Best video conferencing equipment for small businesses

Many businesses under rate the combination of great video conferencing software and effective video conferencing equipment. So what video conferencing hardware is changing video conferencing for good?

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Zoom, Slack, Google Meet, or Teams – they’re all big names in the world of video conferencing. But, whether you’re on a professional suite or using free video conferencing software, to benefit from the best call quality, you need to combine these suppliers with great video conferencing hardware.

As hybrid working becomes the norm in the office, it’s important to be equipped with all the right hardware and software to make sure you can create the best possible environment for optimal teamwork and productivity. Video conferencing hardware from the likes of Cisco, Logitech, and Polycom will enhance your calls beyond the capabilities of your built-in webcam and microphone, with white noise blocking and automatic camera adjusting just some of the benefits of going all out on video conferencing equipment.

So read on, as we explore the must-have video conferencing equipment for small UK businesses. We’ll also take you through the top web conferencing hardware suppliers that are compatible with Zoom, Slack, and Google Meet or Microsoft Teams to help you decide which one is the best fit for your startup.

Visit our page on the best video conferencing software to find out more about the software side of conferencing services.

What video conferencing hardware do I need?

Here’s all the video conferencing equipment you’ll need to boss your home working setup:

  • Laptop: Simple, but essential. You’ll need a computer to run the conferencing software, and to connect to the internet.
  • Display: Not essential, but adding a second screen is certainly a cushy addition to a good remote work setup. It allows you a better view of your colleagues, and makes it easier to get involved with presentations.
  • Camera: This one also goes without saying. It’s not video conferencing if you can’t see each other! Of course, you could rely on the one built into your laptop. But for ultimate picture quality and professionalism, you’ll want the polished display that only the best video conferencing equipment can deliver.
  • Microphones and speakers: This technology is essential for maximising the audio quality of your calls, and facilitating smooth communication from your end.
  • The rest: Power supply, cables, codecs… this is the background stuff that enables all the other components to work.
  • An all-in-one hardware package: Often it’s the smallest businesses that come with the biggest workloads – and without much time to do it all in. Assembling video conferencing equipment from scratch isn’t just time-consuming – it’s difficult, too. That’s why we recommend opting for an all-in-one package from a single provider. You’ll get the camera, microphone, and screen you need to boss your home working setup, and simple integration with both your computer and your chosen web conferencing software.

Let’s take a look at the suppliers that are doing it best.

Best video conferencing equipment UK

We looked at the range of video conferencing equipment packages on the market, seeking out the highest quality hardware at the lowest costs – basically, the best options for small businesses.

As it turns out, that hardware comes from Cisco, Logitech, Polycom, AVer, and Avaya. Jump into the table to navigate to your favourite video conferencing equipment supplier, or read on to find out why these providers made the cut.

Still choosing video conferencing software? See our full guides for more:

1. GoToRoom

Best video conference equipment for all-round quality

GoToMeeting video conferencing equipment

Integrating with GoToMeeting – one of the highest rated video conferencing software around today – GoToRoom promises high quality audio, video, and an easy to use interface. An out-of-box solution, GoToRoom is easy to set up, and includes Dolby Voice, Dolby Conference Phone, Dolby Voice Camera, and Dolby Voice Hub. These four bits of video conferencing hardware work together to ensure small to medium conference rooms benefit from high quality conferencing calls.

So what do you get for your investment? In addition to Dolby Audio, you’ll receive a 13 megapixel, 4K quality camera with 95 degree field of view, and a multi-microphone and multi-speaker phone. Software-wise, you’ll have the ability to set up meetings via the GoToMeeting app, and join GoToMeeting sessions from Lifesize, Cisco, Polycom, and other popular video conferencing equipment.

Offering high tech features including Whiteboard View, desktop and application sharing and drawing tools, GoToRoom is a great option for those that have already invested GoToMeeting software, and those looking for a high quality web and video conferencing system.

  • Great sound quality and 4K quality camera
  • Integrates with GoToMeeting web conferencing software for an all-round communications package
  • Not as sophisticated as offerings from the likes of Polycom and Cisco

2. Cisco Webex DX Desk Pro

Best video conference equipment for call features

Cisco Webex DX seriesWith a 27-inch touchscreen LCD display, the Cisco Webex DX Desk Pro is a slick, stylish way of injecting some energy back into your video conference calls. You can connect it to your computer with ease for multiple-screen content sharing and digital whiteboarding – and it even acts as a laptop charger, too.

The Webex DX Desk Pro also comes with a whole host of features plucked straight out of a sci-fi film, with facial recognition, noise suppression, and ‘virtual backgrounds’ all included as standard. However, if you’re not in need of such an advanced solution, Cisco’s lower-tier offering (the Webex DX80) offers an intelligent solution at a more affordable price.

Better still, Cisco is one of the only video conferencing equipment providers here to also offer the software you’ll need to make remote calls. This makes it a simple (albeit pricey) all-in-one introduction to the world of better video calls.

  • Its AI (artificial intelligence)-driven analytics add cognition to your collaboration
  • Its intuitive software allows you to customise your virtual meeting rooms with ease
  • It’s expensive

3. Logitech MeetUp

Best video conference equipment for the aesthetically-conscious

Logitech Meetup

A well-known innovator of home speakers and sound equipment, it’s no surprise that Logitech’s solution for businesses also hits the spot.

With a sleek design and an ultra-wide, motorised lens (hello, 5x zoom!), the MeetUp adds a touch of class to your remote work setup. But that doesn’t mean it’s all style; with a beamforming mic array and an automatically-adjusting camera position, Logitech’s flagship video conferencing equipment offers plenty of substance, too.

Plus, its all-in-one package is fantastic. You’ll get a bundle containing a mini PC, room-optimised software, and the MeetUp – plus the Logitech Tap controller to use it all with.

  • Offers excellent synergy with conferencing software from Zoom, Google, and Microsoft
  • Its microphones are optimised for excellent sound, even at distances of up to four metres
  • Can be tricky to get set up

4. Polycom RealPresence Debut

Best video conference equipment for ease of use

Polycom RealPresence Debut

Despite the name, this is far from esteemed VoIP phone provider Polycom’s first rodeo. With a simple, elegant design and the most straightforward setup we found, the RealPresence is a great way to make your business’ debut into the world of video conferencing.

And the equipment speaks for itself. Polycom’s trademarked ‘Lost Packet Recovery’ helps you maintain call quality in the face of bad internet connectivity, while noise-blocking technology keeps meetings on the right track.

  • Its compact design takes up less room, and reduces cable clutter
  • Highly scalable
  • Along with Cisco’s model, it’s one of the most pricey options on the market

5. AVer EVC350

Best video conference equipment for value for money

AVer EVC350

AVer’s EVC series strikes that delicate balance that so many other video conferencing equipment providers get wrong – it’s top class technology, at an affordable price.

The EVC350, in particular, is a great example of good hardware meeting an even better price point. There are no installation fees, and you won’t have to shell out any extra cash to upgrade the hardware. AVec’s microphones run on patented technology, and can be linked together for superior audio quality.

Better still, the EVC350 supports call recording (even if you’re offline), and offers compatibility with all and any PC, laptop, smartphone, or tablet you can get your hands on.

  • AVec’s ‘EZDraw’ makes non-verbal collaboration a breeze
  • Its interface is as easy to use as it is on the eye…
  • …but the hardware itself isn’t winning any beauty contests

6. Avaya IX Room System XT5000

Best video conference equipment for crystal clear call quality

Avaya IX Room System XT5000

Avaya’s XT5000 is the culmination of over a century’s worth of experience – and it shows.

The device’s list of specifications alone is enough to get the pulse racing; with dual 1080p, 60fps live video, HD audio, and cameras offering up to 20x optical zoom, the XT5000 is nothing short of a perfect video conference experience.

Perfection, though, comes at a price – and the eye-watering cost of the XT5000 attests to that. However, if you’re looking for a system that’s quick to get to grips with and easy to use (and you don’t mind forking out the cash, of course), you can’t look past the Avaya XT5000.

  • Six available cameras and two microphones to pick from
  • Boasts excellent interoperability with video conferencing software and productivity tools
  • Feature-wise, it’s more limited that some of the other equipment on this list

Finding the best conferencing equipment for your business

Finding the right video conferencing equipment for your business means considering a few factors. You have to balance the features your small business requires from a communication solution, while maintaining awareness of call quality, ease of use, and (of course!) your budget. Hopefully, this article will help with your market research before you commit to web conferencing equipment for your small business or startup.

And remember, it’s best to select your video conferencing software (or free video conferencing software if you prefer) before deciding on the hardware and equipment – this is so you can make sure everything will integrate properly. Here, we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How much does video equipment hardware cost?
    Video conferencing equipment (such as the cameras, microphones, and displays) has an upfront, one-time cost. However, it can be leased as part of an all-in-one package, too – though this will most likely work out to be more expensive over time.</p> <p>You may also be liable for other fees, such as a charge to upgrade the hardware, or a recurring fee for maintenance. How much you’ll pay for the equipment itself also depends on the condition you buy it in (new or refurbished), and who you buy it from. Buying directly from the providers themselves is the best way to go, though they’re typically quite coy when it comes to exact pricing information.
  • What are the most important things to consider when buying video conferencing equipment?
    When you can’t be in the same room as your team members, you want it to feel as though you are. With that in mind, call quality has to be your top consideration. You’ll also want to consider price point and usability, as well as your communication tool’s interoperability with other systems.</p> <p>How well, for instance, does the video conferencing equipment work with the software powering the calls? Does it offer best in class synergy with your computer, or with any existing communication infrastructure your business relies on?
  • What video conferencing equipment is the easiest to use?
    We’ve found that the easiest to use are Polycom RealPresence Debut and AVer EVC350. Polycom is high quality,but it doesn't come cheap. AVer is a better option if you’re on a tight budget.
  • What is the most important equipment for video conferencing?
    Barring a good internet connection, the most important equipment you’ll need is a computer (essential), a camera, and microphones and speakers. Most laptops come equipped with a camera, microphone and speakers, but if you want better quality, or are using a desktop computer, you’ll want to invest in good hardware.</p> <p>If you use GoToMeeting, then GoTo Room is your best bet for a comprehensive package. For more sophisticated offerings, opt for Polycom or Cisco.
  • Why aren’t Zoom and Google Meet on this list?
    Though both great video conferencing products, Zoom and Google Meet are software solutions. In order to use them, you’ll need to invest in some hardware, like the equipment discussed in this article.
  • Do I need video conferencing equipment, or can I just use my laptop?
    While most laptops include cameras, microphones and speakers, they aren’t the best solution when conducting large calls with multiple people in one shared room.</p> <p>Furthermore, if video conferencing is a big part of your business model, you might want to invest in equipment that can provide better quality video calls. The Polycom RealPresence Debut, for example, maintains call quality even when your internet connection is bad.
  • What are the benefits of video conferencing for businesses?
    There are several benefits to using video conferencing. These include: saving time and money on business travel expenses, more productive virtual meetings with reduced technical issues and that can host a bigger number of coworkers, improved hiring, since eliminating the need to travel for interviews will bring you a wider pool of candidates to choose from is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

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