Best video conferencing equipment for remote work

With widespread social distancing measures in place, more companies are working remotely than ever before. This means more video conferencing calls to ensure teams, departments, and entire companies are aligned.

In this post, we’ve compiled some of the best video conferencing equipment that employees can use while working from home, including video chat software, webcams, general hardware, and audio gear.

Video chat software

Zoom

Zoom offers a consistent enterprise experience for team members to hold conference calls and more. The software enables you to host online meetings, trainings, and even video webinars. All paid plans come with local toll numbers. The software is reliable and used by large companies such as Box, Nasdaq, Uber, Delta, and Slack.

Great for customers in a variety of industries like education, finance, government, and health care, Zoom offers plans that start from $14.99 per month, per host for small teams. There’s also a basic, free option for attending personal meetings. Currently, Zoom has a training resource page dedicated to helping people transition to remote work.

Skype

Skype lets you use its video chat app for a group video call with up to 50 people, enabling you to meet and collaborate remotely with coworkers. Group screen sharing lets you present PowerPoint slides and video recordings to the team. You can also use the app for long-distance learning. Additional features include full-screen video, chat invites, and background blur.

The ability to make group video calls for up to 50 people is free on just about any device, tablet, or computer. You can also use Skype to call phones for free.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is an online meeting solution that combines instant messaging, video conferencing, calling, and document collaboration into a single, integrated solution. This communication tool lets you host audio, video, and web conferences with anyone inside or outside of your organization. You can meet in teams of just a few people up to 250 people.

Teams is part of Office 365 and starts at $5 per user, per month for Business Basic. The package includes other Microsoft apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as services like Exchange, OneDrive, and SharePoint. Outlook, Publisher, and Access are included in higher-tier plans.

GoToMeeting

GoToMeeting is specifically made to be an HD video conferencing solution. With the software, you can host personalized online meetings with face-to-face video conferencing.

Features include screen sharing, conference calling, video conferencing, mobile conferencing, meeting recording and transcription, and even conference room equipment (hardware). Additional video conferencing benefits include high-quality video, single-tap meetings, cloud-based access, integrated scheduling, and automatic bandwidth adjustment.

GoToMeeting starts at just $12.00 per organizer, per month. This plan allows for up to 150 participants.

Webcams

Logitech C920S HD Webcam 

Logitech C920S HD Webcam is a good choice to add to a computer setup for communicating with coworkers. The HD autofocus and light correction make for a clear picture, while the stereo audio with dual mics allows for a natural sound.

The webcam includes a lens cover for privacy outside of conference calls. Features include Full HD 1080 PX video recording, 2.07 MP sensor, a 78-degree field of view, and a clip-on design. It works with both USB 2.0 and 1.1.

Affordably priced on most websites for around $70, this Logitech model is a good value.

Logitech HD Webcam C615 

For a more basic option, the Logitech HD Webcam C615 is a good deal. It has high-definition video calling and still image capture. The one-click upload capability allows you to share videos and photos. Features include still-image resolution up to 8.0 MP, a CMOS image sensor, a built-in mic, 360-degree swivel, USB connectivity, and fold-and-go design.

This lower priced webcam sells in the $40 to $50 range, which makes it a great starter webcam.

Razer Kiyo Webcam

Razer Kiyo Webcam is great for gamers, content creators, and broadcasters. It integrates easily with streaming platforms for a smooth setup.

Full HD resolution for high-quality images and a built-in ring light with adjustable brightness achieve a studio-like setting. Features include a 4 MP sensor with RightLight tech, neutral color representation, a USB 2.0 interface, and a compact and portable design.

At about $100, this webcam is a good option for someone who needs their webcam to handle more than video conferences.

General hardware

Jabra Speak 510 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 

The Jabra Speak 510 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker lets you hold meetings with up to four people. It has a battery life of up to 15 hours and comes with a Bluetooth cable, a USB cable, and a noise-canceling microphone. It works with multiple devices, has a slim design, is easy to set up, and lets you hold meetings anywhere.

This speaker runs around $150. It’s a good, affordable option for conference calls when the speakers on your phone or computer just won’t do the trick.

Google Jamboard

The Google Jamboard smartboard takes team collaboration and creativity to the next level. Think of it as an interactive canvas or whiteboard. You can draw images, add notes, and pull assets from the web while collaborating with team members anywhere.

Teams can use multiple Jamboards or access the mobile version together from any location. It even integrates with Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

The Jamboard is a great option to enhance the video conferencing and remote working environment. It’s on the more expensive side, starting at $4,999 (which includes one Jamboard display, two styluses, one eraser, and one wall mount). The $600 annual management and support fee is not included.

Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Podcast Digital Mixer and Recorder

When you have multiple people speaking at once, you have to adjust each microphone’s level to keep the volume consistent on each speaker. To do this, mics need to be connected to a mixer that assigns different tracks to each microphone. This comes in handy when you’re recording multiple people for a presentation.

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 Podcast Digital Mixer/Recorder is used widely for podcasting and can record presentations in the workplace as well. It features an eight-channel mixer, multitrack recording, a TRRS connection, a mix-minus function, a 12-in and 4-out USB audio interface, and portable design.

This model is highly rated and runs about $400 at most online outlets. This is in the mid-range for most audio mixers used for presentations and podcasts.

Audio gear

Blue Yeti USB microphone 

Blue Yeti USB microphone is a popular USB microphone used for podcast recording and livestreaming. It’s a good choice for podcasters as well as anyone holding video conferencing or team calls. It features a tri-capsule array, four pickup patterns (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo), a mute option, zero-latency headphone output, and a USB plug.

The mic runs about $130 online. There are also multiple accessories that can be purchased with the mic, including boom arms and shock mounts.

ATR2100-USB mic 

ATR2100-USB mic is a handheld mic with USB digital output and XLR analog output. Features include a built-in headphone jack, extended frequency response, and excess noise reduction. Along with the mic, you can purchase XLR cables, a tripod desk stand, and a stand clamp or threaded stands.

This mic is a more affordable option at about $80 online. It has several accessories to choose from that can drive up the initial cost.

ATR2500-USB mic 

The ATR2500-USB mic is a step up from the ATR2100. It’s a cardioid condenser mic ideal for digital recording. Features include a high-quality AD converter, excellent frequency response, built-in controls, and monitoring. It can be used with a conventional stand or on a tabletop.

Slightly more expensive than the ATR2100, this mic typically costs about $110 online. The cost of the mic includes the USB cable, a tripod desk stand, and a pivoting, threaded stand mount.

These are the top pieces of video conferencing equipment to make you look and sound more polished on your next call, presentation, or livestream.

This article is originally published on Apr 29, 2020, and updated on Jun 05, 2020.
AUTHOR
Ex-nomad finally managed to settle. Been to 51 countries and counting. Doesn't like to be stuck in an office. Cappuccino aficionado.

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