As organizations began transitioning from remote work to hybrid work, they quickly realized that in-room conferencing systems needed to be easier to use, hybrid-friendly and packed with AI-enabled technologies to make meetings more seamless and accommodate distributed meeting participants.
These requirements have given the all-in-one conferencing bar more importance in enterprise meeting rooms, which need bring functionality, ease of use and intelligent features that support hybrid meeting scenarios. These devices typically include a camera, microphone and speaker that offer intelligent framing, speaker tracking, noise suppression and a host of other AI features.
That is exactly where Biamp wants to play with the Parlé VBC 2500 Conferencing Video Bar, a new all-in-one camera, microphone and speaker bar designed to take the complexity out of setup, management and use.
The company says this device goes beyond others in its category by offering a premium AV experience for small and medium conference rooms. Based on our testing, we have no reason to say otherwise.
The Biamp Parlé VBC 2500 Conferencing Video Bar is bigger than some others in its category, but since it is designed for medium-to-large rooms, the form factor shouldn’t be an issue.
The device comes with three mounting options: table, wall and display, so it can be tucked away on a wall or simply installed on top of a conferencing display.
Along with a power cord, the bar can be plugged directly into a UC system with a single USB-C connection, but it can also be paired with a Devio SCR-10 for a bring-your-own device system, the company says. For our purposes, we plugged it directly into a laptop running Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
The device comes with the company’s Launch feature, which automatically analyzes the acoustic performance of the room and optimizes the audio. After one press of a button, the process only takes a few seconds to complete.
Just pressing the Launch button will give users a sense of the powerful audio capabilities of the Biamp Parlé VBC 2500. The bar’s speakers can handle anything thrown at it, from loud music to speech.
Two smart speakers use distortion compensation and dynamic bass enhancement technology to create room-filling audio with superior speech reproduction, the company claims.
Like others in its category, the bar uses AI and noise reduction algorithms to eliminate unwanted noise and focus solely on voices. In my office, my dogs’ nails on the wood floors and moving my chair around the room was not picked up at all. Only when I spoke did the bar pick up any audio.
The company says this is done with integrated Acoustic Echo Cancellation and AI Noise Reduction features, as well as a 27-element microphone array and Biamp Beamtracking technology to actively track and intelligently mix conversations from around the room.
Speaking of AI-enabled features, the wide-angle 4K camera is specifically designed for conference room environments, using auto-framing technology to identify meeting participants and to adjust the focus and zoom to keep them in view.
The bar was simply placed at the far end of my desk, and it adjusted and framed me as I rolled around the room in my chair and walked around. Most of these all-in-one conferencing bars do this, but I found the Biamp Parlé VBC 2500 Conferencing Bar to be a bit quicker at reframing speakers and participants.
While nice to have in a home office, this feature is designed for conference rooms, helping to reframe participants as they enter or leave the room, or as they move around the room.
The camera also comes with an automatic privacy shutter, so organizations can be rest assured that video won’t be captured when the bar isn’t in use.
In an era when organizations are calling for all-in-one devices that are designed simple to deploy, easy to use and packed with features to support their hybrid meetings, the Biamp Parle VBC 2500 Conferencing Bar fits the bill. In fact, Biamp even goes a bit further than its competitors with the Launch feature and the powerful audio capabilities.
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