Since the Covid-19 pandemic, working from home has become normality for many. Meetings that once took place in board rooms now do so from an array of kitchen tables and spare bedrooms.
Now, Microsoft has created a product which will help the work-from-home generation to thrive. Launched at the same event which saw the Microsoft Surface range get updated, the Microsoft Audio dock looks set to put your best computer speakers to shame.
By fusing a high-quality audio system with the convenience of a docking station, the Microsoft Audio Dock is a one-stop shop for enhancing your home-working setup. Let's take a closer look at what it can do.
Microsoft Audio Dock: key features
First, let's look at the Microsoft Audio Dock as a docking station. It features two USB-C ports, one USB-A port and a HDMI. One of those USB-C ports is able to support a display too, allowing for dual displays over USB-C and HDMI.
It also features a power pass-through, enabling it to keep your laptop charged while in use.
The Dock is also loaded with an array of speakers. A 15-watt woofer and 5-watt tweeters suggest this isn't just for meetings, and should have serious pedigree when it comes to audio playback, too. Microsoft note that the frequency response will adapt based on different scenarios too. A range of 70Hz-20kHz for music gets trimmed to 200Hz-8kHz in conference scenarios, reducing unwanted background noise.
It should be good for up to 90dB, too, so you'll have no problems hearing anyone. And, with two omni-directional microphone arrays, they should have no problems hearing you either.
On top, the Dock features capacitive buttons for play/pause and a plus and minus key for the volume. Physical buttons straddle either side of the control panel – one for muting the microphone and the other, a branded Microsoft Teams button, for raising your hand in meetings.
Microsoft say it's compatible with Zoom and Google Meet, too.
It seems like a fantastic solution for keeping your desk clutter-free, without compromising on ease-of-use. Starting at $249.99 (which translates to around £225 / €259 / AU$399) this is definitely not a cheap device. But for a simple way to expand and enhance your home-working setup without adding clutter, I can see it being a popular one.