Poly Sync 20 Sounding Good!
For Remarkable audio anywhere
A review by Michael J. Levesque
CEO, Resolve Collaboration Services.
Recently a new Poly Sync 20 showed up on my desk. I am not one to ask too many questions when it comes to free gifts. I had not been in any rush to unpack it as I was happily using my Calisto 7200 daily to listen to music and participate in video calls. After unpacking and giving the Poly Sync 20 a try, I can assure you the Calisto is now in a drawer.
The Sync 20 is Poly’s next generation leap into the personal collaboration device market a “USB/Bluetooth® smart speakerphone—for remarkable audio anywhere.” There are certainly a lot of competitors in this space, but Poly really delivers on the audio quality and packs in a bunch of neat features that might not be too apparent at first glance. Below is my summary of the top 3 things I like about the Sync 20 and two things that just a little bit annoying. (Update now it is just one! Poly released v1.01 of the Poly Lens app that fixed one of the things I didn’t like)
Top 3 Things I like about the Sync 20
LOOK AND FEEL
The Poly Sync 20 is an attractive unit
It follows Poly’s new design aesthetic of curved lines and soft fabric front. The fabric front is a nice option for hiding the inevitable build up of dust and fingerprints. The unit itself is not overly heavy (360g / 12.7 oz) for the audio quality it delivers and would easily be caried in a purse or backpack without noticing the extra weight.
POLY LENS DESKTOP APPLICATION
Out of the box
The Sync 20 looks like a simple personal speaker device. However, once you install the Poly Lens Desktop application a wide range of customizations are revealed. The Poly Lens Desktop Application allows you to configure everything from the language of the unit to the actions associated with “Rocket” button.
For me I configured the Rocket button to play or pause my music which works perfect with Spotify. Previously on the Calisto 7200 when someone came into my office, I would be fumbling around on my PC trying to mute my speaker or pause my music. The addition of this button on the Sync 20 makes pausing the music quick and easy and just as easy to restart my music.
SOUND AND QUALITY
Sync20 delivers the best audio quality
Of all the personal speaker devices I have or have tested the Poly Sync20 delivers the best audio quality of any of them. I was immediately blown away by the full range sound quality it delivers. It is most apparent when playing music but certainly noticeable on video and audio calls as well. My remote meeting participants immediately noticed the difference in the microphone quality as well. My office is about 120 sqf and this device could easily act as the speakerphone for a small meeting room of a similar size.
When travel becomes possible again, I can see this being an invaluable addition to my packing list for conference calls on the go.
CELL PHONE CHARGING PORT
The Poly Sync 20 has a built-in battery for up to 20 hours of use, but you can take advantage of that battery as a portable battery charging pack. You can plug in your cell phone charger via the USB A port neatly tucked away on the end of the Sync 20.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
No Battery Indicator
No physical indicator
When I first started writing this review the first thing I noticed was that for a device intended to be used as a portable, wireless device there was no battery indicator. There is no physical indicator on the Sync 20 and no where in the Poly Lens Desktop Application does it show the battery level. The only way to get your battery level was via an audio announcement when you power the unit on. However, in the middle of typing this article the Poly Lens Desktop Application advised me an update was available, and after the update boom! there is now a battery indicator on the home page of the Poly Lens Desktop Application. A great addition, maybe next Poly can use the Rocket button as a battery indicator changing the LED colour depending on the level of your battery?
The biggest annoyance for me is the cable length of the Poly Sync 20. It is short, especially when compared to the Calisto 7200. The Poly Sync 20 cable is 24” / 60cm. The Calisto cable length was 10’ / 3m. Additionally the cable is hardwired into the Sync20 base eliminating the possibility to swap it out for a longer cable.
Overall, there is very little to not like about the Sync 20 and I can see using this for everything from a personal music speaker to a conference phone on the go. As this is the entry level unit on the Sync series, I am curious to see how the Sync 40 compares for larger room environments.