If ever there was a product perfectly timed to meet the exigent needs of the day, it is the Power Conf S500 from Anker, a microphone/speaker combo that delivers clear voice communications for up to twelve people. In these pandemic times you never know where you’re going to be working, from home, office, or motel room, in a car or a conference room. The PowerConf tames all of these environments, providing excellent sound quality superior to your laptops built in technology. The truth is, it may be deliver better quality than the expensive system that may have come with your wired conference room system.
The device connects to your phone or computer using Bluetooth, USB-C cable or a dongle. Setting it up is almost a no-brainer. It is as simple as connecting your earbuds. The only “trick” is remembering to select it as the microphone and speaker inside whatever app you’re using.
Speaking of apps, the PowerConf S500 is certified with Zoom Rooms and Google Meet. I tested it out recently at a class reunion. Ever since the pandemic, I’ve been running a weekly Zoom session for my classmates. We get people from all over the world, as far away as Singapore, Germany and China.
Last week about a dozen of us met up in person while the others joined by zoom. The in-person crew met in a hotel lobby. There was some music playing in the background and from time to time other guests would walk through the lobby.
I connected the PowerConf S500 to my laptop and placed it in the middle of our circle of friends. Despite the background noise we heard locally, the participants on the Zoom call had no problem understanding what was said, regardless of where the person speaking was in relation to the device.
This is because the PowerConf S500’s excellent noise cancelling system, dubbed Voice Radar, takes into account how far each talker is located from the device. It filters out the background noise and homogenizes the volume of the speakers. Four built-in microphones cover the entire room, and the sound is clear even when both sides are speaking through the use of full duplex technology.
Those dialing into the Zoom reported excellent sound quality and the built in speaker provided enough volume for us to clearly understand them. Anker says that two units can be chained together to accommodate conference calls of up to twenty participants.
I love that I can use it on my desk or toss it in my laptop bag to take have hi-quality telephony wherever work requires. Highly recommended.