Getting the best webcam has become increasingly important in recent times with the shift towards more remote working. Video conferencing is the norm for so many of us, and broadcasting through a webcam with the quality of a potato just doesn't cut it.
A lot of webcams are also increasingly targeted at content creators, which is fine, but they don't necessarily suit the needs of the workplace as well. That's where the eMeet C980 comes in.
This fairly affordable webcam is absolutely perfect for the home or the workplace, with hardware designed to make video conferencing as easy as possible while still ensuring a quality picture and ease of use.
Bottom line: A good webcam for the home or workplace with a wide field of view, but the speakers could be a little stronger.
- Wide field of view
- 1080p video
- Good image quality
- Built-in speakers and privacy filter
- Plug and play
- Speakers could be a little louder
eMeet C980: Price and availability
The eMeet C980 is available now in North America and Europe through Amazon for $90/£90. In Europe, it is also available through third-party retailers such as Argos for the same price. On Amazon, it's also worth looking out for discount vouchers which are often available to take the price down further.
eMeet C980: What you'll like
From a good webcam, you basically want a decent microphone and good quality video, and that's what you get from the eMeet C980. At its core, it doesn't do anything remarkable, instead just doing a good job on the basics.
Video wise you get up to 1080p at 30 FPS or 720p at 60 FPS, and it's backed by the usual sort of trickery you'd expect to find like backlight compensation. There is a companion app to this webcam to change some very basic settings, but even without it, you'll get along fine because it's entirely plug and play, and anything you need to do can be done within Windows or other software like OBS or NVIDIA Broadcast if you use them.
Image and video quality are pretty good, but the real killer feature is the 90-degree field of view. This is what sets the C980 apart from a number of its competitors at this price point and what makes it an ideal tool for the workplace. It'd be easy to pop one of these in a meeting room and be able to capture everyone without the need to get too close together. For content creators, that field of view gives you a lot of space to crop to fit any overlay templates you're using without sacrificing quality.
The other side to the C980 is the audio. Naturally, it has a microphone built in, but it's actually a four-microphone omnidirectional array with intelligent noise reduction. It isn't perfect, but if you're working in a slightly noisy environment it should help dull background noise, and again, it makes it a perfect tool to use in a meeting room with multiple participants.
The killer feature that makes this a great workplace webcam is the built-in speakers. If you're working at a desktop PC all day you don't have to worry about wearing headphones to be able to take part in a conference call. eMeet is better known for its conference call speakers, and having this included in the C980 is a real value add.
It's also got a built-in magnetic privacy filter. It's nothing fancy, simply a round plastic disc attached to a piece of string, but it works. Just pop it over the lens when you're done and it'll stick in place. It's also so obvious you won't actually forget to use it.
eMeet C980: What you won't like
This is a big webcam. There's quite a lot of hardware in it, so it isn't unjustified, but it's very much on the large side. I didn't really feel having it on my PC monitor, for one because I have vertically stacked displays and it was interfering with the top one. It might not be an issue for you, but you won't be hooking this over a laptop any time soon, either.
The alternative is to use a mini tripod since it has a standard screw thread underneath. The webcam tilts forward so you can still get the alignment just so, but on top of your monitor might not be the best place for it.
The speakers are also a tad on the quiet side if you're in anything but a quiet room. I've been using it for conference calls for a couple of weeks and with a desk fan running in the background I do struggle to hear what people are saying. It's a useful feature and the quality is very clear, but it could certainly use some more volume. And there are no controls in the companion app to make it louder, either.
eMeet C980: Competition
In this sort of price range, it's coming up against some of the best webcams around, like the legendary Logitech C920 or the content creator-friendly Razer Kiyo. All are good choices.
The C920 and Razer Kiyo are both smaller (even with the Kiyo's ring light) and so more suited to on-monitor placements or use with laptops, and both will deliver similar video. The C980 video is a little better looking than each overall, but it's close, though the 90-degree field of view certainly sets it apart.
Neither of these competitors offers the same kind of microphone tech, though, nor do they have speakers, even slightly quiet ones. For video conferencing, in particular, they're probably a little behind. But for content creation, the Logitech or Razer are probably better choices.
eMeet C980: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You want a good webcam under $100
- You do a lot of video conferencing
- Ease of use is important
You shouldn't buy this if ...
- You're expecting loud audio from the speakers
- You're going to use it with a laptop
- You're purely into content creation
The eMeet C980 is a very good webcam, certainly for its price. But it's undeniably a better choice for a work environment than for someone who's into content creation. Its entire design is suited to the office or the meeting room, with a wide field of view, omnidirectional microphones, and built-in speakers.
It is quite large though, and those speakers aren't particularly loud. You can probably do something about that with third-party software, but you shouldn't really have to. Nevertheless, this is an excellent, highly convenient tool to have in your office setup that won't break the bank.
Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine
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