1. Conference Phone Buying Guide
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How to buy conference phones

how to buy conference phones

A conference phone buying guide

Conference phones are a vital part of almost every business. The majority of companies, no matter the size, will use their conference phones on a regular basis. Because they are used frequently, choosing the best conference phones requires a little bit of thought. Think about the following points in order to make a conference phone comparison and to find the best conference phones to meet your needs.

>> Determine the size of the room

conference phone with wireless microphones

In learning how to buy conference phones, first determine the size of the room to be used. The best conference phones are those which are suitable for the size and location of your conference room. In smaller conference rooms, the ceilings are usually of average height. Many times, these rooms are filled in with more office equipment, which helps to cut down on the reverberation, or echo. The best phones to use in this type of environment are conference phones with wireless microphones. These provide about seven feet of coverage. Smaller rooms allow the speakers to be close to the microphone which helps with the sound quality.

A regular conference room seats about 10 people comfortably. This type of room does have more challenges as far as acoustics including room echo along with additional noise and people. A smaller conference room should offer a 10 foot range on the microphones. Conference phones for the boardroom need to address acoustic issues including decorative glass, open spaces and hard surface areas. Offsite locations usually have tables that are set up in an L or U shape. Walls are lined with paneling with acoustic ceilings. One of the challenges of being offsite is being able to understand what everyone is saying. Another challenge is having sound quality that is good enough for participants in the room to be able to hear everything being said.

>> Consider features of a conference phone

When deciding on how to buy conference phones, think about the features of a conference phone. There are five features of a conference phone which are designed to produce quality sound. Reverberation is the echo that you hear between the phone's microphone and the person talking. This makes the conversations hard to understand. Reverberations are affected by the character of the room such as the walls, ceiling, floors and room size. The best conference phones are conference phones with wireless microphones. Microphones are designed to assist in getting rid of the majority of the echo in the room as well as any noises in the room.

The advancements in office technology have made an ideal work environment in the conference room where all participants able to interact with each other. Reverberation is an important feature to consider when you buy conference phones. Reverberation can make conversations between individuals on a conference phone difficult to understand due to the amount of echo transmitted through the phones speakers. To help with reverberation it's best to carefully plan out the room's design and placement of conference phones with wireless microphones.

Bandwidth is a contributing feature in the best conference phones. Bandwidth helps to provide crystal clear sound from the speaker to the one listening. Many of the top conference phones have a bandwidth between 300 Hz to 3.3 kHz, with some of the newer models capable of carrying frequencies up to 22 kHz.

>> Determine the type

how to choose conference phone

When considering how to buy conference phones, think about the type of phone you may want. Some of the top rated conference phones contain a speaker phone feature. The majority of speakerphones have one microphone built in with no type of echo cancellation feature. It is designed for one person to have a hands-free conversation. While there are times that small groups will utilize a speakerphone for a conference call, this is not recommended since the sound quality will be poor. Conference speakerphones are not made for group conversations. The best conference phones have amazing features. This is due largely in part to the advancements that have been made over the years. Some of these useful features include directional microphone, turning off unwanted pickup, versatile interconnection abilities and interaction. Installed audio conference systems include the majority of conference phone features that are divided into two separate elements so they can be put in the best spots needed for the most optimized conferencing experience. These types of phones can be used for voice as well as video conferencing.

>> Determine the connection

When thinking about how to buy conference phones, determine the connection of the phone. When you are doing a conference phone comparison, consider whether you want VOIP or an analog connection. VOIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is one of the best office products you can have. Through this type of connection, the call is transmitted via the internet rather than a traditional phone line. Since VOIP uses the internet, it is usually cheaper than land-line phone calls and even cellular phone calls. An analog connection is perfect for those on a budget, those with no Ethernet connections available or businesses who only use analog phones. Analog connections plug into phone ports which are analog and connect through the analog phone line.

>> Consider additional features

conference phone buying guide

When thinking about how to buy conference phones, think about any additional features that you may need. HD sound is designed to enhance sound effects. It delivers amazing sound quality and room coverage. The top rated conference phones have POE capability. POE stands for Power Over Ethernet. It delivers electrical power as well as data which travels through Ethernet cables. This lets one cable provide not only data connections but electrical power as well. Some of the best conference phones have touch screen capabilities. Touch screen is an easy to use phones and accessories feature that allows you to control cameras, share content, add callers and change layouts.

Important features on a conference phone also include call recording. This ensures that you cover all your bases before, during and after a conference call. It is also designed to prevent misunderstandings and conflict in the office. Other advantages include better customer support, liability management, improved decision making and conflict resolution. When making the decision on how to buy conference phones, think about headset connections. These connections allow for noise cancelling sound. Upgrade software is one of the most important office supplies you can have for conference phones. This ensures that you have the latest version and most up-to-date software so you are able to get the most out of your phone.

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