IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Poly Studio P15: A high-quality videoconferencing bar that's small enough to clip onto your monitor

A strong choice for home workers wanting to look their best, though the price may be a discouragement

Poly Studio P15 photograph
Price
£455 exc VAT
  • High-end speaker tracking
  • Clear microphone and speakers
  • Simple setup
  • No standalone mode
  • Expensive compared to mainstream webcam

Every laptop these days comes with a built-in webcam that can be used for online meetings, but Poly’s Studio P15 is aimed at those that wanting to project a more professional image. It takes many of the features found in Poly’s meeting-room solutions and presents them in a compact bar that clips neatly to the top of your monitor.

Those include a 4K UHD camera with a mechanical privacy shutter, an 8W internal speaker and a beamforming triple-microphone array. The latter is used to provide the same type of speaker-tracking as found in conference-room setups, taking advantage of the camera’s decent 90° field of view and 4x digital zoom, which means the Studio P15 could also work for a small huddle room. With Poly’s custom audio-processing technologies on hand to detect and remove unwanted sounds, background noise shouldn’t be a problem, either.

At the rear you’ll find a connector for the external power supply and a USB Type-C port for connection to a host computer. There are also two USB Type-A ports, which allow the P15 to function as a USB hub.

The installation process is almost nonexistent. The provided clamp affixed the Studio P15 firmly to our 27in Full HD monitor, and as soon as we connected the USB cable to our Windows 10 Pro workstation, the various audiovisual components were picked up and made available to our VC apps. Poly’s free Lens Desktop app for Windows and macOS provides tools for manually configuring the camera’s video and audio feeds, changing the tracking speed and upgrading firmware.

When speaker-tracking is disabled, you can also use the app to control the digital pan, tilt and zoom functions – and to help stave off meeting fatigue the app can remind you at custom intervals to rest your eyes and take hydration breaks. It can even play soothing background soundscapes when not in use.

The desktop app links to the Poly Lens cloud service too, which makes it possible to remotely manage a whole fleet of Studio P15 units. An inventory view shows where in the world each user is located, and camera settings can be remotely configured from the portal.

Poly Studio P15 rear view

Image quality is generally good; the focus on the default setting was a little soft for our liking, but the Lens app let us improve matters by dialling up the sharpness setting. The backlight compensation setting works well with moderate light levels, but doesn’t cope with bright sunlight.

The single speaker is fine, too. It delivered clear sound with a warm bass, and we found a volume level of 50% was more than loud enough when we were sitting right in front of the computer. Our remote meeting participants were happy with the microphone quality, reporting that they could hear us clearly even when we wandered around the room.

On that note, we were pleased to see that the speaker-tracking did a good job of framing us at the start of the meeting, and following us around when we felt the need to stretch our legs. If we quickly stepped outside the current field of view, however, it took three or four seconds to work out where we were and snap the view around to the right position.

The Poly Studio P15 is a lot pricier than a consumer webcam, but it offers a high–quality, simple-to-use conferencing solution for home workers and small huddle rooms. Audio quality is good, speaker-tracking works well and the remote management option will be attractive to businesses of all sizes.

Poly Studio P15 specifications

Camera

4K UHD camera, 90º field of view, 4x digital zoom

Microphones

3x beamforming microphones 

Speakers

8W speaker 

Connectivity

N/A

Ports

USB-C 3, 2 x USB-A 2

Additional features

Monitor clamp  

Dimensions

425 x 78 x 65mm (WDH) 

Weight

682g

Warranty

2yr limited warranty

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Most Popular

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Costa Rica declares state of emergency following Conti ransomware attack
ransomware

Costa Rica declares state of emergency following Conti ransomware attack

10 May 2022