Setting up your home office for video meetings? Need to look more professional for your new job? No matter what, this list should be a good addition to your gear search.
The items on this list should all work for anyone with a low to moderate budget. If you’re looking for a more pared-down list, we also have one that just covers the bare essentials.
So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to set up an amazing remote conferencing-ready office space.
First up is your video input. After all, those pearly whites should look just as good in a virtual meeting as they do in person.
Here are three different video sources that we recommend you start using during your meetings.
Yes, your trusty iPhone!
An iPhone (or Android) has a great dynamic range, good autofocus, and good quality video. Just plug in your iPhone via USB and follow a few simple setup instructions. Just be careful on longer calls – your phone can get pretty toasty.
Also, on many newer phones, you will need a dongle to plug in an external microphone. Make sure to pick up a headphone port adapter for your phone from a first-party source!
If you work remotely, chances are you’ll have a laptop and that laptop will have a built-in camera of some kind.
A laptop webcam is a good stop-gap for webcam recording if you need to have video input NOW, but we would say that a laptop camera is far from a final solution. 90% of the time, the camera on your laptop will be pointing up at you from a lower angle. Additionally, the video quality is guaranteed to look like a pixelated mess.
If you’re about to attend your first video meeting online, avoid looking like a middle-aged dad taking his first selfie, hook up your phone or snag a webcam.
A webcam is an ideal camera for online meetings and Zoom calls in general. A webcam won’t run out of batteries like your iPhone will and, if you get the lighting right, they can look pretty dang good.
You’ll want to save for this upgrade (a good webcam can run anywhere between $50-150), but we don’t think that you’ll regret it.
We recommend picking up a 1080p webcam for your video conferencing from a reputable brand like Logitech, Microsoft, or Razer. Our favorites are listed below.
- The Most Reliable Option: Logitech C920
- Includes a Built-in Ringlight: Razer Kiyo
- The High-End Option: Microsoft LifeCam
Most laptops, webcams, and phones will have microphones built-in, but if you’re conferencing all day, you should invest in a better audio solution.
Here are several simple, cheap, and easy to use options for your home office setup.
A Lav Mic
Lav (short for lavalier, as opposed to being some kind of acronym) Mics are a staple in the video creation world. They clip onto a shirt, plug directly into a camera or a computer, and start delivering a great audio quality right away. Better yet, THEY’RE CHEAP. It’s common to find good Lav Mics for around $15-60. We’ve listed a good option below.
A Headset Mic
Microphones like the Boom Pro by V-MODA or Mod Mic by Antlion integrate seamlessly with your existing headphones and give high-quality audio for cheap (between $30-60).
You can also buy even cheaper headsets that have microphones built-in.
A USB Mic
These are a higher-end solution for people who conference all the time and who can’t stand the static anymore.
If you’re investing heavily in your home office, consider picking up a Razer Seiren Mini or a Blue Snowball and a cheap microphone arm. The microphones we’re recommending will run you between $45-150.
- The Portable Option: Razer Seiren Mini
- The Budget Option: Blue Snowball
- The High-End Option: Elgato Wave 3
You’ll need a tripod to use your phone as a webcam, or even if you want to position your webcam better in your office. After all, you don’t want to be holding your phone the entire time, do you?
Here are a couple of great options. Some of these even come with a ring light preinstalled!
Two birds with one stone.
- A Great, Low-cost Tripod: The Octomount
- An Adapter for Your Phone: Attach your Phone to Any Tripod
- A Tripod With a Ring Light: The UBeesize
Finally, we’ve come to the secret sauce of great video – proper lighting.
Your videos need to be properly lit, or they will look bad guaranteed. Before buying anything, find a window and pull a sheer blind over the light coming in. That should give you a nice glow for cheap.
If you don’t have any ideal windows, then grab a tripod with a ring light like we’ve listed above or grab a couple light stands to support studio lights like we have listed below.
Zoom! You’re off to the Video Meeting Races!
There’s always something new to learn, and today you just learned a lot. You should be proud! Video meetings take a lot of prep work to do well, and the amount of information you have to take in can be overwhelming.
So, bookmark this page and keep exploring!
Of course, if you’re completely overwhelmed and you need to prep for a large event NOW we offer conferencing services and starter packages. Reach out to us today!