The Poly Sync 10 is one of productivity brand Poly's latest devices. If it doesn't sound like a familiar brand, don't panic, it didn't to me either. Turns out, this is a rather recent new badging exercise by HP, aimed at hybrid and remote workers, essentially with HP products that don't look like HP products.
I got in the Poly Sync 10 to use on my daily video chats and conference calls, alongside a webcam from the same brand, and over the last several weeks I've gotten quite comfortable with both. I didn't expect them to trouble the best PC speakers out there, but was pleasantly surprised with their performance, even outside their core remit of transmitting video calls.
Poly Sync 10 review: Key specs
|Audio features:||Full duplex audio|
|Row 2 - Cell 0||Noise and echo reduction|
|Row 3 - Cell 0||Up to 5 ft / 1.5 m microphone pickup range|
|Row 4 - Cell 0||Suits up to 3 m x 3 m room sizes|
|Row 5 - Cell 0||Bass reflect with dual passive radiators|
|Microphone bandwidth:||100 Hz to 7.8 kHz|
|Microphones:||Two-microphone steerable array|
|Speaker bandwidth:||80 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Dimensions (W x D x H):||18.2 x 8.9 x 3.3cm|
Design & build
Winner of the Reddot Design Award in 2021, the Poly Sync 10 certainly doesn't look like your regular HP accessory, which, must be said, tends to be fairly tame and corporate.
With a speaker sitting on a white textured plastic platform, facing upward with two sides angled outwards for better sound dispersion around a room, it's adorned with touch buttons along the upward-facing 'front' underneath a dark-grey cloth fabric over the speaker unit. It looks neat, light and even a little interesting.
One drawback is the short cable. It's only 71.5cm long, which limits where on a desk or table you can place the speaker.
Features and performance
It's a speakerphone, so clear two-way audio is at the centre of the feature demands here. With full duplex audio and noise/echo reduction tech on board, it fills that role well.
The 10 model is made for small rooms, up to 3x3m in size, as its mic pickup range is only about 1.5m, so it is primarily meant as a home or small-office conference speaker. There are larger models with greater pickup range, such as the 20 and 40 models, so if you're looking to equip a larger conference room with a speakerphone, those would be the models to look at rather than this, which is more of a WFH unit.
That said, as I work mostly from home in a smallish room, this size suits my needs well. The audio in video calls was really clear, and I had no reported difficulties in being picked up by my colleagues during calls.
Now, I'm in the enviable position of having external speakers (and regularly receiving loan units of headphones and earbuds to test and review), so I didn't have to rely on the Poly Sync as a music or audio speaker, but in the name of science, and acknowledgement of the fact that not everyone has external speakers apart from their laptop or monitor's internal speakers (and those are mostly awful outside of top-spec models), I tested music performance on the dinky little speaker.
While you don't get room-filling surround sound here, the bass is surprisingly satisfying and you get a very healthy amount of volume to play with, where even at louder settings there was minimal distortion (or a stuck-inside-a-barrel sensation) to the sound. The sound here outdoes the recently reviewed Microsoft Audio Dock by a healthy margin, so Poly gets a big green tick here.
There's also a dedicated Teams button on the unit, which launches Teams with a single tap, which is convenient for those who use that software.
The Poly Sync's availability in the US seems limited, but in the UK it retails for £119.95, which is considerably less than the Microsoft Audio Dock, and with regular discounts, you can score this unit for £99.98 or sometimes lower than that.
Should I buy the Poly Sync 10?
If you need a pro-level conference speaker for your home office (or a small meeting room in an office), the Poly Sync 10 will do the job very nicely indeed. And if you're looking to equip a larger conference room, the 20 and 40 models offer greater mic pickup range in a very similar design package. I encountered no issues with it, it looks pretty neat too, and it undercuts the big-brand competition on price too. As one of the early launches of its new Poly products, HP should be onto a winner with the Poly Sync.