Review: Snom C520 Cloud Conference Calling Phone

BY JASON HARRISREVIEWS EDITOR

I’m a distributed team member that works for a SF-based company from Oregon. Being able to hear my colleagues when they’re in the conference room is always difficult because we use our laptops during conference calls, and inevitably there’s always a team member or two I can’t hear well while on calls.

We meet quite often – and not being able to hear parts of my team clearly is super annoying! Well, not anymore. 

Our team has been trialing the Snom C520 Conference phone, and I’ve enjoyed having this stellar piece of equipment in our arsenal of tech tools. 

The Snom C520’s Unique Hardware Offering

Snom is a brand known for outstanding audio engineering and quality – and the C520 lines up with Snom’s reputation. Built into the C520, there are clear, audible speakers and a one-of-a-kind surprise. Two of the three mics detach from the normal conference phone, allowing them to be used wirelessly to spread around your conference room. So now, Sally at the end of the table can be understood by everyone on the call! Joe from IT can be heard clearly, too! 

The two detachable mics charge right on the C520 and feature 12 hours of talk-time and 70 hours of standby time, meaning they’re perfect for a full business-day of meetings.

Setup and Onboarding

The Snom C520 comes with everything you need to get started in the box, including the C520 unit itself, power brick and ethernet cables. They’ve color-coded the cables to make set up easy. The C520 is 11” wide and 11” long – it weighs 3.4 points – so it’s large enough to enable a group to talk but not so big, or heavy, that it’s a cumbersome device to move from room to room if you need to do that.

To activate the Snom C520, I logged into the device’s web user interface. I was able to find the IP address the C520 received by using the on-screen menu and then went to the setup page. 

By simply entering my SIP server, username and password, the C520 was instantly provisioned and ready for action. Just in the case set up goes awry, I suggest having IT support handy – however, I believe non-technical folks can activate the Snom C520 just fine.

Performance, Features and Usage

I’ve used the C520 to call internationally and domestically – including landlines, office extensions and mobile phones. Each time, the C520 made the call with ease with zero drop-outs. The people I spoke with were always clearly audible and the voice quality was superb. I really like that the Snom C520 can be powered over BPOE (power over ethernet) if your network supports it. For offices without BPOE set up, you can use the included power adapter as well. 

In my testing, I found that the mics that were detached never cut out and were extremely reliable. I had to go into another room to finally make the mics cut out – I was surprised at the distance they can go reliably.

One facet of the C520 I enjoy is that it’s a full-duplex phone – meaning callers can speak and hear the other person at the same time. Also – the unit supports up to 3 phone lines, which is nice if you have multiple teams using the device in a medium-sized business.

Need to make a more private call using the Snom C520? The unit has built-in Bluetooth so you can pair it with your mobile phone or Bluetooth headset for a more confidential calling situation.

Lastly – if you have a large conference room, you can use Snom’s C52-SP expansion speakerphone – which essentially doubles the amount of speakerphones you have in the room! Consider this if you have more than 10-15 people on a conference call that all need to connect.

Conclusion

The Snom C520 can be bought in the SkySwitch Store, accessible through the SkySwitch Reseller Dashboard. I highly recommend this very solid conference calling performer for each room in your office, where you have multiple people taking part in virtual meetings.