Meeting Owl Pro – 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera review – how to setup?

Meeting Owl Pro - 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera review
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What is the upgrade in Meeting Owl Pro? The Meeting Owl has the ability to automatically focus on the person speaking, blocks out background noise, and shows a panoramic view of the entire room. It was designed by two engineers from iRobot and helps remote team members feel like a part of the conversation rather than an afterthought or a voice on the phone. Know about more benefits in Meeting Owl Pro – 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera review.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent 1080p 360 degree camera
  • Good software
  • Unique Style
  • Sturdy
  • Quick setup

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Outdated Micro USB connection

Specs – Meeting Owl Pro – 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera

  • Price: $999
  • Resolution: 1080P 360 degree FHD
  • Microphones: 8  
  • Noise Canceling: Yes 
  • Field of View: 360-degrees
  • Autofocus: Yes
  • Speaker Tracking: Yes
  • Connection: Micro USB
  • Size: 4.4 x 4.4 x 10.75-inches
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds

Price

The Meeting Owl Pro costs $999 and comes with a 1080p 360-degree camera powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, eight built-in microphones, and three built-in speakers and is compatible with both Windows 10 and macOS. It works with just about every video meeting platform, including Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype, and Google Meet. 

There is a slightly less expensive sibling device, The Meeting Owl, which is similar in form factor, comes in black, and retails for $799 but, it only comes with a 720p 360-degree camera and one built-in speaker.

Compare Meeting Owl vs Meeting Owl Pro

FeatureMeeting OwlMeeting Owl Pro
Camera360° camera with 720p output resolution360° camera with 1080p output resolution
Pixel capture1756 x 17563456 x 3456
ProcessingQualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor (4-core CPU, Adreno 306 GPU)Qualcomm Snapdragon 605 processor (8-core CPU, Adreno 615 GPU)
Microphones12-foot radius audio pickup, 8 mics360° outward-firing three-speaker system (2x louder room sound)
Wi-fi connectivityWPA & WPA2 networksWPA & WPA2 networks, MIMO
Computer connectionUSB 2.0 plug-and-playUSB 2.0 plug-and-play
Recommended RoomsHuddle and smaller rooms up to 12ft x 18ftMedium-sized and large rooms up to 20ft x 20ft
IntelligenceOwl Intelligence System automatically focuses on the person speakingOwl Intelligence System automatically focuses on the person speaking, plus Smart Zooming functionality
CompatibilityWorks with all popular video conferencing softwareWorks with all popular video conferencing software
Owl Labs’ Smart Meeting Room ecosystemCore product improvements via wi-fiEnabled for Owl Labs’ Smart Meeting Room ecosystem

Meeting Owl Pro – 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera review

Build

With its cream white color, grey soft cloth speaker grill covers, and circular LED lights that come on when using the unit, giving it an owl-like appearance, the Meeting Owl Pro reminds me of a dressed-up Bose Soundlink Bluetooth speaker with eyes and a camera at the top. It has a stylish Bluetooth speaker appeal, and it blends in nicely with your surroundings.

Design

The unit measures 4.4 x 4.4  x 10.75-inches and weighs 2.6 pounds, so it’s lightweight and easy to move around if you want to travel with it from room to room. This is cone-like, cylindrical device that uses a top-mounted, 360 degree camera to track all speakers sitting around it in a circle. So, instead of mounting your camera facing one direction, near to your screen, the Meeting Owl Pro sits in the middle. King Arthur would’ve loved that.

Ports & button

you will find on opposing sides two mute buttons, a pair of volume buttons, and an on and off switch. There is also a notch for the power cord and Micro USB cable to pass through and connect to the unit to your computer’s USB Type-A port. If you flip the unit over to look at the underbelly, you will find the ac power port and the Micro USB connection port. There is also a mounting screw port, so you can place the unit on a tripod or speaker mount if you wish to. 

Participants

The Audio is 100% suitable for conference calls hosting 10 -15 people around the Meeting Owl Pro, and the microphone certainly makes good on its range and fidelity. But the 1080p 360° camera is a let down.

Image quality

If you’re using it up close in a tiny space, you get no wide-angle distortion which you will find on some other conference room camera units. Also, the autofocus software is fantastic as it will quickly recognize the voice of the current speaker and focus on them. 

The Meeting Owl Pro comes with a 360-degree 1080p FHD camera that works excellent and reproduces warm saturated colors and very accurate skin tones. The video images are crystal clear, and they will automatically adjust to the current lighting seamlessly, which is impressive.

Audio

The Meeting Owl pro comes with eight built-in microphones that picked up my voice excellently even when I was ten away from the unit and speaking at an average level. Audio, as well as up-close audio. It did an excellent job of capturing the voice of individual speakers and using its Owl Intelligence system powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor. The Meeting Owl pro has noise cancelation that you can select in the phone app available for download in both the Apple and Android app stores.

Smart Zoom

Owl Labs built-in AI translates these features into a beautiful video conferencing product. Voice position and audio sensitivity allow the Meeting Owl pro to focus in on speakers alongside its built-in motion detection. This feature is, of course, known as ‘Smart Zoom’.

Video apps compatibility

As such, Meeting Owl Pro is compatible with every kind of video conferencing software from Skype to Zoom. Microphone extenders are compatible for bigger conference calls, but external audio devices are not recommended when using the device. Well, of course you could, but it may effect functionality of the Owl’s smart capabilities.

Meeting Owl Pro – 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera Performance review

We were presented with a split screen view, the top third of which being taken up by the 360 degree view of the office. Everyone sitting around the Owl Pro could be seen, albeit in a very small frame. But below that, taking up the remaining screen space, was what the camera was intentionally focusing on.

That means, that when someone started to speak, the Meeting Owl Pro locked onto that person and framed around their face. When someone else started to speak, the screen split further to show the other person, showing them both in glorious Full HD.

For the caller, this means they can see who is talking to them, larger, and clearer than they would on a simple wide-angle office camera, or low-res webcam. Plus, when you first switch it on, it hoots like an owl. 

How to setup Meeting Owl Pro – 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera?

The Meeting Owl Pro is a true plug-and-play camera on both Mac OS and Windows 10. Setting it up took seconds; I just plugged it into my USB-Type A port and started a Google Meet and in settings chose the Meeting Owl Pro as my camera, and it just worked, beautifully and instantaneously. However, if you wish, you can set it up via the smartphone application, which you can download from your appropriate app store.

You can manually adjust where the camera is focused, zoom options, and turn on the noise canceling from the app. There is also a meeting analytics report that helps you keep track of how many meetings you’ve had, how long they’ve lasted, and can inform you as to which are your busiest and least busy days. 

Meeting Owl Pro – 360 degree 1080p smart video conference camera customer review

The Owl is a wise bird!

Very happy with the ease of setup and quality. Has generated a lot of enthusiasm with staff, who love the functionality. This needs to be easy for anyone to come in the meeting room and get connected and running quickly, and it is! Some issue with needing to remove power from the unit and restart to avoid a video stability problem of some kind, but not a big deal.

By Ralph at Best Buy

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