Jabra Speak2 55
If your life revolves around video meetings and poor sound quality is bugging you big time PAT PILCHER wants to recommend a solution.
A hangover from the Covid nightmare of the last few years has been the inevitable rise of Teams, Zoom, Skype and other types of video meetings. While they’re ideal for keeping the pox at bay, they’re often about as fun as a cactus enema in practice. Usually, this comes down to ropey audio and other technical issues.
The folks at Jabra must have been feeling our collective pain as they launched the Speak2 55, a USB speakerphone designed for use with a laptop or smartphone that’s sufficiently compact and can be easily thrown in a laptop bag when travelling.
Design-wise, the Speak2 55 is a sleek and round doodah that appears to have been hewn from a solid piece of aluminium and Tupperware. The upshot is that it’s compact and just 295g, so carrying it around in a bag or briefcase won’t require visits to a chiropractor later. When I say it’s compact, I’m not kidding. It’s just 120mm in diameter with a height of 33mm. Further adding to its portability is a handy fabric bag Jabra bundles in the box.
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For conference calls and video meetings on the go, the Speak2 55 packs many features that help ensure audio isn’t a deal breaker. These include full duplex audio. In layperson’s terms, all meeting attendees can have a more natural two-way conversation translating into a less stilted dialogue. Voice Level Normalisation removes the need to talk louder, making the conversation seem more natural and less strained. This is also given a helping hand thanks to microphones rated to pick up your voice up to 2.8 metres away. If you’re meeting away from a power source, the built-in battery will give you up to 10 hours of talk time and an impressive 30 days of standby time. Hooking it up is also straightforward, as it can connect to a laptop via USB or a smartphone/tablet via Bluetooth.
As you’d expect, audio quality is significantly improved at your end thanks to the Speak2 55’s 50mm speaker, while decent microphones and audio processing make sure that others can hear you clearly too. Noise reduction technology also helps eliminate background noise during calls (it didn’t quite manage to completely block my noisy coffee grinder, but it reduced its presence to the point where it wasn’t interrupting the test meeting).
The controls on the Speak2 55 are also intuitive. They include volume adjustment, mic mute, and dedicated answer or end-call buttons. Adding to the ease of use are built-in voice prompts that will guide you through the setup process and tell you the Speak2’s status while in use.
If meetings on the go (or at home) are regular and poor meeting audio drives you nuts, in that case, the sheer improvement in audio quality that the Speak2 brings to the meeting room table and its ease of use makes it a good choice. Thanks to features such as full duplex audio, voice level normalisation, and mic range as well as noise reduction technology, the Speak2 55 gets a well-deserved 10 out of 10