Audio conferencing has increasingly become a normal part of business, with many companies offering phone conferences as standard to both clients and partners. If you don’t want to be left behind, it’s about time to get yourself a conference phone. What makes this device different from a normal phone? Well, the best conference phones have multiple microphones with longer range sensitivity and are even capable of filtering out those distracting background noises you might expect in an office. With this in mind, check out the top-rated conference phones around.
The Best Conference Phone
PolycomRealPresence Trio 8500 is by far the best conference phone for small to mid-sized conference rooms. Sleek and sophisticated looks pack a wealth of features and advanced technologies developed to deliver ultimate sound clarity as well as legendary voice quality.
The true highlights of this phone are the HD Voice and the Acoustic Clarity, two technologies that enhance both voice and sound quality. Another highlight is the full-duplex echo cancellation and noise reduction feature that improves call quality considerably. An interface made simple guarantees seamless user experience. Forget about complicated settings and frustrating calls. The phone comes with a 5-inch color LCD and an on-screen virtual keyboard that makes it as easy to use as a smartphone.
Possibility to set up to 3 lines
Works with Skype business
Background noise reduction
Automatic speech recognition
Outstanding voice quality and crystal clear sounds
- Weight2.17 pounds
Excellent voice and sound quality when used in small to mid-sized rooms
Echo cancellation and noise reduction cut off disturbances
Suitable to use for both phone and video conferences
Intuitive, very easy to use interface
Changes on Polycom portal can sometimes render the phone inactive
The Yealing CP930W-Base could be the best bet for startups. Suitable for small-to-medium meeting rooms, it’s cheaper than our top pick. This phone’s best feature is the 20-foot, 360-degree microphone range. Thanks to this technology, the device can pick up all speech. It doesn’t matter where you or your partners are sitting in the room – whoever’s on the other side will be able to hear all of you with impressive accuracy. Noise cancellation technology delivers in-person-like conversation by cutting off all that annoying background noise.
We also like that the phone is wire-free. Installation is a breeze, and you can even take it from the meeting room to an office should you want to. A built-in lithium-ion battery delivers up to 24 hours of talk time and up to 15 days of standby. The 5-way conference call is another highlight, while three one-touch mute buttons with LED indicators let you seamlessly switch between conversations. Furthermore, this conference phone can be paired with personal devices via USB or Bluetooth, and it even has the capability to record the call, so you can make sure none of the conference details are forgotten. For more useful products for your office, check out our guide to the best office phones.
Wireless conference phone with built-in battery
Up to 24 hours of talk time
Up to 15 days of standby time
Charges in less than 5 hours
5-way conference call
- Weight4.05 pounds
HD Voice technology captures tone and inflection of speech beautifully
The wireless base station can handle up to 8 headsets and 8 calls simultaneously
Three microphone arrays support 20-feet 360-degree speech pickup, allowing you to move freely in the meeting room
Battery tends to drain faster than advertised
Next on our list of best conference phones, PolycomSoundStation IP 5000 makes its entry as the best conference phone for small spaces. A range of up to 7 feet and compact footprint make it ideal for a small conference room or executive office. Despite its size and classic phone design, you can still expect the same voice quality the brand is known for. Indeed, the IP 5000 incorporates the HD Voice technology that makes every syllable crystal clear.
Voice activity detection and comfort noise generation, together with the echo cancellation, are other technologies that we like. These technologies enhance sound clarity even more by turning off the microphone when no speech is detected, only to reactivate it automatically when you speak. We also like the compatibility of this device with an array of SIP call platforms – a feature that can simplify conference management and administration. Our guide to the best projectors features more essential products for your office, so check them out.
Patented Polycom Acoustic Clarity
Integrated PoE for easy installation
HD voice quality
Ideal for conferences with up to six participants
- Weight2.95 pounds
High-resolution display allows you to set on-board configurability, check call status, and access multi-language support
Outstanding microphone sensitivity picks up speech no matter where you are in the room
Very easy to use thanks to the classic phone design
Not suitable for video conferences
Firmware updates can take hours
Power supply not included
Looking for a business-class conferencing station for large meeting rooms and executive offices? Then the Cisco IP 8832 might be it. This conference phone is designed to enhance people-centric collaboration even when you and your collaborators are miles away. Its strengths are astounding voice quality and incredible clarity. All this is possible, thanks to the newly developed microphone and high-quality loudspeakers that provide a really rich sound. Not only you’ll hear what your interlocutors are telling you with incredible clarity; the phone is actually capable of providing a dynamic sound and natural audio quality.
As you can expect from such a phone, you’ll get 360-degree coverage. With a 20×20 feet range, it’s perfect for mid-size conferences with up to 10 people. The base unit’s range can also be extended with an optional wired or wireless extension, should you need more than this. From executive offices to large boardrooms, the Cisco IP is undoubtedly the most appropriate conference phone to pick. You may also be interested in some of the best laser printers for your workspace, so check them out.
Targeted for businesses of all sizes
Call status LED indicator
Textile cover for a sophisticated look and soft touch
360-degree room coverage
3.9-inch LCD color screen
- Weight2 pounds
Silence suppression/voice activation detection feature enhances sound clarity
Wired and wireless extensions make it easy to increase coverage
LED indicators show the call status, while a mute button in the middle of the device is very easy to access
If you liked the PolycomSoundStation but didn’t really like that it doesn’t include a power supply, just pick this one. It is the same conference phone, but it comes with an optional AC Power Kit – a feature that adds some bucks to the price point.
However, considering that’ll save you the hassle of roaming the market in search of an adequate power supply, it’s probably worth it. Apart from that, you’ll get the same outstanding features that made IP 5000 famous in the first place. No doubt, an excellent choice for a small meeting room or executive office. Our guide to the best scanners features more must-have office tools, so check them out.
AC power kit included
Multilingual menu and support
- Weight1.15 pounds
Very easy to set up, even by inexperienced users
Amazing voice clarity
Attractive price point considering its capabilities
The AC power kit can hardly justify the price point difference between this version and the one with no power supply
Conference Phone Buying Guide
Features To Look For In Conference Phones
The best conference phones can make you look professional when talking to your partners, but what features should you look for before buying?
Voice clarity – Undoubtedly, the most important thing to check when buying a conference phone is the voice clarity. Some of the latest models include HD Voice and acoustic clarity technologies that can really make a difference between the best and a meh conference phone.
Noise reduction – Offices can be noisy places, and noises can distract your interlocutor or prevent them from understanding what you’re saying. That’s why you should make sure the conference phone you like comes with noise reduction features.
Range – Various conference phones are designed for various room sizes. From small room phones with a range of about 7 feet to large meeting room devices with mics that can capture your speech from over 20 feet away, there are plenty of models to choose from. Just make sure you match the phone’s range with the actual size of your meeting room or office.
Number of microphones – Maybe you didn’t know, but conference phones rarely have only one microphone. To make sure the device can capture what you say even if you walk around the room, get a phone with at least three microphones.
Mute button– Sometimes, you might want to exchange some information or ask a question without being heard by your client or business partner. That’s why a mute button is essential.
Versatility – Last but not least, think about versatility. Whether you want to connect Skype to the conference phone, host video meetings, record a call, or answer multiple calls at once, the best conference phones have got you covered. All you have to do is make a list of all the features you need, and pick the device that fits the bill.