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Low-tech personal solutions – using speakerphones for better quality audio

Using a USB or Bluetooth conference speaker can be helpful when a small group of people gather in one room for a hybrid meeting with remote participants whilst using their personal devices. All in-room participants can share a single speaker connected to just one of the laptops to eliminate the feedback from using multiple mics and speakers. This also works for anyone wanting to improve their audio quality when joining online meetings.

Scenarios

  • Where several people gather in a room and use their personal devices to join a hybrid meeting. Using multiple mics and speakers in close proximity can cause feedback issues that make for a poor meeting experience.

  • An individual wants to improve their sound quality during online meetings while working remotely.


Solution

One simple solution is to use a USB or Bluetooth conference speakerphone. Speakerphones are optimised for the human voice, so they deliver much better sound quality than speakers designed for music. Using a speakerphone allows everyone in the room to share a single, good quality mic and speaker and eliminates distracting audio feedback.

How it works

  1. One of the in-room participants connects their device to the USB or Bluetooth conference speakerphone

  2. They select the conference speaker under the audio settings in their meeting application, for example, Teams or Zoom.

  3. All the other in-room participants either join without audio or mute themselves in the meeting app on their personal device and turn their speaker volume down to zero.


Things to bear in mind

Meeting apps will recognise everyone in the room as a single participant, so:

  • Remote participants will not see the current speaker being spotlighted

  • When the person whose device is connected to the speaker mutes themselves in the meeting app, it will mute everyone in the room.


About conference speakerphones

There is now a wide range of inexpensive, portable speakerphones on the market. They can connect via USB cable, dongle or Bluetooth and work straight out of the box so there’s no need to install anything on your device. Once connected, your device will instantly recognise the speaker so you can select it under the audio/mic settings in Teams or Zoom. If you are unsure of the suitability of a particular conference speaker to work with your personal device for your intended use, please contact your usual IT support team.

 

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