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Best conference phones of 2021: audio conferencing for online meetings

Best conference phones
(Image credit: Pixabay)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best conference phones will provide clear audio conferencing for online meetings, as well as being easy to use and manage. 

This is especially important as audio and video conferencing have increasingly become a normal part of business, with many business phone services now offering them as standard features, especially when in comes to cloud phone systems.

Additionally, since the pandemic, many offices now have employees working remotely, so if you need to include a number of people dialing in from another location into a meeting room full of people, then the best conference phones can help.

While using laptops and phones for video conferencing is possible, they are better suited to smaller meetings and individual conferencing.

This is why adding conferencing phones can really prove their worth due to their superior audio abilities. This is due to including multiple microphones with long-range sensitivity, yet are able to filter out background noises that you might expect in an office. 

The result is a generally clear audio stream that can be inclusive of everyone present, with no one missing out, and a better experience than trying to crowd everyone around a laptop that has a weak microphone.

Here then are the best conference phones currently available.

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Polycom Soundstation VTX 1000 Conference Phone Console

(Image credit: Polycom)

1. Polycom Soundstation VTX 1000

The classic conference phone

Specifications
Microphones: 3
Mic range: 20 feet
Connectivity: Ethernet, external mic connections
Other features: LCD screen, 12-key keypad, caller ID
Reasons to buy
+Great sound quality+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Looks dated-Can be expensive

If you've ever been in a meeting room, you're likely to see a Polycom Soundstation sitting on a table or desk. These are excellent, no-nonsense, conference phones, and the Polycom Soundstation VTX 1000 is it's best product. It's easy to set up, with a LCD screen and number pad that lets you easily dial in or view incoming calls. 

It looks a bit dated compared to conference phones with touchscreens built-in, but it does the job - and does it very well. If you're not bothered about modern mod-cons, you'll love the Polycom Soundstation VTX 1000.

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Konftel 300Ipx

(Image credit: Konftel)

2. Konftel 300IPx

A brilliant modern conference phone

Specifications
Microphones: 1 (two additional microphones can be added)
Mic range: Omnidirectional
Connectivity: Ethernet, Mini USB, Bluetooth (for control only)
Other features: Konftel Unite app, NFC, recording to memory card
Reasons to buy
+Modern feel+Smartphone app makes meetings easy
Reasons to avoid
-Some might find it overly complicated

While the Polycom Soundstation VTX 1000 is an example of a classic old-school conference phone, the Konftel 300IPx is a brilliant example of a modern conference phone. It's key selling point is the Konftel Unite app, which allows participants to join and set up meetings easily using their smartphone. 

Even better, the Konftel 300IPx has built-in NFC (Near Field Communication), which allows people to simply tap their compatible smartphone on the Konftel 300IPx to download the app. There's a lot of great features included with this conference phone, including the ability to record to a memory card, bridge calls and connect it to a PA system, easily making it one of the best conference phones you can buy today.

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Konftel Ego Portable Conference Speakerphone

(Image credit: Konftel )

3. Konftel Ego

Another great affordable conference phone

Specifications
Microphones: 1
Mic range: Omnidirectional
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Micro USB
Other features: 12 hour battery, color LCD screen, portable
Reasons to buy
+Portable+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Only suitable for small meetings-Lacks features

If the Konftel 300IPx above is too expensive, then the Konftel Ego is a great alternative. It has a built-in rechargeable battery, which makes it an excellent portable conference phone, and its omnidirectional microphone can handle meetings with around four people in a room. 

It's not the most feature-packed conference phone on this list, but it does the job well, and is a decent choice if you're on a budget.

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Yealink CP960 Optima HD IP Conference Phone

(Image credit: Yealink)

The best high-end conference phone

Specifications
Microphones: 3
Mic range: 20 foot, 360 degrees
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro-USB
Other features: Android 5.1 operating system, 5-inch multi-touch screen
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Touchscreen is great addition
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Might be overkill for smaller meetings

If you want the very best conference phone for hosting large-scale meetings with people around the world, then the Yealink CP960 Optima HD IP Conference Phone is easily the best conference phone you can buy right now. Its elegant design allows it to sit in any meeting room without standing out, and the five-inch 1280 x 720 touchscreen lets you quickly set up the call and add participants. 

Audio quality is fantastic, and the mics can pick up everyone in the room – even in larger venues. However, it is very expensive, and smaller businesses might not need all the features that the Yealink CP960 Optima HD IP Conference Phone provides.

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Jabra Speak 710 UC Conference Speakerphone

(Image credit: Jabra)

5. Jabra Speak 710 UC Conference Speakerphone

The best affordable conference phone

Specifications
Microphones: 1
Mic range: Omni directional
Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
Other features: 15 hour battery, Microsoft Skype for Business certified, can be paired with a second unit for stereo sound and increased range
Reasons to buy
+Easy to use+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not standalone-Lacks advanced features

If you're looking for a device that's more affordable than the Yealink CP960 above, then the Jabra Speak 710 UC is our pick for the best affordable conference phone. It can be easily set up in a meeting room, and its omnidirectional microphone does a great job of picking up everyone in the room. 

The built-in speaker provides excellent audio quality, and it can even be used to play music. As you might imagine, it is compatible with other Jabra headsets, though it's not a standalone unit, so it needs to be connected (either via a wire or Bluetooth) to a PC. For the price, though, this is an excellent choice.