Video calls are now pretty much assimilated into our work life and even personal life as well. Besides having a good quality video camera/webcam, audio plays a huge role in making our meeting experience pleasant. This meme by SGAG sums up what I mean.
So, when Poly reached out to us to do a review of their new Poly Sync 20+, which is a USB/Bluetooth smart speaker, we thought we try it out to see if it can be our solution for a better video call audio. This review is broken down into six sections:
- What’s in the box
- Setting up the Poly Sync 20+
- Audio quality
- Other functions
What’s in the box
The Poly Sync 20+ comes with a nicely designed pouch, a USB adapter and a wristband. Its USB charging cable is attached to the smart speaker so that you do not misplace yet another cable of yours or the need to lug another cable around.
Among the smart speakers I own, Poly Sync 20+ has the slimmest form factor. It is measured at 34 mm x 95 mm x 182 mm. It is also lightweight (360g), which is excellent for portability and will not add on too much load to your bag.
On the aesthetic front, Poly nailed every aspect for me. It is minimalistic with a tinge of character. The use of different colours demarcated the different purposes of each section.
At the top, you have the speaker and the controls – Volume Up/Down, Mute, End Call and a programmable button. There is also a status light that changes based on the controls you trigger. The middle section, you have the power button, a USB charging port, a Bluetooth button and a wristband hook. The bottom section is where your cable resides and you can neatly tug it away by coiling it around the allocated compartment. There are also four friction pads at the bottom. So, if your table is slightly tilted, the smart speaker should still hold onto the surface well.
It is also good to know that the Poly Sync 20+ is IP64 dust and water resistant. So, it is safe to say that it will survive a few drops of your beverage.
Setting up the Poly Sync 20+
Setting up the Poly Sync 20 is no rocket science. There are three ways that you have it setup.
- Mobile Setup – Pair it via Bluetooth with your mobile device
- Corded Setup – Connect it directly to your PC/Mac via the USB cable
- USB Adapter Setup – Connect the adapter to your PC/Mac
I had it connected via Bluetooth and corded to my PC during my review. Both methods worked like a charm. I did not encounter any connection issue. So, for people who are not tech-savvy, you can be assured that you can have it setup easily and get it working in no time.
There is a saying, what looks good on the outside may not be good on the inside. That’s not the case for Poly Sync 20+.
I recently attended a panel discussion via Zoom with panel members from different parts of the world, using the smart speaker as my audio peripheral. The audio quality through the Poly Sync 20+ was crisp and clear. Even though one of the panel members spoke in a lower tone and mumbled a little, I was still able to hear her well.
To take my review a little further, I also tested the Poly Sync 20+ with my Spotify playlist. I noticed that the lows can be a little strong but it did not hinder the clarity of highs and mids. Love it!
Aside from being a smart speaker for video calls and music, the Poly Sync 20+ also has other functionalities.
- Power Bank – There is a USB port where you can charge your mobile phone if it is low on juice and that you cannot find any other charging point. One thing to note is that the Poly Sync 20+ only has a 3,200 mAh battery. So, use it sparingly.
- Programmable function button – You can program the button indicated with a rocket icon to play/pause music, redial last number, Siri/Google Assistant using the Poly Lens software.
The Poly Sync 20+ is purposefully designed for the new norm, especially for people who are working remotely and in need for a good quality speaker for their video calls. It is portable and light, further caters to the needs of remote workers. It is packed with essential functionalities that you would expect from a smart speaker coupled with a few extras – Power Bank and Programmable function button – so that you have a better experience.
During my review, I thoroughly enjoyed using it for my meetings and music. If you need one to solve your video call audio woes, you can find their nearest retail partners via their Poly Partner Program | Directory.
As for the price, based on figure listed by one of Poly’s partners in Singapore, it retails at S$398.
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