About Polycom Conference Phones
The meeting room is the hub of innovation and creation. It’s where people and minds meet to collaborate and produce. Whether technology is there or not, the room has to facilitate the motivation to think, especially when abstract or outside of the box ideas are in short order.
Modern meeting rooms are more than in-house productivity solutions, however. Technology plays a vital role when outside expertise or collaboration is important. The business world is moving faster and faster, particularly thanks to Polycom.
Polycom made its mark in the business world by introducing the SoundStation conference phone. The phone had a groundbreaking design, both in its shape and overall quality. Before this, conference phones were cumbersome and not as easy to use. Now it’s very simple to reach out to other parties and collaborate across vast distances.
The conference phone is essential to today’s meeting room. Voice conversations have always been one of the most effective ways to communicate. Emails and messaging can cut productivity short, and video conferencing and other solutions are not always necessary.
Polycom conference phones are the cornerstones of many, many meetings rooms. The phones have been copied time and time again, but nothing comes close to the original.
Five quick reasons to choose Polycom conference phones
- Industry’s best audio quality through Polycom HD Voice technology
- Enhancements like echo cancellation and noise reduction
- Ports for expansion microphones and additional accessories
- Audio components with 360-degree room coverage
- An iconic design—also attractive and easy to use
The SoundStation and VoiceStation series
Polycom SoundStation series
SoundStation is Polycom’s flagship conference phone series. The series includes a broad range of models. The models have VoIP and/or analog connectivity, microphone and speaker ranges for different room sizes, expansion options like additional microphones and many, many more features.
Best of all, the conference phones feature amazing sound quality with 360-degree room coverage. No matter what model you choose, they are designed for incredible performance.
The Polycom SoundStation2 and Polycom VTX 1000 conference phones feature analog connectivity, while the Polycom SoundStation IP 5000, 6000, 7000 and CX3000 are designed for VoIP. The Polycom SoundStation Duo features both IP and analog connectivity types.
For small- to medium-sized meeting rooms with analog connectivity or POTS lines, the Polycom SoundStation2 and Polycom SoundStation2W conference phones are recommended. Both the Polycom SoundStation2 EX and SoundStation2W EX conferences phones are expandable to support additional microphones, enabling them to handle medium-sized to large meeting rooms.
The Polycom SoundStation2W phone and SoundStation2W EX phone are wireless. Set up the phone’s base in another location, for example, if the meeting room does not include a telephone line for connecting the phone.
The Polycom SoundStation VTX 1000 has the widest microphone range among the analog conference phones, up to 20 feet, so it can handle larger meeting rooms. Plus, up to two expansion microphones can be connected to the phone.
VoIP conference phones from Polycom include the SoundStation IP 5000 for smaller meeting rooms, the SoundStation IP 6000 for medium meeting rooms and the SoundStation IP 7000 for larger meeting rooms. The Polycom SoundStation CX3000 is optimized for Microsoft Lync and built for medium-sized meeting rooms.
The Polycom SoundStation Duo conference phone features both VoIP and analog connectivity. If your primary IP PBX fails, you can connect the phone to a backup analog line. Ensure that your meetings remain on schedule through any unforeseen problem.
Polycom VoiceStation series
The Polycom VoiceStation series features two models: one with Bluetooth and one without. The phones have a smaller form factor; built for executive offices, huddle spaces or portable deployments.
The history of the Polycom conference phone
The Polycom SoundStation conference phone first became available in 1992. Fifty thousand units had been shipped worldwide by 1995. Jumping forward over 15 years and several new models later, Polycom shipped its four-millionth conference phone in 2011.
During Polycom’s quarter of a century in the voice and telecommunications industry, they’ve accumulated more than 950 technology patents. Every Polycom conference phone is a portrait of voice communications at its finest, which has continued to leverage success after success.
Desk phone speakerphones fall short
Rather than investing in a conference phone, a lot of professionals like to use the speakerphone function on their desk phone. Sure, it’s quick and convenient, and a lot of desk phones actually have incredible speakerphone quality. If you only have one or two participants in your room, then a desk phone is an okay solution.
All you have to do is physically compare a conference phone to a desk phone to see the difference. Polycom conference phones are designed to spread over the table, with the placement of microphones and volume of the speakers built to serve the entire meeting room. The overall aesthetics of the conference phones are great too, making them look fantastic in the middle of the room. Rather than crouching over a desk phone, you can sit comfortably at your chair and speak much more naturally.
Finding the perfect fit
Polycom conference phones come in all shapes and sizes. The phones have wired and wireless connectivity types including VoIP and analog, speakers and microphones with varying ranges for different sized meeting rooms, and a number of expansion options like additional microphones.
Using the comparison chart tab on this page will help you whittle down your choices until you find the perfect solution for your meeting room. Should the number of participants in your meetings change frequently, an expandable model is a better choice. To support more participants, add expansion microphones to these models to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.
Smaller conference phones like the Polycom VoiceStation are ideal for transporting to different locations or setting up quickly in an executive office. Large models like the Polycom SoundStation IP 7000 can take on bigger meeting spaces, featuring a total length of 15.5 inches.
What’s the difference between IP and analog?
A VoIP conference phone connects to your IP-based network. The phone uses an Ethernet cable to connect to the network and to telephony services. Use this type of phone if you have a VoIP phone system or IP PBX.
Power your Polycom IP conference phone by PoE or an AC adapter. PoE stands for “Power over Ethernet,” which means that the conference phone receives power through the same Ethernet cable that provides telephony and data. The connected network switch must also support PoE, or a PoE injector must be used.
An analog conference phone connects to a PSTN or analog POTS line. It plugs directly into an available line and works similarly to any other analog phone. If you want to use your Polycom analog conference phone with an IP network, you can use an ATA to connect the phone to VoIP. An ATA, or “analog telephone adapter,” allows analog devices to communicate with VoIP and IP-based networks.
IP and analog conference phones differ in the number of features they can offer. Think of it like dial-up Internet versus Ethernet-based Internet connections. A dial-up connection is slower and connect support as much data as Ethernet. With that being said, an IP conference phone can offer better sound quality besides it can handle more data at once.
Wireless conference phones
Not every meeting room is equipped with phone lines. Rather than running telephone lines through the wall and racking up an expensive IT bill, try out a wireless conference phone instead.
Both the Polycom SoundStation2W conference phone and Polycom SoundStation2W EX conference phone are wireless. The base can be plugged into an available phone line, while the conference phone sits in a meeting room up to 150 feet away. The base and phone communicate wirelessly, letting you place the phone wherever you want within reach of the base’s wireless range.
Move a wireless conference phone from room to room. Not every meeting room needs a conference phone at all times, so you can share a wireless solution between rooms when one is required.
The difference between these two models is that the Polycom SoundStation2W EX conference phone is expandable. The phone can support up to two expansion microphones.
Compatible phone systems and phone services
Polycom SoundStation IP conference phones and the SoundStation Duo conference phone are compatible with SIP-based phone systems. The phones are compatible with almost all SIP-based VoIP phone systems and hosted VoIP providers.
Analog-based Polycom conference phones can connect to any analog phone system or analog POTS line. No particular telephone service is required, as long as the phones can connect to a dial tone.
Avaya DEFINITY and Nortel Meridian digital phone systems require special connectivity types. Polycom builds two specialized conference phones, purpose-built for use with either of these digital PBX environments. The phones feature the same great sound quality, design and other features you’d expect from a Polycom conference phone.
Polycom HD Voice technology
One of the reasons that Polycom’s desk phones are so great is because they feature Polycom conference phone technology. Polycom conference phones transformed the meeting room from a stale environment to a fully collaborative experience.
Polycom HD Voice technology refers to the combination of hardware and software within the phones. The technology is based on decades of innovation and user experience. One phone is the collective work of many years and users, and proven knowledge.
Polycom HD Voice includes wideband audio, which produces calls with twice the quality as regular phone audio. Wideband audio can replicate all of the frequencies of the human voice. Combined with Acoustic Clarity, wideband audio is taken to the next level. Acoustic Clarity features full duplex audio, echo cancellation and noise reduction. All of these features are processed through Polycom’s excellent phone hardware and software.
VoIP and IP conference phones with Polycom HD Voice technology make remote callers sound as though they’re standing in the same meeting room. There is no listener fatigue from lousy audio quality or making callers repeat themselves. The conversations are as natural as possible.
More unique features
The triangular shape of the Polycom conference phones lets them provide 360-degree coverage of the room. The microphones are positioned to pickup audio from every corner of the meeting space.
Noise reduction technology ensures that the microphones don’t pick up every sound from the environment. For example, background noises coming from a hallway or an opening door.
Not every conversation needs to be public. Audio ports on specific models can support a cell phone or headset for taking the conversation to a more private device. And there’s also the fact that not everyone can make it to the meeting, so some conference phones support call recording.
VoIP conference phones connect to the network via Ethernet. These phones might support two different power supply options, either PoE or from an AC adapter. PoE lets the phone draw power over an Ethernet cable, so only one cord needs to be connected to the device. Since not all networks or switches support PoE, an AC adapter might be necessary.
Polycom conference phones are feature-rich devices that changed the meeting room for the better. In fact, they transformed it into the ultimate space for communications and collaboration. Many of the features that you see on other third-party conferencing devices were inspired or developed by Polycom.
Why Buy Polycom
Polycom revolutionized the conference call by delivering the first SoundStation conference phone in 1992. Since then, they’ve shipped millions of conference phones around the world.
Five Reasons to Choose Polycom Conference Phones
- Best audio quality through Polycom HD Voice technology
- Enhancements like echo cancellation and noise reduction
- Expansion microphones and additional accessory ports
- Full 360-degree room coverage
- Iconic design—attractive and easy to use
Our Latest Blogs about Polycom Conference Phones
Connecting a VoIP phone to a Grandstream UCM6100 phone system is very easy. Let’s say you have both the phone and the system plugged into your network. Now what?
In this example, we’ll demonstrate how to connect a Polycom SoundStation IP 6000 conference phone to a Grandstream UCM6100 series IP PBX.
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Joining a meeting through your phone’s speakerphone or a conference phone is an effective way to communicate with people across the world without having to leave your desk. Convenience can easily lull any worker, from entry-level to executive-level, into a false sense of security.
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More about Polycom Conference Phones
Polycom Conference Phones Buyer’s Guide
Polycom SoundStation IP Conference Phones Data Sheet
Polycom Conference Phone Guide