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Home > Compare Top Business VoIP Providers of 2018 > Best Conference Room Microphones

The 13 Best Conference Room Microphones of 2018

Poor audio quality can cause problems with collaboration. When the team does not collaborate efficiently, it can lead to poor results. Poor results can cause another host of issues. A team's ability to collaborate depends on having good hardware. Hardware that's confusing to use, lacks capabilities, and is generally annoying to use are a few of the reasons conference setups are rarely used.

Teams don't need to spend a lot of money to spend a lot of money on a technologically enhanced, collaborative digital whiteboard. For businesses that require basic phone conferences, a collaborative whiteboard may be a bit much. At the same time, many businesses do not consider their hardware choices deciding on a phone conferencing system for their conference room.

Instead of purchasing anything that works, selecting the right microphone can improve the sound quality of the conferences. It's really a matter of choosing the right microphone style for your conference room.

Why Are Special Conference Room Microphones Necessary?

Purchasing a microphone should not be a one-size-fits-all type of purchase. This size of the table, conference room size, and seating arrangement can determine the type of microphone a company needs.

A small room will not require a wireless setup or individual mics for each speaker. So, it's unnecessary to spend a lot of money on unnecessary features. Because everyone will be sitting around one desk, the conference room only needs one stationary microphone.

Of course, a large conference that has a 12-foot-long desk will need more than one microphone. One microphone in the center of the table is not enough. The speaker is going to make a person sitting at one end of the table sound very far away.

What Options are Available?

Looking past the room's layout, the team may need their audio equipment to meet certain specifications. Some setups may let users adjust their individual mics. For example, some of the microphones may have their own mute buttons. A mute button allows the muting of individuals in a situation where everyone has their own mic. Other setups may have a single mic. Trying to use the mute feature with a single mic has its own problems. In this situation, using the mute button removes everyone from the conversation.

Usually, people can manipulate functions like wireless microphones and noise levels. Some teams may need their microphones to work with their laptops if the business takes a BYoD approach.

When choosing the right conference microphone, there are several factors to consider. It's important to know what the team needs and what will work for their situation.

Here are the best conference microphones currently available:

 

Gooseneck Microphones

Gooseneck Mics

Gooseneck mics got their name because they resemble a goose's neck. These microphones are the best way to get perfect quality audio. Using a gooseneck mic means investing in several microphones. There will need to be a gooseneck at every seat, giving the individual speakers their own microphone.

With gooseneck mics, there no more relying on just one or two microphones to pick up every voice in the room. Gooseneck mics will ensure that everyone gets heard. These microphones are limited to the speaker. They typically don't pick up background noise. Gooseneck microphones are able to block out the sound in a way that another type of mic on this list, the ceiling mic, does not. Unfortunately, there will need to be a mic for every speaker. This will create a cluttered table and require a lot of cables.

The Pros

Gooseneck mics are a good way to ensure that every speaker gets heard. Everyone at the conference table should get their own mic, instead of using a shared mic that's for the room. Gooseneck microphones are also capable of delivering great sound quality.

The microphones limit the ability to pick up background noise. Users will appreciate the fact that the only sound these microphones will pick up is the sound that is in front of them.

The Cons

Depending on how many participants can be in the conference room, that could mean a lot of mics. Having a lot of mics can cause the conference table to be covered with a lot of cables and created a cluttered appearance. There are wireless gooseneck mics, but it still means having to place a lot of microphones on the table.

Gooseneck mics aren't attractive and no one wants to mess up the look of their office with a table full of mics. However, that's the trade-off that has to be made to achieve enhanced quality.

Shure CVG18

Anyone seeking a premium gooseneck microphone will be happy with the Shure CVG18. It's a cardioid style microphone that blocks any noise that didn't come from the speaker. Shure has CommShield Technology. This technology prevents any unwanted interference that may come from smartphones or other wireless devices. In addition to CommShield, the microphone has a windshield and a mountain flange. Shure is known for their solid quality, ensuring that this microphone won't fall apart. This microphone is also ideal for use in boardrooms, corporate facilities, and conference rooms.

This microphone costs around $99.

Weymic G109

Weymic G109

Weymic is a great example of why a gooseneck microphone is a must have. Anyone who needs to purchase multiple microphones for their conference tables will appreciate this microphone's price. This mic can run on batteries or can be plugged into a wall socket. The Weymic G109 is available with a metal base to sit on a desk or table.

This microphone costs around $45.

MXL AC-400

MXL AC-400

The MXL AC-400 is a mid-range gooseneck mic. It's designed to handle video conferencing and communications over the internet. It has USB connectivity, which means that mic can be plugged into Windows and Mac OS X computers. It also has a 15" flexible neck, making it adjustable. This microphone can be extended using the three optional AC-40EXT units. It is also one of the better gooseneck mics on the market.

This microphones costs around $60.

Ceiling Mics

Ceiling Mics

Ceiling microphones can be permanently mounted and embedded in the ceiling to create a clean look. Or, the ceiling microphone can hang from the ceiling like a chandelier. For conference rooms with high ceilings, it may be a better idea to hang the microphones. Hanging the microphones will help to ensure that the mic picks up every voice.

Regardless of the installation method used, ceiling microphones can capture the entire room's sound. This is done without unnecessary clutter or wires. For large conference rooms, one mic might be enough to capture the sound. It may be necessary to have more than one microphone. Ceiling microphones can pick up 360 degrees of sound. These microphones work best in medium-sized conference rooms.

The Pros

Ceiling mics are ideal when cluttering a conference table is not an option. Other types of microphones will take up a lot of space on a table and have visible wires. Having a ceiling mic will help to ensure that conference tables are kept free of annoying wires.

The microphones can be installed in various positions. They can be mounted right into the ceiling or hung like chandeliers. Ceiling mounted mics will have a cleaner look. Ceiling mics are beneficial because they can pick up audio from anywhere in the room.

The Cons

Installing the ceiling mic may require planning ahead to prevention from opening up walls and ceilings to install the mics

Microphones are becoming more intelligent. However, these microphones may pick up background noise. Ceiling mics also don't have the same quality as a dedicated microphone.

ClearOne Ceiling Mic Array

ClearOne Ceiling Mic Array

The ClearOne Ceiling Microphone kit has 360-degree voice coverage. It also has three unidirectional elements to reduce background noise and reverberations. The mic is optimized to be used with ClearOne mixers like INTERACT Pro and CONVERGE Pro. However, this ceiling mic can be used with the majority of solutions. This solution is not as impressive as others, like Polycom, but it does allow users to set up more than one mic in a room. This mic will look great in a room. It has an unobtrusive and sleek look. This mic is ideal for boardroom, conference rooms, and distance learning centers.

This microphone costs around $475.

Polycom HDX 8000

Polycom HDX 8000

This is a high-end ceiling mic and the most expensive one of this list. This microphone has a 22kHZ, 360-degree voice pickup mic. It can also cover more than 2,500 square feet. The Polycom HDX ceiling mic integrates with Polycom's HDX video solution. It also integrates with Polycom's SounD Structure solutions. Any business that already has Polycom should consider this ceiling mic. It is definitely worth it.

The average price for the microphone is $775.

BeyerDynamic Classics BM

BeyerDynamic Classics BM

For offices that are on a tight budget and want a ceiling mic with easy setup, there's BeyerDynamic Classics BM. This mic can be embedded in the ceiling. The microphone isn't noticeable. What makes this option even better, is the fact that it's more economical. This ceiling mic solution is less than the other two options on this list. The mic still provides wide coverage but doesn't have 360-degree voice pickup capabilities.

This microphone can be purchased for $160.

Boundary Mics

Boundary Mics

Boundary mics are in their own microphone class. There are many options to choose from and the concept is simple. The microphone gets placed along the mounting surface or boundary. Basically, mics can be placed on a desk or a floor as if it is on a presentation stage.

One major benefit to using boundary mic is that it picks up the voice of any speaker that is in front of it. Boundary mics can be small square mics that are placed on a conference table. Some of these mics, button microphones, get embedded in desks. When the mic is embedded in the desk, the cables are hidden and the microphone is hardly noticeable.

The Pros

Boundary microphones are ideal for capturing the voices of multiple speakers. Users of these types of speakers only need one or two strategically placed microphones to cover the entire conference room. While these types of speakers excel at picking up voices, they don't pick up any low frequencies.

Boundary mics tend to be less expensive. The price for them starts around $100. Because most conferences only need, at most, two of these, they are an economical option.

The Cons

The problem with boundary mics is the same issue that ceiling mics have. These microphones can pick up a lot of background noise. Because they are often placed on tables, boundary mics can pick up on unwanted noise like the shuffling of papers.

Depending on the conference room's size, the team may need to buy more than one microphone for the room.

Philips 9172

Philips 9172

This isn't your average boundary mic. It's like Philips combined the best features of a ceiling and boundary mic. The disk-shaped mic is capable of picking up 360-degree sound while using air pressure and vibrations from the table to gather a clear sound. The Philips 9172 can sit in the center of a table and pick up everyone speaking in the conference room. This mic also has some advanced sound features that can enhance the audio's quality.

This microphone can be purchased for around $140.

Audio-Technics Pro 44

Audio-Technics Pro 44

Anyone who is an audio enthusiast has heard of Audio-Technica. This brand is known for their audio quality and their reputation. The Pro 44 lives up to the brand's reputation. This boundary mic has a wide-range condenser and a low-mass diaphragm. These features help the mics have a superior performance. The mics operate on batteries, so there's no need to find an external power source. Also, they deliver clear audio. There's a cable included with the mic which will help reduce the costs associated with purchasing accessories. However, what makes this mic great is that has Audio-Technica's quality.

This microphone can be purchased for $99.

MXL AC404 USB

MXL AC404 USB

Anyone who wants a boundary mic that has a universal connection, the MXL AC404 is the right mic to buy. This mic comes with USB connectivity that allows it to be plugged into the laptop. It even has a speaker monitoring and built-in headphone jack. This helps to ensure that the mic will record the best sound quality without level drops or spikes. The USB cable is 6-feet in length, lending more flexibility to the mic location and placement.

The MXL AC404 USB microphone costs around $75.

Speaker Phones

Speaker Phones

This is one of the more traditional options and it's probably one that's used most often. While speaker phones serve a purpose, to get one with all of the necessary features will cost a lot of money. Modern speakerphones are able to do a lot and are intelligent enough to work with smartphones. Speakerphones now have touch screens and a lot have a 360-degree microphone, like the ceiling mics mentioned earlier.

Speakers phones can be used as a stand-alone device and users can control everything from the touchscreen. Speakers phones don't take up a lot of space on a desk like a gooseneck mic. They also don't look bad sitting on a conference table. Speakerphones now have Bluetooth, the ability to run multiple lines off a single device, and UC integrations. Some speakerphones come with mini microphones to improve the range.

The Pros

These speakerphones tend to be VoIP phones that are designed for conferences. They have a lot of good features that are expected from UC and VoIP.

Speakerphones are easy to use and won't ruin the look of the office. Most speakerphones can pick up voices that around 20 feet away.

The Cons

Because they utilize the same 360-degree microphones that ceiling miss use, they will suffer from similar issues. These mics have a tendency to pick up any background noise in a room. Even though speakerphones have been modernized, the concept of using a speakerphone is outdated.

There are less expensive speakerphone options available. However, the ones that have the necessary features can get pricey. The price of speakerphones makes them less comparable to similar options at the same price point.

Vtech VCS704

Vtech VCS704

This Vtech speakerphone will leave many people surprised by its value and quality. The conference phone comes with four wireless mics that users can place throughout the conference room. The wireless mics will ensure that every voice gets captured. The phone base has magnetic charging bays to ensure that the wireless microphones stay charged. The Vtech VC2704 uses digital mixing and audio equalization to produce the best sound quality. Despite being a speakerphone's set up, it the compact design seen in many other speakerphones.

The VTech VCS704 can be purchased for around $260.

Jabra Speak 410 USB

Jabra Speak 410 USB

This is a good speakerphone for anyone looking for a conference call solution. The Jabra 410 comes with a USB connection that allows the user to plug it in and immediately start using the microphone. The speaker is compact and capable of moving wherever the user goes. It also has physical call controls. This speaker is ideal for the person who wants an inexpensive setup that still performs well.

This speakerphone is available for around $80.

Polycom RealPresence Trio 8800

Polycom RealPresence Trio 8800

The Polycom RealPresence Trio 8800 is the granddaddy of speakerphones. It's also pretty expensive. However, the features and capabilities of this unit make the price worth it. The speakerphone has touchscreen controls and the superb audio quality that Polycom is known for having. Polycom states that this speakerphone is the only one capable of sharing HD content from a person's BYoD device.

The Polycom RealPresence Trio 8800 costs around $260.

Polycom SoundStation 2 EX

Polycom SoundStation 2 EX

The Polycom SoundStation 2 EX is a very popular flagship conference speaker microphone that offers great clarity and acoustics, simultaneous 2-way conversation capabilities, intelligent mic mixing, and much more. The Polycom SoundStation 2 EX is a great addition to any conference room.

This microphone can be purchased for around $485.

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