In case a year of nonstop Zoom hasn't taught you everything you need to know, here's how to make meeting calls less terrible:
- If you're not the call leader, mute your microphone. No one wants to hear you munching your lunch or your dog barking in the background.
- Dial in a few minutes before the start time so you can deal with any tech glitches that may arise.
- If you're with a group, use a decent conference speaker. The average office phone does a crummy job in that role, making the call that much worse for others.
Regarding that last point, do you need to spend hundreds of dollars to get such a speaker? Not today: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the. It originally sold for $180 and now usually runs $100; this is the lowest price I've seen.
The M1 looks like an oversize Amazon Echo Dot. It can connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, but also has a USB option in case you want a laptop hookup. It works for just about any kind of call, including Skype and Zoom.
So why this and not a regular old speakerphone? The M1 features a six-plus-one microphone array that effectively provides 360-degree omnidirectional audio capture up to eight meters away. Translation: Everyone can be heard regardless of where they're sitting.
As a perk, the unit is designed to be portable, meaning you can set up impromptu conference calls just about anywhere. That's thanks to its 2,600-mAh rechargeable battery, which eMeet says is good for 12 hours of calls, 20 hours of music (yep -- this can pull Bluetooth-speaker duty as well) and one month of standby time.
eMeet recommends this model for groups of three to five people. If you typically convene with larger groups, or you want a conference speaker that's even more advanced, you can pick up the newerwhen you clip the 25%-off coupon. That model is suitable for up to eight people and made CNET's list of .
I haven't had the opportunity to test the M1 myself, but the product has a 4.3-star average rating from over 450 Amazon customers. (The Luna, for what it's worth, has an even better average from even more buyers.)
Bottom line: If your meeting calls suck because it's so hard to hear and be heard, this should help -- and for a lot less than similar solutions.
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