Camera shy? Budget conscious? Low-speed internet? These might seem like issues when looking to invest in a virtual conferencing system, but you can relieve any of these frustrations using 1 simple device.
Anyone looking to make the leap from their telephone to virtual conferencing doesn’t need to look much further than a good conference speakerphone. Never again spend hours holding up a telephone and sitting in place for hours during a long conference call, or fiddling around with phones and settings trying to get a third party to join in on the call. Precious internet bandwidth can also be saved by sticking to a non-video speakerphone setup.
A conference speakerphone is an audio-only virtual conferencing solution (but a good provider should create integration capability with video conferencing cameras ) that allows for phone calls to be made and received with the click of a button. Conference speakerphones can be placed on a table, and in an ideal situation can be optimized for any size of room, allowing for comfortable audio calls, even with multiple people in the same room. With the right technology, a smartphone can even be connected directly to the speakerphone to connect in a third party to the conference.
So, you might be wondering: “How is it possible for the microphone to accurately pick up my voice if I’m not holding it up to my ear like a traditional phone?” This is a valid concern, and can be addressed with high quality microphones and design. To find out how well conferencing speakerphones do in this area, we ran some tests on audio frequency pickup range between another conferencing speakerphone and our own AVer FONE540 :
In the image, you can see that some conferencing speakerphones do have issues with picking up an entire room of sound, whereas high-end and purpose-built conferencing speakerphones can pick up all sounds as if the microphone is being held up like a phone. Design choices also have a huge impact on this, and one of the factors the FONE540 performs so well in this particular test is attributed to its 360° microphone design, which helps pick up sound from all angles.
After seeing how convenient a conferencing speakerphone is when compared to a traditional telephone, you can understand why 95% of conference rooms rely purely on audio. Despite that, if your speakerphone provider also creates video conferencing solutions , you should be able to add a high quality video conferencing camera into the mix if you feel like adding video into the virtual meeting equation.
Aside from cameras, newer and more advanced speakerphones offer daisy-chain capability, which allows users to go ahead and connect multiple speakerphones together to fill up a bigger room. Some AV solution providers also deliver further flexibility by selling microphones separately so you aren’t forced to buy more speakers if you don’t need them.
The intelligent AI trend hasn’t forgotten about speakerphones either – smart features such as double-talk detection make accidentally talking over one another finally a thing of the past by using AI to automatically detect voices on either end of a call, further closing the gap between virtual and face-to-face meetings.
Quality audio-only solutions are appearing now with the innovations in audio speakerphones, making it easier than ever to make the leap from using your laptop microphone (which, let’s be honest, was never an effective solution) or using the telephone for virtual meetings.