Voxeet is an impressive audio conference application that provides 3DHD sound. Launched at DEMOFall 2012, Voxeet is available for free for Windows, Android and iOS, and a week ago, the company launched the Mac version alongside its 2.0 update. With Voxeet 2.0 you can get dial-in numbers that let you dial in to a conference for free from over 40 countries worldwide, or switch your call from a bad internet connection to a local phone line in one click.
The briefing was done with Voxeet and we were 4 participants total. During that call the 3DHD sound was crystal clear and I was able to try the audio conferencing app’s main features.
First of all, Voxeet’s most unique offering compared to main competitor Skype is the 3DHD sound that allows users to hear each participant voice from different directions, making the experience feels as if you were in a real room talking with people next to you, and it is impressive. In my experience using Skype as my primary conference call service, after 30 to 40 minutes of audio-only conversation, calls systematically drop and it is impossible to call back, or become highly unstable. This did not happen with Voxeet.
Additionally, it is easy to switch seamlessly from one device to the other, currently, you can download Voxeet for free for Mac OS, Windows, iOS and Android.
Basically, right after that briefing, I just wanted to ditch Skype and replace it with Voxeet. As a matter of fact, since then, I have sent invitations to download Voxeet to all the people who have requested a call with me. Since then I have performed a few calls with the application and I can provide a short review of the key features:
Sound Quality: 3DHD sound (excellent with decent connection – overall good)
Voxeet leverages WebRTC with a proprietary layer on top of it, which they call their “secret sauce”… Well, the “sauce” sounds pretty good for my taste. The first call with Voxeet was done with 3 other people, on high speed internet connection (LAN on my side) and we all had headsets. For audio input on my side, I used the Logitech B910 HD webcam’s microphone with my custom-build desktop PC and when I switched to Apple, the integrated microphone of the latest 27-inch iMac. For the audio output, I wore first-gen Sol Republic Tracks HD over-ear headphones ($99.99 at market introduction in 2011).
During last week, I was able to place a few calls using Voxeet and one of them did not offer a good audio experience. it looks like the recipient was on a mobile device with not a good network connectivity. According to the company, in order to experience the best possible sound quality that Voxeet can deliver, you need to have a stable and decent high speed internet connection: (LAN or WiFi) or 4G LTE on mobile. The other calls placed from personal computers were great.
I tried it once on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 over wifi, and the experience was however not as good as on Skype, when I was talking with a low voice the sound was not transferring properly. I switched to Skype and it did not have that problem. I may need to try it with different phones to see how it works. I will update this article when I do. During the briefing one of the participants switched from his computer to his smartphone (as I was told) and I did not hear any glitch the sound quality was great as well.
Seamless transition between devices (very good)
I tried it during our briefing: I switched from my PC to my Mac in the middle of the conversation and the application automatically terminated my session on my computer when I started on the Mac!
The virtual meeting room experience (very good)
3DHD sound: the spatial experience
As described in my introduction, Voxeet’s key feature is the ability to move around avatars in the Voxeet user interface to hear each participant from a different side, just like when you have a conversation around a table (see images above and below). The further a participant’s avatar is from yours, the lower the sound is, and when you position it close to your avatar, you hear the voice louder. Basically, Voxeet mimics the audio experience you would have in a room. With this technology, it is possible to hear clearly to people talking simultaneously, because the sound of their voice is not at the same volume and is not come from the same direction, which is impossible to experience in a regular conference call.
Whisper and Mute features
When you click on each avatar you have access to a few cool features: Whisper allows you to only talk to one participant while the others cannot hear your conversation, and with the Mute icon, you can mute the sound from that participant.
Text Chat coming soon
Unlike Skype, it is not yet possible to communicate via text chat in Voxeet, which can be annoying when you need to share URLs during a conversation, something I do a lot while I am on calls. The Voxeet team told me that text chat will be added in the coming weeks.
Conference scheduling with automated calling (very good)
One great feature is the easy to use Schedule feature. When you setup a calendar invitation in any standard calendar (Microsoft outlook, Google…) you just have to add firstname.lastname@example.org in the participants email list. Voxeet will call all the participants automatically at the scheduled time.
Conclusion (very good -waiting for text chat)
When used with a headset and with a decent connection, Voxeet delivers an incredible audio experience that beats Skype and any conference call experienced on a regular VoIP phone such as mine. In fact, conference calls’ audio quality on my phone is almost always terrible. Voxeet is free to download for Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS, so it easy to try it for yourself. We just need to get the text chat as soon as possible. In the future, the company plans to add more collaboration tools and video as well.
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