What are the Best USB Speaker Phones for Skype, VoIP and Conference Calls on Laptops and PCs?
If you read our buying guide below, you know what to consider when choosing a USB speakerphone *unless of course you already knew!). Now let’s take an in-depth look at the key features you’ll want to consider as you shop for your own. Relate these qualities to your specific needs—like portability and software compatibility. This will help you pick a device that works for you. Before we get to our reviews, we want to give a shout out to a lesser-known brand, eMeet, whose M0 Conference Speaker with USB Plug and Play functionality
is a top seller for small offices.
Our Top Choice
The Jabra Speak 410 USB Speakerphone for PC features a high-definition sound system and a highly receptive, omnidirectional microphone. If you need a speakerphone with both USB and wireless connections, check out the Jabra Speak 510
. It features USB/Bluetooth interfaces that can connect to PCs, tablets, or smartphones. Or you could splurge and go for the newer Jabra Speak 710!
Jabra Speak 410 USB Speakerphone for Skype and other VoIP calls
Effective communication in the workplace is critical to the success of any business. It’s thus important for teams to collaborate and share ideas. Now, in the modern business environment where teams work in different parts of the worlds, it becomes necessary to invest in communication equipment that’s reliable. Jabra understands this and makes products that give you the reliable solution you’ve always sought—unmatched sound clarity on your VoIP calls.
For instance, the Skype-certified Jabra Speak 410 USB Speakerphone for PC comes with high-definition audio that’s crystal clear. It also comes in a plug-and-play design, which means no software installation is necessary. This saves you time and a headache, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy.
In addition, its compact and lightweight design makes it highly portable, thus allowing you to hold meetings on the go. This flexibility maximizes your productivity, and allows you to attend to personal matters that you may have chosen to otherwise forego if you had to travel to your office to be physically present for meetings.
And that’s not all! Here are some of the other great features of this conference speakerphone:
- Requires no additional adapters for setup
- Has a headset port that allows you to switch from public calls to private ones
- Comes with a carrying case that gives it better handling, storage and protection from scratchy surfaces
- Has touch-sensitive controls that are easy to identify and operate
- Comes with LED indicators that allow you to visually identify controls for a better user experience
- Uses digital signal processing technology that prevents sound distortion and echo for audible conversations
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems
- Comes with a 1-year limited warranty for guaranteed quality
How io Setup and Use the Jabra SPEAK 410 Speakerphone. | Courtesy of Jabra
The Sennheiser SP 10 ML USB Speakerphone features communication- and music-operating modes that allow you to chat or enjoy quality music whenever you please. Need a conference speakerphone that’s compatible with mobile devices? Try the Sennheiser SP20 ML
, which works well with PC, Smartphone and tablet. Or take things to the next level with the SP 30 or 30+!
Sennheiser SP10 ML USB Speakerphone with Up To 20 Hours Talk Time
If you work in a demanding environment that involves frequent travel and constant base-touching with your stakeholders and site teams, then you’ll appreciate the need for dependable communication devices from a trusted brand. Sennheiser is one such manufacturer in the market today. Its products, such as speakerphones, are innovatively designed with a futuristic approach in order to meet the ever-dynamic needs of the consumer.
The Sennheiser SP 10 ML Speakerphone features clearly marked control buttons for easy operation. It’s deigned to offer you 20 hours of talk time with just two and half hours of charging needed for guaranteed reliability. Furthermore, when it’s in charging mode, you can still use it to talk! This conference speakerphone comes with a cable management system that allows you to wind its USB cord around its base for tangle-free and neat storage when not in use.
The following are other features that make this USB speakerphone standout:
- Has an Omni Electret Condenser Microphone with 3600 coverage for better round table conversations
- Features full-duplex audio setting and echo-cancellation mechanism for crystal-clear communication
- Speakers have optimized audio output for superior performance when in music mode
- Comes with a pouch for safe and easy storage when not in use
- Includes limited 2-year warranty
The ClearOne Chat 170 Speakerphone comes with three microphones that have first-mic priority intelligence and can pick voices up even when they’re 8 feet away. Need a personal speakerphone? Try out the ClearOne Chat 50 Speakerphone
. It’s highly affordable and comes with 1200 audio pickup for hands-free operation.
ClearOne Chat 170 Personal/Group USB Speakerphone
Irrespective of the nature of your work, your productivity is largely affected by the quality of your working tools. If you have the wrong tools, your progress will be slow paced when compared with someone with the right equipment in the same job. ClearOne know this fact too well, and that’s why the company strives to improve its products, such as speakerphones, with emerging technologies that are efficient and tailor-made to suit a wide range of consumer needs.
The ClearOne Chat 170 USB Speakerphone comes with a ‘first mic priority feature’ that activates the microphone closest to whomever is speaking, thus preventing background noise and echofor quality sound. Its ability to support multiple speakers while automatically controlling voice levels allows teams to converse as naturally as possible without interruption. This improves the quality of interaction and, consequently, business productivity.
This speakerphone has so many features, we’ve decided to compile some of them in a list:
- Features USB and keyed RJ-45 connecter that allows for scalability
- Has visible volume and microphone on/mute controls for hassle-free operation
- Features a true plug-and-play design
- Picks up voices up to 8 feet away for truly hands-free operation
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
The lightweight Phoenix Audio DUET PCS USB Speakerphone is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac OS systems, and is ideal for desktop or laptop conferencing with any VoIP application like Skype and Vidyo. You may also want to check out the Phoenix Audio Smart Spider USB Table Microphone
for video conferencing. not only does it have four microphone beamforming arrays and echo cancelling, but it can even be mounted on the ceiling.
Phoenix Audio DUET USB Speakerphone with Echo Cancellation
Phoenix Audio has won the hearts of many consumers because of its dependable and high-quality products. Unlike many of its competitors in the market, the company lays emphasis on products that are easy to use. For instance, its speakerphones are designed to work with many operating systems, like Linux, Windows and Mac OS. It also uses software solutions that ensure truly plug-and-play products for hassle-free setups.
The Phoenix Audio DUET PCS USB Speakerphone comes in a stylish oval design that’s attractive. It comes with an echo suppressing capability to ensure that its microphone picks up clear voice signals for uninterrupted communication. Its microphone also has a voice-level equalization for orderly conversations. Moreover, this conference speakerphone features a 3.5 mm audio jack connection for headphones or a loudspeaker, if you intend to have a private call or need to accommodate more people in the conversation.
But that’s not all! Below are additional features of this great speakerphone:
- Volume and speaker controls
- LED light blinks when speaker is muted
- Has an automated gain control mechanism for superior performance
- Comes with an aluminum casing for added durability
- Can play multi-media files and record other conversations for future reference
- Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
The design of the Plantronics Calisto 610 USB Speakerphone incorporates a Kensington security lock that comes in handy when using it in shared facilities. Need a speakerphone with wireless interface? Try out the Plantronics Calisto 620 Speakerphone
. It features Bluetooth connection that gives it seamless integration with laptops and smartphones.
Plantronics Calisto 610-M Portable USB Speakerphone Optimized for Microsoft Lync, Skype and UC
In today’s fast-paced business environment, it’s common to find yourself in situations where you need to multitask. For instance, you may need to jot down some notes or send a holding reply to your stakeholders’ mailboxes while in a meeting. Some of these quick commands are not achievable when communicating with handsets. The good news is that Plantronics is privy to this fact, and that’s why it has focused on designing communication products, such as the Calisto 610, that give customers the flexibility to converse while also attending to other pressing matters.
This portable USB Speakerphone comes with intuitive call controls that help you manage your conferences effectively. Its speakers feature PC wideband audio technology to give you clear voice output for quality conversations. It’s also designed to play music and other audio files, allowing you to enjoy your favorite hits while working.
The Calisto 610 conference speakerphone features an omnidirectional microphone that’s specially built with noise cancelling technology for quality voice pickup. It also comes with a carrying case that protects it from scratches and provides safe storage.
USB Speaker Phone Buying Guide - How to Choose a USB Conference Speakerphone for Your Office
For a business to thrive, there needs to be an effective means of communication among the involved units. This allows for easier collaboration and the sharing of ideas that sustain the growth of an organization. If your business houses all staff members in a single building, then boardroom meetings and emails will probably suffice. However, if you often work with remote teams and need to have frequent discussions with them, physical meetings are out of the question as they’d be far too expensive to conduct!
But thanks to advancements in technology, you can now have secure video- and voice-conference calls over the internet from virtually any part of the world. All you need is a laptop
, your USB speakerphone and a VoIP application set up on your device.
Now, modern speakerphones can feature wireless interfaces or USB ones that are used to connect with your computer. They can also have half-duplex or full-duplex audio designs, which essentially determines how you conduct your conversations. In this review, we’ve focused on USB speakerphones with full-duplex audio design. These conference phones give you the flexibility to set up your meetings on-the-go, thus increasing your productivity. They also give you the flexibility of planning your business meetings while attending to other personal commitments.
Before setting out to shop for a USB speakerphone, there are a few key features you need to look out for. Let’s find out what they are in the upcoming sections.
The price of a USB speakerphone depends on its design features, such as voice technology used and estimated coverage. For instance, the price of a quality, single microphone speakerphone with 1200 noise cancellation coverage is about $80. On the other hand, the price of a high-end personal or group speakerphone with crystal-clear voice output, first-microphone priority feature, and 3600 coverage can go up to $450. However, if you’re after a conference speakerphone with even more features, be ready to spend.
On the opposite end of “ultra-expensive” is “ultra-cheap,” so it may not be a surprise to come across cheap USB speakerphones in the market. You’ll need to be extremely careful with such products, though, as they are likely to perform poorly, which isn’t providing you with the value you paid for! Our list has a good mix of high-cost and low-cost products, so you don’t have to worry about something like this.
When shopping for a speakerphone, you need to focus on when and where you’ll use it most. You’ll also need to know whether it’ll be for personal or group use. These factors will greatly affect the qualities of your preferred conference phone. As you’re shopping around, be sure to look at each phone’s capabilities so you can get a good idea of how it’ll work for you.
That said, here are the important features to look for in a USB speakerphone:
- Design – What’s the overall design of the speakerphone?
- Microphone frequency – What’s the pick-up frequency of its microphone?
- Size – What are its dimensions and weight?
- Output – What are its maximum volume in decibels?
- Coverage – How large of a room can it cover? What’s its range?
- Input/Output interfaces – How does it connect to other devices?
- Software compatibility – What OS, VoIP and UC platforms is it compatible with?
These features will help you select a product that not only meets your needs, but also your budget!
Construction and Design
USB speakerphone designs are generally compact and lightweight, and their shapes may vary from square to round. They feature single or multiple speakers and microphones, but the design of the microphone component of a speakerphone may vary from one manufacturer to another. Some may choose to use a single microphone while others may use multiple ones to increase the voice pick-up ability of the device.
When multiple microphones are used, an advanced, first-mic priority feature is used to ensure that only the mic nearest to the speaker picks up the speaker’s voice signal. Moreover, such designs will often incorporate full-duplex audio technology that allows multiple people to speak at once. In such cases, voice leveling is used so participants know who’s leading the conversation.
Telephone conversations are prone to noise interference. To solve this problem, speakerphone manufacturers use noise-canceling technology to prevent echoes
and background noise from being picked up by the device. Besides voice transmission, some speakerphones allow you to play music and multimedia files on the computer. This gives you top-notch audio output for whenever you need it!
It’s important to note that speakerphones are designed to work with VoIP applications
, such as Skype and Vidyo, and unified communication systems. Conference speakerphones also work with specific computer operating systems. It’s thus important to pick a device that’s compatible with your favorite VoIP application, existing UC platform and computer OS. These factors should be on your radar when deciding which phone is the best one for you.
Performance and Ease of Use
Before buying a speakerphone, consider its ease of use. Conference phones that come in a plug-and-play design are easy to set up and use, and ensures that you don’t spend a lot of time with software installation. Moreover, check out the phone’s controls and how easy they are to operate. Control buttons that are LED-lit are easy to identify visually.
Get the Best USB Speakerphone of 2020!
We hope that after going through our review of the best speakerphones, you’ve found one that suits you. If you need to compare more speakerphones from our top brands, feel free to follow the links on this review page for more details.
Our Top Choice
Jabra Speak 410 USB Speakerphone For PC
Sennheiser SP 10 ML USB Speakerphone
ClearOne Chat 170 USB Speakerphone
Phoenix Audio DUET USB Speakerphone
Plantronics Calisto 610 USB Speakerphone
USB Speakerphone FAQs
What brands make USB speakerphones?
Several brands make USB speakerphones. The most notable ones include Jabra, Sennheiser, ClearOne, Phoenix, and Plantronics. You may find different models of USB speakerphones from each of these brands. As such, there are variations when it comes to the features of each one of them. If you are looking for a USB speakerphone to buy, we have reviewed some of the best.
What communications software is required to use USB speakerphone?
There is no special communication software that you require to use a USB speakerphone. Mostly, these are plug-n-play devices, with the only requirement being compatibility with the operating system. However, some of them may require the installation of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Unified Communications (UC) software.
How to connect USB speakerphone?
To connect USB speakerphone, you should start by connecting it to a laptop or desktop computer
via the USB cable. If you see a blue light on the buttons, it is an indication that the speakerphone is on and operational. Thus, you can start to use it USB speakerphones can also be used with smart phones to increase the volume and sound quality beyond what the phone's internal speaker can provide.