A little matter of Ego

Quite recently Dave Michels penned a review of the Konftel Ego for the UCStrategies blog. I like Dave. I especially appreciate his no-nonsense approach to things. If he says something is good, it’s probably worth a look.

Konftel’s Ego is a portable, personal speakerphone device with both USB and Bluetooth connectivity. I see that the Ego is listed under $100 on Amazon. Given Dave’s recommendation, and an attractive price, I may need to give it a try. My past experience with the larger Konftel 300 was quite good.konftel-ego-1-vl

That said, I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you of a very firmly held belief. If you truly care about how you sound to the people at the far-end…if their experience truly matters…you’ll choose a headset over any kind of speakerphone or conference phone. When the quality of experience delivered to the other party is paramount, a good headset trumps all else.

A good headset, preferably one with a boom-mounted microphone, takes the acoustics of the room completely out-of-play. It eliminates any possibility of noise, echo, or reverberance, delivering your message as clear as possible to your audience.

No amount of engineering wizardry can make up for sub-optimal microphone placement. Period.

Conference phones and speaker phones simply cannot deliver a comparable experience. You always trade quality of audience experience for your own convenience.

Yes, a headset…When you care enough to sound your very best.

Review: Aver Information VC520 All-in-One USB Conference Camera System – Part 2

I presume you recall where left off in this little adventure. I had just finished my initial allocation of 1000 words in a general description of the AVER Information VC520. Let that be the foundation upon which you add the following observations of its use. And use it I did.

Unboxing & Installation

Once unboxed and setup I connected the VC520 to my desktop computer. As a generic UVC device there was no device specific driver to install, although I did install the PTZ remote application and update utility.

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Review: Aver Information VC520 All-in-One USB Conference Camera System

aver-vc520-with-boxPractically everyone has a webcam. But what are your options when a fixed webcam simply isn’t good enough? For example, how to adequately service a small meeting room? What some would call a “Huddle Room.”

When Google launched their Chromebox-For-Meetings they selected the venerable Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 as the camera. However, it wasn’t long before they rethought the offer, calling the initial offering the small room bundle (up to 8 people) and offering a large room bundle to accommodate larger spaces and crowds.

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….and then there were four. Conference Phones.

Phoenix Audio Spider MT505 360pxHaving recently made it known that a spate of conference phone’s were being considered hereabouts another company has asked for an opportunity in that gladiatorial exercise. So it is that a Phoenix Audio Spider (MT505) has entered the fray.

I guess that I’d better get down to business before someone else knocks on the door and the task grows even larger. This effort will not be comparative. Each device will be considered individually.

Reader Question: Small Meeting Room Acoustics

A reader posed a question the other day. He asks;

I have a question for a friend. He has a smallish meeting room capable of accommodating 8 people. The problem is that some of the walls are made of glass.

When doing conference calls, the echo from his room is impossible to handle which leads to a crappy experience for others.

Which room microphone/speaker should he purchase? Ideally, it needs to be able to connect to a laptop that is brought into the room for meetings.

This is sort of question that I enjoy, so I thought it worth sharing my response.

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Phoenix Audio Beams Up A New SIP Conference Phone

Phoenix Audio at InfoComm2015InfoComm 2015 is next week, which has swayed the nature of press releases filling my in-box. While most are less than interesting, there was one from Phoenix Audio Technologies that piqued my interest. They have introduced an intriguing new device they call the Condor. Condor is not a typical SIP end-point.

Condor is an audio pickup appliance, essentially a microphone array with some sophisticated on-board DSP capability. With an on-board SIP client it’s one component of a huddle room conferencing solution. Add a large HDTV with built-in speakers and you have a complete solution for audio conferencing. You’re also well on your way to video conferencing.

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