Video conferencing has been great for businesses and individual workers. The ability to connect with, see, and speak to colleagues, clients, and partners across the world at the click of a button has streamlined business interactions, saved time and money, and given us more opportunities to communicate and collaborate with others.
While RingCentral offers all the digital tools you need for video conferencing, there are still many physical components and pieces of equipment that you may need for smooth and productive video conferencing. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best video conferencing equipment and hardware on the market.
What is video conferencing equipment?
Video conferencing equipment refers to the equipment, hardware, and systems needed for video conferencing. A laptop or computer with a microphone and webcam is the most basic form of video conferencing equipment. For some, their laptop offers all the functionality needed for video conferencing.
Many businesses and individuals, however, invest in high quality equipment for their video calls. This could be so that they can host virtual meetings in large rooms with lots of people, or so that individuals can take part in video calls at home while maintaining a professional level of visual and audio quality.
This could include high-quality webcams with HD (or even ultra-HD) video capabilities or speakerphones that offer loud and crisp audio for everyone in the room.
Benefits of specialised video conferencing equipment
You may be happy with your laptop’s camera and microphone, but there are plenty of reasons why remote workers and businesses may choose to invest in high-quality video conferencing equipment.
- Improved communication
The high-quality audio and video provided by video conference equipment makes communication easier in your meetings. There’s also a lot of equipment out there that has functionalities such as rotating cameras and face recognition that make it even easier for multiple people to hop on one video call at the same time.
- Simpler collaboration
Improving the lines of communication in your video meetings helps with collaboration, as do other video conference tools out there such as smartboards. Making the most of the equipment out there will make it easier for you, your colleagues, and your clients to meet, discuss, and collaborate.
- Professional appearance
A blurry video and crackling audio doesn’t look great if you’re having video meetings with important clients, stakeholders, or your boss. High quality video conferencing equipment not only improves your video and audio quality, it also gives off a more professional impression than standard laptop webcams.
Must-have equipment for video conferencing
For effective and professional video calls, businesses and remote workers need five essential pieces of equipment and hardware:
- A laptop or computer
- A microphone
- A webcam
- A WiFi connection
- Video conferencing software
Laptops almost always have a microphone and webcam built-in, but sometimes you want high-quality video and audio or additional video functionalities and features that your laptop can’t provide.
Other video conferencing equipment you may want for video conferencing include:
- A remote control
- Touch screen smartboards
- Integrated chat apps
- An integrated conference phone
Video conferencing equipment features & capabilities
There are some additional features and capabilities that video conferencing equipment can provide. These include:
- HD video
High-definition (HD) video is a feature offered by many webcams and it certainly offers a sharper and more professional look when you’re on a video call with clients or stakeholders. When combined with RingCentral’s MVPTM, which offers HD video functionality, you and anyone you’re meeting with will look crystal clear.
- Wide-angle field of view
If you’re hosting video conferences from your office, you may have multiple people on camera at once, such as in a boardroom. This is an instance where buying additional video conferencing equipment is essential, as you’ll need a camera with a wide-angle field of view so that everyone can be seen on screen.
- Optical zoom
Whilst a wide-angle field of view lets you show an entire room on your webcam, webcams with an optical zoom also let you zoom in. This is especially useful if you work at home and you don’t want the camera to show your entire office but still want the flexibility to zoom out if you need it.
- Improved audio quality
Laptop microphones and speakerphones aren’t always as clear as we would like, which is why many businesses and remote workers purchase separate headsets with built-in microphones for their virtual meetings.
Some of the best video conferencing equipment on the market
If you’re in need of high-quality video conferencing equipment, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of products and brands on the market. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best video conferencing equipment out there based on your needs.
Best video conferencing hardware for working from home
With so many of us now working from home, finding great video conferencing equipment is even more vital. You don’t need to spend thousands, however, to upgrade your video calls from your home office.
Logitech C920S HD Webcam
If you work from home and need an inexpensive but high-quality webcam and microphone all-in-one for your video calls, the Logitech C920S HD Webcam is an excellent choice.
- Full HD video (1080p at 30fps) with a full HD glass lens
- 78° field of view
- HD auto light correction
- Dual microphones for clear stereo sound
- Attachable privacy shutter
Blue Yeti X Professional USB Microphone
If you already have a high-quality webcam, you may still be in need of a good microphone for business meetings. The Blue Yeti X Professional USB Microphone is a high-quality microphone that will look great in your home office.
- High-res LED meter that lets you visualise your sound input.
- Controls for volume, mic gain, and mute.
- Broadcast vocal effects, such as a podcaster preset.
- Four versatile pickup patterns for great audio clarity.
Plantronics EncorePro 500 USB Headset
Plantronics (part of Poly and Polycom) produces some of the best video conferencing equipment on the market. This headset is technically for call centres, but it is just as good for your remote meetings. If you need a professional headset for conference calls or if you work in customer service, the Plantronics EncorePro 500 USB series has plenty of reliable headsets.
- Adjustable boom (arm) for optimal performance and comfort.
- Noise-cancelling microphone.
- Built-in call management remote to adjust volume, answer the phone, and mute.
- Lockable privacy cap
Best video conferencing hardware for huddle rooms
A huddle room or huddle space is a small room that accommodates a small group of people for meetings. These rooms are great if you are video conferencing with a small team and don’t want to be engulfed by a large boardroom or you run a small business.
Konftel C20 Ego Video Collaboration Kit
The Konftel C20 Ego Video Collaboration Kit is a fantastic all-in-one video conferencing kit that will fit all your needs if you are hosting video calls in a huddle room.
- Wide dynamic range (WDR) technology automatically adjusts the camera in different light conditions.
- Konftel OCC Hub connects by USB to the camera, speakerphone, and any laptop screen.
- Interoperability with your collaboration app or cloud video service of choice—including RingCentral.
Logitech’s Meetup is an all-in-one huddle room video conferencing solution that offers a range of features and capabilities that will transform your virtual meetings.
- 5x optical zoom.
- RightSight™ vision that automatically adjusts camera position and zoom to find and frame everyone in the meeting room.
- Can be mounted on the wall beneath your smartboard or TV screen.
- Microphone optimised for speakers up to 4 metres away.
- Bluetooth speakerphone, which allows you to pair it with your mobile device.
- Remote control for adjusting the volume, muting the microphone, or manual control over camera position.
- Three-year warranty.
The HuddleCam 3X is perfect for small to medium-sized meeting rooms and workspaces. If you’re after a sleek and affordable video conference camera, HuddleCam has you covered.
- Compact and stylish with easy set-up.
- 82° field of view.
- 3x optical zoom.
- Full compatibility with web-based video conferencing software.
- Two year parts and labour warranty.
Best video conferencing hardware for larger spaces
Large conference rooms and boardrooms bring with them their own requirements when it comes to video conferencing. Finding a webcam with a wide field of view or panoramic capabilities and an audio system that can handle lots of voices at once is essential.
AVer CAM520 Pro2
AVer’s CAM520 Pro2 conferencing camera is perfect for medium to large conference rooms and has all the features you need with great pricing.
- 18X total zoom and 12X optical zoom.
- 84° field of vision.
- AVer’s SmartFrame technology facilitates facial and body detection.
- Remote control included.
- Three year warranty.
Tenveo SDI Camera PTZ
Tenveo has a great range of webcams for businesses. Perfect for big meetings, the Tenveo SDI Camera PTZ is a flexible but affordable option for your large conference meetings.
- Up to 30x optical zoom.
- HD video.
- Easy setup.
- SDI and HDMI connectivity.
- Suited to live streaming and webinars.
Poly CX5100 All-in-One
Poly’s all-in-one video conferencing system is perfect for businesses who want to upgrade their tech—plus it comes with Poly’s warranty service of 1-3 years.
- 3 microphones for multi-directional coverage.
- A panoramic video functionality that offers a 360 view of the room by rotating to where you want it to point.
- HD video.
Samsung Flip 2
Another great piece of video conferencing equipment is a touch screen smartboard. The Samsung Flip 2 is one of the best smart boards out there and will upgrade every video meeting.
- Smooth touch screen that up to four people can write on simultaneously, using any object as a pen.
- Write on any background so you can annotate documents in real-time in your meetings.
- Embedded with templates for calendars, notebooks, and checklists.
- Scroll-and-lock feature.
- Connectivity with USB, HDMI, NFC, and screen sharing so you can connect it to any screen.
- “Touch out” functionality allows users to sync their own laptop and mobile devices with the Samsung Flip, perfect for real-time content sharing.
How to set up video conferencing using RingCentral MVP
RingCentral MVP offers simple but high-quality virtual conference room solutions for all your needs. Video conferencing is easier than ever to set up using RingCentral MVP. These five steps are all you need to set up a video conference with our software:
- Head to your RingCentral admin console in your browser—no need to download any apps or software.
- Deploy and manage meetup room systems in your browser with our intuitive online system.
- Add new users in minutes from anywhere in the world.
- Monitor service quality, track usage, and view system analytics all in one place.
- Use all the video conferencing functionalities you need including (and by no means limited to):
- Screen sharing
- Meeting recording
- Device switching
- Audio dial-in access
- Online whiteboard
- Integrated chat
- Integrated calendar
- File sharing
Setting up a video conference call with RingCentral is easy and rewarding as it offers intuitive, productive, and collaborative features that both large and small businesses will benefit from.
With so many great video conferencing solutions out there, many businesses have meetings that are as productive, effective, and collaborative as face-to-face conferences. Finding the best equipment for your video calls involves researching your needs and checking out reviews and best product lists like this one.
If you need video conferencing solutions beyond your webcam and mic, RingCentral’s MVP software is transforming video conferencing for remote workers, small businesses, and large companies. If you want to find out more, you can sign up for free to view all of our product demo videos.
Originally published 07 Oct, 2021