I’ve just finished writing a Peer Review piece for ProAV magazine on the Chat 50 USB by ClearOne. This is one sweet Skype-ing machine. This little box sounds great for VoIP — it has a full sound and the intelligibility is excellent. It works in full-duplex mode, so it doesn’t cut off the sound of the other party when the caller speaks over him. Clear One includes software for adjusting the internal input and output levels and for disabling the Chat 50’s echo canceling feature, and the software can then store these settings in a database of devices for later recall.
The downsides are so very minor — ClearOne says it can be used as a remote speaker for an iPod. Well, yes it can, but you won’t like the results for that… it’s a bit boxey-sounding. But for speech, it is fabulous. I’m keeping mine. Check it out in November’s ProAV, which can be found here.