Zoom Hardware Recommendations
This article applies to: Zoom
For detailed technical requirements, see the Zoom System Requirements for PC, Mac, and Linux on the Zoom web site. Their page includes lists of vendor-suggested cameras, microphones, speakers, and other peripherals.
Recommended Web Camera and Audio Devices
- All USB webcams and speaker/microphones have field of view and distance limitations.
- A camera should be placed as close to the display as possible, so a participant looking at the display appears to be looking directly at the remote participant.
- The Zoom application software includes echo cancellation and audio-enhancing features, but if your speaker/microphone also provides echo cancellation capability, you may wish to disable the Zoom audio enhancements to allow your hardware features to take precedence. This can be done using Zoom’s Preserve Original Sound feature. You should experiment to determine whether your hardware or Zoom’s built-in audio enhancements provides the better audio experience.
- Newer computers may only have USB-C ports and may require a hub or adapter for other USB or HDMI connection types used by the headset, camera, and speaker/microphones. Check the connection types for your computer and peripherals before purchasing. For computers that support only USB-C connections, a SMK-Link Electronics USB-C Hub will provide USB 3.1 ports (there is also a version with an HDMI port). USB-C native peripherals will likely become more common going forward.
Various USB Webcams and speaker/microphones have been evaluated and selected based on how and where they might be used. Most devices recommended below are available for purchase through CDW-G Computer Peripherals on Cornell’s eShop site. The Logitech C930E Webcam and Jabra Speak 510 are also available at The Cornell Store. The Jabra Speak 710 and the Panacast 3 Camera are not available through the eShop or Cornell Store.
Office or Home Desktop/Laptop Computer with External Display
Webcam: Logitech C930e
Huddle or Small Conference Room
Webcam: Logitech C930e or Panacast 3
Speaker/Microphone: ClearOne CHAT 170 or Jabra Speak 710
Small group space furniture products are gaining popularity and typically consist of a single semi-circular or other configuration table which allows three to four people to sit around it and face a 40” or larger flat panel display sitting at one end of the table or mounted on a wall.
Small conference rooms typically seat five to six people and consist of an oblong or rectangular table that has a 46” or larger flat panel display mounted on the wall.
Small to Medium Size Conference Room
Webcam: Logitech C930e or Panacast 3
USB Speaker/Microphone: ClearOne CHAT 170, CHATAttach 170, or Jabra Speak 710
For small conference rooms which typically seat about seven to eight people around an oblong, rectangular, or V-shaped table and the furthest participant is generally no more than 15’ away from a wall mounted flat panel display, a Logitech C930e WebCam or Panacast 3 is recommended for video capture; the Panacast 3 provides a wider field of view for setups where that is useful. A ClearOne Communications CHAT 170 or Jabra Speak 710 speaker/microphone is suggested for audio capture/playback. For increased audio coverage, a CHATAttach 170 conferencing system, which includes two daisy-chained CHAT 170 speakerphones designed to provide wider coverage, is recommended for medium conference spaces.
The display is typically 65” – 70” in size and the webcam is placed on a shelf mounted below the display and should be at least 42” above the floor.
Conference Setup and Operating Guidelines
- The laptop/desktop computer (control panel) and the conferencing application (such as Zoom) may have to be configured to select and activate the video and audio capture devices as defined above instead of default device settings.
- The room lighting, background, and acoustic environment will impact conference quality.
- Participants should be told to mute audio capture devices when they are not speaking.
If a person needs to conference in a noisier environment, such as an open office, then they might want to use a USB headset. See the comments above regarding USB-C connections. We have evaluated and can recommend these:
Jabra Evolve Series Headsets
There are several models in this series with varying features.
Logitech H390 USB Computer Headset
The Logitech should be work well for most casual desktop web/video conferencing users. This headset does not have call answer/end controls, unlike the other two listed here.