Sennheiser TeamConnect Wireless review
It’s pricey but this perfectly portable conferencing solution aces it for audio quality, versatility and ease of use
Sennheiser needs no introduction to audiophiles, but it also has a burgeoning line of professional conferencing systems. The latest to join the family is its TeamConnect Wireless, which offers businesses a slick portable audio conferencing solution that can turn any room into a meeting place in minutes.
The kit comprises four chunky circular speaker/microphone stations, with one acting as a master and the other three as slaves. The concept is simple -- you use the master unit to connect to your preferred audio source and position the slaves as required, where they connect to it over DECT.
This makes TeamConnect Wireless extremely flexible, allowing it to support conferences in a wide range of room sizes without the need to move tables and chairs to accommodate a single base unit. Each station is designed to support up to six participants, so the whole package can handle up to 24 people on one call.
Tipping the scales at 4.7kg, the kit comes in a sturdy charging case which exudes the classic Sennheiser build quality we know and love. Just drop the stations into any of the receptacles, plug the case in and it'll take around ten hours to fully charge all four.
Each station has a clip-in Li-Ion battery with charging contacts on the base. Sennheiser claims these packs will last eight hours and our tests indicated this is accurate.
No power buttons are needed, as removing a station from the case automatically turns it on. Likewise, placing one back in the case turns it off.
It's easy to identify the master unit, as it's the only one that has soft-touch buttons on its upper surface for Bluetooth, USB or direct audio connections. You can link mobile devices using NFC by tapping them on its upper surface, and you can have up to three audio connections in parallel.
When a station is removed from the case, its base flashes blue and a green curved display on the upper surface gives you a quick readout on available battery capacity. The same panel is used to control volume with a finger swipe and all have big central buttons for muting their microphones.
Connecting the master unit to a Windows 10 laptop over USB took seconds, and it was recognised immediately. Skype had no problems identifying it either and provided the usual audio tools for testing and controlling microphone and speaker levels.
We were able to make and receive calls via Skype and found audio quality to be excellent. We could clearly hear callers and they reported that our voice quality was very clean.
There's only one glitch with Skype, as we couldn't use the buttons on the master unit to accept or end calls. Logitech has the same issue with its conference solutions, but created a Skype plug-in to allow its base stations to do this.
Sennheiser also includes a handy Windows app for checking USB connected devices. It'll tell you the battery status of them all and provides firmware updates tools.
NFC and Bluetooth connections using Samsung Galaxy J5 and Microsoft Lumia 640 mobiles were equally pain-free. We also paired the master with an iPad and in all cases, found audio output quality to be exceptionally clear, very warm and easily loud enough for large meeting rooms.
When a slave unit was removed from the case it took precisely 16 seconds to link with the master, allowing conferences to be extended on demand to late arrivals without any interruptions. Attendees can control volume on their slave and we found these units could be placed at least 12 metres from the master, giving us a huge area of coverage.
Sennheiser's TeamConnect Wireless means no more tripping over cables, huddling round a single base station and fighting to be heard. At a shade under 2,000 excluding VAT, it isn't cheap but it's eminently flexible, extremely well-made and highly recommended for businesses that want a professional, on-demand conferencing solution.
This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 268
Sennheiser's TeamConnect Wireless isn't cheap but it's eminently flexible, extremely well-made and highly recommended for businesses that want a professional, on-demand conferencing solution.
Charging carry case 1 x TC-W Master (Bluetooth 4.2, USB 2, 2.5mm audio) 3 x TC-W Slaves 4 x BA 100 Li-Ion batteries external charging PSU Micro-USB to USB Type A cable 2.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable Case dimensions, 285 x 120 x 390mm (WDH) Total weight, 4.7kgs
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