With the current situation that has almost everyone working from home technology had been the best ally during these times and have showed us how useful can be to help us being even in some cases more productive then before.
Offices usually have the conference rooms with their dedicated speaker phone that allow their users to communicate with groups. With the working from home situation manufacturers have focused in creating new and improved speaker phones that are now more compact, easier to use and to install. Today I will suggest some options available, lets take a look at them.
We start with the entry level, courtesy of Jabra we have the Jabra Speak 510 USB/Bluetooth Speakerphone UC version. This speakerphone is one of the best solution for small rooms, with the benefitof being portable, with a battery life of up to 15 hours of talk time. Offers the versatility of being used as a USB corded speaker phone, or as a Bluetooth speaker phone by using the USB dongle that allows the Jabra Speak 510 USB/Bluetooth Speakerphone to get a range of up to 300 feet. A nice feature of this speakerphone is the easy setup using the touch screen style keys and sleek design for taking it to different places. But another nice feature is that it can be used just as a speaker to stream music from any Bluetooth enable device.
The Jabra Speak 510 can be charged by using any of the USB ports of your computer or can be charged using a power adapter. The Speak 510 has a battery status indicator that allows the user to see the remaining battery time.
Next one on line is the Konftel Ego Personal Bluetooth USB Speaker Phone, this units its suitable for rooms with up to 6 people, making it a good option for little bigger rooms. With a battery life of up to 12 hours of talk time or 60 hours of standby time, the Ego offers integration with Cisco Jabber, Avaya Equinox and Skype for Business among others. Comes with a Omnidirectional 360 degree microphone and automatic echo cancelation and noise suppression.
A nice feature of the Konftel Ego Personal Bluetooth USB Speaker Phone is the LCD screen that makes it easy to see which function is active and wireless headset connection if needed.
Poly Sync 40+ Bluetooth Speaker USB-A, USB-C Standard (My recommendation)
On third position we have the new Poly Sync 40+, which is a wireless speaker phone that can be used as a corded as well, comes with both USB-A and USB-C cables and the Sync 40+ can be used as power bank as well for small devices such as smart phones or small tablets, making it a great option when doing a conference call in a medium size room using a cell phone. The Sync 40+ has IP64 certification, which is the dust and water resistance, making it a good option specially if people are gathering with drinks and make a spill. The new Sync 40+ is Zoom Meeting compatible and has a microphone pickup of up to 8 feet with a coverage of 360 degree room with echo noise reduction. You can pair 2 Sync 40+ if you have a bigger room, making it another advantage when there are different room sizes.
Talk time of up to 30 hours and a charge time of 5 hours standby time of up to a week, with a Kensington lock slot, that is really useful to keep the Poly Sync 40+ Bluetooth Speakerphone on its place.
Coming next we have the latest addition from Jabra, the Jabra Speak 750 MS Teams USB/Bluetooth Speakerphone, with a range of up to 100 ft using the USB dongle Link 370 let you use the Speak 750 as a Bluetooth or corded USB unit. With a talk time of up to 11 hours, omnidirectional microphone that allows the attendees to be heard from any angle. Dedicated Microsoft Teams button, that allows the user to active Teams, view missed calls and voicemails from Teams, and bring Teams to foreground on computer.
The Link button allows you to pair 2 Jabra Speak 750 MS Teams USB/Bluetooth Speakers and work together for a bigger conference call or for a full stereo and true immersive sound for calls or music. Fold out the stand to be upright for optimized music experience or fold it down for a best performance group conference calls.
ClearOne comes in to the game with the ClearOne Chat 150 USB Group Speaker Conference Phone, this particular unit can be used with any computer by USB as a speaker phone as well with some desk phones, among those models the ones supported are the Avaya 2410, 2420, 4610 and 4621. From Cisco the ones supported are the 79XX Series and with more manufacturers being added soon!
The ClearOne Chat 150 USB Group Speaker Conference Phone has 3 built in microphones that offer 360 degree coverage up to 8 feet from the unit. That is a big improvement from the Chat 50, and thanks to that this particular model is the most suitable option for groups of 8-10 people.
Next contender in line, we have the Jabra Speak 810 UC USB/Bluetooth Wireless Speakerphone, this is one f the best ones for a bigger conference room. Perfect fit for a group of up to 15 people, and easy to be used thanks to its different ways to connect via USB, Bluetooth or by 3.5mm jack. The optional Bluetooth Dongle gives you a range of up to 300 feet of wireless range from your computer or tablet. The ZoomTalk microphone offers intelligent directional microphones that focus on the users voice, not the noise.
The Jabra Speak 810 UC USB/Bluetooth Wireless Speakerphone is powered by AC Adapter and has a really convenient USB port that allows you charger your phone or tablet and avoid running out of power in the middle of a conference call or presentation.
Lastly in the race, we have the Poly Sync 20 + from Poly (formerly known as Plantronics), with a fresh and discrete design. This portable speaker phone is compatible with virtually any desktop or laptop with a USB-A port thanks
to the Bluetooth dongle that comes with it. The best option for a small room of up to 6 people, thanks to its multiple microphones built in, offers a coverage of 360 degree of voice pickup. With advance technology that filters unwanted background noise and IP64 rating, which is dust and water resistant, making it very convenient against spills while being used. Touch sensitive controls that light up for convenient location of keys when in use, and a battery time of up to 20 hours of talk time, or 2 weeks of stand by, making it a nice option for people looking for long time battery run.
And the winner of this encounter is:
After checking all these units, I had found so far my favorite one. I would strongly will go with the Jabra Speak 750 MS Teams USB/Bluetooth Speaker, as my champion in this competition. I personally like the design, sound quality of the speaker, portability, easy to use and the dual pairing as I like to have full stereo sound quality when streaming music and playing movies, the microphone sound quality is one of the best ones as Jabra knows about noise canceling microphones.