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Poly Sync 20+ Speakerphone Review: Capable enough to make your Hybrid Work better

Hybrid working model becomes a culture for corporates nowadays. While attending the office from your most comfortable zone, wearing headphones for day-long meetings could mess the experience badly. For the students, who attend online classes wearing headphones could create hearing problems. I understand we are going through all these for over two years now, and most of the people arranged speaker systems already. But the problem arises at the time of portability and efficiency, that too if I exclude the microphone part.

Seating home on a chair for a long time in front of a PC is not at all good for the health of any age group and everyone will agree with it. Where a normal speaker hardly provides a good quality microphone facility and a laptop microphone struggles if you maintain a little bit of distance from the workstation, this solution from Poly can get the job done. Poly Sync 20+ is a new generation speakerphone solution which is designed to be your companion in the hybrid work environment.

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Now the question is how? No matter whether you are a working employee or a student attending day long sessions, you can just connect the Sync 20+ with your PC or smartphone and can attend your sessions even while walking in your room. This device provides other facilities as well to make your online sessions more comfortable.

After using the Poly Sync 20+ for around a couple of months here are my observations on it.

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Features:

  • Hear and be heard: Keep the focus on your voice, not the background noise with a multi-microphone steerable array for echo and noise reduction. Let people talk simultaneously for natural conversations without missing a word with full duplex audio.
  • Work on the go: Keep your smartphone charged and ready using your Poly Sync 20, with up to 20 hours of battery life. It’s slim and portable, IP64 dust and water-resistant, and comes with its own carrying case.
  • Easy connectivity: Just connect smartphones via Bluetooth or connect wirelessly to computers via the included BT600 adapter.
  • All in one: Portable speakerphone + portable charger + high-performance music speaker. Enjoy more clarity on every call thanks to the bass reflex system with dual passive radiators for natural voice and deep bass.
  • Stay in control: Know the call status, even from a distance, thanks to a highly visible light bar. Access your favorite function—play/pause music, last-number redial, voice assistant and more —with the touch of the programmable button.
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In the Box:

  • Poly Sync 20+
  • BT600 Adapter
  • Carry case
  • Paperworks

Design & Build:

The overall design is adopted from its predecessor Poly Sync 10. The top surface is mostly covered with a fabric material along with a metallic touch-sensitive bar. The fabric area hides the main 40mm speaker driver underneath alongside the bass reflex system with dual-passive radiators. The Poly branding is also placed above the speaker.

The metallic touch-sensitive bar holds all the buttons you required during your call. There are buttons for call receive/cut, mute/unmute, volume up, volume down, and an additional customisable option. For the Teams variant of Sync 20+, there will be an extra Teams button. In my opinion, textured buttons will be better which will help the user to avoid accidental taps.

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In between these two sections, there is a thin LED strip which indicates the volume level as well as your call status.

The main body of the unit is made up of hard plastic. you can find the Bluetooth button, power button, and USB-A port on the right side. The team manages the USB cable very beautifully by tieing up around the base.

The overall design focuses on two points – portability and professionalism. The compact size allows to carry it wherever and whenever needed and the looks help this product to blend with any setup. Lastly, it’s IP64 certified indicating dust and water resistance.

To conclude this part, both the design and build of this speakerphone are top-notch from every angle.

Installation:

Other than portability, installation is one of the key strengths of this Sync 20+ speakerphone. It is as easy as unlocking your smartphone. You just need to power the unit on and plug in the BT600 adapter to your PC. Norma Bluetooth 5.1 and USB-A options are also there. Though the speakerphone supports Poly Lens and Plantronics Hub (for smartphone) applications, it’s not mandatory to install it. So, it required a few seconds only to come into action.

You need the software only for two reasons – the first is to update and apply the latest firmware which is okay if you check once a month, and the second is to customise the additional button. Again, it’s not necessary. You can still continue with other buttons.

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Connectivity:

It has three options to establish the connection with your devices – BT600 Adapter, Bluetooth 5.1, and USB-A cable. Point to note, this BT600 adapter comes only with the Sync 20+ and there is a USB-C port option as well, I have the USB-A model. The fastest way to connect it is via the USB-A cable or with the adapter. Connectivity with Bluetooth 5.1 takes a little bit of time to complete the pairing process as usual.

All three options were equally reliable to me at the time of my usage. To enable Bluetooth pairing, you need to press and hold the Bluetooth button.

The wireless connectivity was intact for around seven feet in my case. With the adapter, the range increases even further. If required, I can take the speaker and seat on the couch or the bed comfortably while attending any conference.

There is support for multiple Bluetooth profiles such as A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP, and BLE. So, the audio transfer should be fine.

To sum the connectivity up, the Poly Sync 20+ maintains stable and reliable connectivity with all three options available. As it’s a professional device, I wish they have added the dual pairing option too. Hopefully, we will get it with the next series.

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Audio:

The speakerphone houses a massive 40mm speaker driver and the bass reflex system with dual-passive radiators. The output is mainly optimised for online conferencing platforms including Zoom, Meet, Teams, and more. Hence, there is a focus on vocals.

As the speaker is firing the sound up, no chance to get suppressed. The loudness is enough for an average room and the vocals were clear, until and unless the opposite person speaks very softly. On average, I didn’t face any difficulty. In case of any tutorial sessions or presentation audio, the output was decent. Bass and all are not like normal speakers, which is obvious as this is built for professional usage.

It is not for media at all, however, can easily support you during the small office/class breaks.

The overall audio experience was the same as I expected. It is louder, clear, and also specially optimised for the meeting platforms. Outputs for the low voices only need a bit of improvement. After all, it’s hard to catch someone if s/he communicates in low voice.

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Calling:

A three-microphone array setup is responsible for your calling experience with this Sync 20+ device. Though it’s not the only one. There are noise reduction and echo reduction systems as well. It was capturing and transferring my words maintaining the same quality within a range of around five feet. I didn’t get any complaints about it even once. In the test environment, there was a noisy fan always. When asked my friend after turning it on, there was no difference at all in my voice for him. So yes, the noise reduction system works pretty well. Though there was no scenario for me where I can check the echo.

For me, the microphone array was up to the mark and did the best possible.

Coming to the management part, with the touch sensors on the bar we can receive or cut the calls easily. We can mute or unmute the same as well. The customisable button with the Rocket symbol even allows redialing and hold/resume calls. To set that you need to take the help of Poly Lens or Plantronics Hub application.

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Battery life:

A 3200mAh battery is assigned to take care of the power backup. It claims to supply up to 20 hours of talktime against 4 hours of charging. For me, it covers two complete days of office hours and lasts over a couple of hours on the third day. I know it’s almost the same as the company claimed figure, but I was not on calls whole day. So, it will vary with the usage. While testing, the volume was full all the time.

If the charge drained out completely in between any session, no need to worry as the USB-A cable is there to back. It will charge itself simultaneously while serving you all its offerings.

It can act as a powerbank as well in case of emergency. You can charge your smartphone or any mobile device via the USB-A port. It’s a good to have facility that can be a saviour for any working person.

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Notifications:

The LED strip on the top plays depending on your activities. It produces Sky Blue, Green, and Red colours. While just connected with your device it will be sky blue. If I try to adjust the volume the light bar itself shows the level. During any calls, the light turned green and becomes red whenever on mute. Other than the LED notifications, the speaker also read out the max/min volume, battery level, and connectivity status. Though we can manage it from the application as per our choice.

Verdict:

In this new normal, there are very few gadgets available that can make the hybrid work environment easier. This Poly Sync 20+ speakerphone is one of the most capable contenders for sure. It is delivering the standard audio output with the massive 40mm speaker driver, making your calling experience better with the three-microphone array setup with both noise and echo reduction, providing great connectivity. The build quality is checked and no hassle with portability and installation. I agree there are a few sections where additions or improvements are required. Hope the team will cover up with the successor.

In India, the Poly Sync series is available via Amazon and other online platforms.

Poly Store: https://amzn.to/3RmFqrK

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design & Build
Installation
Connectivity
Audio
Calling
Battery life

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Anupam Modak
Anupam Modak
A CS Engineer and Tech Enthusiast who likes to fiddle with the latest gadgets and tech happenings around the world.
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Hybrid working model becomes a culture for corporates nowadays. While attending the office from your most comfortable zone, wearing headphones for day-long meetings could mess the experience badly. For the students, who attend online classes wearing headphones could create hearing problems. I understand we...Poly Sync 20+ Speakerphone Review: Capable enough to make your Hybrid Work better