With the MV900, MVOX has taken new approach to the old Bluetooth handsfree system, building a portable high-end speakerphone that’s usable with virtually any device featuring Bluetooth or USB.
I was surprised by how sturdy the device itself was. Despite being just 2.5 ounces, the design is impressively resilient. I suppose you could damage it, but that would probably require power tools, throwing it in a puddle, or possibly explosives.
Of course, at 3.4 inches long, 2.2 inches wide, and 0.8 inches thick, it’s not exactly a tiny device, at least compared to a most cell phones. But it’s a lot smaller than any other speakerphone that I can think of, and that doesn’t even bring into consideration its full range of capabilities.
On the right side of the case is the simple power switch. The bottom of the device has the DC jack, USB port, and a small indentation that’s used for attaching the MV900 to its optional belt clip.
For mounting options, it also has a lanyard eyelet on top, rubber feet on the back, and if none of those choices appeals to you, you can always stick on some Velcro.
On the left side of the device is a lever-style jog dial that controls the volume, along with dual 2.5 mm jacks. These allow you to plug in either a separate microphone for better gain, or an earbud for listening in privacy. A standard 2.5 mm headset/microphone is included in the box for this purpose. It would seem to me a little bit silly to use a wired headset with a Bluetooth handsfree system, but if that floats your boat, then you’re well covered.
And speaking of the volume, be careful, because the MV900 can crank out an enormous amount of power — just the thing if you need to hear it in a very noisy environment.
Of course, the main attraction is right on the face of the device, where you have the button to activate the speakerphone function, the main speaker, and three LEDs (top, bottom, and under the center button) which serve as low battery warning, power status, and charging indicator respectively.
On the connectivity side, you have the option of using the MV900 over Bluetooth with any headset/handsfree enabled device such as a cell phone, handheld, laptop, or desktop PC. Alternatively, it can also be used as over USB for desktop and laptop applications such as VoIP.
The bottom line of this is that you can hook this device to almost anything for which you have a reason to do so.
Among the more nifty features of the MV900 is voice dialing with no training or tags required. Simply push the button, say the word, and it will handle the rest. It will respond to basic speed-dial numbers, as well as simple phrases like “work” and “home.” So if you need to make a quick call, you don’t necessarily need to pull out your phone, even to dial.
It also supports expanded voice dialing over Bluetooth for any phone which is capable of this.
The battery in the device is rated for 4 hours of talk time, or 200 hours of standby; figures which, as it turns out, are pretty accurate. You can literally leave the speakerphone running in standby mode for days at a time without recharging, and it will still be there when you get back. Talk time isn’t huge, but more than enough for most needs, and it’s not quite as essential in a speakerphone as it is in a cell phone, where a lack of power can mean missed calls.
The device comes with an AC adapter for main charging; however, if you’re determined, you can also make it charge through the USB connection. Unfortunately, as far as I can determine this is much slower than the AC adapter, even when used on a USB port with ample power supplied to it. So if you want to do more than trickle-charge, you’ll need to use the AC adapter. This is a little disappointing, because a true USB charging solution would have made it much easier to charge the device anywhere.
Despite the USB charging oversight, the MV900 is a very nifty and versatile piece of technology, and makes a great companion to a Bluetooth phone. It’s also incredibly expensive, at least compared to a Bluetooth headset, but it does have some large advantages that the other doesn’t. You can clip it, stand it, wear it, use it in the noisiest environments, share the call with others, and connect it to non-Bluetooth PCs.
There are lots of other Bluetooth speakerphones, but most of them are designed for use in a vehicle, and are as such dependent on being plugged into an auto DC jack. The MV900 is completely autonomous, and can be taken anywhere, which is a real convenience for certain applications.
In the end, it isn’t going to replace an ordinary headset for most people, but if you’re in the market for its features, then there’s hardly even any competition.
Solid hardware, and one of the only games in town for its specific features.
The MVOX MV900 can be purchased for $129.99 from the MVOX site.