This story about a new product I’m testing might make you chuckle.
When I received the Anker Powerconf for testing, my first thought as a proud (or not so proud) member of the Millennial generation was: “What am I going to do with a speakerphone”?
Then social distancing became a thing and it turned into my primary link to the outside world.
I’m part of the crowd who believes in caution, not panic. With that firmly held belief, I determined fear would not control my life.
I looked the coronavirus square into the eyes and bravely stayed home.
With all the doors locked.
Hiding under a blanket.
Now, since no person is an island, I decided to bring the powerful, portable Powerconf with me to keep in touch with friends and loved ones.
So how did it do?
This speakerphone sounds super clear. It’s designed with six microphones, offers echo-cancellation, alleviates background noise and offers additional functionality as a portable charger.
One cool feature is that it automatically moderates my voice to keep the volume even, depending on how close or far away I am.
Basically, you can always use your “inside voice” rather than yelling into the phone (something which my wife often accuses me of doing — and rightly so). There weren’t any of the typical vocal lags that can occur on speakerphones.
As far as device connectivity goes, Anker gives you two options. You can connect wirelessly via Bluetooth or plug-in with the provided USB-C cable.
Plugging the Powerconf in will unfortunately sacrifice the portable charging capabilities (no daisy-chaining your computer, etc.), but that was more of an idiosyncrasy than an actual annoyance. Also, when directly plugged in, you can’t use Bluetooth.
One thing I did notice is that while I could plug directly into my Chromebook and it worked fine, the same could not be said for my wife’s MacBook. Instead, we could only use Bluetooth. For me this wasn’t a deal-breaker but it seems like an obvious flaw since Apple dominates in the work-from-home market (including Web designers, graphic designers, and writers).
The Powerconf comes with a convenient travel case, which only has one flaw — it’s molded so perfectly to the shape of the device you can barely attach the USB cable.
You can also forget using a wall adapter since it’s too big, so you’ll have to settle for plugging the device into your computer for charging. I would appreciate a balance between a big bulky case and one that has room for an extra cord or two.
Initially, the Anker Powerconf didn’t seem like such a big deal, but it has become a lifeline.
Holding your phone or wearing headsets for hours on end causes fatigue. For those currently working from home, staying in touch with family or participating in virtual meetings, this is an accessible, highly versatile little speakerphone that has something for everyone.