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MVox MV900 Speakerphone

Mon Apr 24, 2006 - 6:23 PM EDT - By Harv Laser


Every now and then, when I use one, I want to rip my Bluetooth ear piece out of my head and cable that trusty old-tech wired headset to my Treo 650. Why, you ask, when Bluetooth is so advanced we couldn't possibly have any gripes with it, right? Well the truth is I am passionate about my 650. I use it for everything, and it's always with me or within arm's reach. I've never owned a portable anything that can do so many different things. But c'mon, it IS a telephone, and as I see it, that's its main purpose and it's what I use it for more than anything else. And as a phone, you want to hear and be heard.

But one thing it lacks is a truly world-class speakerphone where my callers can clearly hear me and I can hear them, if I place the phone down, especially in the car or noisy surroundings. Let's get real here - the Treo has a tiny speaker and being on its backside, when you set the phone down screen up, especially on a soft surface like a sofa or car seat, the speaker sounds muffled. Palm had to put the speaker somewhere but on the back is not where I would have put it. (Compare this to the orphaned Tapwave Zodiacs which have tiny stereo speakers on the front, flanking its screen).

I was using a popular Bluetooth headset, even though its range and quality are far from what's advertised, but with its shortcomings, it beats holding the 650 to my ear, especially since mine lives in an aluminum case, (not the most comfortable thing to press against your head on long calls), and more importantly, dealing with the annoying hassles of corded headsets. Argh, just thinking about the knots and twists in long thin cables is maddening. So you've got the no-wire convenience of Bluetooth with its inherent drawbacks, (interference, range, tiny buttons, Morse code beeps to learn to put a headset into different modes) and the solid sound of a wired headset with ITS drawbacks – jacking it in and out of the phone, long, tangly wires, and storage.

Ahh, but there's another solution to this dilemma – the third party hands-free speaker phone.

I've tried several of these from different mfrs, but honestly, I haven't found one that lives up to my standards and expectations, or in most cases, their promises. Have you ever heard a mfr. say "Our product is crap"? Of course not. So that's why we write these reviews for you – to attempt to give you, the consumer, an objective overview of what's out there, without the bias of marketing hype getting in the way.

But I digress. While I'm digressing, I'm also reminding you that most pictures in our reviews are thumbnails you can click to pop open a full-size version in a new window.

The biggest complaint about most hands-free units is poor voice quality, echo on both sides of the call, lousy mic pickup, and feeble speakers. Callers often complain that I sound like I'm talking into a tin can, down in a hole, inside of an air tunnel, or from the bottom of a barrel.

Echo…tinny voice…what, hello? can you hear me now? Wait, let me turn the stereo down, hey you out there with the leaf blower, (slam the front door)... you get the picture.

Then along came the MV900 from MVox. I thought, great, yet another Bluetooth speakerphone/hands-free car kit that would disappoint like the rest. But at $129.95, I held out hope that maybe this was the quality piece I'd been looking for.


According to MVox's screed, the MV900 is a portable and true hands-free speakerphone with DSP (digital signal processing) and speaker- independent voice dialing. The company says that it is the ideal communication solution for any mobile professional using it in the car with a Treo 650 or 700w, or using it with a computer to make conference calls through Voice over IP, like Skype, as demonstrated here by our lovely model.

I heard about it because it is one of the few speakerphones (although I can't find another at the time of this writing) that has been actually endorsed by Palm as a stock item in their store.

When the MV900 arrived, and I dove into the box, yeah, a real box, not one of those god-awful plastic blisters that take TNT to open, the first thing that struck me was its unbelievably gorgeous, sexy-curvy and elegant shape, compact size, and very smart Silver and grayish casing. It reeks of quality. I was surprised (and pleased) by how small and portable it is. Dims are about 3 1/2" inches tall, by 2" wide and less than an inch thick. It looks VERY futuristic; it's smooth and fits in the palm of one's hand or slides gracefully into a pocket.

Digging into the box I found an included ear piece for privacy (nice touch). There was also a USB cable for computer hookup VoIP calls, an AC adapter to recharge its internal lithium ion battery, and a handy little car sun visor clip holster and neck strap (although I'm not a neck strap kinda guy but maybe you are, so it's there if you want it). But wait a sec, where's the 12v car charger? Sorry, not included. If this beautiful baby's battery poops out in the car, you're hosed unless you have a DC > AC inverter with you to use its wall wart off your ciggy lighter. At this price point, I think MVox could toss in both chargers without going bankrupt, but one is available online as an option for $14.99.

MVox claims four hours of talk time and up to 200 hours in standby mode when run off the internal battery. Four hours. No car charger. Dear MVox. Please include a car charger. Thank you.

A CD in the box holds a soft copy of the Quick Start Guide and the User Manual. No driver is necessary when used in USB mode. The box also had a printed Quick Start Guide, User Manual, and registration card.

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Product Info
> Name MVox MV900 Speakerphone
> Company MVox
> Weight 2.5 oz. / 70 g.
> Test unit SprintPCS Treo 650
> Fact Sheet & User Opinions
> Available
> $129.95

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