I strongly believe that if you want to use VOIP regularly, with as little fuss or hassle as possible, a hardware ATA is the way to go. That’s what I do, of course. It requires a larger investment than using a “softphone” with a cheap headset, or microphone and headphones – a perfectly good ATA can be had starting from around $40 – but it generally pays off in the long run, because you’re not tied to a computer all the time.
Well, I recently had to help someone set up a softphone call, for various reasons that aren’t really all that important, and accidentally demonstrated that an ATA and telephone handset isn’t really all that expensive at all. On short notice, I threw together some equipment I had laying around for other reasons, and set it up for them; the end result would been considered a pretty respectable podcasting setup – and for VOIP it was
probably overkill. (The sound quality was excellent, however.)
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