Logitech Rally Bar Mini: specs
Image resolution: 3840 by 2160 pixels
Video Resolution: 4K/1440p/1080p/900p/720p/SD at 30fps
Diagonal Field of View (FOV): 120° (163° including pan)
Focus Type: Auto
Mounting Options: Stand, Optional wall, VESA mount
Cable Length: 7Ft
Are you the sort of person that likes to get up and pace around during meetings? That may pose a problem for even some of the best video conference cameras, as you’ll be pacing out of their field of view. Logitech may have the solution with the Rally Bar Mini, a conference room video conferencing system that uses AI and a camera that can pan and tilt to track you as you move and keep you in the frame.
The Rally Bar Mini is designed to be installed under the big TV in a conference or huddle room to allow a small group to video conference. It does an excellent job of that: it is simple to use with pretty much any conferencing software, provides excellent video and audio quality and is easy to expand with more microphones if required. It also has a built-in ethernet connection, so no need to scrabble around with cables. It isn’t cheap, though.
Logitech Rally Bar Mini review: price and availability
The Logitech Rally Bar Mini conference camera costs $2179/£2337/AU$4399, which includes the Rally bar with camera, speakers and echo-cancelling microphone, plus the various cables and connectors. There is also a larger Rally Bar, and the modular Rally Plus system, which both cost more. To bag a bargain, head to our Logitech discount codes.
Logitech Rally Bar Mini review: design
The Rally Bar Mini is an elegantly designed unit that looks rather like a high-end speaker bar you’d see on a fancy home theater setup. That is, perhaps, no coincidence, as Logitech also makes home theater speakers, and it shares some technology with them. It is designed to be permanently installed, so it lacks the clamps and stands that other conferencing systems use to sit on top of a TV. It does come with a simple, attractive stand, and there are optional mounts available that connect to the VESA mount on the back of the TV, so it can be mounted underneath a wall-mounted TV for a low-profile setup.
The camera protrudes slightly from the front of the Rally Bar Mini, and the entire camera mechanism can pan up to 25° left and right, and up to 15° up and down. There is no shutter or built-in cover for the camera.
On the rear of the Rally Bar Mini is a cover that hides all of the sockets and cables, held in place with two thumbscrews. Cable guides route the cables under this cover, holding them in place if someone decides to tug on them or drops their connected laptop. That’s a big plus if you want to install the camera permanently, as it discourages people from plugging and unplugging the cables.
The Rally Bar Mini also includes one HDMI in and two HDMI out ports, so you can route the video output of a computer through it to show on a TV or monitor. Again, this goes to the idea that this camera will be permanently installed.
The microphones of the Rally Bar Mini are located alongside the camera and use beam-forming, where several microphones work in an array to pick out the person speaking from any background noise. This also allows it to work in full-duplex, meaning that you can speak at the same time as someone else on the other end of the call and you will both still be heard. That’s great for those users who won’t shut up without being told to, or for those contentious discussions where you struggle to get a word in.
At either end of the bar are the speakers, which produce excellent, clear sound. With a power rating of 4W, they are loud enough to fill a small room without problems, but they are a bit small to fill a larger room or open-plan space.
If required, Logitech offers extra microphones that can be used around a larger conference room, but I found that the built-in ones were adequate for the small office I used for testing.
Logitech Rally Bar Mini review: setup
The Rally Bar Mini is designed to be permanently installed, so you have to route the cables under the cover and fix them in place with the cable guides. It comes with a nice long 7ft USB-C to USB-A cable, though, and it works on Windows and Macs without drivers.
The included remote control allows you to manually control the pan, tilt and zoom of the camera, as well as configuring preset spots for each. That’s very useful if you do sales presentations and want to show a product.
The Rally Bar Mini can also be used in what Logitech calls Appliance Mode, where the Rally Bar Mini runs the video conferencing software itself. That means you don’t need to connect to a laptop or PC at all. You set up the call with the optional Tap or Tap IP touch controller. The downside of Appliance mode is that you can only run video conference software that is certified to work with the Rally Bar. This includes Zoom Rooms, Microsoft Teams, Pexip, GoTo, RingCentral and Tencent.
Logitech Rally Bar Mini review: performance and accessories
I was impressed with the quality of the sound and video that the Rally Bar Mini captured. The video was clear and sharp, even in lower light and the tracking system kept up with me as I paced around my office searching for my muse or a lost USB cable. The microphones also did a great job of picking my speech out from the background noise, as well as from the sound coming out of the speakers of the Rally Bar Mini itself.
The remote control is also useful, as it allows you to stay in control of a call without using a laptop, which helps you stay more engaged.
Logitech Rally Bar Mini review: verdict
The Rally Bar Mini is an elegant system that provides top-notch video and audio quality. I was impressed with the quality of the captured audio and video, and the camera tracked me quickly and quietly as I paced around my office. It is also very expandable, with options for a touch-screen controller and extra microphones. It is expensive, though, and maybe more conference camera than most small businesses need.
Logitech Rally Bar Mini review: also consider
The Rally Bar Mini is an excellent, expandable conference room video system, but there are plenty of other options available. If you want to add more microphones or multiple cameras, the Logitech Rally Bar or the Rally Plus system both offer features that can scale up the system for bigger rooms. The Jabra Panacast is another option, which is significantly cheaper and has the option to show a 180-degree view for large groups.