How to choose a Conference Phone
Conference Phones - making the right choice
The purpose of a Conference Phone is to ensure everyone in a meeting room is heard clearly by those who've dialled in to the meeting, and vice versa.
To this day some companies try to save a few dollars by hosting meetings on a standard desktop speaker-phone. That's fine for the people in the room - but the productivity cost of having maybe a dozen people on a call for an hour where many can't hear what's going on is staggering.
When choosing a conference phone, consider compatibility with your phone system, the size of the meeting room, and of course budget.
Most offices use digital phones, and have done for over 25 years. So why is it that conference phones are mostly analogue? Simply, digital phone systems are proprietary meaning they must use the same brand of handset. A conference phone manufacturer can either have dozens of variations of each model, or go analogue. Every digital PBX has the ability to assign analogue lines, and most already have for fax machines, dial-up EFT-POS, and the like. There are 3rd party adapters to convert an analogue phone to work on a digital line, but the reliability and quality have never been great - and you need your conference phone to work, otherwise you may as well stick to your speaker-phone.
Analogue Conference Phone models available:
- VoiceStation - for small meeting rooms
- SoundStation2 - the most popular series, for small to medium rooms, with an expandable model for long board room tables. Also available in Wireless: same great quality, without the need for power or phone cables on your meeting room table
- VTX 1000 - for very large meeting rooms
For around 10 years now business has been adopting Voice over IP (VoIP) technology. This can offer huge savings by using the internet to route calls, rather than paying for a phone call. Our VoIP conference phones use the SIP protocol.
VoIP Conference Phone models available:
- SoundStation IP - many models to suit all sizes of meeting room
PC and Skype
The uptake of calls from PC's using Skype and other softphones is on the rise. Many conference phones come with an applications port to plug into a computer to take advantage of this.
PC Conference Phone models available:
- Communicator - for desktop office use
- VoiceStation 500 - cost effective for small meeting rooms
- SoundStation2 and SoundStation2W - please note only the models that include the applications port will plug into your PC
Check your system for compatibility, or email us the details and we'll be happy to check for you.