The Digiumk Switchvox PABX phone system is a great step in the right direction for unified communications. It does a lot of what the bigger PABX phone systems cannot at a pretty good price point. Digium Switchvox is the perfect phone solution for small to medium sized businesses or call centers.
We started with Asterisk Free then tried a few different free versions like elastix and freepbx but landed well with the free version of switchvox free home edition.
As our business grew the home version simply wasn’t enough. We knew this when we started but needed to get the feel for the system before committing and spending the dollars on a complete solutuon.
The overall setup of Switchvox is very straight forward but one area that tripped us up was the sound manager in switchvox.
Sound files for the system are very picky of the file types and compression settings. This is because the telephone systems that Switchvox connects to – like the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), the mobile telephone networks (GSM, 3G, 4G), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) networks and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) have very narrow sound channels that hi fidelity (Hi-Fi) sounds recorded staright from our computers and devices cannot handle and pass through correctly.
To get around this we used Adobe Audition to convert and set the sound files to basically a lower standard of sound that will have no problem of working through these various systems. (You could use other free programs as well to convert)
The settings we found that worked the best for switchvox was to set the sounds to 8Khz Mono WAV Files (on the free version we had to make OGG files). This does take a lot of the crispness and bass out but allows the sounds to work fine through all the different telephone systems.
When we didnt have the settings right, our customers complained of choppy sound and missing sound from menu options. It was all fixed with using the correct settings.
Another intersting thing we found is that sound files sometime insert Metadata at the end of the files. When we sounds were played through the phone system to customers – sometimes they would hear cracks and pops. By removing the Metadata setting when saving the file – the sounds worked fine. This is because Switchvox converts the file to its own settings in the phone system and seems to do a poor job of handeling the metadata which is usually located at the end of the sound file.
I hope this has helped others out there troubleshoot and provision their sound on the Digium Switchvox PABX.
Best of luck!