Even though the pandemic has subsided somewhat, remote work will be an integral part of the workplace ecosystem for the foreseeable future. With the number of people working from home steadily increasing year by year, the need for high-quality video conference equipment has never been higher.
Because there are a dizzying array of options available when it comes to this type of equipment, it can be challenging to find the option that'll work best for your circumstances.
Luckily, with the information contained in this article, your choice should be easier. Here are some options we recommend for cameras, mics, and headsets that you can add to your virtual toolkit.
Best cameras for video conferencing
Best all-rounder – Logitech C920
By far the best all-rounder is Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920. For ten years, this has been the go-to choice for many because of its balance of performance and affordability. This relatively low-cost external webcam boasts a surprisingly high-quality video output for its age.
The camera allows you to video conference at 1080p with crystal clear quality. Sure, you’re not getting 4k quality, but most video conferencing software is capped at 1080p anyway. Plus, the image resolution is 15 megapixels, allowing for astonishingly high-quality photos.
If you’ve used a webcam before, you know how infuriating autofocusing can be. Even after a decade, the C920’s autofocusing capabilities are phenomenal. The field of view (FOV) is 78°, which isn’t bad either!
Moreover, you can also download the driver software, giving you the ability to calibrate and customize the capture to make it even better.
There are some understandable downsides to the model. First, the frame rate is capped at 30 fps. This is pretty standard but could cause issues in video conferencing depending on your standards. Also, the built-in mic is pretty poor-quality, but we’d suggest getting an external mic anyway.
You'll probably never want to go back to another webcam after using this. You'll be amazed by the clarity that it offers for such an affordable price. Truly, the C920 is a jack-of-all-trades.
Best on a budget – NexiGo N930AF
If you're looking for a budget-priced video conferencing webcam that still offers 1080p quality, you should consider the NexiGo N930AF.
It offers 1080p/30fps quality for sharp video with decent clarity compared to higher-priced models. An auto-focus helps you to remove the blur that's the bane of many discount webcams.
It even comes with a privacy shutter that adds a welcome layer of security when you don't want to get spied on. You’ll have to attach it yourself, though.
One fantastic thing about this webcam is that it's a simple setup—just plug it in and start using it. This means you won't have to download software or run updates. There is the option of downloading the NexiGo Webcam Settings app. This will give you access to additional settings so you can fine-tune the brightness, saturation, contrast, and sharpness to your liking.
The NexiGo's field of view is only 65 degrees and isn't adjustable, which is pretty poor but understandable for the price. Again, the audio quality is subpar, but you should get a mic for yourself anyway. While it's a good low-cost option, it lacks features such as a digital pan and tilt.
Dress for success – Poly Studio P15
If you’re looking to maximize your professional setup, the Poly Studio P15 has everything you'll ever need in video conferencing equipment. It's one of the largest and most expensive webcams on the market, but you get a ton for the price.
At 1.81 pounds and 17 inches wide, it's huge for a personal webcam. As you’d expect from a video conferencing camera at this price point, the P15 can provide 4K video quality. You'll love the stunning visual clarity and true-to-life colors of the display.
Many webcams require you to hook an external microphone and speaker if you want an optimal sound experience. That's not the case with the P15, which comes with a fantastic mic and speaker of its own. A beamforming microphone array allows you to point to a specific direction of the room, making it exceptional at picking up human voices while blocking out any background noise you can think of.
The webcam does a spectacular job of keeping the colors accurate and adjusting to match the amount of light in the room. The auto framing feature ensures that no matter how much you move, the camera will always keep your face perfectly framed.
Also, the diagonal field of view is a whopping 90°, meaning you can get a lot out of that background as well!
Best microphones for video conferencing
Best all-rounder – Blue Yeti
The Blue Yeti is regarded as the best USB microphone out there, offering many valuable features for a reasonable price tag. The reason this mic is so popular is that it offers a versatility not too many other models have.
The Blue Yeti offers several audio modes for different situations. There’s the cardioid mode for single speakers, a bidirectional mode for one-on-one interviews, and an omnidirectional mode for more speakers. It also offers a stereo mode.
One of the best features of this model is the proprietary tri-capsule microphone array that allows you to change polar patterns at the drop of a hat.
It comes with a gain control dial on the back, a feature most USB microphones don't have. This allows you to modulate the sensitivity level without the need for software, which is difficult to do if you're recording. It even has a mute button, which is always a plus in case you need it!
There are very few flaws to this mic. However, it’ll be good to get a pop filter for it, as it’s a bit sensitive to pops and bumps.
Best on a budget – Blue Snowball iCE
Can’t quite afford the Blue Yeti? Try the Blue Snowball iCE, a fantastic budget microphone from the same folks. It’s an excellent choice for not only your video conferencing needs but also for recording voiceovers for videos or podcasts.
Its delightful mid-century look and durable metal construction are indicative of the company's passion for manufacturing high-quality electronic components.
The microphone is easily detachable from the stand if you need to transport your mic to another location. In fact, it's small enough that you could toss it into a backpack if you wanted to do your telecommuting while in a more picturesque setting than your kitchen table.
Just don't expect a ton of features. There's no gain control, mute, or polar pattern switch. These stripped-down add-ons might be disappointing for tech-minded team members who are more accustomed to using mics that provide better options.
However, the unit's simplicity could be fantastic for newbies who value user-friendliness in their video conferencing equipment.
Best headsets for video conferencing
Best over-ear options
Best all-rounder – Jabra Elite 85h
The intuitive design of the Jabra Elite 85h has a comfortable fit and exceptionally long-lasting battery. Its intuitive design makes it an excellent choice if you value sonic clarity during work calls.
Use the free Jabra Sound+ app to adjust the audio equalizer to your personal preferences. If you have the active noise cancellation engaged, the battery lasts 36 hours. Charging the headphones is super quick, giving you a solid five hours of use after plugging them in for a mere fifteen minutes.
Other Bluetooth headphones have buttons so confusing that you end up pressing the wrong one. This isn't the case with the Jabra, which boasts straightforward controls and an easy pairing process across all devices.
Best wireless noise-canceling headphones
The Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 are fantastic when you're trying to video conference, and there's a lot of background noise. They're a terrific option for people who prefer an over-the-ear design to earbuds.
While these headphones are expensive, they're worth it if you value aural clarity above all else. They offer better noise-canceling adjustability than almost any other headphones on the market. Their lightweight design makes them comfortable to wear—even if you have them on all day.
Best earbud options
Best all-rounder – Sony WF-1000XM4
The Sony WF-1000XM4 are fantastic wireless headphones. It has exceptional active noise canceling, high-quality audio, and a battery that lasts up to eight hours on a single charge. If you use them without noise-canceling, you can boost that number to 12 hours.
A V1 chip built into the unit works in tandem with dual noise sensor mics to erase most background sounds. Because these earphones are a whole lot smaller than their predecessors, they'll fit in your ears better.
Noise cancellation is second to none. The memory foam tips seal to your ear canals exceedingly well, which helps to further cut out disturbing ambient sounds such as the constant chatter of coworkers.
Best on a budget – Realme Buds Air 2
The Realme Buds Air 2 are exceptional budget-priced earbuds with a well-balanced audio profile that's perfect when you need to hear every word of what your boss is saying. They do a much better job isolating background noise than similarly priced models.
Their compact, sleek, and unobtrusive design makes them perfect for on-the-go use. Each earbud has smart detection sensors, meaning they pause whenever you take them out of your ears.
The Realme Buds Air 2 has a 10mm bass boost driver that allows for crisp sound quality. While this might not come in handy during a work call, you might welcome it when you need to take a music break.
Consider adding VODIUM to your video conferencing equipment toolkit
No video conferencing equipment toolkit is complete without VODIUM.
Our virtual teleprompter software enables your team members to communicate clearly, compellingly, and persuasively. What's more, it does that without needing to memorize lengthy talking points, use cumbersome printed notes, or glance up at multiple screens.
Take us out for a test drive today!