It wasn’t that many years ago where video conferencing equipment was priced in the tens, and hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, those days are pretty much behind us because more video conferencing options are available, and with prices more friendly to our budgets.
Not long ago, Plantronics and Polycom merged. What came out of that merger was not only a new name, but a blending of products and technologies. And as most of us know, Polycom is well-known for manufacturing excellent audio and video equipment.
Poly now has a full complement of products that include wired and wireless headsets, speakerphones and video conferencing solutions.
With that in mind, I’ll be discussing the new Poly Studio R30 video bar.
Poly Studio R30 Review
What it is, and what it isn’t
The Poly Studio R30 isn’t a group video conferencing solution like those used in large conference rooms. It wasn’t designed for that size of groups. But what it is, is a great audio/video conferencing solution for those that work independently, or in small conference or huddle rooms with a team.
The Poly Studio R30 is packaged with a monitor mount, but it can also be mounted on a tripod. But if you’d rather mount the R30 on a wall, no worries because there’s an optional wall mount accessory available.
Superior sight and sound
The Poly Studio R30 is packed with audio and video technology designed so that you’re seen and heard, loud and clear.
Starting with the 4k resolution, you won’t be hearing any complaints from your callers anytime soon about you being pixelated, grainy or any other bad image quality. You’ll be seen just the way you want, which is sharp and on point.
The R30 delivers a full 120 degrees field of view. This allows you, and your team to be seen on the call. It even has a 5X zoom that keeps the picture sharp even at the closest setting.
Another standard technology feature on the Poly Studio R30 is the Director Ai. This is like having a personal Director watching over your video and making any needed adjustments. It zooms in when needed, it widens when needed, or it voice-tracks and then frames the speaker, all automatically.
The Studio R30 utilizes a microphone array that not only allows you to be heard loud and clear, but it also helps to eliminate unwanted background noise through Acoustic Fence and NoiseBlock AI.
This means that your callers are going to hear you, and not all the noise going on around you thanks to some great audio technology. And to help make your calls even better, the Poly Studio R30 has echo cancellation, and background noise suppression. The microphone array is designed to pick up your voice up to 12 feet.
When you combine sharp image quality, a wide field of view and a 5X zoom with superior audio, you come away with a winning combination.
Simple to use
We all like things simple, and the Studio R30 is just that. To get it up and running, you simply:
- Plug it into an AC power outlet.
- Plug the USB plug into the USB port on your computer.
You’re now ready to go. So whether you use Microsoft Teams, RingCentral, Zoom or any of the other popular applications, the Studio R30 is compatible and ready to go to work for you. You can use it with either Mac or Windows
computers too, so you’re covered no matter which you might use. Worth noting is your computer must have Windows version 10 or 11, and a Mac must have OS versions 10.15, 11 or 12.
LED Status Indicators
There are a number of LED status indicators that can change, depending on the situation. Below is a quick summary of the different colored LED’s and what they represent.
Solid white: Powered on and ready
Pulsing white: Reboot in progress
Pulsing amber: Firmware update in progress
Alternating Blue and White: Bluetooth discovery in process
Solid Blue: Bluetooth paired
Solid Green: Microphone is in use during a call
Green blinking twice: Muted video
Solid dim green: Speaker is outside of the range for Acoustic Fence with beam shaping
Solid Red: Muted microphone
Red blinking three times: Muted microphone but speaking is detected
The R30 keeps you informed on the status throughout your call. As long as you know what these different LED conditions represent, you’ll always be informed of your status.
The Poly Studio R30 utilizes a USB A plug for connecting to computers. Although many computers are migrating to USB C, there are still a lot of need for USB A connectivity.
You can also get a USB A to USB C adapter for a very low, affordable price if you happen to use USB C. Using an adapter however may affect video quality, so keep that in mind if an adapter is going to be used.
And while on the USB subject, the Poly Studio R30 comes with two USB A ports. So if you want to take your conversations private by plugging in a wired, or wireless headset, you have that option available.
There are a lot of ways you can use these ports like charging a mobile phone for example. So however you might use them, it’s nice that this hub is a standard feature on the Studio R30.
The Studio R30 can also be connected via Bluetooth. So whether you’d like to use it with your mobile phone, tablet, or Blueooth enabled laptop, the R30 is able to be connected.
For those who are tasked with managing the devices for a team of people, or across an entire enterprise, the Poly Lens software may end up being a close personal friend.
The Lens software gives you complete visibility into all of the Poly devices across your user population. You can manage these devices from on central location, or you can manage from several points.
So whether you want to deploy, configure or update your devices, all this can be done while seated in the comfort of your favorite office chair. Site visits and trouble tickets will be reduced, if not eliminated. The question you may have to ask yourself is what will you do with this free time?
For the end user, there’s the Poly Lens App that gives the ability to manage their different Poly devices. So whether you want to adjust the audio characteristics, perform a firmware update, or utilize the personal health and wellness features to enhance your overall well-being, the Poly Lens App is a simple and convenient way to manage, personalize, stretch or jazzercise your way through the day.
Optional remote control
You can get an optional, low energy Bluetooth remote control for use with the Poly Studio R30. If the remote is inactive for 30 seconds, it goes into sleep mode. To wake it up, just press any key or move the device, and it’s available for use.
Here are the things you can control on the R30 when using the remote:
- Volume up, volume down
- Mute, and unmute
- Zoom in, zoom out
- Call answer
- Call end
- Preset 1 and 2 (long press 1, short press 2 to store camera settings) ● Tracking mode enable or disable
- Bluetooth discovery (makes the remote discoverable)
- Home button
If you have a need for a high quality, great sounding, feature rich and affordable video conferencing solution, then the Poly Studio R30 would be worth your time to check out.
The R30 has characteristics that make it an appealing solution for those who work independently, or in a small conference or huddle room with a team. The Studio R30 gives you a lot for the money. For example:
- You get a video solution that sounds great, and reduces unwanted background noise through AI, and Acoustic Fence so you’re heard loud and clear, and not the sounds going on around you.
- You get a 4K camera with a full 120 degrees of visibility that includes features like auto tracking, digital 5x zoom, auto framing and active speaker switching (cut mode) which are things you find on high-end systems.
- You get two built-in USB A ports which give you some added flexibility to use headsets on your calls, charge up your mobile devices and more.
- You have several ways you can mount the R30, so it adapts to your particular preferences.
- You can connect it to your computer through USB, or Bluetooth.
This video system won’t have you looking like a lot of others who are poorly lit, grainy, choppy, laggy or have audio clipping. This is a professional grade video bar that’s guaranteed to have you looking and sounding your best when on calls. We all want to look and sound our best, so why not make the investment into a professional system? It won’t drain your bank account either. And speaking of that, here’s the pricing on the Studio R30:
That’s not a bad price for everything you get. In fact, I’d say it’s a great price. But, if you want a better one, I have good news for you. Keep reading because I have a couple of tips to share with you on how you can get a better price on a new Poly Studio R30.