With working from home and digital learning both becoming more common, companies are looking for ways to offer affordable tools to make both of those easier. ClearOne, who specializes in audio and visual communication devices, is out with a new entry-level webcam. With all of the features needed for quality video, the plug-and-play ClearOne Unite 10 makes staying connected easier and comes in at a very reasonable $70. Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
Out of the box
Some of the cost-saving nature is evident right after getting the Unite 10 out of the box. With very simple packaging, the webcam comes wrapped in bubble wrap with a quick start guide. But, being a very simple plug and play camera, that’s all you need to get up and running.
Designed to sit on top of different monitors and laptop screens, the Clearone Unite 10 has a versatile mounting system. Similar to other webcams, there is a hinged bracket that can easily clip to the top of a display. The camera can then pivot as well to get the right angle. There is no horizontal adjustment, so the camera should be placed in the center of a monitor for the best image.
ClearOne Unite 10: How’s the image?
For video, the Unite 10 features up to 1080p30 for a nice crisp image. Using OBS to tweak some settings, it can easily run at less than that as well, but 1080 does look the sharpest. It will autofocus and auto-adjust exposure, though this is not going to see in the dark.
Now, this isn’t a high-end webcam. It’s entry-level from Clearone and directly competes with Logitech’s most affordable webcam as well. Using it on a 2013 Macbook Pro to compare with the Facetime cam, in OBS the image looks sharper and brighter from the Unite 10. The image also crops in when in the “high” resolution setting compared to the 720p. When comparing the two in Zoom, the Unite 10 appeared brighter, though there wasn’t really much of a boost in resolution over the built-in Facetime cam, but that might be on zoom’s end.
ClearOne Unite 10: Video
One thing to note here, as with all webcams, the quality of the image is going to greatly depend on lighting. No matter what camera you are using if you are backlit by windows without any additional light on your face, it probably won’t look great, especially with an entry-level webcam.
If using the Unite 10 with a laptop, the best bet is to find a spot near a window to get some nice, bright daylight, but there are also great lighting options if you need to supplement the image a bit. Where I have my desktop set up is pretty terrible for video conferencing. Sometimes I opt for my laptop and face the windows to get better light. But, sometimes I still use my desktop and just add a light to combat the backlight from the two windows behind me. A ring light like the Elgato ring light is great for this, but any other light you have on hand can work well, too.
Equipped with a microphone, the ClearOne Unite 10 is ready to run as an all-in-one option. But, just like most webcams, your call is going to be better served by an external mic. Something like the Razer Seiren Mini or HyperX SoloCast would be perfect. Likewise, you could just go with a pair of earbuds with an in-line mic or a gaming headset as well.
ClearOne Unite 10: in-use
It really doesn’t get much simpler than the ClearOne Unite 10. Compatible on both Windows 10 and macOS, just plug in the USB 2.0 cable and the camera is up and running. I had no issues using it in OBS, zoom, and Google hangouts. The microphone isn’t great, but it will get you by in a pinch if you don’t have another option. I found the image to be clear and crisp, and it seemed to err on the side of brightness, which is better than being too dark, in my opinion, for conference calls.
Of course, the Unite 10 isn’t the only option out there for a good webcam. If you need more features, FPS, or shoot vertical, be sure to check out the Logitech Streamcam, though it is $100 more than the ClearOne. One other option is to repurpose a Wyze Cam v2 or Wyze Cam Pan, which though that isn’t its the main purpose, at $20, is a very affordable way to get a webcam. Just supply your own USB-A to USB-A cable, flash the camera with a file from Wyze, and it’s good to go. Be sure to check out the video for an example of how this looks.
Affordable and packing all of the necessary features, the ClearOne Unite webcam is a great low-cost way to start video conferencing. I would definitely recommend adding a microphone or using an in-line mic in a pair of earbuds, but on the video side, it looks pretty good when the scene is set up with the right light.
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