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The Pitch and Product

Actiontec VoSKY Chatterbox
Summary Miniature USB speakerphone for use with Skype
Update None
Pros • Relatively inexpensive
• Easy to install and use
Cons • So-so sound quality
• Awkward ergonomics

Actiontec VoSKY Chatterbox

Actiontec's VoSKY Chatterbox is a mini-speakerphone for use with Skype. Figure 1 shows just how "mini" it is, which is a good thing if you want to throw it into your computer bag so that you can roam around your hotel room a bit while Skyping.

It's smaller than you might think

Figure 1: It's smaller than you might think
(click on image to enlarge)

Small size can connote advanced technology and sophisticated design in a product. But for some reason the first impression I (and some of my Tom's colleagues) got from the Chatterbox was more along the lines of "cheap toy" rather than "cool little box". The Chatterbox' tiny size doesn't leave much room for a good speaker either and sound quality suffers as a result as we'll see shortly.

Opening up the Chatterbox shows that it uses an InfoAction VK1000 chip. The microphone can be seen to the left of Figure 2 and pretty much everything else on the circuit board is passive components. Note here's also a headphone jack at the top left of Figure 2, which struck me as an odd inclusion for a product that's supposed to let you roam around while talking.

Chatterbox board

Figure 2: Chatterbox board
(click on image to enlarge)

The other side of the board mainly holds the three switches (two for volume up/down, one for mute) and the red / green LED that shows mute status. The chip appears to be custom for Actiontec / VoSKY, since the only links I could turn up get redirected to the VoSKY website.

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