, a manufacturer of high definition audio conferencing products, announced that its CHAT 160
, a new group speakerphone, is specifically designed for use with Skype (News
), the popular software application that lets users make free VoIP calls over the Internet.
Similar to ClearOne’s (News
) other high-definition audio conferencing systems, the CHAT 160 group speakerphone delivers crystal-clear audio for voice and video communication, according to ClearOne. The device connects to laptops or PCs via USB, to allow for hands-free communication for Skype users.
The Chat 160, which is best suited for small group conferencing, features three microphones, which offer 360-degree pickup for Skype users that need high-quality, hands-free audio.
"The CHAT 160 is a great, complementary device to Skype and we are glad it is now available, especially for those businesses that utilize Skype in the workplace," said Manrique Brenes, Skype's director of business development and product management for consumer electronics, in a statement. "Many of our users around the world are looking for high quality hands-free peripherals. The CHAT 160 will enable them to communicate more effectively."
Mark Child, director, product marketing for ClearOne, said the CHAT 160 can greatly enhance the productivity of an individual, or small group. The company designed the speakerphone specifically to address the needs of the growing number of Skype users, he said.
Skype has 481 million global registered users of which about 17 million are active at any point in time, company officials said.
“Skype was initially targeted at individuals and home users wishing to make free calls to friends and relatives around the world,” Child told TMCnet in an interview. “However, as its usage has grown, Skype has increasingly become an important communications tool for businesses. With Skype, individuals can easily connect across the Internet and conduct free wideband calls that are amazingly clear. With the CHAT 160, those same calls can be hands-free, allowing groups of Skype users to connect and conference.”
The CHAT 60 is available at the Skype Shop
and sells for $399.99.
ClearOne made headlines in August when it introduced
the CHAT 60
, a new personal speakerphone designed for use with Skype. The Skype-certified CHAT 60 connects to laptops or PCs via USB for hands-free communication. The device contains HDConference, ClearOne's suite of high-performance audio technologies that includes full duplex, echo cancellation, noise reduction and adaptive modeling, thus it delivers crystal-clear audio.
In other news, the HD conferencing
provider recently announced
its CHAT 50
USB personal speakerphone and CHAT 150
VC are certified interoperable with the Mirial Softphone
desktop video conferencing solution. This lets mobile workers with the Mirial (News
) Softphone on their laptops use the CHAT 50 personal speakerphone for clear audio when holding video conferencing sessions on the road. In addition, employees with the softphone deployed on desktop computers can use the CHAT 150 VC tabletop speakerphone when hosting video conferencing sessions in the office.
Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Michael Dinan