CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

TRENDnet ClearSky TVP-SP1BK review: TRENDnet ClearSky TVP-SP1BK

Solid finish and wireless capability makes the TRENDnet ClearSky very desirable.

Siddharth Raja
3 min read

Network peripherals specialist TRENDnet is well known for quality products with reasonable prices, so we were keen to test its latest VoIP handset equipped with wireless Bluetooth connectivity. Out of the box, the ClearSky impressed with its simple design and quality materials. Our test unit came in a cool blue that was very easy on the eyes. Sitting comfortably in the hand, the curved edge with grooved sides not only looked superb but proved functional in terms of comfort.



The Good

Very simple installationQuality feelWireless VOIP.

The Bad

Short rangeSkype onlyFixed ring volume.

The Bottom Line

Solid finish and wireless capability makes the TRENDnet ClearSky very desirable.

The input for the USB charger can be found at the base of the phone and didn't interfere during conversations whilst plugged in. The rear speaker has a large outlet with a grate over it. Ring volume was loud and clear -- no need to worry about missing a call. The buttons were tactile and well placed; we did however find the menu button to be slightly unresponsive. Maybe only in this test unit but after a while this did become somewhat frustrating.


Included in the package was a USB Bluetooth dongle which is version 2.0 but is backwards compatible with older standards. Another USB cable is also supplied for charging. The ClearSky comes with support for conference calls, a headset adapter and full two-year warranty, but the best attribute of the ClearSky is its ease of use. Setup is quick with pairing happening almost immediately.

Synchronisation with Skype is just as seamless; however there is no ability to add contacts or access voicemail directly from the phone. Checking remaining SkypeOut credit is possible via the phone, as well as adjusting call volume or your Skype status. There are only four ring tones, most of which were more annoying than the Crazy Frog ring tone. This was made worse by the lack of ability to adjust ring volume. One issue with installation for other models is the need to download the latest drivers, usually from the manufacturer's Web site. The CD provided with the ClearSky worked first time, a very good sign.


The ClearSky is like any other cordless phone except that it needs your computer turned on and connected to the Internet to work. Its 100g weight is comparable to most other cordless phones and its lithium ion battery is quoted at 60 hours standby with talk time of six. This is quite conservative actually, our test lasting almost 2 days with us talking for almost 3 hours. Its small LCD screen does the job, and the inbuilt speaker is crisp and clear when calls aren't being interfered with.

Call quality varies dramatically depending on how far you are from the computer and suffers from interference especially when moving from room to room. Making calls while playing audio on the computer will output the audio direct to the phone as the ClearSky is setup as the PC's default audio device. The only way to avoid this is to turn off the phone or adjust the sound settings in the PC's control panel. TRENDnet's 100m range is a little optimistic; we would say the figure is closer to half that.

The Bluetooth adapter also didn't interfere with other wireless devices and running on Windows we had no issues with compatibility. Earlier models have had problems, especially for Mac users, even if the Skype software was working fine.

VoIP has clear advantages for businesses. For the home user the benefits of low call costs are obvious but poor security features and an image of complexity still hamper the full introduction of making calls over broadband. Phones like the TRENDnet ClearSky are an excellent option to get into the world of VoIP.