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SPA500-series poor speakerphone quality

kwbrown
Beginner
Beginner

We are a smallish hosted PBX provider, and so far we have hundreds of SPA500-series phones (and SPA900-series) deployed in the field.  Our most popular model is the SPA504G.  One consistent issue that keeps getting reported to us is the quality of the speakerphone on these units.  Users keep reporting that if they happen to talk at the same time as the person on the far end, the person at the far end hears our user's voice cut out.  We have done extensive testing in the field and in the lab, and we can reliably and easily replicate the problem.  It happens with every Cisco SPA phone we have tested on, including the SPA942, SPA50XG, and SPA525G2.  On the SPA500-series we have tested on multiple different versions of 7.4.x firmware, including 7.4.9c.  We have also tested against multiple different Polycom models, including their low-end IP335, and they do not exhibit this problem whatsoever.  In fact, the overall audio quality from both the speakers and the handsets of the Polycoms seems to be somewhat better than the SPA500-series.

What we surmise is happening is that when the voice coming from the far end is played on the SPA's speaker at the same time the user of the SPA is speaking, the SPA is dropping the audio coming from the microphone in an effort to provide echo cancellation.  While Cisco claims these phones have a "full-duplex speakerphone with advanced acoustic echo cancellation", this seems to not be the case.  These phones seem to be engaging in primative echo suppression - not cancellation - effectively turning them into half-duplex speakerphones.

Has anyone else run into this issue?  If so, what, if anything, did you do to resolve it?  I would also love some feedback from the Cisco employees that hang out on this forum.  Our customers that heavily use the speakerphone are not happy, and I'm afraid we're going to end up having to replace a whole mess of SPA phones with Polycom equivalents at our cost...

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Kevin

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