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Logitech Rally Bar review: An ideal all-in-one conferencing solution for larger rooms

It's pricey, but the Rally Bar takes care of all your telepresence needs in one convenient unit

Logitech Rally Bar photograph
Price
£2,527 exc VAT
  • Smart all-in-one design
  • Great sound and image quality
  • Works in both standalone and connected modes
  • Sluggish video tracking
  • Standalone operation can be a chore with the supplied remote

Setting up a videoconferencing system for a medium-sized or large meeting room can be a messy business: often you have to deal with multiple components, connected by a mess of wires draped across the floor. Logitech’s Rally Bar is a far tidier proposition, combining everything into a single unit that can be mounted on a desk or wall.

While the design is appealingly simple, it’s not exactly discreet. The bar measures nearly a whole metre across and weighs a hefty 7kg. The centrepiece of the unit is a big 4K camera offering motorised pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) functions, and a six-microphone beamforming array extending to either side allows the software to auto-frame active meeting participants.

You’ll also notice a smaller lens beside the main camera; this is Logitech’s AI Viewfinder, which improves framing and focus accuracy, as well as providing people-counting and occupancy analytics, via Logitech’s Sync cloud service. At each end, 8W speakers deliver a big soundscape, while an internal anti-vibration system helps keep things clear even when both sides of the connection are talking at once.

The last notable feature is more low tech, but still welcome: a cable-management panel at the rear protects and organises the power, USB, network and HDMI connectors under a metal cover.

Logitech Rally Bar (rear view)

The Rally Bar can be used in two different operating modes. In BYOD mode you connect the Bar via USB to a host computer; this makes the camera, microphones and speakers available to any UVC-compliant videoconferencing app. After cabling a Windows 10 PC to the HDMI-in port, we were immediately able to view its screen on the monitor, and start meetings using the Teams, Skype and Zoom apps installed on the PC.

Alternatively, you can use the bar in appliance mode; this turns it into a standalone VC system built on Logitech’s Android-based CollabOS platform. A selection of certified apps can be run directly on the Rally Bar hardware, including RingCentral Rooms, Microsoft Teams Rooms and Zoom Rooms. We chose Teams from the onscreen wizard, logged in to our account and
were right away presented with the familiar Teams interface, ready to start or join an online meeting.

Video quality is excellent: the large camera delivers superbly sharp images and great colour balance, while Logitech’s RightLight feature does a top-notch job of compensating for brightly lit backgrounds.

The twin speakers deliver a clean sound, too, with enough audio clout to fill our 24-square-metre meeting room at only half volume. Remote participants felt that the microphones delivered clear sound quality; the only disappointment was the slow video tracking speed. This is because the Rally Bar can’t instantly whip the camera around to the active speaker, like a digital PTZ system can. In a socially distanced meeting room with people spread out, we found it could take as long as eight seconds for the Rally Bar to achieve the desired view.

Another slight caveat is that if you want to use the Rally Bar in appliance mode, we’d recommend connecting a USB keyboard and mouse: you can do everything you need to with the supplied Bluetooth remote, but it can feel a bit laborious. Or, you could invest in Logitech’s optional Tap controller panel, which provides a colour touchscreen from which you can set up meetings with a few taps.

If you need a videoconferencing solution that will work for big, busy meetings, the Rally Bar puts everything you need into a single convenient package. Speaker tracking can be slow at times, but video and audio quality are beyond reproach, and the choice of operating modes makes it highly versatile.

Logitech Rally Bar specifications

Camera

4K UHD camera, 90º field of view, 5X/3X optical/digital zoom 

Microphones

6x beamforming microphones

Speakers

2x 8W speakers

Connectivity

Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac wireless

Ports

2x HDMI out, HDMI in, 4x USB 3

Additional features

AI viewfinder, Bluetooth remote control 

Dimensions

910 x 131 x 164mm (WDH)

Weight

7.1kg

Warranty

2yr limited warranty

Options

Rally Bar with Tap controller, £3,402 exc VAT

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