Anyone working from home this past year and a half has inevitably used Zoom for at least a few, or maybe a few hundred, meetings. And for some people, these meetings will dwindle down as things get back to normal and companies invite people back to the office. For others, working remotely may be a new fact of life long after the pandemic passes, so why not make life easier and invest in zoom accessories? Especially if Zoom is here to stay.
Whether you started your own business while cooped up indoors, or your company now employs people from all over the globe, video conferencing sites like Zoom and Google Meets are moving into our lives permanently. Now that we know Zoom may be here to stay, it’s worth doing what you can to ensure your virtual meetings run as smoothly as possible.
Nothing is worse than that haunting moment when you open the app and you’re confronted with issues from poor camera quality to bad lighting to shaky wi-fi that boots you out of essential meetings. When something goes wrong in an in-person meeting it can throw you off your game and the same holds true for virtual interferences. Coming up against issues like this can take up valuable time and take away from what you have to say.
Don’t let technical hurdles hurt your ability to feel confident contributing to or leading meetings at work. There are gadgets and Zoom accessories that can make life on Zoom smoother for you and the people you work with. By adding a couple of these items to your cart you can live in a new digital world. One where you hop on Zoom and you don’t get unstable wi-fi messages, all the effort you put into your WFH outfit can be appreciated and everyone can hear you like you’re in the room. Whether you worked from home before the pandemic or recently went remote gearing up with zoom accessories is a great idea to keep the workday free of technical difficulties.
Logitech C920 Webcam
It’s been a while since we’ve collectively thought about mounting webcams onto our computers but we’ve come a long way from the 90s. The memories of round cameras mounted on boxy monitors are dated. Now we have sleeker and higher quality cameras that can do a lot more for the same price. The Logitech C920 for example is a web camera specifically designed to meet your video conferencing needs. The glass lens will give you sharp HD video, and a 78-degree field of view that’ll give you a more professional look. This camera also automatically corrects your lighting for you, so if you’re not used to handling cameras, you don’t have to fidget any settings. So, you can stick this camera to a small tripos, or the top of your monitor adjust it to the angle you want it, plug it in and start looking and feeling bolder in your conference calls.
AVerMedia Live Streamer HD Webcam
Another great choice for a webcam is the AVerMedia Live Streamer CAM. You might be thinking that you don’t need anything too fancy or that you’re not a live streamer, but you are. Everyone is. We all stream our videos live through Zoom, so why not use a camera made to do exactly that. With the AVerMedia Live Streamer CAM, you have extra tools available to make your video look clean and professional. To help with that, the Live Streamer CAM comes with access to a suite of camera effects and filters to choose from. You can use portrait enhancement and filters so that you look even better on camera than you would in person. If the thought of working with advanced effects is intimidating, there’s also CamEngine Lite with more basic customization tools for the everyday user.
J5Create HD Webcam
This affordable USB webcam plugs right into your computer and delivers the high-definition video that you’ve been wanting for your Zoom calls. The crisp image will make your setup more professional and make a great impression on coworkers and clients. The auto light adjustments mean that you can sit anywhere in your home without worrying about fidgeting with camera settings. The head of the camera swivels 360 degrees so that you can get exactly the angle you want and frame yourself perfectly. The J5Create webcam also includes an external microphone that zeroes in on your voice. That way when there’s a dog barking in the background, or when someone’s making coffee in the kitchen, your coworkers can stay focused on what you’re saying.
This camera is compatible with Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, Windows, macOS, and chromeOS which makes it a great choice for someone who works from a home office.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
If it’s sound quality that you struggle with, we’re all in the same quiet, fuzzy, echo-y boat. Luckily, there are great microphones on the market so that your voice can be heard clearly during your Zoom calls. The Blue Yeti USB line of microphones is ranked number one in the world. That’s the kind of quality tech you want to have sitting on your desk. The Yeti combines user-friendliness and studio-quality audio for a hassle-free user experience. There are four audio modes, so you can choose whether you’d like a more natural sound or more of a radio DJ vibe. The Yeti is versatile and reliable, so if you want to jump from a virtual team meeting to filming a video, to recording a podcast the Yeti has you covered no matter what projects you pursue.
If you’re interested in a Blue microphone, but you don’t need to film videos or record podcasts, then the Snowball is the choice for you. The intuitive design makes it Ideal for Zoom meetings and people who aren’t too tech-savvy. The Snowball comes with an adjustable stand so that you can position it to the perfect height for your setup. Then to get the ball rolling all you have to do is plug it in and boom! You’ve got audio that feels full-bodied and precise. Thanks to their dual-capsule technology Blue’s Snowball mic will have your colleagues hanging off of your every word. No more cutting out, and ‘Can you repeat that?’ with the Snowball you will get a robust sound every time. With Snowball, your coworkers won’t know what hit them!
The HyperX SoloCast microphone isn’t just for gamers, it can be for you too! The setup is as easy as plugging it in and hopping on your calls. The cardioid polar pattern is a style of recording that focuses narrowly on the sound coming right in front of the microphone, which makes it a great option for people in busy households with other members of the family working from home and creating background noise. With the flexible stand, you can angle the device to catch you and just you. Your coworkers will appreciate how easy it is to hear you, or not hear you. The SoloCast has a convenient tap-to-mute sensor on the body of the microphone so that when you’re not speaking you can politely mute yourself and unmute yourself with no delays when it’s your turn to speak up.
Krisp Noise Cancelling Extension
If getting an external mic is a bit too cluttered for your taste, you should try the Krisp noise cancelling app. The extension uses artificial intelligence to detect background noises like barking dogs, crying babies, and even the hum of outside traffic to leave you with clear and easy-to-understand audio. The app is free and works with any microphone or headset that you use for your calls. And not only does it support the tech you already use, but it works on the platforms you already use too, so whether you’re on Zoom, Google Meets, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Discord, Krisp will work for you.
Elgato Wi-Fi LED Ring Light
You’re ready for your Zoom meeting. You put in the effort to press your shirt and style your hair, wear a nice blouse and perfect your eye look, but the lighting in your office doesn’t make you shine. Well, no worries! You can grab a ring light like the Elgato Wi-Fi LED Ring Light. This light is perfect for lighting your face up close. It mounts to your camera, evenly disperses light, and connects to an app on your phone so that you can completely customize the tone and brightness. This light can take you from a professional look for morning meetings to dimmer mood lighting for your Zoom dates. No matter what situation you’re in, this light is designed to flatter your complexion, eliminate shadows, and put a twinkle back in your eye, all without making your space too hot.
Mobifoto Bi-Colour LED Ring Light Vlog Kit
If you’re looking for something beginner-friendly that’s all-encompassing you might consider a kit like the Mobiforo Bi-Colour LED Ring Light Vlog Kit. This kit comes with a 12” ring light, a wireless remote, a tripod, a smartphone holder, and a carrying case. The adjustable ring light lets you customize the light depending on what room you’re in, and the time of day. So even at those 7 p.m. meetings and hangouts, the quality of your light can stay consistent. The wireless remote makes it easy to change the light levels without getting up and messing around with your tech. The adjustable tripod height and flexible head make getting your best angle a breeze, plus, since it runs on USB power you don’t have to worry about sacrificing your perfect Zoom background to go somewhere with an outlet. This light comes with everything you need and is a great addition to your Zoom kit.
Bower Flex Ring Light
If you’re looking for something simple the Bower Flex Ring Light is a sturdy light that will get the job done without being too complicated. This light comes with a stand of its own with a hyper-flexible arm so that you can position the light anywhere you’d like. It also comes with a flexible arm with a ball head for your smartphone, so you can choose any position for that as well. The controls to alter the brightness and quality of the light come right on the light for easy access. It’s USB powered so there’s no need to worry about your batteries running out mid-call. The Bower Flex Ring Light is a fuss-free light that anyone can use and get great results.
D-Link Mesh Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender
You could have everything on this list: the webcam, the external microphone, the noise-cancelling app, and the ring lights to top it off, but none of it matters if your wi-fi is shaky. When we get the notification that our Wi-Fi is unstable we know that means that our image is freezing and our audio’s cutting out, no matter how nice our gear is. One of the keys to having a smooth Zoom call is smooth Wi-Fi and you can get this by using a Wi-Fi booster, like the D-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender. You plug into an outlet close to your router to get it connected, then you can move it close to your work area so that the Wi-Fi reaches that area better and you have a steadier connection, no matter what router you have.
NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender Essentials Edition
Another great option is the NETGEAR AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender. This is a great investment, especially if you have multiple people in the house streaming video for work and school. Each person can have a Wi-Fi booster in their study so that not everyone has to huddle by the router. Their FastLane technology makes this booster fast enough to keep up with the needs of the household. This model works with any router that you might have and comes in a small, sleek design that will blend in with your walls, and not draw any attention to itself. Plus the setup is as easy as pushing a button which makes this a great option for people who want a hassle-free solution to their choppy Wi-Fi.
TP-Link Wi-Fi Range Extender
This extender is great for people working from larger homes, that tend to get dead zones scattered throughout their house. With the TP-Link range extenders, you can spread these out throughout your home and get rid of all the dead spots so that everyone can work happily anywhere in the house. The easy-to-read signal light shows you how strong your connection is so that there’s no guesswork when it comes to finding the strongest connection. It also links up to TP Link’s Free Tether app so that you can manage your home Wi-Fi network from anywhere. Getting faster internet for your workspace will not only improve the stability of your online meetings but make you a more efficient worker in everything you do online.