Video meeting gear

I’ve been using Airpods Pro for remote meetings for years now, but it’s not great - I’d like them to remain connected to my phone instead of having to automanually connect it to whichever device I’m using at the time, and even when my phone leaves them alone they sometimes disconnect anyway because I move my head.

So, I’m considering upgrading my gear, but I’m not that excited about audio quality, and prefer convenience over having to make space for pre-amps and whatever the Marco Arments of the world have.

I have three ideas, ranging from easiest to… well, almost an engineering project. Please weigh in on your thoughts.

  1. Get a second set of Airpods, preferably a different model so I don’t get confused. Only connect it to the computer, and don’t allow any other devices to autoconnect to it. Not thrilled about this since it only half-way solves my problem
  2. Get an iPad Mini (Because of Center Stage) and mount it permanently above my screen. Don’t use any headset or anything, and just trust that the audio is good enough. Not sure this will be good enough long term, but it would give me a better camera as well.
  3. Get one of those “home conferencing” or “podcasting” kits with a USB mike, one of those stands that will be in the way whenever I am out of a meeting, and cables that my dog can chew…

If 2 is good enough, I am definitely going for that from a pure “solves problem by throwing money at it” standpoint.

I love my AirPods Pro but when I’m on important calls I used a wired headset. Etymotic is a good brand, and I’ve read that Earhero is a favorite of law enforcement. But even a set of EarPods won’t drop a call.

I’m old school and spent many hours flying next to an open door. In those days I relied on Plantronics gear. I still believe when it comes to reliable communications there is no substitute for wired.

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Oh, I can’t use those. Long story short; I’ve tried several brands, and they never work with all the meeting apps I have to use.

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Wow, I’ve never hear of any software that couldn’t be used with wired headsets. Doesn’t that rule out “kits with a USB mike”? No matter, it was just a suggestion.

Yeah, this is actually the main reason I’ve been using the airpods so long. It’s a weird issue. For example, my Antlion ModMic doesn’t work in Zoom, but is fine in Teams. My Jabra 65 is fine in Meet, but there is no sound in or out in Slack. The microphone in the macbook pro works in everything, but… you know… sucks. The Airpods are the least bad option.
Plus if the iPad works well enough I can just start the meetings and jump right in without changing anything on the computer.
Some of my colleagues have similar issues, especially with Meet and Teams.

If this is your only concern, you can disable this feature and you need to manually connect them to the different devices.

As I said, I have to use them in every meeting, so I have to connect them to the computer for that.
It’s possible I should have been more discursive, but I’m on the couch with a cold typing on my phone. Oh, and bored. Obviously. I’m windowshopping gear for remote meetings – I’ve possibly never been more bored :partying_face:

Two recommendations then:

  1. HomePod mini connected the computer
  2. AirPods (any model should work, I like the Max though)

On behalf of anyone who attends meetings with you: Please don’t join using speakers and a built-in mic.

The audio quality [for your voice] is generally distractingly poor and everyone else will be prone to hearing echos of themselves.


Good point. Too bad many of the “experts” that appear on CNN, etc. don’t follow MPU.


Using a podcast mike will mean using headsets to block feedback from the audio. This is not always the most comfortable option, and it is not the neatest looking during a video conference.

I prefer wired or bluetooth over-one-ear mics when I am on conference calls. Your comment that you have had problems with wired headsets may simply mean that you have yet to invest in one that is designed properly to register as an input/output audio device across all apps. Or perhaps you are going through a dongle (e.g. mic to USB) that garbles the protocols. I have been using BlueParrot wireless and an older Cyber Acoustic wired headset with no problems across Zoom to Meet to WebEx.

The greater improvement you can make to video on single-person connections is not upping the camera resolution, it is limiting the frame to a narrower field of view. I use an app called iGlasses to do this nicely with the 720p camera on my 2019 MBP.


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Another option would be something like the AfterShokz OpenComm. It’s super lightweight, you can still engage with people around you without removing it. I wear it all day w/o even noticing.


I just upgraded to the Logitech Brio 4k webcam and it includes a decent microphone (USB C connection). For audio I use comfortable over-ear cans. No issues across Teams, Zoom or WebEx.

So many different ideas.
I guess I have to find out if the iPad with Center Stage works well enough before I decide…

If you are looking for a meeting specific gear the. I’d recommend Poly P15 or Poly P21.

P15 has better microphone/camera.
Mine P15 is dedicated for Teams calls and P21 for Zoom. I do own Logitech Brio but P15 much much better product.

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Interesting! A bit expensive, and I hope you can use one for all services, cause otherwise I’d need five… but it’s a tailormade solution…
Will research!

I ordered one. Worth it if it works, returnable if not.

It sounds like the issues you’re experiencing are down to the per-app settings for audio not matching your system preferences. I manually set Slack, Teams and Zoom to follow my system preferences, and since then have had no issues with a fairly wide range of audio gear.

Jabra make excellent headsets for meetings, as do Sennheiser. I’d recommend those before splashing out on anything else.

I tried all that. I also used windows. And I have a Jabra headset i can only use with Zoom.

I own a Jabra 75, which is a similar headset, and it works with Zoom and Teams on my Mac, iPad or Surface Pro. Either there is a fault with the headset (in which case you should contact Jabra) or it’s likely to be a configuration issue.