6 Reasons to Skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone Today

Office colleagues having casual discussion during meeting in conference room. Group of men and women sitting in conference room and smiling.

6 Reasons to Skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone Today

The Anker S500 Speakerphone appeared on the market in 2021 to keep stay-at-home workers connected. And while it helps keep you hands-free, this system has some drawbacks. Working from home is today’s norm, since many workers choose to continue working from a home office rather than heading back into the workspace. And that means you have more flexibility to take phone calls in a convenient manner. However, the Anker S500 may not be the best at helping you do so.

Let’s investigate some reasons to skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone, but first, we’ll look at its history.

Some Background on the Anker S500 Speakerphone

#1 Best Overall
Anker S500 Speakerphone
  • Zoom + Google Meet certified
  • USB Type-C
  • Bluetooth
  • Microphone and Speaker
  • Wireless
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11/30/2023 10:07 pm GMT

If you’re a work-from-home employee, you need connectivity just as if you were in the office. Since there are no other workers in your space, you have the flexibility to use a speakerphone without disturbing your coworkers. And that’s a definite bonus.

Anker has long been an electronics-based company and you might be most familiar with their comprehensive line of chargers. But they are moving into the workspace with products like the Anker S500 Speakerphone. It uses four microphones and VoiceRadar technology to magnify a voice while filtering out background sounds.

The product started out wowing users, right up until it didn’t. Some users find that the speaker still sounds tinny, muffled, or echo-y, no matter what adjustments and software updates they make. Unfortunately, other users experience periods when their callers can’t hear them speaking. And that just doesn’t work for business calls.

So while Anker products generally get top marks, the Anker S500 Speakerphone may need some refinement to become consumers’ desired powerhouse product.

Reasons to Skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone

Here are several reasons to skip an Anker S500 speakerphone.

Poor Voice Quality

One of the most significant complaints about the Anker S500 Speakerphone is the poor voice quality. And it comes from both sides of the phone call. So the person using the speakerphone hears callers with tinny-sound voices. But they also sound wrong to the callers as well. For example, the speakerphone may give your voice a distant, robotic, or echoing sound. Or even worse, colleagues may not be able to hear you at all because of your voice cutting out completely.

Powering off and Restarting Randomly

Some Anker S500 Speakerphone users have issues with the system randomly powering off or restarting intermittently. Not having reliable service makes the product almost useless in some cases. Even after updating the software, some users still report issues with intermittent restarts.

Mute Button Doesn’t Always Mute

how to mute zoom
An unreliable Mute button poses serious privacy concerns.


Unfortunately, the S500 speakerphone doesn’t always mute voices in the room, even when the mute light comes on. Not being able to trust the device ultimately makes decision-making more difficult. You can’t have effective sidebar conversations without the privacy granted by the mute button.

Quits Working Entirely

A significant complaint from Anker S500 Speakerphone users is that it sometimes simply quits working entirely. And no amount of restarts, powering on and off, or software updates will make a difference. People seem to love the product when they get a reliably working system, but it’s hard to take the chance of maybe getting a lemon.

Bluetooth Only Works on One Device

If you’re using the speakerphone in a large conference room, you may want to set up a second system so everyone around the table can hear and be heard. However, you can only get Bluetooth connectivity on the first speakerphone, as it won’t work for two or more of them simultaneously. Now that’s not an automatic deal breaker since you can connect the second speakerphone via USB-C cable. But having two different types of connection in one room is a pain.

Microphone Lag Time

The last reason you might choose to skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone is the short lag time in the microphone. It often cuts off the first word in a sentence, which is a bigger problem when you give a one-word answer (or, according to the Anker S500, no answer).

Alternatives to Anker S500 Speakerphones

If you want to avoid an Anker S500 Speakerphone, here are some excellent alternatives.

Poly Sync 20

Exceptional Portability
Poly Sync 20 USB-A Personal Portable Smart Speakerphone (Plantronics)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth or USB-A cable
  • Can also be used as a standard speaker or portable charger
  • Battery: 20 hrs
  • Rated IP64
  • Features multiple microphones with noise and echo reduction for great call clarity
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11/30/2023 05:34 pm GMT

This small and portable speakerphone is ideal for work-from-home business meetings. It’s even light enough to drop in your laptop bag and take along to shared workspaces. And the Bluetooth technology lets you sync two phones, so if you have one for work and one for personal calls, you can make and receive calls with either phone through the Poly Sync 20.

Another great feature is the ability to use this speakerphone when you don’t have access to an electrical plug-in. The battery time on the device is sufficient to make the calls you need without worrying that you’ll lose power.

Jabra Speak 510 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

High-Quality Calls
Jabra Speak 510 Wireless Bluetooth Speakerphone
  • Excellent sound quality for crystal clear calls
  • Can host cost conference calls as well as stream media
  • Battery powered for added portability
  • Supports Bluetooth connectivity
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11/30/2023 05:34 pm GMT

Users appreciate the sound quality of the Jabra Speak 510 speaker, with continual high ratings for clear conversations on both sides of the call. And because the speaker is wireless, you can use it pretty much anywhere without fear of dropping calls. You can also connect the device to your laptop or mobile phone for multimedia streaming, making your presentations more professional. And that’s a quick way to impress a client or colleague.

The easy setup lets you use Jabra Speak for work meetings or Google Meets with your Grandma. Who are we to say how you use it? Your life, your rules.

Wired Headsets: Turtle Beach Recon 50 Headset

Gaming Commander
Turtle Beach Recon 50 Gaming Headset – Red/Blue
  • Lightweight design
  • In-Line controls for added convenience
  • Microphone (adjustable) has great sensitivity for exceptional clarity
  • 40nm speakers produce phenomenal sound
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11/30/2023 05:40 pm GMT

Made for gaming, wired headsets are ideal for taking phone calls and remaining hands-free. So you can take notes, play Solitaire, or do whatever it takes to get through that business meeting. Then later, use the same headset with your favorite gaming setup.

We like that this headset pulls double duty and comes in colors that keep you alert throughout the workday. When you want to take calls without fighting a speakerphone setup, headsets make it easy to skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone. And honestly, gamers have demanded quality products, so Turtle Beach continues upping its game.

Portable Bluetooth Speaker: iHome IBT77 Portable Speaker

Multipurpose Speaker
iHome IBT77 Portable Bluetooth Speaker (Gray with/Light Blue)
  • Rated IP65
  • Supports voice and app control
  • Includes speakerphone functionality (echo cancelation and caller ID)
  • Battery: 8 hours
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11/30/2023 05:44 pm GMT

Many of us already own portable Bluetooth speakers that work well for use as speakerphones. I use iHome’s iBT77 model, which is just as suitable for business meetings as for impromptu dance parties after dinner. And even though it gets a little dusty sometimes, it still works like a charm.

You can use portable speakers with Bluetooth or with direct audio through the aux-in jack. The charge lasts up to eight hours before requiring a recharge, so your work day is covered.

the iHome iBT77 portable bluetooth speaker
The iBT77 lasts up to 8 hours per charge, making it ideal for all-day use.


Wrapping Up

We’ve shared six reasons to skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone since they sometimes have tinny, robotic, or echoing sounds. They also randomly power on or off, restart, and even quit working. In addition, the microphone tends to lag, while the mute button doesn’t always mute. So these reasons help you make a more thoughtful buying decision. Some alternatives include portable speakers, headsets, and higher-rated speakerphone options.

Reasons to Skip an Anker S500 Speakerphone Summary
1. Poor voice quality, both for the caller and user.
2. Random shut downs and restarts, even during calls.
3. Unreliable Mute button.
4. Some possibility of getting a dud that just stops working entirely.
5. Bluetooth is only able to connect to one device at a time.
6. The short microphone lag time sometimes cuts off words.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good speaker for Zoom meetings?

We’re partial to the Poly Sync 20, and Jabra Speak 510. Both are great alternatives for Zoom meetings, Google Meets, and other video calls.

Is there a difference between a microphone and a speakerphone?

Speakerphones often have background noise-canceling capabilities, while microphones capture all voices and sounds.

Why can I hear myself talk on a speakerphone?

Acoustic feedback from the party you’re speaking to, a slow Wi-Fi connection, or even a defective speakerphone may all cause you to hear your voice when talking.

Do LED lights on speakerphones change color when muted?

The LED light next to your mute button is regularly white but changes to red or another color when muted, depending on your speakerphone model.

Do speakerphones connect to tablets?

A speakerphone should be able to connect to a tablet or another device of your choosing, either through Bluetooth or a USB connection. If you’re unsure, you can always check the devices’ manufacturers’ websites to make sure that they’re compatible.

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