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Most phones have speaker options that let multiple people participate in calls. A conference phone adds high-quality speakers and microphones that reduce room noise and echoes, ensuring clear communication. These devices also provide standard phone features such as three-way calling, multiline support and call hold. Staples carries a variety of phones for conference and meeting rooms, including brands such as VTech, ClearOne and Konftel.

Choose a Conference Phone With Audio Options
When selecting a phone for a conference area, look for a system with full-duplex audio processing, which eliminates dropouts when both parties speak. Almost all conference phones have microphones and speakers optimized for voice communications, but some have gain and level controls that adjust speaker and microphone volume levels automatically to ensure accurate and clear sound reproduction.

A single phone provides excellent coverage in smaller conference rooms, but a larger space may need a more comprehensive system. Expandable phones let users connect multiple base stations together or add individual speakers and microphones where needed, ensuring everyone in the room can hear and be heard.

Flexible Conference Phone Communications
Many modern conference room phones work with more than the company's phone system. Devices with USB ports or Bluetooth compatibility connect to a computer or tablet and support IP-based voice communications products such as Skype for Business or Cisco Jabber. Systems with SIM card slots connect directly to cell phone provider networks, offering conference call capabilities almost anywhere. Wireless conference phone systems eliminate cables and simplify speaker or microphone installation. Network-compatible phones have administrative features that let IT staff manage device data and bandwidth usage.

What's the Ideal Placement for a Conference Phone?
A phone's location has a significant impact on audio quality. Volume levels drop as sound travels through the air, so place the base station in a central location. Use additional speakers and microphones to provide even coverage in larger rooms, and consider giving presenters a wireless headset so they can speak in a normal tone and hear questions or comments clearly.

Should you Choose a Wired or Wireless Conference Phone?
Many of these devices feature wireless connectivity, but there are some trade-offs involved when using this technology. A wireless conference phone is simple to set up, but devices such as cell phones, laptops with Wi-Fi connections or other office electronics may cause audible interference. Wired phones use cables that may restrict base station, speaker or microphone placement, but they do eliminate electronic interference.

How to Improve Conference Phone Sound Quality?
The right phone provides clear audio communications, but the room's characteristics also affect sound quality. You may not notice ambient audio sources such as air conditioners or laptop fans, but phone microphones pick up these sounds. Rooms with hard surfaces reflect noise and create echoes. Consider installing drapes or sound-deadening fabric panels to eliminate these distractions.

Can Conference Phones Record Calls?
Keeping minutes of meetings is a time-consuming and error-prone task. Some phones offer recording features that let users capture the entire call. Most of these devices have an SD card slot, making it easy to transfer recorded meetings to a personal computer or laptop for later review.
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