admit. Ever notice how these days that business phone of yours has gotten crazy complex? Your office calls come from everywhere, including office phones, cellphones and so-called soft phones from the likes of Skype, Cisco ( CSCO) or Polycom ( PLCM) that run on desk and laptop PCs. Heck, even tablets such as the iPad can be wired for phone service.
The Jabra 9450 takes some effort, but give it credit for great quality in all kinds of phoning situations for a reasonable price.

Getting all that business telephony to work easily is what unified communications is all about.

One of the more interesting attempts at this market came into the shop about a month ago: the Jabra PRO 9450 headset ( $223 at Office Depot).

While I would not call this tool the ultimate solution for your business telephony, it is interesting enough to warrant attention.

What you get
This is a truly first-rate, commercial-quality cordless business headset that boasts simply ridiculous range -- and works on both your telephone and your office PC.

The 9450 has some drawbacks, but overall Jabra deserves credit for baking once strictly over-the-top quality into a headset that is not insanely priced. Right off it's clear Jabra has taken fit, finish and overall user experience seriously. The charging base and control station is done in a nicely finished black. The headset itself is light and easy to wear, and the earpiece is done in a surprisingly comfy leatherette that rivals best-quality acoustic headphones. There were three good looking set-up options -- over the head, in-ear and a neckband setting, all of which I felt gave up no techno style points whatsoever.

And once set up -- more on that in a sec -- the unit offers truly amazing performance. Besides offering excellent speaker quality and nice microphone noise reduction, the company claims a 400-foot range, which proved to be accurate. I easily got reception across my roughly one-acre home/office lot. And the unit managed traditional phone calls and soft phone calls that came in from Skype on my PC.

Impressive stuff.

What you don't get
Setting up the Pro 9450 is far from plug-and-play.

The phone ambitiously tries to guide the user through the complex process of connecting to your phone and PC. The set-up wizard tries hard, but the average user is going to find all the plugs, wires and USB connectors a major bore. And when the Jabra doesn't work -- for example, I got a horrible buzz in the unit from not plugging in a wire properly -- it takes some real gadget jujitsu to work out.

The 9450 is cool, but expect to invest some serious time to get the thing to work as it should.

Bottom line
Jabra really showed me something with the 9450. It is a high-quality cordless headset that connects you to many of the different inbound calling options you face. Just don't accept the company's claims it can fill that role effortlessly; the headset takes real effort to make work.

But if you are looking for a major upgrade to your office phone experience -- and who really isn't -- the Jabra 9450 is worth a solid look.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.