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Poly Sync 10, hands on: Sounds good, but key features are missing

This affordable speakerphone is fine as far as it goes, but its Bluetooth- and battery-equipped Sync 20 sibling offers better value for money.
sandra-vogel.jpg
Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributor on
Pros
  • Attractive design
  • Good mic and speaker performance
  • Teams-certified version available
Cons
  • No Bluetooth connectivity
  • Power via USB only – no battery
  • No carry case

Over a year ago I reviewed the Poly Sync 20, a USB/Bluetooth speakerphone designed for those who need high-quality kit suitable for both work and leisure, and portable enough to carry around with a laptop when needed. Now I've got the entry level model, the $99.95 Poly Sync 10.  

There are also two larger and more expansive options in the range: the $299.95 Poly Sync 40 for flexible-working spaces and huddle rooms, and the $599.95 Poly Sync 60, which is designed for conference rooms. 

According to Poly's website, the Sync 10 is ideal for "remote enterprise professionals with a dedicated home office", while the Sync 20 is better suited to "Flexible enterprise professionals who split time between corporate office, home office, and travel".  

Given that mobile workers want to keep their bag as light as possible, and while the differences in size and weight are slight, the smaller, lighter Poly Sync 10 may suit both types of user. But size and weight are not the whole story, and the Poly Sync 10 is missing some key features -- even for primarily home-based users. 

Poly Sync 10

Poly Sync 10 is a USB-connected speakerphone, which is available with a dedicated Microsoft Teams button.

Images: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Design across the Poly Sync range is very similar, with a rather nice curved rectangular form factor and primarily fabric grey upper section, with a narrow strip of touch buttons for managing calls and volume. Importantly for those who use Microsoft Teams, there's a Teams-certified version with a dedicated button on the front panel to instantly connect with the Teams app. Both the Poly Sync 10 and 20 have an IP64 rating for dust and water resistance.  

Poly Sync 10: water resistance

An IP64 rating signifies that the Poly Sync 10 is 'dust tight' and can cope with 'splashing of water'.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Connectivity to a PC or laptop is wired. The cable curls underneath the device and locks securely in place. It's a USB-A cable, and there's a USB-C converter included in the box. Every other speaker in the Poly Sync range has a Bluetooth adapter, which brings several advantages: it's easier to conveniently locate the speaker when several people want to share access to a single laptop and speaker, and you can easily connect to a tablet or smartphone. Moreover, the cable here is only 71.5cm long. This is fine when you're sitting at a desk having a meeting, but in more relaxed circumstances -- when taking a family call, for example -- the wired-only setup is restrictive. 

SEE: Remote workers want new benefits. This is how employers are responding

There's no battery in the Poly Sync 10, which is powered via its USB cable. The other speakers have an internal battery, and the Poly Sync 20 is rated for 20 hours of life. The Poly Sync 20 can be used to charge a tablet or phone via its cable – which is clearly not possible with the Sync 10. 

In use the Poly Sync 10 was fine in my home office in terms of both microphone pickup and sound quality, although in both respects it's less well specified than the Sync 20, with 1.5m microphone pickup range compared to 2m, and two microphones versus three.  

Finally, the Poly Sync 10 doesn't come with a carry case, while there is one with the Sync 20.  

The Poly Sync 10 is small and light, and both the microphone and speaker perform well. However, even as a primarily home office-based user, I miss the Bluetooth and battery power that make the Poly Sync 20 much more flexible. Given the small price difference – currently just $15 – we'd recommend the latter. 


Poly Sync 10 vs Poly Sync 20 specifications



Poly Sync 10Poly Sync 20
Dimensions32.5mm x 89.2mm x 182mm (1.3in. x 3.5in. x 7.2in.)34mm x 95mm x 182mm (1.3in. x 3.7in. x 7.2in.)
Weight280g (9.9oz)360g (12.7oz)
Connects toPC via integrated USB-A
cable and included USB-C adapter 
PC via USB-A or USB-C cable; smartphone via Bluetooth
Cable length715mm (28.1in.)715mm (28.1in.)
Wirelessn/aBluetooth 5.1
Dust & water resistanceIP64IP64
UI featurestouch controls for call answer/end, mute, volume up/down; Microsoft Teams button (Microsoft Teams version only); status light bartouch controls for call answer/end, mute, volume up/down; Microsoft Teams button (Microsoft Teams version only); status light bar
Microphones2x steerable array3x steerable array
Mic pickup rangeup to 1.5m (5ft)up to 2m (7ft)
Mic frequency response100Hz to 7.8kHz100Hz to 6.7kHz
Mic featuresfull duplex audio; noise and echo reductionfull duplex audio; noise and echo reduction
Speaker1x 50mm high-performance
music speaker
1x 40mm high-performance
music speaker
Speaker frequency response80Hz to 20kHz80Hz to 20kHz
Speaker featuresbass reflect with dual passive radiatorsbass reflect with dual passive radiators
CompatibilityWindows or MacOSWindows or MacOS
App supportPoly Lens desktop; Plantronics Hub desktop; Plantronics Manager Pro suites -- Asset Management and AdoptionPoly Lens & Poly Lens App; Plantronics Hub (desktop & mobile); Plantronics Manager Pro suites -- Asset Management and Adoption
Platform certificationMicrosoft Teams (Microsoft Teams version only), ZoomMicrosoft Teams (Microsoft Teams version only), Zoom
Battery capacityn/a3200mAh
Talk timen/aup to 20 hours
Charge timen/a4 hours
Price$99.95 $114.99 (discounted from $139.95)

Alternatives to consider

The Poly Sync 10 and 20 are among the more affordable speakerphones on the market. Here are a couple of more premium devices.

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