What are the 5 essential tools for home office video conferencing? You’re about to find out!
That’s right! You only need a handful of tech assets to put together a perfectly working video conference system at your home. And chances are you already have at least one of the 5 tools!
If you work remotely in your own home office or if you participate in many video conferences at home, the 5 devices ahead are all you need to boost the quality of your virtual meetings.
Let’s see the basics of home office video conference equipment.
First you need a computer (laptop or desktop)
This tool can seem obvious, but a computer is the key to set up your home office video conference system. In case you already have a laptop or a desktop computer, you’re good to go.
You can also consider getting a new computer specifically for your video conferences. That’s because it can be better to have a desktop computer with a fairly large monitor to improve your virtual meetings.
Desktop computers have the advantage of offering larger monitors, and you can even get a new monitor for a desktop computer without changing any other of its hardware pieces.
In case you prefer using your smartphone for video calls, you will see at the end of this post how to benefit from the tools ahead and keep using your phone while video conferencing.
So, it’s up to you to decide what’s better!
Then, get a good webcam
A webcam is an essential tool for home office video conferencing. Desktop computers don’t have built-in webcams, but in case you have a laptop, chances are it already has a built-in webcam. However, built-in cams usually don’t have as much image quality as external webcams.
That’s because external webcams have better lenses and other tech specs that make them a lot better in terms of image resolution and definition. External webcams have HD resolution (“HD” means High Definition). There are even Ultra HD 4K external webcams, those are like a cinema camera!
Also, many external webcams have tripods, which allows you to connect them to the computer and place them wherever you want to make your video calls. Cool, right?!
So you should really consider getting an external webcam as part of your video conference equipment!
You also need a microphone
Similarly to webcams, if you have a laptop it probably has its own built-in microphone. But again you should consider getting an external microphone because it grants a much better audio quality for your video conferences.
Some external webcams have built-in microphones too. Depending on the webcam quality, its built-in microphone can be pretty good and replace your need of an external microphone. But it can also be that the external webcam built-in microphone has low quality, and that might be bad for your home video conferences experience.
Also, there are external microphones with tripods and even with articulating “arms”, which are a device that holds the microphone and keeps it very close to your mouth to increase audio quality even more.
So, having an external microphone can boost your video conferences a lot.
Finally, put speakers on the computer
To complete your must-have-no-matter-what video conference gear, you need speakers to connect to the computer.
Having speakers will improve your video calls experience because they will allow you to hear the conference audio with much more clarity than simply using the computer’s built-in speakers (in case you have a laptop), and desktop computers may not have speakers.
So consider getting speakers as part of your home office video conference setup. It will power up your listening experience a lot.
One headset can replace the microphone and the speakers
You already know what are the essential tools for your home office video conference system. But there’s one single tool that can replace 2 of the 4 tools we’ve seen so far: a headset.
If you prefer headphones to speakers, having a headset (a headphone with built-in microphone) can replace your need for speakers and an external microphone.
There are headsets of very high quality with equally high quality built-in microphones.
It’s up to you to decide what’s best.
If you don’t know what specifications a headphone for video conferences must have, see our post 14 Headphone Specs Explained.
There you’ll see what to look for when choosing a headphone for video calls.
LED Lights improve your video calls even more
The last tool you can use as basic equipment for home office video conferences is a LED Light. They’re a simple LED Light set that usually have a tripod to be hold and put in front of your video conference “scene” (a.k.a. the place you stay and your webcam records while video conferencing).
Led Light sets come in ring shape as well as square shape. They boost the video image a lot and are awesome for video calls made during the evening or with low sunlight like in rainy days.
So you should really consider getting a set of LED Lights to be the cherry on top of your video conference tools.
But can’t I simply use my smartphone?
Maybe you’ve been wondering if you couldn’t simply use your smartphone as the “whole package” for video conferences. After all, they do have everything: they’re a computer itself, they have a webcam (the front camera), a built-in microphone, built-in speakers and even a built-in light system (the front LED flash).
Well, that is a possibility. You can use your smartphone as your video conference all-in-one gear.
You just need to make sure you’re comfortable with the quality of your smartphone assets for video calls. If it’s all cool for you, then you’re good to go!
Also, you can benefit form tool or another among the tools we’ve seen above and still use your smartphone as the main tool: you can get a set of LED Lights and use with your smartphone or even a headset to connect to your phone during video calls and replace its built-in speakers and built-in microphone (although you may need a cable adapter to use the headset’s mic and speakers at once with the phone).
In case of major doubts, you can test one tool or another with your smartphone.
Then you see if you want to you get the full computer centered package to see what you get!
You decide what’s best!
Now you can name all the essential tools for making video calls from your home office.
You also know how to put together a computer centered video conference system and how to use your smartphone as the main video call gear with the help of some tools.
So, test what’s best for you and decide how you prefer for making video conferences!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!