Poly’s at it again. They’ve been rolling out a slew of new products such as wireless headsets, conference phones and now some new video conferencing gear.
Why all the new products you might ask, and why now? That’s easy to answer. Covid comes to mind. The pandemic of 2020 almost single handedly forced manufacturers into expediting the rollouts of many new products that were needed and in demand.
Though throttled back a bit, that demand is still strong today, and the manufacturers in the audio/video space are rising to the challenge by introducing many new products.
In this blog I’m going to review one of these new products in the Poly Studio P15 video bar. I’ll discuss several of the key features of this new device, and even do some live testing of the microphone, speaker and video.
However, in order for you to see and hear for yourself, you’ll need to watch my Youtube video review of the Studio P15. You can check it out here.
If you’re still reading, then let’s look at this Poly video bar and see what it’s all about.
To begin, I think it would be helpful to know where this audio/video device is designed to be used.
The Poly Studio P15 can be used as an audio/video solution for an individual working from home. This would represent a distinct upgrade to your built-in laptop camera or webcam. It can also be used in an office or huddle room. It’s suitable for small groups ranging from 1-5 attendees.
What comes in the box?
- 1- Poly Studio P15 USB video bar
- 1- Removable monitor clamp
- 1- Power supply
- 1- Power cord
- 1- USB C Cable (note: if USB A is needed, you need to purchase a USB C to USB A adapter separately).
- Set up sheet
As you can see, there’s not a lot of parts and pieces. A sort of minimalistic type product.
Though the Poly Studio P15 is a camera and audio device in one, it isn’t a stripped down product that lacks in features.
Here are a few of the things you’ll find on the P15:
- 4K HD camera
- Built-in auto pan feature
- TV mount & tri pod ready
- Camera privacy shutter
- Built-in speakerphone with echo cancellation and noise suppression - 2 extra pass through USB ports for your accessories or phone charging - 3 element beamforming microphone array for great audio quality - Simple, two cable connection; AC power and USB - that’s it.
- Poly NoiseBlock AI and Acoustic Fence technology
- Cloud and local device management through the Poly Lens service and app - Zoom and Microsoft Teams certified
- Integrated LED for on-call and mute status
As you can see, there’s a lot technology packed into the Studio P15 which is designed to make you not only look great, but sound great too. And, isn’t that the point of having a good quality webcam setup? To me, the Poly Studio P15 checks a lot of those boxes.
I tested the camera by itself, but I also tested it against another camera that’s popular in the Logitech C920. In order to see how these two cameras compared, make sure to check out my video so you can judge for yourself.
To me though, the Studio P15 came out the clear winner. The colors on the P15 were more true than the Logitech C920. We use a purple colored background in our video studio, and the P15 showed that background as purple. The Logitech C920 though showed it as gray.
I also felt that the P15 gave a sharper image over the Logitech. The point in comparing it to the C920 was to see if Poly’s camera was comparable in quality to a model that a lot of people buy, and like.
Honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of how it might compare, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was not only every bit as good as the Logitech, but better in every way.
The Logitech C920 doesn’t have voice tracking with automatic pan where the Studio P15 does. As you move out of the field of view, the camera will automatically pan to keep you in the frame. There is a slight delay in this, but it’s not bad, and it seems to work well.The tracking speed can be adjusted in the Lens software.
Working hand in hand with this auto pan feature is the voice tracking microphones. So, you have a camera that follows you, and microphones too. Not bad for an all in one solution, and far better than what you get from other, more traditional webcam options.
One thing I did notice was the video image on the Studo P15 wasn’t as sharp the further you were from it. At around 15 feet it was noticeable that the image wasn’t nearly as sharp as when closer to the P15.
Although, keeping in mind that this is designed for personal use, and maybe up to 3-5 total video participants, in most cases, you’d be seated at a table and well within 10 feet of the Studio P15. With that in mind, I doubt this would be a problem for anyone.
Polycom and Plantronics both have a long history of making high quality audio devices. Polycom with their SoundStation conference phones, and Plantronics with their leading wired and wireless headsets. So, it comes as no surprise to me that the quality of the integrated speakerphone in the Studio P15 is of high quality.
Like the image tracking camera, the speakerphone also tracks the speaker’s voice and automatically aims the microphones in that direction. This is designed to make sure the person speaking can always be heard, loud and clear. In my tests, the microphones seemed to pick up my voice very well even when moving. Based on my results, I’d have to agree that this voice tracking feature works well.
In terms of fidelity and volume, the Studio P15 performed well too. Voices were picked up loud and clear, and the overall available volume was very adequate. If music was coming across the speaker, I’d have to say that the audio quality was just ok. It won’t give you a high quality musical experience, but then again, the P15 isn’t designed for musical applications. This isn’t to say that the P15 won’t play music, but it is to say that it’s average when doing so.
The Poly Studio P15 can be enhanced and adjusted through the use of the Poly Lens software app. There are many things you can adjust and control through this software. For example:
- Settings - Poly NoiseBlock AI background supression, Acoustic Fence noise cancellation, Ringtones, Volumes etc.
- Controls - Camera Auto Pan, Tracking, Zoom, Frame size, Tracking speed and more
- Support - In this section you’ll find several support related documents.
Price and warranty
The Studio P15 sells for $599.00, and comes with a 2-year warranty that can be extended to three years for around $300.00
To put together a system similar to the Studio P15, you’d need to buy a webcam and speakerphone. When you do, you’d likely end up with a system that costs around the same, but gives you less in terms of capabilities, features and quality. This leads me to conclude that the Studio P15 is priced right for what you get.
Would I recommend the Studio P15?
Yes. I say this because it represents a good value for all you get in the selling price.
- You get quality components; camera and integrated speakerphone 2. You get a good warranty backed by a reputable company
- You get 2 spare USB pass through ports for peripherals, or phone charging 4. You get a camera that tracks you automatically
- You get a set of 3 microphones that track the speaker
- You get a simple, clutter free connection with one power cord and one USB. 7. You have the Poly Lens software available for added customization 8. You get an HD camera that delivers superior quality images and color 9. You get a great sounding speakerphone for inbound and outbound audio 10.You get a device that’s Zoom and Microsoft Teams certified
I believe the Poly Studio P15 represents a very good value for the money, and one that’s hard to beat in this price range all things considered.