My Short Experience with Anker PowerConf

Hi,

I bought Anker PowerConf speakerphone few days ago, and would like to share my experience with you to help setting your expectations in case you also are planning to buy one, and to see if some of the situations I’m experiencing are actually common or there are ways around them.

My setup is as following:

  1. I installed Anker’s Soundcore app, updated the speakerphone’s firmware version to its latest (26.51 as of the time of this post), and selected the Multi-Person Mode.
  2. My conference tools consist of a mobile phone, a laptop, and a speakerphone.
  3. I connected the speakerphone to my laptop using a USB hub that has on-off switches against each port, this is to make it easy for me to connect and disconnect the speakerphone without having to keep plugging and unplugging the USB cable itself.
  4. My phone is connected to either the laptop or the speakerphone via Bluetooth.

I have the following observations:

  1. Trying to connect both phone and laptop to the speakerphone using Bluetooth does not work, it should be one at a time.
  2. When connected the speakerphone to the laptop either using Bluetooth or USB, maximum sound level from the speakerphone was the same as that of the laptop when used without the speakerphone (the speakerphone is unable to perform amplification).
  3. When connected my phone to the speakerphone using Bluetooth however, considerable amplification levels are achieved.
  4. Connecting the speakerphone to the laptop using both USB and Bluetooth at the same time worked technically, but you’ll not be able to hear anything when audio is played on your laptop, you have to disconnect either the Bluetooth or USB to start using the speakerphone as your audio output device.
  5. I’m not missing any of the speakerphone’s functionality although my phone’s Bluetooth version is 4.2 (I need someone to charge this!).
  6. When connected phone to the speakerphone using Bluetooth, and the speakerphone to the laptop using USB, I was able to make both phone calls and conference calls simultaneously or separately without having to disconnect or reconnect anything, and in both cases, the speakerphone is serving as the input and output audio device.
  7. On the other hand, connecting the speakerphone to the laptop using USB while phone is connected to the speakerphone using Bluetooth, I was able to play audio in my laptop normally but not using my phone. I had to disconnect the laptop first to play any audio using my phone. This does not apply to phone calls, where the USB connection is dropped automatically when you try to make (or receive) a phone call. After the call ends, the USB connection is reestablished (again automatically).
  8. When phone is connected to the speakerphone (either directly through Bluetooth or indirectly when both are connected to the laptop), talking within a range of 1 meter enabled others to hear me clearly, but when distance started to increase, my voice started to look more as if I was talking in a big hall, albeit understood. Family and friends accepted this unclarity, but when you say a lot of details in a business meeting, people start to complain.
  9. When speakerphone is connected to laptop using USB, go to “Devices and Printers” in your Control Panel --> select the Anker PowerConf icon under Devices group --> right-click to select Sound Settings --> under Playback tab right-click Anker PowerConf Speakers icon again --> press Test, then you’ll hear the test sound played as if it was chalked
  10. If you connect the speakerphone to the laptop using Bluetooth instead and repeat steps above, the sound will come better, but still far from being perfect.
  11. Repeating the above steps one more time but with the laptop’s audio output is selected, it will play the test sound perfectly.
  12. I noticed that short waves like Windows alerts are all chalked when speakerphone is used as the output device for the laptop (regardless of the connections’ type), but playing a continuous stream is going smooth. This tells me that the speakerphone cannot be used as general replacement to your laptop’s audio output or as an alternative to your speaker.
  13. When phone was connected to the speakerphone using Bluetooth, and during my 3-day testing, I was unable to hear the caller in one time, and the caller could not hear me in another (not sure if this is a glitch or something that I’ll experience frequently).

What do you think, is that what you also experienced? I’d like to hear from you.

2 Likes

Could it be the setting on your audio? If you click the speaker button, do you see headphones and headset different?

That’s because USB takes precedence over bluetooth. I’m assuming PowerConf can detect when a phone call is being made through phone and will change that precedence level because phone calls have highest precedence (not too sure so just guessing)

Also this could be a great review so let’s see if others have any suggestions and you can just create a review from there. Don’t forget to add photos too when you write a review

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Tha la for sharing your experience with us. Wish they could improve the experience with an update :+1:

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@yalmasri Firmware version 26.51 is known to have issues, and Anker has now stopped releasing version 26.51 for now, and standard version expected for firmware on PowerConf is 26.48. Surprised you still got that version.

The issue you mentioned for point 7 &13… is specifically the issue with 26.51. In my case, the audio would completely stop, with microphone not functioning at all, needing complete reset / reboot of PowerConf.

In general, Audio from PC / Mac is expected to work perfectly only over the USB-C cable. Bluetooth Connection is meant only for the Smartphone.

Both connections work well, PC (over USB-C Cable) and Smartphone (over BT), however only the active call preference is for Bluetooth connection.

Example: If you have an active call over the PC, and you get a call over Smartphone - while both are connected to PowerConf, call over smartphone takes priority and audio from Smartphone routes over the PowerConf.

3 Likes

Thanks for sharing your experience :ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand:

1 Like

What makes sense to me here is that if it honors phone calls then why it doesn’t also do that same thing for audio incoming from phone? If audio output is not being used currently by laptop, then it should allow the phone to take it.

What perplexes me more is that USB is getting disconnected totally during the call, which will prevent any form of concurrent utilization to the speakerphone. That’s the easy way for Anker to do it I guess.

Good to know this, I think the very first thing to do is that I’ll go and ask Anker support of a way to downgrade to 26.48.

What I’m expecting as a user is the ability to connect my laptop (either USB or Bluetooth), and at the same time connect my phone using Bluetooth. The speakerphone should allow either to route audio, whichever comes first, and I don’t mind to have the other disconnected temporarily. Now it’s not letting me connecting both using BT and it’s not letting me to play any audio using my phone even if it’s not currently occupied by the laptop.

In case of phone calls, that’s a high-priority interruption, and it should ask me what I want to do, then grant my choice regardless of whether that’s a phone or laptop. Phone calls are phone calls, and still the call in your laptop is coming again from your phone.

Thought also to share with you this. I asked Anker whether I can keep PowerConf connected 24/7 to my laptop using USB cable without affecting the battery life or the internal circuitry of the speakerphone, and that what they replied with: