One of Poly’s latest products, the Sync 20 speakerphone, serves as the company’s entry into a new market segment: remote and hybrid workers.
The device’s primary purpose is to provide anyone working from a laptop with a way to enhance the quality of their audio and microphone during calls and video conferences. The Sync 20 delivers on this promise.
Additionally, it is compact, lightweight, and pleasing to the eye, and the manufacturer has clearly made an effort to incorporate a number of new features (such as a port for phone charging, which means you can essentially use the device as an emergency power bank).
We had the privilege of having the Poly Sync 20 device in the office and in this review, we are going to break down the product and tell you everything there is to know about it, so that you can ultimately decide if it is suitable for your needs or not.
Design and Build
When it comes to the Poly Sync 20’s design, we haven’t found anything to be particularly objectionable. When the grey mesh is combined with the black trimming and speckled white plastic beneath, the result is a gadget that will look fine on virtually any desk.
We were very delighted with Poly’s solution for cable management and cabling. In addition, if the Sync 20 is linked to your device through Bluetooth, the cable may be neatly wrapped around a groove on the underside of the device and the USB head clipped into a convenient socket on the underside. As a result, when the Sync 20 is restored to its upright position, the wire is virtually undetectable.
There are two touch buttons on the front panel, one of which may be programmed, and they are readable and placed in such a way that you are unlikely to make an unintentional selection by mistake. Physical on/off and Bluetooth connection buttons, as well as a USB-A connector for phone charging, are tucked away on the right side of the device.
Poly has also taken great effort to ensure that the Sync 20 is both lightweight (360g) and compact (less than 20cm wide), allowing it to be moved conveniently in the case that is included.
Nevertheless, except from moving the gadget from one location to another in order to accommodate a colleague or family member, it’s difficult to anticipate a situation in which mobility will be of any value. Because it would be unpleasant to play meeting audio out loud at an office or coffee shop, owners are unlikely to bring the Sync 20 to work with them. Instead, they are far more likely to maintain it on their desk at home.
Features and Performance
It appears like Poly has gone out of its way to include as many extra functions as possible in this little gadget, some of which are valuable additions and others which appear to have been included as a last-minute afterthought.
A good feature is the USB-A connector for device charging, which allows you to practically utilise the Sync 20 as an emergency power bank (given that the device’s own battery is at a medium or higher level of performance).
Furthermore, while the Sync 20 works quite well without any additional software, the Poly Sync and Plantronics Hub desktop applications make it simple to customise the device to your tastes.
There are some drawbacks, as well, to using the Sync 20: The volume is set far too high for notifications about connecting and disconnecting from a device and shutting down the gadget, and this can be quite frightening to people who aren’t prepared. Another mystery is why the speakerphone doesn’t go off immediately when all connected devices are disconnected.
It is true that the BT600 Bluetooth dongle included with the Sync 20 is identical to the one found in other Poly products, however this means that only one device may be tethered at a time. In order to swap between headsets, you’ll need to connect in various dongles to your computer or laptop.
Audio quality on the Poly Sync 20 is unmatched by most business computers, allowing users to enjoy richer, clearer audio on video calls. The speakerphone is loud enough for those with modest hearing impairments to have a better experience on the phone.
In our tests, we were able to use the Sync 20 to pick up our voices from more than two metres distant with no noticeable echo. Using the 3200 mAH battery, we were able to get about a 20-hour run time.
When we tested the speakerphone across several videoconferencing and collaboration platforms, we noticed a few annoying oddities. Poly claims that the device is compatible with most of the major operating systems, but we found that only the volume controls worked properly in programmes other than Teams.
In summary, the Sync 20 isn’t great at playing music, even though this isn’t its major function. While the Sync 20 is capable of handling ambient music at low volumes, it falters at greater volumes and when it is expected to handle more demanding bass. You may want to reconsider utilising this speakerphone as a substitute for a traditional speaker system.
Pricing and Availability
The Poly Sync 20 is available in a variety of configurations, making it difficult to tell one model from another at first glance. When it comes to USB-A and USB-C models, the Poly Sync 20 and the Poly Sync 20+ are separated by their respective USB-A and USB-C cables.
Poly offers specific Microsoft Teams Sync 20 and Sync 20+ models, both with USB-A or USB-C connectivity, to further confuse matters. The total number of SKUs now stands at eight.
The Poly Sync 20 is available for $169.95/£161.95 through the Poly store. The USB-A version, on the other hand, is presently available on Amazon for $139.99/£107.79, making it an excellent deal for anyone on a budget.
At $199.95/£202.95 from Poly or $144.24/£138.77 from Amazon, the Poly Sync 20+ is significantly more expensive.
Regardless of which package you choose, you’ll receive a speakerphone, a handy carry bag, and a lanyard. When purchasing the Sync 20+, you will also receive the BT600 Bluetooth dongle.
In spite of the Poly Sync 20’s usefulness for those who want to work or attend meetings without their headsets on, it is difficult to suggest this gadget to a broader audience because of its lack of adaptability.
The Sync 20’s audio and microphone quality are adequate for video conferencing, but it doesn’t fare well when it comes to music playback. In spite of its sleek design and compact size, the speakerphone suffers from a few annoyances that detract from the overall experience.
The Sync 20, on the other hand, can’t be faulted for not living up to its main claims. If you only need a modest and reasonably priced speakerphone for your home office, there are worse options.
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