When setting up a home office with a new computer, fax machine or perhaps even a copier, be sure to pick the right telephone. Your phone will be an important link to the outside world and chances are you'll be spending a lot of time on it.
If you've ever tried to work with a computer or other office equipment while talking on the phone, you know how frustrating it can be. A hands free telephone is one item that you cannot afford to be without. Fortunately, there are many hands free phones to choose from.
A good choice might be the Plantronics CT12 Cordless Headset Telephone. The CT12 2.4 GHz DSS model is about the size of a cell phone and comes equipped with a 2-way headset. This design allows you to make and receive calls hands free while working and moving around. The handset maintains a wireless connection to the base, which plugs into a land line jack.
The CT12's hand set is well laid out and solid. Its' small measurements (3 1/4″ x 2″ x 1″) make it perfectly pocket sized. The display is a three line, backlit LCD. The CT12's keypad is easy to use but the tiny buttons seem a bit awkward at first. The only problem is the belt clip: it allows the phone to fall off. It's best to carry it in a pocket.
The lightweight headset can be worn over the ear or over the head. Either position is comfortable but I prefer over the head. It just feels much more secure. The CT12 has a feature that the manufacturer calls “Firefly”. This is a small red light at the end of the headset that blinks to let others know when you're talking on the phone.
The sound quality, both incoming and outgoing, is really quite good. The microphone's noise canceling technology helps to suppress background noise, such as air conditioners. The CT12's range is 100 FT. from the base. You can walk around your house, into another room or even outside with no loss of reception. The lithium ion battery provides 5 to 6 hours of talk time or 14 days on standby.
The CT12 comes with all of the standard features: speed dialing, a phone book that has enough room for 100 numbers, call waiting, caller ID and chain dialing. Chain dialing allows you to store numbers that are used once your call connects, such as extension or account numbers. There is no speaker phone however, as the CT12 was designed for hands free use.
The CT12's only drawback is the occasional interference with wireless computer networks. This problem can be overcome by pressing the channel selector button. Alternatively, you can change the channel on your wireless router.
The overall quality of the CT12 is very good. This is a phone that can take a lot of abuse. All things considered, I'd say it's a good buy.