Huddling around a smartphone with several coworkers during a key meeting is inefficient and unprofessional looking. If your team strategizes over the phone often, the best solution is a conference speaker.
This type of speaker was traditionally built into office landline phones, but newer ones can be connected to computers, tablets, or smartphones. Conference speakers are tuned to highlight vocal frequencies, so the people you’re speaking to sound clear.
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Even if you’re working from home, a conference speaker will deliver a crisper and more reliable audio experience than using your phone (or putting your phone on speaker). Many have sensitive microphones inside, so you don’t have to shout or get close to the speaker for the people on your call to hear you. If you’re trying to maintain a safe distance between yourself and colleagues, getting a conference speaker also allows you to communicate efficiently without getting too close. In some cases you can start, complete, and end your call without touching the speaker at all.
This is an office — or home office — upgrade you may not have considered, but if you’re making and taking phone calls all day, it’s well-worth the investment.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Conference Speaker
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right conference speaker for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Size: Conference speakers were designed to not take up valuable desk space in an office; the ones we’ve chosen in this guide are all under 5.5 inches long. You can carry any of these speakers in a backpack, messenger bag, or briefcase, to use it at the office and home.
Wired vs. Wireless: Conference speakers can be connected to a variety of devices either wirelessly, or through a cable. Wireless connectivity is more convenient, but it means you have to worry about latency (lag), and wireless interference. Wired conference speakers can connect to your gadgets via a 3.5mm audio cable, USB cable, or the Lightning Port of an iPhone.
Battery Life: Both wired and wireless conference speakers run on battery power. Meetings can run long, so we made sure our picks last at least 20 hours per charge.
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