Those headache-educing, tinny Zoom and Teams meetings could become a thing of the past, thanks to a new dialogue-boosting Bluetooth speaker from ZVOX.
The Massachusetts-based audio company originally started life as a home theater speaker company, but has more recently specialised in hearing aid tech, and it’s applying that expertise to its latest AV70 Bluetooth AccuVoice Speaker.
Aimed at enhancing speech on conference and video calls as well as dialogue from movies, shows and games, the speaker makes use of ZVOX’s proprietary AccuVoice dialogue clarifying technology to make voices sound crisp and easier to understand, even at low volumes.
According to ZVOX, the speaker is able to boost audio frequencies in the range of speech, while at the same suppressing background noise, making dialogue far easier to make out, even in noisier environments.
The portable speaker measures 4-inches wide by 2.2-inches high and features a sensitive hands-free microphone.
There’s also a built-in battery, which allows the device to run for 24 hours on a single charge, plus topside buttons to permit activation/deactivation of the AccuVoice feature, alongside volume, pause/restart video and phone answer and hang-up controls.
The ZVOX AV70 is on sale now from ZVOX.com (opens in new tab), priced at $99.99 (which is around £81 or AU$147).
Analysis: this inexpensive smart speaker might offer welcome relief from conference call hell
Thanks to the pandemic, most of us will have had to endure hours of lengthy conference meetings through underpowered and often tinny laptop speakers.
Figuring out what friends, family members and colleagues are saying can often be a challenge when there’s lots of ambient noise around too, making a dedicated speaker for this purpose a potential game changer, particularly for those hard of hearing. Will it become one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market? It certainly presents a compelling proposition.
What we’re really hoping for with the AV70, however, is that the AccuVoice tech can counteract the ice-pick tinniness of video calls. That’s usually thanks to the extreme audio compression (the likes of which Zoom and Microsoft Teams both use), which so often leads to ear fatigue – if ZVOX has cracked that with the AV70, those long, never-ending online meetings may at last become bearable…