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:
- 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.
- My conference tools consist of a mobile phone, a laptop, and a speakerphone.
- 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.
- My phone is connected to either the laptop or the speakerphone via Bluetooth.
I have the following observations:
- Trying to connect both phone and laptop to the speakerphone using Bluetooth does not work, it should be one at a time.
- 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).
- When connected my phone to the speakerphone using Bluetooth however, considerable amplification levels are achieved.
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Repeating the above steps one more time but with the laptop’s audio output is selected, it will play the test sound perfectly.
- 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.
- 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.