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Video is great, Audio is Critical for Hybrid Work, Office Work, Work from Home

Regardless of the work model being implemented, video conferencing will be part of the equation. Over the past 17-18 months most of us have participated in a video call over Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, or some other video meeting platform. One thing we’ve learned is that it’s nice to have high-quality video but it’s more important to have great audio.  

Audio is Critical in Video Calls 

To have a productive video meeting, all participants need to be able to hear and be heard. In the early days of the pandemic, there was a massive shift to work from home. Once vaccines were introduced, businesses started developing plans to return to the office. Some leaders have made remote work permanent. While others have strong arguments for why employees need to be back in the office. And some are opting for a hybrid/flexible work model. As organizations navigate this topsy-turvy landscape, they need to focus on developing device standards that will work in the current and future environments.  

Employees need the right technology to stay connected. The challenge is one size does not fit all. Business and IT leaders need to consider a day in the life of the employees in their various roles and work environments. Today team members can join video calls from a dedicated office, an area in their home, a third space, or from pretty much anywhere. Whether or not they turn their video on, they will need to be able to hear what’s being said. And if they speak, they need to be heard by all participants.  

Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been in countless video meetings, mobile calls, listen-only webinars, and online training sessions. Audio has been the most critical part. Even with great video, poor audio quality or no audio can stop a meeting dead in its tracks. It’s critical to have great audio.  

My Setup

My wife and I both have dedicated offices in our home and HQ. After testing several webcams, my wife has selected the Logitech Brio webcam. She will not turn her video on unless she has her Logitech Brio. For audio, she’s been using the Poly Calisto 7200. It’s been discontinued and she’s waiting to switch to its replacement the Poly Sync 40. In the meantime, the Calisto 7200 is working great. I recently decluttered my home office workspace and now have a single 43” curved Samsung monitor. For audio and video, I have opted for the Poly Studio P15 video bar. This is a great option for my environment. The Poly Studio P15 includes everything I need to look and sound my best in video calls: 4K camera with auto-tracking, integrated privacy shutter, speakers, multi-microphone array and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports, and several nice features like Noise BlockAI and Acoustic Fence. Take a look at this video where I provide a Poly Studio P15 overview, video, and audio test!  

Different Work Environments 

What about different work environments? Call One, Inc. and Hello Direct, Inc. have team members working from our Headquarters in Cape Canaveral, FL, and remotely in different cities and states. We have open office environments, private offices, home environments, small to large meeting rooms, and an operations and warehouse facility. Audio and video device needs will be different depending on the team members’ roles and workspace. It’s not practical to use a speakerphone in an open office or noisy warehouse. First, we’ll take a look at desktop video options, and then we’ll discuss audio devices. 

Desktop Video 

There are multiple options available when it comes to desktop video and webcams. In my blog, Webcams for Business – What to consider I share a list of things to consider when choosing a webcam: Compatibility with Operating System, Supported Video Platforms, Windows Hello Face Support, Video Resolution, Field of View and Auto-Framing,  Autofocus and Auto-light correction, Built-in Microphones, Privacy Shutter, Mounting Options, USB Type Connectivity, and Cable length, Additional USB Ports, All-in-One Video Bars, Device Management, Warranty, and Price. On our YouTube channel, we have a playlist dedicated to Webcams / Video Collaboration Solutions. These videos allow you to learn more about the webcams and see them in action. We also have side-by-side comparison videos. 

Webcams for business

Value Business Webcams – Under $70 

Good/Better Business Webcams – Under $150 

Premium Business Webcams and All-in-One Devices 

Personal Speakerphones 

Speakerphones are great audio devices for team members who work in a private or home office space where their audio will not distract others. Most personal speakerphones are excellent for travel as they are small and portable. Some models include Bluetooth which allows you to pair with a mobile device. This is great for streaming music or having an ad-hoc small group conference call with others. Speakerphones can be connected to a computer via USB-A or USB-C. There are wireless options that provide flexibility as to where you position the speakerphone from the computer. Zoom and Microsoft Teams certified speakerphones are available. Take a look at these USB Speakerphone options available from Poly, Jabra, EPOS, Konftel, Yamaha UC, Yealink, and ClearOne. In our Business Personal and Small Group Speakerphones video playlist, we put these speakerphones to the test and share their features and audio quality performance.  

Two of my favorite personal speakerphones are the Jabra Speak 750 and Poly Sync 20. In this blog, I share my top 5 picks for USB speakerphones.  

Headsets 

At the beginning of the pandemic, we experienced a lot of panic-buying from customers of all sizes and industries as they transitioned from in-office to work from home. Many used “freemium” collaboration apps on their computers and there was a mad dash for any USB headset they could get their hands on. We now have over a year and a half of experience and lessons learned under our belt. What we learned is that our team members need better when it comes to headsets. Business and IT leaders need to understand team members communicate and collaborate in different ways based on their work styles and workspaces. Having the right headset fosters better communication, collaboration, and improves productivity. When team members can hear and be heard when in a voice or video call, work just flows. The first step is to identify what they are connecting their headsets to. Is it a desk phone? Which brand and model? Is it a computer? What softphone or UC platforms are being used? Do they need Zoom or Microsoft Teams certified headsets? Is it a mobile device? Does it support Bluetooth or a 3.5mm plug? Do they need to connect to a combination of those three devices?  

When I was able to travel and go on customer sites, it wasn’t uncommon to walk by a cubicle and see multiple headsets. When I inquired why they had so many headsets, the response often was, “This headset is for my desk phone. This headset is for my computer. And this is the headset I brought from home to pair with my mobile phone.”  

With so many team members working remotely, what are they using? Has it been tested? Is it compatible or certified with the platforms and applications your business is using? How do you know? This conversation can wait for another video and blog I’m working on. We’ll cover device management software and why it’s important for your business.  

Headset Connectivity

Today headsets support single and multi-connectivity. Here is a list of connectivity combinations headsets can support today:   

  • Desk Phone Only 
  • Computer Only
  • Computer + Mobile 
  • Desk Phone + Computer 
  • Desk Phone + Mobile 
  • Desk Phone + Computer + Mobile 

What connectivity do your team members need? Need help? Call One, Inc. can help you identify the right headsets based on connectivity, work environment, and use case. Contact us

Wireless Headsets 

Wireless headsets increase productivity by providing team members the ability to roam away from their workstations. They can answer and end calls right from their headset. This is beneficial in any environment. Those working from home will find being wireless especially beneficial. Wireless headsets allow you to get up and refill your coffee, tend to your children or pets, start a load of laundry, get a snack, get your deliveries, and more! There are multiple wireless operating frequencies in use today however, DECT and Bluetooth are the most prevalent when it comes to headsets. Which is best for your environment? If you need to go further, DECT headsets claim to offer a longer wireless range compared to Bluetooth headsets. Bluetooth headsets can pair to mobile phones which allows you to take calls on the go beyond your office or workspace. Poly Savi 8200 Office and Jabra Engage 65/75 Wireless headsets can easily be converted into hybrid work options. Take a look at this video to learn how

Plantronics Savi 8220 DECT

My Top Picks for DECT Wireless Headsets 

ANC Headsets

Noise continues to be a top distraction in the office and when working from home. A good set of Active Noise Canceling headphones is a great option to help you block out the noise. There are many consumer-grade options available like the Sony WH-1000XM4 and Microsoft Surface Headphones 2. The challenge is they are not designed to work with business communications and collaboration platforms. Leading manufacturers of professional-grade headsets have developed several ANC headset options that are optimized and certified to work with UC platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco Webex. They are available corded or wireless and in multiple wearing styles to include circumaural, on-ear, and in-ear options. Some models even offer boomless-mic options so they look and feel more like consumer headphones. Take a look at this video comparing the mic performance of the Bose 700 UC, EPOS Adapt 660, Jabra Evolve2 85, and Poly Voyager 8200 UC. I feel that headsets with boom-mics provide better transmit audio quality. Check out this video comparing the Poly Voyager Focus 2 and Jabra Evolve 75!

My Top Picks for ANC Headsets 

 Backup Audio Device Recommended

Because work is being done from a variety of environments, employees no longer have immediate physical access to replacement units. I strongly recommend having a secondary/backup audio device wherever they are working. A corded USB headset is a good backup. A good choice would be a USB headset model that does not require software/firmware updates so employees have a truly plug-and-play experience should their primary audio device quit working. The JPL Commander-1, Commander-2, 400-USB Monaural, and 400-USB-Binaural are great inexpensive options as primary or backup headsets.  

Make Informed Purchasing Decisions 

We created our YouTube Channel to help you make more informed purchasing decisions by testing business-grade audio and video solutions in real-world environments. Check out some of our more popular video playlists:  

Conclusion

In the new normal of work from anywhere, hybrid meetings with a mix of in-person and remote participants will be prevalent. Video is awesome however, audio is critical. It’s important to have an audio device that allows the user to hear and be heard. The audio device should align with the individual team member’s work style and workspace. Since 1987, Call One, Inc. has been helping people do their business better. We are authorized resellers of Poly, Jabra, EPOS, Logitech, Cisco, JPL, Yealink, Konftel, and more. We help mid-to-large enterprise customers select the right audio and video devices for their team members. If you would like help, contact us.  

What size room is Jabra PanaCast 50 designed for?

Jabra confirmed that the PanaCast 50 is shipping and is certified for Microsoft Teams and Zoom rooms on June 23, 2021. Engineered to be the world’s first new-normal-ready intelligent video bar, the PanaCast 50 reinvents meeting room video, audio, and intelligence for the ‘new normal’ workspace. The Jabra PanaCast 50 is available in Black or Grey.

Professional Grade Audio

The PanaCast 50 features eight professional-grade microphones and an array of four powerful Jabra-engineered speakers, two 50mm woofers, and two 20mm tweeters. Beamforming mics and full-duplex audio allow you to hear and be heard, naturally. Meetings flow better when everyone can communicate clearly. Jabra’s advanced beamforming technology maximizes the signal-to-noise ratio for crystal-clear voices, anywhere in the room. 

And with full-duplex technology, everyone can contribute to the conversation in real-time. So those verbal cues that are so integral to face-to-face conversations will never go unheard. 

Jabra Panacast 50

Outstanding 180° Video 

In addition to Jabra’s world-leading audio, Jabra’s gone all-in on inclusive video that keeps everyone in the frame. The three 13-megapixel cameras, mounted in a high-precision, multi-camera array, cover every part of the room. Their patented real-time video stitching technology intelligently decides exactly the right point to live-stitch the three feeds together, creating a smooth, 180° view in high-definition Panoramic-4K. That means nobody is squeezed together, distorted, or missing from the picture. Jabra PanaCast 50 puts inclusive meetings back on the table, safely. 

Jabra Panacast 50

Virtual Director and Intelligent Zoom 

The Jabra PanaCast 50 features two Automatic Zoom modes.  

  • Intelligent Zoom - dynamically frames all visible people within 3.5 meters (11 feet) of the camera. 
  • Virtual Director - utilizes advanced speaker tracking to focus the camera view on whoever is currently speaking. 

By default, the Automatic zoom mode is set to Intelligent Zoom. You can configure the setting in Jabra Direct > PanaCast 50 > Settings > Camera > Automatic Zoom mode. 

Watch this video featuring available settings via Jabra Direct for the PanaCast 50

Jabra Panacast 50 settings

Safety Capacity & Room Usage Insights 

If your organization has implemented socially distanced meetings, how do you know if your staff is sticking to the guidelines? Jabra’s intuitive software anonymously counts heads and provides notifications when your customized guidelines are being breached. Their unique 180° data stream remains constantly focused on the entire room, delivering real-time people count data, even when the video stream is zoomed in. Visual data in Jabra Xpress allows you to analyze your previous meeting history, and take data-driven action accordingly. This functionality doesn’t require a computer connection so it’ll capture impromptu meetings as well.  

Whiteboard Streaming 

Jabra’s whiteboard streaming technology lets you live stream your whiteboard content. This supports meeting equity and allows in-room and remote participants to see the whiteboard. This is a built-in feature that does not require a secondary content camera.  

The recommended size of the whiteboard should be between 1.5-2.7 meters in width (5-9 feet), however, whiteboards measuring between 1-3 meters in width (3-10 feet) are supported.  

It is recommended that the whiteboard should be positioned within 3.6 meters (12 feet) of the Jabra PanaCast 50, and no closer than 1.5 meters (5 feet). The optimal viewing range is 3 meters (9 feet). 

Before a whiteboard can be shared in a video conference, a whiteboard view must be set up using Jabra Direct.

Optional Remote Control 

The optional Remote Control makes it easier to control your meetings without having to leave your seat. You can access the presets, whiteboard stream, pan-tilt-zoom, mute, adjust volume, and start/end meetings all through the PanaCast 50 Remote Control available in black or grey.  

Simple Installation 

There are only two cables, AC Power and USB so set up is simple. The Jabra PanaCast 50 supports three different installation options to suit every room setup. You can choose from the Wall Mount in black or grey, Table Stand in black or grey, and Screen Mount (VESA). The Wall Mount hardware is included with the purchase of the PanaCast 50. The Table Stand and Screen Mount are sold separately.   

Jabra PanaCast 50 Installation Guide Videos:  

Optimized for UC 

The Jabra PanaCast 50 is optimized for all leading UC platforms, including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet. No matter what platform you use, the PanaCast 50 allows you to collaborate.  

Meeting Room Guidelines 

The PanaCast 50 is designed for meeting room sizes of 3m x 3m (10ft x 10ft) up to 4.5m x 4.5m (15ft x 15ft). In the PanaCast 50 Meeting Room Guide, they share setup information that includes optimized placement of equipment for Large Huddle Room, Huddle Room, and Break Out Room.  

In Conclusion 

The hybrid workplace will require the ability to video enable meeting spaces small and large. The Jabra PanaCast 50 helps provide meeting equity for in-room and remote participants with key features like professional-grade audio, 180° field of view in Panoramic-4K, Intelligent Zoom, Virtual Director, and the built-in whiteboard content camera. Schedule a virtual demo or contact us to learn more about the entire Jabra line of business and contact center audio and video solutions.  

Check out this Jabra PanaCast 50 Quick Demo Video featuring Intelligent Zoom, Presets, and Whiteboard sharing! 

Which Poly Studio P Series is best for you? Poly Studio P5, P15, or P21?

The Poly Studio P Series provide organizations with personal video conferencing device options to support their multiple workstyles from entry-level workers to top executives. Combined with Poly Lens cloud management software and you have a robust solution for IT to easily deploy, monitor, and manage from anywhere.

Poly Studio P Series P5

Remote, In the Office, Hybrid 

When it comes to personal audio and video devices, one size does NOT fit all. Different workers need different technology depending on how and where they work. Today people work remotely, in the office, or a hybrid model with a mix of locations. Workers in a fixed quiet location can benefit from an all-in-one solution like the Poly Studio P21 or Poly Studio P15. Someone working in a shared noisy environment may benefit from an external webcam like the Poly Studio P5 and headset with ANC speakers and a strong noise-canceling mic like the Poly Voyager Focus 2 Series. The Poly Studio P Series work with the video apps you already know and are Zoom and Microsoft Teams certified. 

The goal for business and IT leaders is to identify the right solutions for their workforce based on workstyles and personal workspaces. In this blog, we’ll focus on the Poly Studio P Series Personal Video Conferencing Devices.  

Poly Studio P5

The Poly Studio P5 webcam is great for home, office, private, or shared spaces. Coupled with a headset or speakerphone and you have a complete, portable, audio/video solution. The P5 is designed to attach to an existing computer or laptop monitor and connect via USB. The monitor clamp can be removed to mount on a standard tripod to provide greater positioning flexibility. It has an integrated privacy shutter, status LED light fin that indicates call and mute state.  The Poly Studio P5 also has a built-in USB-A port to connect a wireless headset adapter like the BT600 or new BT700. It’s designed for personal use and offers a built-in single directional microphone and 80° DFOV. See the Poly Studio P5 in action in this video

The Poly Studio P5 Kits are a great value and option for mass deployments or for outfitting new hires. A single SKU includes the Poly Studio P5 webcam and one of four audio devices: a Poly Sync 20 speakerphone, corded Blackwire 3210, corded Blackwire 3325, or a wireless Voyager 4220 UC! Learn more about the Poly Studio P5 Kits here!  

Poly Studio P15

The Poly Studio P15 personal video bar includes a 4K camera, integrated privacy shutter, speakers, multi-microphone array, and two USB 2.0 Type-A ports. This is a great solution for the executive who wants a premium audio and video experience. With NoiseBlockAI and Acoustic Fence technologies, the P15 can be used in either your home or dedicated office. A simple USB connection to your PC or Mac will transform your video conferencing experience. See the Poly Studio P15 in action to include NoiseBlockAI and Acoustic Fence demo in this video

Poly Studio P21

The Poly Studio P21 personal meeting display is truly an all-in-one video conferencing device that is easy to set up and use. This single device is packed with features and functions that include a 21-inch display, camera, microphone, speakers, lighting, wireless phone charger, and can be customized via the Poly Lens App. Take a look at all the available options and settings in this video! This is a great option if you want an additional display that includes all the components necessary for a high-quality video call. Additionally, there are two USB-A ports to connect a corded or wireless Poly headset if you need to take the conversation private. The Poly Studio P21 is a good fit for top executives who prefer a clean, simple solution that allows them to look and sound their best.  

Which Poly Studio P Series is best for you by Workspace


Poly Studio P5 Webcam

  • Home or Office 
  • Private or Shared Workspace 
  • Cubicle or Hot Desk 

Poly Studio P15 Personal Video Bar

  • Home or Office 
  • Private Workspace 

Poly Studio P21 Personal Meeting Display

  • Home or Office 
  • Private Workspace 

Keep Employee Devices Up, Running, and Ready for Action 

Poly Lens makes collaboration better for your employees no matter where they work or the compatible device they choose. You get better line of sight on device health and adoption rates and you may also see fewer help-desk tickets. IT can quickly get started remotely provisioning, monitoring, and troubleshooting from a single pane of glass. And since Poly Lens is cloud-based, it’ll scale with you, maintaining security without all that heavy overhead of traditional IT management. Check out this interview video with a Principal Solutions Architect at Poly where we discuss what Poly Lens is and how it helps organizations.  

Control Your Experience 

Poly Lens Desktop is a single app for customizing your compatible personal devices to how you work. Stay up to date with the latest software and gain access to product guides, setup, and support, right at your fingertips. And with built-in wellness and nature sounds, you’ll have better focus and peace of mind, so you’ll look and sound great.  

How Can Call One, Inc. Help? 

Hybrid work is the new normal. Business leaders need to develop a work-from-anywhere strategy that gives their employees best-in-class solutions. Call One, Inc. can help bring your vision to life, allowing teams to connect, collaborate and perform at their best. We work with all the leading device manufacturers and are constantly testing for ourselves the latest technology. We can help identify the right solution whether your team members work from home, in the office, or on the go. Contact a Call One, Inc. solutions expert today! Watch the Poly Studio P Series Comparison Video below!

All-in-One Video Bars Perfect for Small and Medium-sized Meeting Rooms

Regardless of what work model companies and organizations are implementing, video is a part of the equation. Most organizations have one or a few large meeting rooms however, they have more small to medium-sized meeting spaces. Some have hundreds to thousands of these spaces. All-in-One Video Bars are a great way to easily video-enable these rooms for these reasons:  

  • Compatible with all major video platforms 
  • Compact all-in-one design 
  • Easy to Set Up 
  • Easy to Use  
  • Affordable 

Additionally, device management software is available to help simplify the deployment, monitoring, and management of these devices.

All-in-One Video Bars for Small Meeting Rooms (Up to 6 People)

Huddle Rooms banner All-in-One Video Bars

Poly Studio – MSRP $949 

The Poly Studio is a premium USB video bar built for rooms with up to 6 people. It’s designed for BYOD spaces that allow users to bring in their laptops and connect to the video service platform of choice. It has integrated mics and stereo speakers with a 4K, 120° wide-angle; Group framing/speaker tracking; 5x EPTZ camera. It has a USB-A connection to a PC or Mac for video calls. The Poly Studio includes some great audio technology features that improve the meeting experience. Eliminate distracting sounds with their patented Poly NoiseBlockAI technology. Acoustic Fence technology keeps voices and other noises outside of the fence perimeter that can be adjusted from narrow to wide via the Polycom Companion App. Check out this Poly Studio Acoustic Fence demo against barking dogs!  

Logitech MeetUp– MSRP $899.99$1,079.99 

Logitech MeetUp is designed for small meeting spaces and packs big features into a compact form factor. Includes 4K Ultra HD Camera with 5x HD zoom, a full-range speaker system, beamforming microphone array, and motorized pan/tilt lens. Additional features include Logitech RightSense™ technologies which is a suite of technologies that include and RightSight™, RightLight™, and RightSound™. The MeetUp also allows you to connect mobile devices via Bluetooth for use in audio conference calls. It’s a great option for rooms of up to 6 people. The Logitech MeetUp is simple to manage with Logitech Sync Device Management. Watch this video to learn how Logitech Sync can help your business.  

VDO360 TridentAI – MSRP $849 

The TridentAI is an all-in-one solution for next-generation video conferencing. Get a 120° wide-angle field of view, 4K auto-tracking video, a four-microphone beamforming array, and a speaker that fills your conference room with crisp audio output. Keep your team working seamlessly in a remote or hybrid environment. Perfect for BYOD, BYOM, and modern collaboration spaces. Take it out of the box, plug the camera into your USB-C port, hang it on your monitor or mount it on a tripod and you’re ready to go. You don’t need extra software or drivers. The TridentAI doesn’t care which operating system you choose, it plays well with Windows, Android, Mac OS, and Linux. See it in action in this video!  

Konftel CC200 – MSRP $899 

The Konftel CC200 is designed for a meeting size of up to six people. Unlike the first three video bars I’ve shared, this is a whole video system in a compact collaboration camera. There is no need for a computer. Connect via SIP/H.323 or WiFi.   Check out this video where I unbox, configure, set up, and share some of the CC200 features! You can share content wirelessly with all the meeting participants – sending it from your laptop or mobile phone to the Konftel CC200. We call this Wi-Fi Display. If your organization requires screen sharing to be done by cable, the Konftel AV Grabber is available as an accessory. This is a feature-packed solution that can quickly and cost-effectively transform any space with a screen into a venue for video conferencing.  

Poly Studio X30 – MSRP $1,699 $2,199 

Poly Studio X30

The Poly Studio X30 is ideal for small meeting rooms of up to six people that need an all-in-one video solution. You can order with or without the TC8 touch control. It’s radically simple to use with support for leading cloud video services built right in—no PC or Mac required. Voices are crisp and clear, thanks to a beamforming microphone array and acoustic chamber design. Built-in, wireless content sharing lets users share from their devices without the need for cables or pucks. Setup, management, and maintenance are all streamlined, too. Say hello to lower IT costs. Check out this quick overview video where we set it up and demo the Studio X30.  

Jabra PanaCast 50 – MSRP $1,195 Grey or Black 

The Jabra Panacast 50 is engineered to be the first new-normal ready intelligent video bar. It’s great for standard (10 ft x 10 ft)to large (14 ft x 14 ft) huddle rooms with up to seven people. As well as break-out rooms.  See Meeting room setup guidelines. The Jabra Panacast 50 has a unique 180° field of view that keeps everyone in the picture at a safe distance. Virtual Director intelligently adjusts the video in real-time for more immersive meetings. Intelligent Zoom automatically adjusts the field of view to include everybody in the conversation. There is also a whiteboard sharing/content camera (Windows only) for real-time whiteboard streaming for more inclusive remote collaboration. Watch this Jabra Panacast 50 overview video! See all Jabra Panacast Solutions and Accessories.  

Logitech Rally Bar Mini – MSRP $2,999 

Logitech Video Conferencing All-in-One Video Bars

Rally Bar Mini is Logitech’s premier all-in-one video bar for small rooms and huddle spaces. It’s remarkably simple to use,  manage,  and deploy at scale,  delivering the capabilities of larger video bars like Logitech Rally  Bar in a compact form factor for smaller spaces.  With studio-quality audio and video, motorized pan and tilt,  and  AI-powered performance,  Rally  Bar Mini sets new standards for video collaboration. Easily connects to virtually any  PC or Mac®, with no additional software required. Built-in compute allows you to run supported video conferencing applications such as Zoom directly on the device. Check out the Logitech Rally Bar Mini Data Sheet for a list of features and benefits, accessories, and technical specifications. Watch this overview video!  

All-in-One Video Bars

The Yealink MeetingBar A20 with CP18 touch panel is an all-in-one Android video collaboration bar for small meeting rooms.  Featuring a 20MP camera and 133° superwide-angle lens,  A20  delivers outstanding video quality. Together with the electric lens cap,  and AI technologies including Auto  Framing and Speaker Tracking, allow users to experience a smarter and safer video conference.  With 8 MEMS microphone arrays and Yealink noise-proof technology, A20 brings excellent audio experience in small rooms even in full-duplex mode and ensures that everyone can be heard as well as seen.  Moreover, A20 combines a computing unit, camera, microphones, speaker, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, which provides you a solution for simple deployment.  A20 supports cloud video platforms like Zoom and Microsoft  Teams without a PC or Mac. The A20 is capable of content sharing and whiteboarding that makes the meeting more communicative and collaborative. Simple and flexible deployment but powerful features deliver excellent video collaboration performance. Check out this brief demo from Microsoft Ignite 2020.   

All-in-One Video Bars for Medium Rooms  

Poly Studio X50 – MSRP $2,999$3,499

Poly Studio X50 front All-in-One Video Bars

he Poly Studio X50 is ideal for medium-sized rooms with up to 10 participants and can be ordered with or without the TC8 Touch Control. The Poly Studio X50 video bar delivers radical simplicity in a small, elegant package. In small- and medium-sized rooms, connect easily with whatever video collaboration software you may use. Experience full boardroom-quality audio, advanced camera capabilities, and quick wireless content—all in one sleek video bar. And say goodbye to unnecessary pucks, cards, and cables, along with the PC or Mac to drive the meeting,  since the Poly Video OS runs the show. Easy to install, easy to manage. It also offers dual monitor support to ensure an ideal setup for many types of rooms.  

Logitech Rally Bar – MSRP $3,999 White or Graphite 

Logitech Rally Bar Graphite

Logitech Rally Bar sets a new standard for video meetings in midsize rooms, with expansion options for larger groups and settings. It’s remarkably simple to use,  manage,  and deploy at scale, delivering cinema-quality video and audio in a sleek, all-in-one form factor. Plug and play Rally Bar with any PC or Mac, or leverage the built-in compute to run video conferencing applications directly on the device. Rally  Bar features a multi-element lens assembly,  powerful low distortion speakers,  and an advanced mic system to create meeting experiences that sound as good as they look. A dedicated  AI camera amplifies RightSight auto-framing and delivers insights about room usage directly to the Logitech Sync dashboard. Learn more about Logitech Sync in this video interview with Sr Product Manager, Trevor Rush. Upgrade your video collaboration with Rally Bar. Check out this Logitech Rally Bar Overview video we did with fellow YouTuber and Microsoft MVP Ragnar Heil

In Summary 

The global pandemic has forever changed the workplace. Video conferencing and collaboration are now the new normal. Meetings will be a mix of in-person and remote participants moving forward. Meeting spaces of all sizes will need to be video-enabled. All-in-one video bars are a great option for small to medium-sized meeting rooms for these reasons: Compatible with all major video platforms, Compact all-in-one design, Easy to Set Up, Easy to Use, and Affordable. Listed are units we’re familiar with based on our partnerships. There are other video bars like the Aver VB130, Neat Bar, and Bose Videobar VB1. I haven’t had the pleasure of testing those solutions yet.  

If would like to schedule a meeting to discuss your small to medium meeting room video needs, contact us!  

Webcams for Business

Webcams for Business – What to consider

There is no shortage of webcam options available for businesses to select from. In fact, it can become a bit overwhelming. Organizations like Call One, Inc. and our sister company Hello Direct can help you select the right webcam for your multiple use cases.

Here is a guide of things to consider when choosing webcams for business. 

Compatibility with Operating System

Not all computers and laptops are created equal. Make certain the webcams you are considering are compatible with your computers’ Operating System/s. Most leading webcam manufacturers will provide a System Requirements list. For example, the Logitech C925e System Requirements are: Windows 7 or later, macOS® 10.7 or later, Chrome OS™ Version 29.0.1547.70 and later. Some webcams will even include the type of processor and recommended RAM, like the Cisco Webex Desk Camera System Requirements list: Operating system: Windows 10 with Universal C Runtime and above, Mac OS X 10.12 and above | CPU (Recommended) I5@2.4 GHz/i7@1.9 GHz Intel processor, or a processor with equivalent capabilities | RAM (Recommended) 8 GB or more | USB Port: USB-C port, USB-A port (USB 2.0 or USB 3.0, 4K video requires USB 3.0 port).

Be sure to check webcam System Requirements before you buy.

Video Platforms Supported

Most USB webcams will work across all major and popular video platforms, but it is a good idea to check to ensure webcam will work in your video environment. Some webcams are certified to work with specific platforms. This means the webcam manufacturer has met all the specifications and requirements set forth by the platform provider to perform in an expected way. For example, the Logitech C930e, Yealink UVC20, Huddly IQ, Jabra Panacast and others are certified for Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. However, they are also compatible with other popular applications to include BlueJeans, Cisco Webex™, Fuze, Google Meet™, GoToMeeting®, Lifesize Cloud, Pexip, RingCentral Video, Vidyo, and Zoom®.

Windows Hello Support

Microsoft face authentication in Windows 10 is an enterprise-grade identity verification mechanism that is integrated into the Windows Biometric Framework (WBF) as a core Microsoft Windows component called Windows Hello. Windows Hello face authentication utilizes a camera specially configured for near infrared (IR) imaging to authenticate and unlock Windows devices as well as unlock your Microsoft Passport.

I’m currently testing multiple cameras however, here is a list of cameras Call One, Inc. offers currently that support Windows Hello: Logitech Brio, Yealink UVC30 Desktop, and Cisco Webex Desk Camera.

Webcams for business

Video Resolution

Today you can purchase webcams with 4K video resolution to include: Logitech Brio, Yealink UVC30 Desktop, Konftel Cam20, Huddly IQ, Jabra Panacast, VDO360 3See, Poly Studio P15 and the Cisco Webex Desk Camera.

Most users are good with 1080p and even 720p depending on their role in a video meeting.  Some cameras have a fixed resolution like the Logitech C505e at 720p at 30 fps. While many webcams can adjust from 720p to 1080p. Most presenters will do well by selecting webcam with higher video resolution.

Field of View and Auto Framing

Field of View (FOV) has become increasingly more important as video meetings have become a part of our daily lives. Today people are joining from a variety of environments and some are using green screens to help hide their background. Some video participants prefer less of their background to be seen and require a webcam with a narrow FOV. While others need to share a wider field of view. The ability to adjust field of view is ideal for many use cases and select webcams offer that function via their software. While others allow you to zoom or provide pan, tilt, zoom capabilities via their software. The Cisco Webex Desk Camera supports FOV adjustment between 65°, 70°, 75°and 81°. The Logitech Brio supports FOV adjustments between 65°, 78°, and 90°. If you need a wider field of view, the Jabra Panacast offers 180 degree field of view with the option to adjust between 90°, 120°, 140°and 180°. Some cameras have a fixed FOV with digital zoom. How much or how little of your background do you want shown? Field of View is something to consider.

Webcams for business

Auto Framing, Group Framing, Intelligent Zoom, or whatever they name the technology, is a great feature available from select cameras. This technology finds you and frames you perfectly in the center. This is great for those who like to walk and talk or simply need to move to another area of the room and not have to manually adjust position of camera. These cameras offer this feature: Huddly IQ, Jabra Panacast, and Poly Studio P15.

Autofocus and Auto Light Correction

Autofocus is a great feature especially if you want to show something directly from of the camera so others can see the detail. Most cameras offer Autofocus however a select few lower cost models like the Logitech C505e and JPL Vision Mini do not support. Low light or poor lighting is a major factor depending on your location. Some have ideal settings with strong light source facing them while others due to room and furniture configuration may have strong light source coming from behind them or they have poor or no light source. All the Logitech Business Webcams offer RightLight technology that help you look your best in any lighting environment. Other webcams like the Poly Studio P5, Konftel Cam10, JPL Vision and Vision Mini, and Cisco Webex Desk Camera all offer Auto Light Correction.

Built-in Microphones

Personally, I strongly recommend a good corded USB or wireless headset or USB speakerphone. However, I understand some folks rely solely on their laptops for audio so having solid performing built-in mics available, is an upgrade. Webcams offer a variety of options from single omni-directional mic, two omni-directional mics, single and dual directional microphones, two full-duplexed microphones to microphones that can also support background noise reduction. If you need to walk away and still be heard, the VDO360 2See includes a far-field mic array that picks up your voice from up to 8 meters / 26 feet away.

Privacy Shutter

Many like the peace of mind of having a privacy shutter on their webcam when not in use. I am a fan of webcams with built-in privacy shutters like the Poly Studio P5, Logitech C925e, Konftel Cam10, Yealink UVC20, and Cisco Webex Desk Camera. Some do not include a lens cover like the Logitech C505e and Huddly cameras. If a privacy shutter is important, be sure to ask if one is included.

Mounting Options

Because of the multiple use cases, many folks require threaded tripod-ready mounting as well as mounting clip to attach to monitors and laptop screens. Some also invert the camera and mount in ceiling. If you are looking to flip and mount camera upside down, ensure there is software available to invert view.

USB-A or USB-C Connectivity and Cable Length

Most webcams today provide a USB-A connection. However, many newer computers and laptops only provide USB-C ports. Some cameras include USB-A and USB-C connection options. The Yealink UVC30 Desktop camera has a USB-A cable and includes a USB 3.0 Type A to Type C adapter. The Cisco Webex Desk Camera includes removeable USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to USB-C cables. The Poly Studio P15 and VDO360 3See include a USB-C type connection. I have tested USB 3.0 Type USB-A to type USB-C adapter with several USB-A webcams and they have worked.

There currently does not appear to be a standard USB cable length and will range from 3ft to 7ft+. Check on cable length prior to ordering to ensure the length will be sufficient for your setup.

Additional USB Ports

Computer manufacturers are decreasing the number of USB ports they include. Some webcams include additional USB ports that can be used to connect a headset, speakerphone, or other USB peripheral. The Poly Studio P5 and VDO360 1See each include one USB-A port and the Poly Studio P15 includes two additional USB-A ports. This is a great feature to consider when selecting a camera.

All-In-One

If you are looking for a personal all-in-one device that includes a camera, microphones, and speakers, you may want to consider the Poly Studio P15 or VDO360 3See. Check out the Poly Studio P15 in action in this video below!

Device Management

Today the hybrid work model is prevailing across multiple industries. Remote work will be a part of many. Being able to manage your audio and video devices personally or remotely is something to consider. Leading brands like Poly, Logitech, Yealink, Jabra, and Cisco offer enterprise and individual device management software to ensure your devices are performing optimally by having the latest software and firmware updates. Additionally, you can access multiple features and settings to help customize your video experience.

Warranty

Warranty can range from 1 to 3 years depending on webcam brand and model. All Logitech Business Webcam models include a 3-year limited hardware warranty. Beyond warranty, check with your vendor to understand the warranty service process. However please note, I have tested several webcams and it is very rare for a webcam from an established brand like Logitech or Poly to quit working. We have experienced issues with some of the lesser-known brands.

Price

Fortunately, there are webcams available to support all budgets. I have tested really low-cost (Under $50) webcams like the Adesso CyberTrack H3 and H4 webcams and JPL Vision Mini as well as moderately priced webcams ($89-$129) like the Yealink UVC20, JPL Vision+, Logitech C925e, Logitech C930e, Poly Studio P5 and Konftel Cam10. I have also tested the premium models in the $199+ range to include the Logitech Brio, Cisco Webex Desk Camera, Huddly IQ, Konftel Cam20 and all-in-one units like the Poly Studio P15. Of course, the size and scope of deployment will impact pricing so don’t let MSRP be your deciding factor.

In Conclusion

The individual use case will ultimately determine which webcam is best. Our helpful team along with our partners can help you and your business select the right solution. If you would like to set up a meeting to discuss your audio and video solutions needs, contact us!

Check out our Desktop Video Solutions and watch us put these webcams to the test in this Webcam and Video Collaboration Solutions Playlist!

JPL Vision Mini

JPL Vision Mini Overview

The JPL Vision Mini is a small 1080p USB webcam with full HD glass lens. The webcam has a tri-fold hinged bracket with a gripper foot so it can be placed securely above your computer or laptop to allow long distance face to face meetings from your conference room or home office.

The JPL Vision Mini is compatible with all major video collaboration platforms and does not require additional software or downloads. It’s truly plug-n-play. This low-cost webcam is designed for personal use and is packed with great features including two built-in full duplexed microphones that provide awesome mic audio quality! (check out video below to hear for yourself)

JPL Vision Mini Features

  • 1080p HD 30fps CMOS Camera
  • Plug & Play solution – No software downloads needed
  • Full HD 1080p glass lens – No optical distortion
  • Two microphones – Built in dual stereo
  • 67° Field of view
  • Privacy lens cover included
  • USB-A connectivity
  • Desk mount, monitor mount or tripod option
  • AEC – Automatic Echo Cancellation
  • ANS – Automatic Noise Suppression
  • JPL Vision Mini is compatible with all major softphones. No additional software or downloads needed.

Video collaboration is here to stay for organizations small to large to stay connected with their team members in this new hybrid work model. If your business, or you personally are looking for an affordable, reliable, and easy to set up and use webcam, consider the JPL Vision Mini. Check out video below to see the webcam in action! Contact us for more info to learn more about the complete line of audio and video solutions available from JPL!

Cisco Webex 4K Desk Camera

Cisco Webex Desk Camera

The Cisco Webex Desk Camera is a premium USB web camera that provides high-quality video and audio for video conferencing, video streaming, and video recording.

Don’t let poor quality video get in the way of a great meeting, with superior 4K video, high-quality microphone audio, intelligent AI-based features, and IT device management no matter where you are, this webcam is the cream of the crop.

In this blog, we’ll list the specs and features of the Cisco Webex, and later we’ll link a video showcasing the camera and microphone quality!

Cisco Webex 4K Features

  • 4K Ultra HD Video
  • Provides superior video with outstanding clarity, rich colors, great smoothness, superb resolution and frame rate
  • iHDR Enabled Light Performance
  • Improves video quality in various light conditions Helps users always look the best on video calls
  • Auto Focus
  • Brings peace of mind by fast, clear and perfectly sharp focus
  • Adjustable FOV
  • Offers a convenient way to choose the ideal angle of view
  • Built-in Privacy Shutter
  • Controls the video streaming on and off to ensure the complete privacy as needed
  • Offers high quality microphone audio with background noise reduction
  • Face Detection and Recognition
  • Certifies with Windows Hello and allows secure facial recognition login through the IR sensor
  • Multiple Connection and Mounting Options
  • Includes both USB C-to-A and USB C-to-C cables for flexible PC connection plus multiple placement options with the camera clip and the tripod screw thread

Final Thoughts on the Cisco Webex 4K Desk Camera

This is no ordinary webcam. Whether you are working from home or the office, the Webex Desk Camera is perfect for hybrid working styles. Collaboration administrators can easily update and troubleshoot every Webex Desk Camera from the Webex Control Hub making deployment and management easy.

Being able to download the Cisco Webex Desk Camera App and personalize your personal webcam is a huge bonus. From changing the resolution (from low res to 4K), field of view (65, 70, 75 or 81 degrees – show more or less of your space), frame rate, to the color and saturation of your image, this webcam truly does it all. Plus, it’s compatible with all popular meeting or video applications (including Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Zoom, Google Meet and Google Hangouts, BlueJeans, Slack, FaceTime, etc.) And it’s Windows Hello compatible!

Personally, I think this is a great solution regardless of platform if you are looking for a premium webcam. If you want to see it in action along with available settings in the Cisco Webex Desk Camera App, watch video below! If you would like to set up a pilot or proof of concept for mass deployment, contact us!

Logitech Brio 4K Webcam

Logitech Brio 4K Webcam

When it comes to business webcams, The Logitech Brio 4K Webcam is the standard by which all other webcam manufacturers aspire to develop and launch. From premium 4K quality to a whopping five times zoom feature and reasonable MSRP, this is the king webcams.

Don’t worry, the Brio is compatible and certified with all business video collaboration platforms to include Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex, and Zoom. With integrated optical and infrared sensors, it also supports Windows Hello. What else is packed in this Logi webcam? Stick around for a link to our overview video of the Logitech Brio.

Logitech Brio Features

  • Ultra HD 4K image sensor – Supports multiple resolutions, including 4K (Ultra HD) @ 30 fps, 1080p (Full HD) @ 30 or 60 fps and 720p (HD) @ 30, 60, or 90 fps to best support the quality offered by your application and monitor.
  • RightLight™ 3 with HDR – Look your best in any lighting environment, from low light to direct sunlight or high contrast.
  • Ultra-secure login with infrared sensor – Infrared technology supports facial recognition for advanced security with Windows Hello™ or other facial recognition software.
  • 5X digital zoom – Need a closer view of fine details? Zoom in and move around your scene with precision using Logitech or in-app controls.
  • Expansive field of view – Adjust your field of view from 90° to show more of your setting or include more people—or narrow the scope to 65° or 78° for more focused communication.
  • Razor-sharp optics with auto-focus – Enhance face-to-face collaboration. BRIO is the next best thing to physically being there. Advanced Logitech auto-focus lens technology delivers remarkable video quality with superb resolution, speed, fluidity, color balance, and detail.
  • Certified for Business – Business-grade certifications mean you can launch your next presentation or video meeting with complete confidence.
  • Omni-directional microphones – Two omni-directional microphones with noise cancellation provide business-class audio performance. Mics even work with Microsoft® Cortana®.
  • Multiple mounting options – Freedom to mount the camera wherever it works best – LCD screen, notebook, or tabletop – by using the removable clip or embedded tripod thread. Clip is adjustable to fit a variety of screens.
  • Plug-and-play USB connectivity – Easily connects to PC, Mac® and Chrome™ devices with no additional software required.
  • Privacy shade – Switch to privacy mode in an instant with the privacy shade
  • Multiple connection types – Enjoy the flexibility of USB 2.0, 3.0 or Type C connections.
  • Custom carrying case – Take your show on the road. The custom carrying case features separate compartments for the camera and detachable clip/cable to conveniently transport BRIO wherever your travels take you.
Logitech Capture

All these features are great, but does it really look as good as they say? The simple answer is, yes!

Logitech Capture

Not only is the Logitech Brio 4K Webcam quality almost perfection, but the Logitech Capture software is the icing on top. Being able to adjust resolution, frames per second, color, saturation, and on and on, is a huge bonus. (see picture above) Want to see for yourself? Check out this video below where we showcase the software as well as the raw camera quality. If you have any question please feel free to comment on the video, or reach out to one of our reps.

Logitech C930e Business Webcam header

Logitech C930e Webcam

The Logitech C930e Webcam is one of the five current Logitech Business Webcams models that includes the C505e, C920e, C925e, C930e & BRIO. The C930e falls into the “Better” category in this line up just behind the BRIO. This webcam is certified and compatible with all major video collaboration platforms to include Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex, RingCentral and more.

The C930e features dual integrated omnidirectional mics that capture audio clearly from up to 3.3ft / 1 meter away so conversations sound natural and clear. For loud environments, the Logitech Zone Wired or Zone Wireless Headsets and C930e webcam make an awesome video collaboration solution! 

Manage multiple Logitech personal collaboration devices* with Logi Tune. Available in desktop and mobile app versions, Logi Tune provides an elegantly intuitive dashboard for easy setup, control, and customization. Test your headset mic and sound, customize EQ, and adjust sidetone to hear your own voice at just the right volume. For webcams, control framing, adjust focus and choose a color preset to look your best. Logi Tune also makes firmware updates one-touch simple.

* Check for supported headsets and webcams

Download Logi Tune

Logitech C930e Business Webcam Features

  • HD 1080p video quality at 30 frames-per-second – Brings life-like HD video to conference calls, enabling expressions, non-verbal cues, and movements to be seen clearly.
  • Logitech RightLight 2 technology and autofocus – Webcam intelligently adjusts to improve visual quality in low light at multiple distances.
  • Wide field-of-view for business webcam – Enjoy an extended view – 90 degrees FOV – perfect for presenting using a whiteboard or doing demos.
  • 4X digital zoom in Full HD – 4X zoom at 1080p provides the highest level of detail for your calls, visuals, and presentations.
  • Professional-grade Certifications – Certified for Skype for Business, Cisco® compatible and enhanced integration with Logitech Collaboration Program (LCP) members integrated experience with most business-grade video conferencing platforms.
  • Premium glass lens – Enjoy razor-sharp images even when showing documents up close, a whiteboard drawing or a product demo.
  • Convenient privacy shutter – Easy lens enclosure for added privacy and security. Plug-and-play USB connectivity Easily connects to a PC or Mac® with no additional software required
  • Multiple mounting options – Freedom to mount the camera wherever it works best – LCD screen, notebook, or tabletop – by using the attached clip or the tripod embedded thread.

3-year limited hardware warranty

At only $129.99 the Logitech C930e is accessible for anyone looking to upgrade their video meetings to business-class. If you are a business and/or IT decision maker with mass deployment needs, contact us directly for support.

Check out the video below that provides and overview of the C930e, management settings available via LogiTune and includes video quality and mic tests!

Logitech C925e Webcam

Logitech C925e Webcam

The Logitech C925e Webcam is the “just right” choice when it comes to Logitech Business Webcams. It sits in between the basic and good models C505e/C920e and better and best models C930e/Brio. It’s compatible and certified with all popular applications like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco Webex, Google Meet and more! Before we get started on the review, lets look at the specs.

Features:

Logitech C925e MSRP: $99.99

  • HD 1080p video at up to 30 frames per second: Full HD 1080p 30 fps makes a vivid impression every time with true-to-life video calls.
  • Easy-to-use: Simple to set up and use, USB plug-and-play connection makes video meetings easy.
  • UVC H.264 encoding technology: Frees up PC bandwidth by putting video processing within the camera.
  • Convenient privacy shutter: Easy lens closure for added privacy and security.
  • 78° field of view: See more without having to reposition the camera or crop and zoom.
  • Logitech RightLight 2 technology and autofocus: Webcam intelligently adjusts to improve visual quality in low light and backlit situations at multiple distances.
  • Omni-directional dual stereo microphones: Designed to capture sound for clear communication in larger spaces like offices and small conference rooms.
  • Multiple mounting options: Freedom to mount the camera wherever it works best — LCD screen, notebook, or tabletop — by using the attached clip or the tripod embedded thread.
  • Professional-grade certifications: Leading business certifications (Certified for Skype for Business, Optimized for Microsoft® Lync® 2013, Cisco Jabber® and WebEx® compatible2 ) and enhanced integration with Logitech Collaboration Program (LCP) members1 ensure an integrated experience with most business-grade video conferencing platforms

Honest Review

When you can’t meet in person, this is the ideal webcam for solo use or small group use. The full 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second delivers true-to-life clarity, and in our professional opinion, it almost looks 4k.

With low MSRP, simple plug and play, integrated microphone, and crisp video quality, Logitech knocked it out of the park with this webcam. You truly get what you pay for! Interested in seeing more? Fee free to reach out to us for more info on the C925e. If you would like to purchase the Logitech C925e, you can order it online here. We have a full video where test and overview the Logitech C925e Webcam. Check it out below: