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Ipevo ST-4RT.1 - Universal VOIP Handset
Cheap VOIP Phone Handset With High Voice Quality
Fill the void in your online communication experience
The image of having a conversation over the Internet wearing a microphone headset plugged into a computer leaves an unsatisfying feeling about Internet phone calls. To give Internet phone calls a fresh identity, we need to move away from that inseparable link between Internet and computers, and think about the type of communication experience that we enjoy with normal telephone calls. For a sensible and comfortable way to talk online, pick up a ST-4RT.1 today.
Works with any Instant Messaging software
ST-4RT.1 allows you to use the voice chat function of your Instant Messaging software, but substitutes a slim and comfortable handset better suited to normal phone conversations compared to the awkward microphone headset. With your Instant Messaging software running, simply plug the audio input and output connection on ST-4RT.1 into your computer and the installation is complete. Activate the voice chat option on your Instant Messaging software to start making voice calls to people on your contact list.
Light and compact design leaves no loose ends
Small but handy design features make ST-4RT.1 a device that leaves no messy trails. Cables are bound together and conveniently split at the end to accommodate different spacing between the headphone and microphone connections. Audio jacks lock together and fit inside a storage space created by the cables wrapped around the mouthpiece opening, for a neat and practical cable management.
New versions of the Mac computer and laptops do not use the standard 3.5mm audio input/output connections, so you will need to purchase a AUDIO to USB adapter and connect the audio jacks on ST-4RT.1 to the adaptor and plug it to the USB port on the Mac computer. Older Mac models still use the standard 3.5mm audio input/output connections, so you can connect ST-4RT.1 directly to the computer and use it as normally.
• Compatible with PC and MAC with 3.5mm audio jacks
• No drivers required
• Supports most VoIP softphone and voice-enabled Internet chat programs
• Excellent high quality mic and speaker
• Compact, lightweight, and ergonomic design
• Built-in adjustable volume control
Ruel - IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset needs both a headphone jack and a mic-in jack - March 29, 2009
This IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset (black in color) is suppose to work with any computer that has both a headphone jack and a mic-in jack. The catch is that you need the mic-in jack on the computer. You don't need to install any software to use this IPEVO ST-4RT Handset. You just plug the IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset's two plugs into the headphone jack and the mic-in jack on the computer. As a frame of reference, on the one hand, if you are using a headphone-with-mic that you plug into jacks on your computer, then the chances are that this IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset will work for you. However, on the other hand, if you find that you are using a headphone-with-mic that plugs into the USB, then this handset may not work for you but that you may instead want to get the IPEVO FR-33.1 USB handset.
First, I tried the IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset on my Macbook. I didn't know that the Macbook's line-in jack was NOT a mic-in jack. Fortunately, the Macbook has a built-in microphone. Also our HP Pavilion dv6653cl laptop has a line-in jack but no mic-in jack because the laptop has a built-in mic. So, using this IPEVO ST-4RT.1 on those newer computers means the handset speaker works for listening, but have to talk into the computer's built-in microphone for talking.
Yes, you can plug the mic into the line-in jack, but the mic has to be amplified in order for the mic to work with a line-in jack. The mic on the IPEVO ST-4ST.1 handset is not amplified. You would need to get something like the Griffin iMic as a USB adapter to give the mic some power, but then that all gets plugged into the USB.
Then I plugged this handset into an old HP Omnibook 4150B laptop which has both a headphone jack and a mic-in jack. The old HP Omnibook does not have a built-in microphone. The IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset's speaker worked fine, but the handset's mic did work but was weak. I went into the windows sound properties to turn up the microphone but I have to try fiddling with it more. [## EDIT: Have to look in windows for how to do a 20dB boost for the mic to get the microphone to work better.] The mic on the handset is right on the bottom of the handset - it's like it's facing the floor and not your mouth. I don't know if that's good or bad but it didn't make sense to me. Well, that end of the handset is closer to your mouth and maybe the design is to help eliminate any echo effect. I have to try the handset with Linux on the HP Omnibook to see if it works better.
[## EDIT: Okay, I tried Linux on the HP Omnibook 4150B laptop using the beta version of Xandros PRESTO which is an instant-on operating system that you can dual boot between linux and windows. I boot over to the Linux side and fire up Skype and the IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset works. I had to go into the sound settings and click a box for doing a 20db boost for the mic. Not sure how to do that on the windows side, but I would have to look for that. Surprisingly, I know almost nothing about linux, but the IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset works great both listening/talking using Skype to make a phone call on the linux side on my old HP Omnibook laptop which happily has both a headphone jack and a mic-in jack. Yea!]
Anyways, if you don't have a mic-in jack, your alternative options include: (1) go ahead and plug in the jacks but use the built-in mic on the computer; or (2) instead, go get the IPEVO FR-33.1 USB Handset if you use Skype; or (3) get a Griffin iMic (for Mac; look for something similar for windows) and plug this IPEVO ST-4ST.1 into the jacks on that USB adapter; or (4) go use a USB Headphone-Microphone. If you don't have a mic-in jack, I can recommend the other IPEVO FR-33.1 USB handset which is white in color that I use with the Macbook and I want to get a black one for the HP Pavilion. For this IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset (the subject of this review), I got the double pack (two handsets) and based on my experience so far, one handset would be for the old HP Omnibook and the other handset would be for the old homebrew desktop PC since those two older PCs have both the headphone jack and the mic-in jack.
This IPEVO ST-4RT.1 is a small handset. If you are used to having a small cell phone, then you may get used to this handset. Don't expect a full-sized handset. One other item of interest, if you are wondering, the cord/cable for this IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset is not super long like with the IPEVO FR-33.1 handset.
##### UPDATE - March 31, 2009: I tried the IPEVO ST-4RT.1 handset on an Acer One ZG5 Netbook (one of those really small new mini-laptops) and it works. That Acer netbook has both a headphone jack and a mic-in jack. Yea! This was under Windows XP and I used the windows Sound Recorder to try out the handset. I didn't have to change any mic settings. Unfortunately, I didn't have permission to install Skype on the Acer netbook (it belongs to another family member), but I'm guessing that the handset should also work okay with Skype because the sound is the same no matter what when you're dealing with this type of handset. I hope to try the handset on a different netbook - the ASUS Eee PC 900HA Netbook (another family member got a netbook also) - that has both a headphone jack and a mic-in jack. I'll do the same thing on the ASUS netbook by trying out the windows Sound Recorder, but this time also try out Skype which was pre-installed on the ASUS netbook that I was playing with. I'll report back in when I get to play with that ASUS netbook again. Thanks for reading.
##### UPDATE - April 5, 2009: Hello again. I plugged the IPEVO ST-4RT.1 Handset into the sound/microphone jacks on the ASUS Eee PC 900A Netbook and it works fine with the Skype that was pre-installed on that netbook. Made some test calls to compare using the handset versus using the netbook's built-in speaker/microphone. The Skype test calls sounded much better on the IPEVO ST-4RT.1 Handset. So it works. Yea! Thanks for reading.
ST-4RT.1 Technical Specifications:
• IPEVO ST-4RT.1 Universal VoIP Handset
Dimensions / Weight
• Size: 12.85 x 3.5 x 1.65 cm (L x W x H)
• Weight: 60 g
• Volume up/down (scrolling bar)Hardware Description
• Universal headset with 3.5 mm Audio jack
• Cable Length: 1.2M
• Compatible with most of Instant Messaging software including Skype,Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!Messenger , AOL, iChat and VoIP systems (i.e. Microsoft Office Communicator, Avaya solutions, etc)
• The voice for March is 99.13 +/- 3 dBA(leq)
• Receiver :Sensitivity: 115 dB +/- 3 dBImpedance: 32 Ohm
• Microphone :Omni directionalSensitivity: -46 +/- 3 dBFrequency Range : 70 20,000 HzS/N Ratio>58 dB
• VOIP software, including Skype, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger,Yahoo!Messenger , AOL and iChat
• Mircrosoft Windows XP/ Vista/ Mac OS
• Broadband internet connection
• Available 3.5 mm audio in and audio out port[!operating_system:Mac OS X!]