Update, 2/15/23: Updated with all new options for 2023.
Why Buy Desktop Conference Speakerphones?
The concept of ‘work from anywhere’ has been gaining traction over recent years. This has made a well-stocked home office a mandatory requirement to continue earning a living. Unfortunately, this is often accompanied by mediocre or poor audio quality, which can be avoided with the use of speakerphones.
Desktop speakerphones have been around for some time, but they have typically been expensive, difficult to install and require a wired connection to the telephone. Fortunately, we now have great options that are easy to install and have Bluetooth connectivity. Some of these even offer docking ports, power passthroughs for charging devices, and the ability to drive multiple monitors. These are infinitely better than using a smartphone, Bluetooth speaker with a mic or webcam mic, as they feature echo cancellation, directional mics, and tuning for conference and video communications.
Our top picks for speakerphones are lightyears ahead of the alternatives with their range of features. They provide clean audio and improve communication quality on both sides of the conversation.
What to Look For in Desktop Conference Speakerphones
Speakerphones can be basic of decked out, depending on your needs. A basic speakerphone just provides hands-free audio and microphone for conversations including videoconferences. A more advanced speakerphone can provide extra USB ports, and excellent quality audio for music and podcastsThey are also handy when you need to include more than just yourself in the conversation. Here are a few of the features you might want to look for.
Here are some of the most important things to look for when you are shopping for a speakerphone.
- Ease of Setup: Connecting your desktop speaker to your PC or laptop should be as straightforward as possible.
- Audio Quality: You’ll be using your speakerphone for more than just conference calls. Get one that’s great for playing music or listening to podcasts.
- Number of Microphones: If you plan on multiple people in the room participating, they should have their own mic.
- Connectivity: Additional USB and video ports are extremely helpful for connecting third-party devices to your desktop speakerphone.
Best Overall: Logitech Logi Dock
- ✓ Loads of USB ports
- ✓ Can pass through power to power or charge your laptop or other devices
- ✗ Expensive
- ✗ Poor documentation
- ✗ Logi Tune software may be unnecessary for many users
Logitech’s Log Dock is a hefty speakerphone with a lot of capability in a small package. It acts as a docking station, a speakerphone, and has excellent control over call components, including video. It comes with Logi Tune software for calendar integration and one-touch meeting capability. The Logi Dock supports all popular videoconferencing apps and has controls on the top, including one-touch to join, video on/off, mute, volume up/down, and Bluetooth pairing.
The Dock had excellent audio capabilities, with six beamforming mics, two 2.17 inch drivers, and two passive radiators, with a 60Hz to 20KHz frequency response. It can be used as a desktop Bluetooth speaker and also has a USB-C Power Delivery pass-through port, DisplayPort 1.4 output, and HDMI v2.0 for 4K video.
The Logi Dock connects to PCs or laptops via USB-C and has three USB-C ports — two with 4.5W/7.5W charging, and one with 7.5W fast charging marked with a lightning icon. It comes in Graphite or off-white and serves as an excellent speakerphone and desktop Bluetooth speaker, though it is the most expensive tested here. The only downside is the lack of comprehensive documentation.
Logitech Logi Dock All in One Docking Station - Graphite
The Logi Dock is a great speakerphone with lots of additional ports
Best Budget: Poly Sync 20+ USB-A Speakerphone
- ✓ Inexpensive
- ✓ Simple controls make using it easy
- ✓ Can get models certified for specific videoconferencing software if needed
- ✗ Programmable rocket button doesn't offer much additional utility
- ✗ No additional ports
- ✗ Powered by rechargeable battery rather than USB port or power supply
Poly is a well-known brand for conference phones, popular for their triangular models. They range from basic to high end USB speakerphones, now co-branded with HP. The Poly 20+ USB-A is a lower price choice with good performance. If you need something certified for Teams or video conferencing, Poly has those models too.
The Poly Sync 20+ measures 1.3 x 3.7 x 7.2 inches and weighs .80 pounds and comes with a fabric carry case, a lanyard and a 28 inch USB-A cable to its underside. Setup is quick and easy—just plug the device into a wall watt charger until its LED lights up. The included USB-A cable is 28 inches long, making it easy to connect the device.
It is easy to set up the Poly Sync: simply plug it into a USB-A port on your PC. The internal rechargeable Li Ion battery provides up to 20 hours of talk time and only takes four hours to charge. You can also pair it to a smartphone using Bluetooth. The speakerphone has two volume controls, a mute button, and a button to access Siri or Google Assistant. The rocket button serves multiple functions: by default, it is used for playing or pausing, but you can customize it with the Poly Lens software for device status check, clear trusted device, redial, and hold and resume call on a smartphone if paired.
The Poly Sync 20+ is a good basic speakerphone. It lacks additional ports, but delivers good sound if you don’t need more. And it makes an excellent music player in your home office.
Poly Sync 20+ Personal Portable Bluetooth Smart Speakerphone (Plantronics) - USB-A UC Bluetooth Adapter
The Poly Sync 20+ is a good basic no-frills speakerphone.
Best for Larger Rooms: AnkerWork SR500
- ✓ Eight mics pickup conversations even in larger rooms
- ✓ Simple to use and set up
- ✓ Can daisy-chain multiple units for large rooms
- ✗ No Bluetooth
- ✗ Power supply is ginourmous
- ✗ Large
Anker’s SR500 is part of its AnkerWork lineup and designed to suit small or large offices. It can be linked to four additional SR500s for larger rooms and powered by a PoE cable. Setting up is easy: plug the power supply into the wall and SR500, then connect the USB-C cable to the PC. Go into settings and set the speakerphone as the audio input and output device, and you’re ready for use.
The SR500 is an 8 x 4.75 x 1.5-inch speakerphone with eight microphones around the periphery. It picks up voices at up to 16 feet away, with crisp and clear sound quality. Its reverb cancellation and full duplex technology ensures no interruptions while speaking, while its 10 watts audio output provides frequency response of 80Hz to 20KHz. Additionally, the supplied RJ045 cable provides PoE so a second power supply isn’t needed. It may be expensive, but its features are worth it.
The SR500’s controls are located on top, easy to use. Leftmost is a handset icon for hand-up/reject calls, and another vertical icon for pick-up/initiate. Between are icons to adjust volume and mute calls. Above them is an LED bar that indicates call status. One lack: no Bluetooth, so it requires a USB-C (or USB-A with adapter).
AnkerWork SR500 Conference Speaker and Microphone with Deep Learning, 8 Mics, 48 kHz, Connect 5 Speakerphones in Daisy Chain, AI Noise Cancellation, Premium Pickup in Conference Rooms Up to 45 PeopleAnkerWork SR500
The AnkerWork SR500 shines when used in larger rooms.
Best for Using With a Laptop: Startech.com USB-C Speakerphone Multiport Adapter
- ✓ Great for use with laptops
- ✓ Good number of USB ports
- ✓ Powered off of laptop or PC
- ✗ VGA port? In this day and age?
- ✗ Not as many ports as some of the other speakerphones
- ✗ Audio quality is acceptable but not exceptional
The StarTech.com USB-C Multiport is designed for laptop use and enhancement. It’s a 5.1-inch round disk, 1.45 inches high and 1.3 pounds weight. On the bottom is the USB cord with power delivery, USB-A, HDMI, and VGA ports. On the top are simple controls— volume switch, mute, call answer/end buttons and LED indicators for volume level. Setup and use are guided by a double-sided quick-start guide.
Installation of the StarTech.com device was plug-and-play. The laptop must have a USB-C port with DP (DisplayPort) Alt mode, and for charging, a USB-C power adapter must be connected to the speakerphone’s USB-C Power Delivery port. Make sure to select the speakerphone as the default audio device. No external power supply is included.
The Multiport Adapter/speakerphone works well, with audio quality and mic sensitivity being acceptable. It’s not the most or least expensive, but fits comfortably in most laptop cases and bags. It also offers additional ports for speakerphone functions.
StarTech.com USB-C Conference Speaker Mini Dock, Portable Boardroom Speaker and Multiport Adapter, USB-C to VGA/4K HDMI, 2X USB-A Hub, Mic/Speaker, Teams/Zoom/Softphone Speakerphone (DKTBRSPMPD)
The StarTech Multiport is a great speakerphone for use with a laptop!