The microphone for better hybrid meetings
Hiccup and hassle free company meetings for distributed teams
We live in a world with technology for space tourism, but getting the sound right for a hybrid meeting will have you pulling your hair out. Convoluted setups, the shudder-inducing “could you repeat that?”, and audio system price tags that make your head spin – hearing each other shouldn't be so complicated, nor expensive.
This article covers a topic that's on all our minds—what's wrong with hybrid meeting microphone systems—and offers a refreshing solution to your audio problems.
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Hybrid meetings can be a hassle
They always start off with an avalanche of “can you hear me” and then are punctuated by the occasional “your microphone is off” and “I didn't get that”. And the problem is on both ends. The person at home might forget to unmute their microphone, whereas the one physically in the office might have their microphone too far away to have their voice properly picked up.
So what you get is a lot of repetition, which gets annoying and disruptive.
Technology can be tricky
Conference microphones will pick up random sounds, multi-microphone systems are a headache to set up, and top-end solutions easily surpass the $10,000 mark and might still not work. A lot of corporate meeting rooms have become a storage space for microphone systems that just didn't manage to get the job done.
Why do most microphone systems fail in company hybrid meetings?
People generally look for a one-microphone solution, reasoning that it will be easier to set up and use. However, having only one microphone means it better be a really good one. But even top-shelf solutions might not be good enough for hybrid meetings.
When using a single microphone, it needs a great pick-up range, so everyone can be heard. Also, it has to be able to differentiate between speakers and sounds, but most can't. This means that solutions with great range will end up picking up disruptive sounds such as people shuffling papers, moving about, and other ambient noises common to every meeting room.
The alternative of using several microphones with less range typically entails a complicated setup. Especially, if you're looking for wireless solutions. And nobody wants to spend every meeting dealing with technical challenges.
So, as hybrid work models become more popular and hybrid meetings grow increasingly common, are we all doomed to terrible audio?
No. There's a solution.
Getting the right hybrid meeting wireless microphone system
How do you make sure your remote colleagues hear everything you say, without having to have the entire on-site group have to sit like statues for fear of ruining sound quality? All while having a single microphone that's easy to set up and doesn't cost an arm and a leg?
Hybrid meetings the way they were always meant to be
We have created a throwable wireless microphone that has already become the system of choice for corporate hybrid meetings, hybrid classrooms, and hybrid events worldwide.
Catchbox makes audio easy without compromising on sound quality thus allowing hybrid meetings to take place with zero hiccups. The foam-encased Catchbox is passed around from speaker to speaker picking up the sounds that matter while giving everyone else the freedom to exist without worrying that scratching your chin might disrupt whatever the speaker is saying.
With Catchbox you get a high-quality audio solution with such features as:
-Plug & play USB connectivity
-Built-in license-free transmitter
-A customizable cover
And here's what your team will appreciate:
-Crystal clear audio
-More engaging meetings
-No more technical audio disruptions due to the hybrid office microphone
-A tool that anyone can set up and use
-Freedom of movement without having to worry about impacting sound quality
For larger events, such as all-hands meetings, the Catchbox Plus is an ideal solution, as it comes with an additional hands-free presenter microphone.
You can also add an audience camera so that the virtual attendees can see their on-site colleagues.
These extra elements can help the entire team feel more united, which is one of the goals of all-hands meetings. However, they increase the complexity of the setup, they're costly, and they make technical issues more likely.
If all-hands meetings are a regular and important occurrence in your company, then it certainly makes sense to invest in such extras. But for most of us, a simple camera + projector setup will do the job.
A mobile microphone in more ways than one
The Catchbox was designed to be thrown. Or rather, to be caught.
Some companies like to throw a ball around during daily stand-ups to keep the energy flowing and get people engaged. For instance, the Jira team at Atlassian likes to do this to keep everyone on their toes. Now, it's possible to engage in this popular activity even during hybrid meetings with the Catchbox itself as the ball.
Don't worry about any whooshing sounds as you throw the Catchbox - it automutes whenever it's thrown, caught, or dropped.
More than that, since the entire setup of the Catchbox is “plug it in and turn it on”, it makes it easily transportable between meeting rooms and offices. There's no need to create permanent installations in your meeting rooms just to have working sound, nor does every single room need to be equipped with an expensive system.
You're not the only one struggling with audio
Again and again, we encounter people that need a simple solution without the downsides common to hybrid meeting room microphones mentioned earlier. And we're always happy to hear when the search for a working sound system stops with us, as it did for Mark Murrell of Mobile Modular:
I found Catchbox through my search online for solutions to our audio difficulties. We have a daily meeting with several in attendance in person and several on Webex. The attendees on Webex could not always hear the discussions in the room and as a result, could not be as engaged as we’d like. Catchbox has completely solved the problem for us! Now the Webex attendees can hear very well and don’t miss any of the conversations. It’s also fun and engaging for the physical attendees to “pass” the box around the room.
We’re only set up on one device, a laptop that’s connected to a Webex meeting. The connection was flawless. The computer recognized the Catchbox right away and it was set as the default recording device. We just turn it on when ready to use it and it’s good to go. So far we’ve had absolutely no problems with it.
To be completely honest, we were a little concerned with the cost of the device but figured if it would be the best bang for the buck if it solved our problem. We’d already spent a significant amount of money on other devices which didn’t work for our situation. As it turns out Catchbox works as advertised and we couldn’t be more pleased. It’s well worth the investment since we no longer have the audio problem and can now focus on our meetings better.
We're here to help you stop getting lost in all the noise. If you have any questions, we'd be happy to hear from you and help with getting your team meetings back on track. Just click that green chat bubble to your right and say hi!
Catchbox for hybrid collaboration
“If your company does something like all-hands or town hall meetings, I would recommend going for the Catchbox Plus with the Presenter Mic. We keep the presenter mic at the front of the room and pass the Catchbox between the audience.”
Quick, effective voice transition is a simple thing but it makes such a difference. We always try to keep online participants in mind and with Catchbox, there’s no delays or wait times and the audio quality is always excellent. As a result, our remote guys always feel fully involved in the meetings.
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Get in touch
Create better collaboration spaces and improve your hybrid meetings with Catchbox. If you would like to learn more about how Catchbox could help your organization adapt to the new normal, speak to our sales team today.