With companies moving to hybrid work, many of us find ourselves working at home, a cafe or a co-working space. While the majority of us are fine with headsets, fatigue sets in with long calls. That's when a speakerphone such as the Jabra Speak2 55 comes in handy.
- Four noise-cancelling beamforming mics
- Wired and Bluetooth connectivity
- IP64-rated for dust and water resistance
- Full duplex audio
Launched earlier this year, the Speak2 55 is the revamped mid-range model in Jabra's 2023 speakerphone lineup. It doesn't have the extra bells and whistle of the flagship Speak2 75, such as an LED indicator that shows users whether the microphone is picking up their voices properly. But I think the Speak2 55 is good enough for most users. It's still shaped like a small puck like older models, but it looks better now with a fabric cover and a matte finish. You get the option of going wireless with Bluetooth 5.1 or connecting via its built-in cable, which has both USB-A and USB-C connectors. I think Jabra could also have provided a Bluetooth dongle, but I'm nitpicking here. At 280g, it's about as portable as a pair of headphones — except that you probably don't want to use the speakphone on public transport. A nice carrying case is included.
My review set is certified for Microsoft Teams — there's also a Unified Communication variant. The Teams version is optimised for the app with a Microsoft Teams icon and LED that flashes purple to alert you of a meeting or a missed call. But the Speak2 55 works with all the major video conferencing apps, including Zoom and Google Meet. There are a bunch of convenient touch buttons around the edges of the Speak2 55. For example, you can mute the microphone, which turns its ring LED indicator from green to red. When you tap the speakerphone's volume buttons, this LED light momentarily becomes white, and also acts as a volume indicator. The Speak2 55 is designed for a room size of 4.5m by 4.5m, while the microphone has a range of around 2m. Jabra says you can get around 12 hours of talk time on battery.
I found the range of the microphone to be very good. It could pick up my voice even when I'm around 4 metres away. I did have to speak up, but not that loudly, and my voice was clear and audible. I also couldn't hear ambient noise like my room's ceiling fan. However, loud music in the background still came across the call. More importantly with a speakerphone, people can now chat around a table instead of huddling over a laptop. It also helps that the Jabra has a voice level normalisation feature that adjusts everyone's voice to the same volume. In addition, you can use the Jabra Speak2 55 to play music. Its 50mm speaker has the volume, and offers decent sound quality, albeit with hardly any bass to speak of.
For those thinking of replacing their headset with a speakerphone, you should know that the Jabra Speak2 55 (around S$250) is about the price of a decent headset. There are cheaper speakerphones out there, but the Speak2 55 performs well, and has a good set of features. It will definitely change your video conferencing game. Buy it now from Jabra, Lazada, and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by Jabra.
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