Video conferencing equipment: what is it and why is its quality so important?
When arranging online meetings, whether it’s a video call, webinar, or a large-scale virtual conference, you need special tools, hardware, and software both from the host and the participants. For most people, a laptop with a webcam and headphones is enough. But others tend to invest in high-quality tools for a better online experience. What benefits can this bring to a remote team?
Higher quality of communication
A more expensive camera, computer, or headset guarantee a crystal clear image and sound. Modern devices for video conferencing offer advanced functionality, like background noise cancellation or face recognition. Hence, by purchasing professional equipment you invest not only in fine tools but also in hassle-free conference calls.
More productive collaboration
Professional communication means make remote work easier and more effective. Why so? High-quality equipment helps your team in organizing web meetups, hosting fruitful negotiations, and solving any working issues without endless worries about the connection quality.
What causes a positive impact on your foreign partners and prospects - a pixelated or a clear-to-pixel image? What makes them close this deal - flawless or cracking sound? The answer is obvious. That’s why you should allow yourself to invest a portion of the budget in high-grade video conferencing hardware and software.
Essential equipment for hosting video conferencing
If you’re a part of a remote business team, you engage in virtual meetings every day. And this requires impeccable audio and video quality. After all, it’s not a common Zoom call to parents.
Here is a list of essential things without which you shouldn’t enter a virtual meeting room:
A good webcam
Or, to be more precise, a perfect webcam. The one that won’t display a pixelated or delayed image. An ideal option will be a special conference camera that has adjustable viewpoints, remote controls, and wide angles.
Speakers or a headset
If your workplace is quiet and nothing interrupts your speech, headphones are not really a must-have, your built-in laptop speakers are enough for an ordinary conversation. But if you’re going to talk on the go or sit in a noisy room, you’ll certainly need them. The market offers a wide range of headsets, from budget options with mediocre sound quality to extremely expensive variants with lights, noise-canceling, and remote control.
It’s crucial to make sure the other party can hear you clearly. A good microphone helps to minimize misunderstandings, numerous repetitions, and an annoying echo. That’s when first-class headphones with background noise suppression may come in handy again.
A stable internet of WiFi connection
Even with equipment of the highest quality, your call is worth nothing without high-speed internet. If one person experiences troubles with the connection, it’s enough to impact the whole quality of the call. So before starting or joining a meeting, make sure your internet connection is fine, the bills are paid, and you’re staying close to a WiFi hotspot.
Our team has picked up the best examples of everything you may need for a video conference call. Have a look!
Top 3 webcams
1) Razer Kiyo Pro
This webcam is a true masterpiece created for high-quality video conferencing. It’s a Full-HD webcam perfect for streaming and video meetings. It offers rich camera optics with impeccable video and crystal clear audio quality.
As for the pricing, this camera can’t be called an affordable solution with a $199.99 price tag. But allowing yourself to spend such a sum on Razer Kiyo Pro, you’ll get a broad range of high-end features.
Just take a glance:
- Adaptive light sensor
- 4K video quality
- Wide-angle lens with three field-of-view options
- Flexible mounting positions
- Privacy cover
- USB 3.0 connection
- Gorilla Glass 3 protection
2) Logitech C920
Despite being released in January 2012, this high-quality camera remains one of the most beloved favorites among office and remote workers, content creators, and streamers. Logitech C920 is highly praised for its affordability, high quality, and impeccable performance. Its sharp 1080p HD resolution and amazing color detection along with lightning make this webcam a top budget solution on the market.
If you’re looking for a perfect webcam with high-end features for video conference calls, virtual chatting, and streaming, Logitech C920 should be your number one choice.
Its key features are:
- Full-HD video (1080p at 30fps) with automated light correction
- HD glass lens with 78° field of view
- Stereo sound with two microphones
- Attachable privacy cover
- Capture app for editing and customizing video calls
- Background removal
- Automated focus
3) Microsoft LifeCam Studio
Microsoft LifeCam Studio was developed specifically for business video conferences and presentations. It can boast 360° rotation, Microsoft TrueColor system, Full-HD video quality, and top-notch sound thanks to a built-in wideband microphone. What is more, it allows meeting recordings of up to 1080p and has a 75° diagonal field of view.
As for the price, you can find and purchase Microsoft LifeCam Studio for $99.95 right on the official Microsoft store.
Its major features are the following:
- Full-HD video for fantastic image sharpness
- 720p resolution for video chats and their recordings
- Microsoft TrueColor Technology: includes automated face recognition that adjusts brightness, lighting, and saturation of videos
- Certified for using with Skype
- Wideband mic providing detailed and natural sound quality and audio recordings
- Compatibility with Mac and Windows
Top 3 headsets
1) Sony WH-1000XM4
This type of headset is probably the most popular in the business world. Their creators have managed to combine the three most necessary features for video conferencing in one item - wireless connection, high-end sound quality, and active noise cancellation. What is more, this headset has a modern minimalist design and a few improvements in comparison with the previous models.
Their price may seem rather high - about $348 - but it’s totally worth it.
Have a look at its features:
- Leading-edge background noise cancellation
- Simultaneous connection of two devices
- It’s capable of pausing the music if it hears a person singing along
- Warm audio quality: balanced sound with powerful bass performance
- AI-driven DSEE Extreme: for even better audio clarity
- 30 hours of battery life with quick charging - 5 hours of work for 10 minutes of charging
2) Plantronics BackBeat Go 810
If you ever had a chance to use Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, it became clear that they are one of the best headphones for remote work. But many people can’t afford to buy them due to their high price. Fortunately, now we have a much more affordable BackBeat Go - a younger brother of BackBeat Pro 2. Just look at their cost - $69.99-$129.99. Yet, they also offer a pretty good sound quality, reliable design, and several nice and helpful features.
What are they?
- Decent active noise cancellation
- Great battery life: up to 24 hours of active work without recharging
- Clear and warm sound
- Steady Bluetooth connection
- Convenient playback controls: pausing, skipping, volume control
- 90° rotating ears cups
- 3.5mm/USB connection for charging
3) Sennheiser Momentum Wireless
Sennheiser headphones are famous for their premium quality and high … price. Yes, $399 is not a price anyone can afford. But this headset delivers one of the best sound quality over a wireless Bluetooth connection you’ve ever heard. Although they were released in 2015, there are quite a few headsets that can rally against their top positions.
So why does everyone love them?
- Active noise canceling (3 modes for different environments)
- Comfortable ear cups
- Superior sound quality
- Helpful assistant
- 3 hours of charging for 22 hours of performance
- Auto On/Off and Smart Pause features
- Transparent Hearing feature that allows engaging in a conversation even with headphones on
- Smart Control app for iOS and Android
Top 3 microphones
1) Blue Yeti USB
If you look for a premium option with outstanding technical characteristics, Blue Yeti USB is exactly what you need. This side-address microphone has four different pattern modes that ensure fantastic sound output in any video and audio conference. As for its construction, Blue Yeti has a solid metal body from top to bottom. On the front side, it has volume control, a mute button, and a power switch, while on the back you can find a built-in gain dial that helps you record even distant and quiet sounds during a virtual video meeting or a live stream. The price starts from $130.
Its key features are:
- 3.5mm USB connection type
- 4 modes for optimal sound quality in different situations: cardioid, stereo, bidirectional, and omnidirectional
- Plug-n-play functionality compatible with Mac and PC
- A desktop stand included
- Enhanced audio: vocal effects, advanced voice modulation, HD audio samples
- Recordings with studio controls: volume, mode selection, and instant mute
2) HyperX SoloCast USB
HyperX SoloCast is twice cheaper than the previous mic with a price starting from $60. Yet, it has everything for flawless video and audio conferencing. This microphone is relatively small and also includes an adjustable stand for convenient positioning. As for the sound quality, this mic has a cardioid polar pattern that prioritizes sound sources from the front side of the mic.
Other major features:
- USB connection type
- LED light indicating work and a recording mode
- Tap-to-mute sensor
- Plug-n-play functionality
- Compatibility with PC, Mac, PS4, PS5
- Easy-to-position stand
- Above-average performance
3) Elgato Wave:3
Another not-really-affordable item of premium video conferencing equipment is the Elgato Wave:3 microphone with a $149.99 price tag. It is made of steel that protects all internal elements from any negative externalities. What is more, it ensures the quality of sound by using a cardioid polar pattern. On the back of the microphone, there is a USB port and a headphone jack. On the front, you can find a volume control, tweak input gain, and a light indicator of work.
What else does it offer:
- Easily adjustable u-mount stand with padded base
- Excellent sound thanks to a cardioid polar pattern fined tuned for speech
- Elegant design with a steel grille
- Robust tactile control
- Multilayered noise shield
- Pop filter with a dual-layer metal mesh
- 9 independent input channels able to blend audio sources
- Sound effects: EQ, compression, and reverb
Best video conferencing software in 2022
Between a broad variety of tools and hardware for video conferencing, you shouldn’t forget about another essential component: the software. When picking an ideal app, it’s important to focus on your and your coworkers’ needs and wishes. The software you choose should be reliable, convenient, and easy to use for everyone in your team.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve chosen three top apps for companies of different sizes:
1) Whoosh - perfect for small and medium-sized businesses
This name may sound unfamiliar to you, but believe us, its time is coming.
Whoosh is a brand-new app, whose aim is to make video calls more comfortable and closer to face-to-face conversations.
So that the developers offer the following features:
- Full-HD video and superb audio quality
- Visual enhancements: touch-up tools, immersive 3D backgrounds, photorealistic avatars
- Engaging tools: screen sharing, instant messaging, weatherman layouts, digital whiteboard
- AI-powered functionality: gesture and pulse recognition, short video mashups
- Cloud recordings with transcripts
- Integrations with other popular platforms
2) Zoom - ideal for medium and large companies
Zoom has become a true giant of the industry being widely known all across the globe. It’s a simple and convenient service that offers all the necessary features for high-quality virtual gatherings.
Have a look:
- HD video conferencing with cloud recordings
- Collaboration features: live chat, whiteboarding, breakout rooms
- Wireless screen sharing
- Large session capacity: 100-500 participants
- Smart scheduling options
- Virtual backgrounds and touch-up tools
3) Microsoft Teams - excellent for global enterprises
Microsoft Teams is widely popular in the business world, being an ideal solution for large teams. It’s an all-in-one platform complete with high-quality conferencing, document sharing, instant messaging, and other must-have features for business communication.
Its primary features are:
- Chatting in private and public channels
- Document storage in SharePoint
- Virtual video calling & screen sharing
- High-quality audio calls and voice recordings
- Web-based video conferences with up to 10,000 participants
- Audio-only conferencing with a dial-in number
- Powerful phone system
Achieve success in ‘22 with the best video conferencing equipment
Video conferencing has become an integral part of our modern life, communication, and work. It allows us to keep in touch with distant people, host large-scale virtual events, and make deals without leaving the comfort of our homes.
But without reliable and quality video conferencing equipment for both desktop and mobile devices, you risk lowering productivity and increasing the amount of time spent on troubleshooting.
So make sure your team has all the tools for a stable internet connection, crystal clear image, and flawless sound. And don’t forget about a powerful application, like Whoosh, which will become an ideal companion in arranging high-quality video meetings, engaging webinars, and interactive presentations in 2022!