CA Essential Speakerphone
Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone Review
Many of the Cyber Acoustics Essential products offer low prices but good quality entries in their categories. Unfortunately, the engineering detail is not universal. Such is the case with the small, attractive $69.99 Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone. It has all of the right attributes and features, and it looks good on a desk, but unfortunately, its microphone and audio system do not live up to the promise of its marketing materials.
What we like
- Attractive, small and portable
- Good battery life
- Limited but clear controls
At 3.94 x 3.94 x 1.18 inches, the 6.3-ounce Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone is a good size for desktops or backpacks. The clear controls for calling, volume and mute make the speakerphone easy to use. The speakerphone relies on apps for music control. Four LEDs across the top of the Essential Speakerphone indicate the battery state. Front controls include power and Bluetooth®.
It is never a good sign when speaker quality isn’t listed in a review’s pros section. While I like the small feet that raise the speaker above the desk, the gap doesn’t enhance the audio quality, which is adequate for calls, but thin and tinny for listening to music. I wish the audio electronics met the promise of the design.
The single USB-C port not only charges the Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone, but it also acts as a wired connection to computers and tablets. Battery life runs an impressive 12 hours in wireless mode at two-thirds volume.
The Bluetooth® 5.0 keeps the Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone in range for up to 66 feet.
The generic white cardboard box with product information is a good sustainable choice. It would be nice to see some indication of additional recycled material used in manufacturing.
CA offers a one-year, hassle-free warranty.
What could be improved
- Poor microphone
The Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone really only needs one thing to make it better: an improved microphone system with better noise reduction. The report from those receiving calls is that the caller sounds like they are “in an echo chamber.” I tested it in several calls, and each call recipient reported poor audio on the receiving end. Switching to the Jabra Speak 510 speakerphone quickly cleared up the issue.
Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone: The bottom line
While the Cyber Acoustics Essential Speakerphone will get the job done, it will not be the best listening experience, especially for those receiving your call. I would recommend the recently reviewed and less expensive Tribit StormBox Micro 2 speaker, which is about the same size (and can be paired with another StormBox Micro 2 for stereo), as an alternative. For those with a bigger budget, the Jabra Speak 510 offers superior sound and features, albeit at about $90 more. Poly’s Synch 20 is also a viable option at about $70 more, but it also doubles as a power bank.
CA provided the CA Essential Speakerphone for review. Images courtesy of CA unless otherwise noted.
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