A Question About Chromebox-For-Meetings and USB Conference Phones

Not long a reader posed this question about USB speakerphone devices;

“Hi Michael – I read your blog article about chromebox for meetings. I’m in the UK and I think there will be good takeup when its launched here but I’m concerned about sound quality mic and speakers in untreated rooms. Have you found any USB table top devices  matrix mics with high quality speaker that could be integrated at proportionate cost? – Thanks, John”

It’s an interesting question. As I was answering him via IM it occurred to me that the answer might be worth sharing.

There are a lot of USB attached speakerphones available. I’ve tried quite a number over the years. Some are good. Some are cheap. As you can imagine, rarely are the good ones cheap. The major difference to be considered is whether the device undre consideration is intended for use by an individual or a small group.

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Webcams 2: LifeSize Desktop & The Logitech C9000

The first post in this series on webcams was historical. This one is as well, but it highlights the performance offered by the very first HD-capable webcam that was recommended for use in UC/video conference solutions.

logitech-webcam-pro-c9000There was a time when I was pursuing the ability to deploy HDVoice for my home office. If this were possible then it would improve not only my working life, but also that of my US co-workers.

This little quest harkens back to the summer of 2008. The idea was inspired by some time spent using the then newly released new Polycom SoundPoint IP550 & IP650 desk phones. Small Net Builder had asked me to review those phones and I found that using them was positively addictive.

While I might have the lovely Polycom hardware there was no way that I could convince my employer to replace our existing IP phones en masse. At the time they had around a dozen older SoundPoint models in service.

However, some  of our staff also used soft phones on Windows laptops. I saw this as a way to sneak HDVoice into the operation for minimal cost. The trick was to find a good, G.722-capable soft phone for a reasonable price.

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