As the pandemic continues to affect our lives, most employees keep working from home through video meeting apps such as Zoom. However, video conferences are often labeled as unproductive as people tend to lose focus in-between. According to research by German academics, even a delay of 1.2 seconds on conferencing systems can make people lose attention. To prevent disruption due to technical issues, it is essential to improve your setup’s audio quality. For this purpose, you can invest in a good quality speakerphone, which serves as a portable microphone and speaker specially designed for communication via audio and video calls.
Our team has tested out multiple speakerphones to choose the top 3 available in the market according to your budget and requirements. This article covers all key aspects you should consider while buying your new speakerphone, to make an informed buying decision.
Should I Buy a Microphone and Speaker or a Speakerphone?
There are two options to consider while planning to improve the audio quality in your home office setup. You can either buy a separate microphone and speaker or go for a speakerphone. A high-quality USB microphone and Bluetooth speaker can be connected to a laptop for premium quality audio. These devices can significantly enhance the user experience during Zoom meetings. The setup is versatile and offers greater usability and options to consumers. However, there are a few downsides as well. High-end microphones and speakers tend to be expensive, which can increase the total cost. Users may also have to compromise on the portability of the setup.
On the other hand, if you are going for a speakerphone, you can expect exceptional sound quality at a nominal price. The small and compact shape makes it portable and easy to carry around while traveling. Although the speakerphone is flawless at what it does, it lacks versatility as its use is limited to audio and video calls. In conclusion, the speakerphone is an excellent choice for video calls and conferences. But if you are looking for a multipurpose setup, you should consider purchasing a microphone and speakers.
Best Portable Speakerphone in 2021
Best Bluetooth Speakerphone
Jabra is one of the leading brands for audio equipment. They have a wide variety of products ranging from earbuds to headsets. Their speakerphone, the Jabra 710, is on our list as the best Bluetooth speakerphone in 2021.
The Jabra 710 has a cylindrical shape similar to a spaceship. The device is only 5 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches in thickness, making it extremely compact. It also comes with a carrying case making it portable and travel-friendly. The control buttons are situated on the outer part, and these buttons can be used to carry out several functions such as adjusting volume, turning on Bluetooth, accept or decline calls, and a smart up button to activate voice assistants such as Siri. The speakerphone is also commended for its connectivity. The device configures and connects instantly to Windows or Mac through Bluetooth.
The Jabra 710 also comes with a USB cable wrapped around its outer edge. The cable also acts as a charging cable and saves users from unnecessary hassle if the speakerphone runs out of battery. The Jabra 710 features an omnidirectional microphone that can be used by six people simultaneously and records crisp and high-definition audio. Moreover, the speaker provides immersive sound for improved audio quality. The full-duplex mic system allows you to talk and hear simultaneously, providing a more natural experience.
The Jabra 710 is undoubtedly the best speakerphone available in the market in 2021. However, it has a whopping price tag of $314.
Best Conference Speakerphone
Our team of experts has ranked the Anker PowerConf Bluetooth Speakerphone as the best conference speakerphone. It has a combination of six microphones that have been arranged in an array of 360°. This ensures that the speakerphones pick up voice from the entire room which makes it perfect for conferences. Moreover, Anker’s custom algorithm allows noise reduction and echo cancellation. Thus, PowerConf records high-quality audio irrespective of the environment. The speakers installed in the device are of exceptional quality, ensuring that the sound is heard across the room.
Similar to the Jabra 710, the PowerConf has excellent connectivity. The speakerphone comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and a USB cable, both of which can be used to connect it to computers. The compact shape and a tremendous battery capacity of 6700 mAH make it a perfect travel companion. The speakerphone can even be used as a power bank to charge other devices. Although the overall build quality of the PoweConf is exceptional, some users have faced issues with the volume buttons on the speakerphone. In conclusion, the Anker PowerConf should be a no-brainer if you are looking for a conference speakerphone at a reasonable price tag.
Budget Bluetooth Speakerphone
The Jabra 510 provides impeccable sound quality at an astonishing price of just $150. Jabra has done an excellent job in designing the speakerphone keeping in mind the user’s requirements. You can perform several functions with just a click of a button which makes it convenient to use. The speakerphone has an omnidirectional microphone that can be used in conferences with up to 4 people and records high-definition audio with minimal background noise.
The Jabra 510 is extremely easy to set up and is perfect for users that are not tech-savvy. You can connect the speakerphone to computers via Bluetooth or USB cable. It is also compatible with most video conferencing applications. The slim, compact shape of the speakerphone and the traveling case makes it a perfect choice for users that are on the go. Jabra has also updated the software upon customer request, which makes it possible for the device to be connected to mobile phones and tablets as well. Some users have also expressed concerns over Bluetooth connectivity due to the distortion in audio. To sum up, the Jabra 510 provides great value for money, and it is the perfect choice if you are looking for a high-end speakerphone that doesn’t leave a dent in your pocket.