FreeTalk Freedom Wireless Stereo Headset “2.0” – When You Just Can’t Sit Still During a Skype Call

FT_logo_web_180x63 Partial disclosure (the full disclosure is at the end): Since receiving Version 1.0 of the FREETALK® Wireless Stereo Headset about two years ago, it has become one of my few “must have” accessories. I’ll try to keep to the descriptive details and let other bloggers comment on their experiences with it.

In the fall of 2007, In Store Solutions introduced the 5191 FREETALK Wireless Stereo headset; its feature set has resulted in its becoming a best seller amongst Skype headsets and number 1 amongst wireless headsets for Skype. From my experience:

  • 210(5192)Its fifteen meter wireless range allows its use around the house; in my particular case the limitation of range to “one room away” resulted from the steel studs in the walls – crossing two walls sometimes made a difference. However, I could readily answer the front door when Fedex came (they only come during calls, right?) or I needed to let the dog out the back door without interrupting a call. I’ve often used them to listen to my iTunes music or listen to podcasts as well while working around the house.
  • The audio quality has continued to amaze:
    • Its AvneraAudioTM chip has supported the various wideband codecs that Skype has provided over the past two years, including the recently released SILKTM codec with its support of 12KHz audio for Skype calls. In fact, when Skype provided me with samples of audio with progressively larger audio bandwidths – 4KHz (narrow band), 8KHz (wideband) and 12KHz (superwideband supported by SILK) – I could only detect a difference between the 8KHz sample and 12KHz sample when using this headset.
    • But the speakers actually support a wider bandwidth; they support the full 20KHz required for high fidelity music listening.

Skype.CordlessHeadset.logo skype_certified.2 However, there were issues with the wearing comfort over a long period of time and the robustness of the headband over time. As a result In Store Solutions recently released “Version 2.0” – the Model 5192 FREETALK Freedom Wireless Stereo Headset – with a much more robust headband and redesigned ear pieces including leather padding for improved wearing comfort.

For simplicity here’s a brief comparison of the FREETALK Wireless Headset and the FREETALK Everyman Headset:

Feature

FREETALK Freedom
Wireless Stereo (5192)

FREETALK Everyman
(5115)

Replaces PC Audio Chip Yes. AvneraAudioTM chip Yes
Speaker Audio Bandwidth 20 Hz to 20 KHz, stereo 20 Hz to 20 KHz. stereo
Supports Skype’s SILK codec Yes Yes
Adjustable Headband with Mic Yes Yes
Ear Pad controls Accept/End Skype calls, adjust volume; Power On/Off (hold) plus mic mute (tap) No
Connection to PC via USB 2.4 GHz WiStereoTM wireless protocol, 15 meter range Two wire connection via USB dongle
3.5 mm Jack for iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, etc No Yes, for listening via speakers only (no mic)
Flat-Fold design Yes Yes
Ear pieces Leather padding Foam pads
Plug-and-Play Yes, PC and Mac Yes, PC and Mac
Weight 142 g 124 g

200(5192.incase)Other features include:

  • Up to 5.5 hours continuous use per charge (in “ready” mode)
  • Continue conversations while the 2 meter charging cable is attached to headset
  • includes a compact travel case to contain the headset, USB dongle and battery charging cable

As for the battery management, I have usually kept the charging cable plugged in when at my PC but can readily disconnect when I need to walk away. This is just “gut” feeling due to many years of experience with battery powered devices.

While operating in the same unlicensed rf band as WiFi, I have never encountered interference between WiFi and the headset. So how does this unique WiStereoTM protocol work in terms of effect on the user experience?

  • It’s intelligent enough to work outside any active WiFi channels
  • Between 10 to 15 users in the same room have been able to use headsets concurrently.
  • It is designed to support the full 20KHz audio bandwidth much more readily and effectively than any Bluetooth protocol
  • There is a sideband channel for the control signals that manage Skype calling via the right ear piece.
  • It adapts the active rf power levels, in real time, to the distance between the USB dongle and headset.
  • If the user goes out of range and returns to within range, the wireless connection is automatically re-established

ThinkingOfBuying5192 The Model 5192 FREETALK Freedom Wireless Stereo Headset is available on Skype Stores via the In Store Solutions Shop supporting 40 currencies and 67 countries under “Headsets”. All In Store Solutions products come with a 7-day (from delivery) “No Questions Asked” return policy.

And, which do I use? Everyman or Freedom Wireless? –  both: one on my laptop and the other on my desktop PC.

Full disclosure: In Store Solutions has become a client of Denali InterConneXions, publisher of Voice On The Web, building on the author’s previous business development experience with establishing partnerships that can assist with the promotion of a primary vendor’s offerings. A more complete statement will follow shortly.

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About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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8 Responses to FreeTalk Freedom Wireless Stereo Headset “2.0” – When You Just Can’t Sit Still During a Skype Call

  1. Sheila Tiernay February 4, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    I see lots of good feed back on the FREETALK Everyman. Where are the reviews for the FREETALK Freedom Wireless Headsets? How long has it been around? Is the technologhy (features) the same as the Everyman? Let's hear it from the girls, we use Voip, too – particularly Skype.

    Any dialogue will be helpful. Thanks – Sheila

    • Jim Courtney February 4, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

      A summary of reviews of the Wireless Stereo Headset is on my ToDo list and should appear this weekend. I will put a link here when it is done.

      This post describes the technology so don't know what I can add – especially given I've put up a summary table comparing the two.

      And there's a brief history of how this headset evolved in the first few paragraphs. The 5192, launched in September 2009, is a successor to the 5191 which had been around since December 2007 (and my experience with the 5101 is a primary reason I had no problem becoming more involved with In Store Solutions when they came to me last year about being involved with their business development activities).

      I would strongly suggest that you actually read (or re-read) this post as it answers all your questions except for the request to refer to some reviews.

  2. Roxane April 6, 2010 at 12:26 am #

    Has anyone tried both 5191 and 5192 wireless headsets? Can we hear some feedback from both users? Thanks!

    • Jim Courtney April 6, 2010 at 5:28 am #

      I can only say that I have had both; the 5192 is the only one now available for purchase. As for voice quality, it's the same. There are a couple of operational issues: for instance, one now "mutes" the mic by pressing the power button quickly instead of rotating the microphone by 90 degrees. The 5192 headband is more robust; the 5192 includes a very neat carrying case.

  3. Luis Antonio May 5, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    Gostaria de obter o manual do usuário/instalação do handset 5192

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] a steady user of both the FREETALK Everyman or FREETALK Freedom Wireless Stereo headset, both set new standards for voice quality on Skype conversations as well as listening to music or […]

  2. Skype’s SILK Codec: Working Towards Adoption as a Standard | Voice on the Web - March 11, 2010

    […] the more recently introduced FREETALK Freedom Wireless Stereo Headset also supports SILK’s audio […]

  3. FreeTalk Wireless Stereo Headset: A June Special On the Skype Store | Voice on the Web - August 31, 2010

    […] Why do I say for two years? Last fall In Store Solutions introduced an upgrade – the TALK-5192 FreeTalk Freedom Wireless Stereo headset with improved overall headset design, including a more robust “head size” adjustment and more comfortable ear pads. There is a more complete description, including a comparison with the FreeTalk Everyman Headset and a discussion of its unique wireless features in my post at the time of its introduction: FreeTalk Freedom Wireless Stereo Headset “2.0? – When You Just Can’t Sit Still During a Skype …. […]

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