Definite upgrade on integrated cameras and microphones
Video framing doesn't always kick in as quickly
Pricey. Get it as a company expense/asset
Awesome webcams are no longer just the domain of the live streamer. If working from home has you scrambling for better camera options than the in-built camera of your standard-issue company laptop, the Poly Studio P15 might pique your interest.
Born from Plantronics and Polycom, Poly is a heavyweight in the world of enterprise communications. As work from home arrangements become permanent, Poly aims to bring their technology from your office to home, enabling you to work anywhere.
We take a look at the Poly Studio P15 video bar, designed to deliver exceptional visuals, powerful audio, automatic camera framing, and noise-blocking technology to give you the freedom and flexibility to have quality conversations almost anywhere.
In the box, you receive the Poly Studio P15 USB video bar, a removable monitor clamp, power supply and cord as well as a USB-C cable. Measuring 17 inches wide, the bar sits quite easily on the screen of a 17″ laptop. A 15″ monitor is able to support the video bar as well, but it does look slightly odd then the video bar is wider than the screen.
However, the Poly Studio P15 video bar is tripod ready and doesn’t have to sit on top of your screen.
Set up is extremely intuitive. Insert the USB cable and you’re basically ready. For greater control and tuning, you can download the Poly Lens software. Load up your preferred video conferencing software and you’re done. It is certified by both Microsoft Teams and Zoom but will work with any application.
Upon switching to the Poly Studio P15 video bar, we immediately saw the difference in quality. The video bar’s high-performance 4K image sensor and 90-degree field of vision makes for exceptional capture quality with great detail and colour reproduction.
However, while most streaming apps will downsample to 1080p to preserve bandwidth, you can still retain capture in all its 4K glory if you are recording to your own computer.
The auto video framing feature is also pretty convenient and keeps you automatically centred within the frame if you happen to move away. However, in our experience, the auto framing isn’t as fast, or consistent, as we’d like. It doesn’t always track as quickly.
If you do intend to move away and do not wish to be on screen for any reason, a small rotation on the lens cover will close the integrated privacy shutter.
The audio is very clear and performs especially well for the spoken word. Speech is clearly captured and reproduced and you shouldn’t have much issue unless the incoming audio is of bad quality itself.
Much like the video framing, the multi-microphone array follows your motion to keep your voice coming through clearly as well. The Poly Studio P15 also features NoiseBlockAI and Acoustic Fence technology which helps to cut out unwanted sound quite effectively.
While the speakers perform very well in a conference setting, it doesn’t perform as well when it comes to music and movies. Audio becomes slightly messy and muddled – probably because the Poly Studio P15 video bar is optimized for speech rather than music.
If limited USB ports are a concern, the Poly Studio P15 has USB-A ports built-in and acts as a USB hub for other peripherals you might need.
At close to SGD 1,000, the Poly Studio P15 video bar is a hefty investment. Just for that fact, it is hard to recommend it for casual use, but rather an upgrade that is covered by your organization – especially if you need to put your best face forward at all times.