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The GN Netcom Ellipse 2.4 GHz Wireless Amp w/2125 Flex Dual Headset

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Unfortunately many headset wireless amps on the market today are better in concept than execution. They free you from your desk, but their sound quality is poor, transmissions are spotty, and their range barely lets you leave your office before you lose your caller. Calling back clients and apologizing for cheap equipment is hardly good for business.

The reasons for these problems generally fall into 2 categories: poor transmission technology and lousy headsets. Ideally, of course, a wireless amp should provide the best range available with a top-notch headset. And this is what GN Netcom has done with its GN Ellipse 2.4 GHz Wireless Amp. By using 2.4 GHz technology for transmissions, the GN Ellipse effectively increases range in the neighborhood of up to 200 feet while reducing interference. When packaged with a choice of up to 9 different GN Netcom headsets, the GN Ellipse easily surpasses its competitors in performance and comfort. (And at the time of this review, many of these Ellipse/headset bundles are on sale on the HelloDirect.com web site!)

Setup
The GN Ellipse's base station should be set up between your regular office phone and its handset. After connecting the handset cord and the included base-to-phone cord, simply plug in the AC power cord and you're almost done.

Before you can use the headset, you need to charge the included NiMH battery for about 3 hours. Once it's fully powered, the wireless amp will be good for about 12 hours of continuous use or 3 days of standby time. If you're somebody who's constantly on the phone, you might consider purchasing an additional battery that can be charged simultaneously.

The 2.4 GHz amp
Because it's small enough to easily fit in any pocket, the GN Ellipse wireless amp is more versatile than most. If you want a traditional wear, you can attach the included belt clip and secure it to your waistline. Or, if you prefer, you can put the unit in your shirt pocket and a built-in wire clip will make sure that it stays in place. And for those who don't like to fuss with clipping and unclipping, an included strap lets you wear the device around your neck.

The amp itself is solid and simple. On the v-shaped front are 3 buttons: VOLUME, MUTE, and ON/OFF. All are easy to use and can be found quickly without looking.

Range
This is where the GN Ellipse outperforms the market. Not only does the higher frequency give you up to 200 feet of roaming flexibility, 2.4 GHz channels also provide better security with less traffic. Most cordless phones operate on 900 MHz channels. These channels are loaded with traffic and can be easily picked up by eavesdroppers with scanners. But because most commercially available scanners cannot access the 2.4 GHz band, eavesdroppers cannot listen in to your calls. The GN Ellipse is also equipped with spread spectrum technology, making interception virtually impossible.

Base station
The only complaint I have about the GN Ellipse is a common one. Manufacturers of wireless amps often spend most of their time thinking about the headset and the wireless amp, while ignoring the base station. Specifically, they're usually too light. When you're reaching for the headset on that last ring, you don't want to knock over the base station in the process. It'd be nice if the GN Ellipse had a heavier stand for its base. Despite this very small problem, though, the base station is very well designed. It can recharge an extra battery; it has multiple settings to optimize incoming and outgoing sound; and it has indicators to tell you when the battery is charged or the headset is in use.

Also included on the base station is a headset stand. This 4-inch rack keeps your headset's wires from getting tangled and makes it easier to put on your headset during those mad rushes.

The GN Flex headset
For purposes of this review, I tested the GN Ellipse with the GN Netcom 2125 Flex Noise-Canceling Dual Headset. Usually, I prefer a single (monaural) headset so I can switch ears mid-day, but the Flex 2125 was so comfortable I didn't need any such adjustments. The Flex headset is also equipped with an excellent noise-canceling microphone at the end of a flexible boom.

Overall, GN Netcom is known to make some of the best headsets on the market, so your package decision—that is, which headset top to choose with your GN Ellipse Wireless Amp—will have more to do with which features you like (dual vs. single speakers, flexible vs. rigid booms, over-the-ear vs. over-the-head styles, and so on) than with concerns about performance.

Final thoughts
The primary advantage of the GN Ellipse is its utilization of 2.4 GHz technology. But when you throw in a high-quality headset, a straightforward setup, and excellent clarity, you have a package that far exceeds other wireless amps on the market. For as little as $369.99 for an Ellipse/headset package, you can greatly increase your efficiency while remaining in contact with your clients and customers. Add the GN 1000 RHL remote answerer (I believe Hello Direct gives you a price break right now when you order the 1000 RHL with your headset), and you can be even more effective—with less work.

 

What I Liked Best   What I Didn't Like
  • Excellent range and security
  • Packaged with high-end headsets
  • Lightweight and well-designed wireless amp
  • Hands-free aspect improves efficiency
  • Works exceptionally well with the 1000 RHL remote answerer
 
  • Base station could be heavier


 


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