AnkerWork B600 Video Bar Review – There are many ways to have great quality video when you are on a video call. The obvious advice is to have good lighting in the room you’re in, but often times you can’t get one. Most people rely on these ceiling lights and few can afford to have a proper lighting setup in the room.
You can get around this problem by getting a really good webcam like the one I used before, the Jabra PanaCast 20. But it sells for AU$559, which is beyond most people’s budget unless you’re a pro . You can also buy smaller light kits like the Elgato Key Light Air or the smaller, portable version, Key Light Mini. Or for an even smaller one specifically designed to make you look better in video calls, the Logitech Litra Glow.
But imagine if you could just buy a good webcam with the light built into the product. Would not it be nice ?
And yes, it definitely seems like the best choice because you can save money and space at the same time. Check out the AnkerWork B600 video bar.
AnkerWork B600 Video Bar Review – Unboxing and Package Contents
AnkerWork B600 Video Bar Review – Design and Features
The AnkerWork B600 video bar not only has a built-in light but also a microphone and speaker at the same time. So you get an all-in-one video bar with camera, speaker, microphone and light. And it also has a privacy cover.
Its camera supports 2K resolution (2560×1440) with an adjustable field of view via an app (65°, 78°, 95°). Note that this is digital zoom only.
Its microphone is a 4-mic array with AGC (keeps voices at the same level up to 2 meters away)/AEC (automatic echo cancellation)/ANC (active noise cancellation). Using VoiceRadar technology, the microphone system can amplify your voice while reducing background noise. I tested running the Panasonic Portable nanoe X generator (a rather noisy portable air purifier) around the webcam in different positions, then recorded my voice for testing. I found that the microphone system could detect my voice when I started speaking and I could hear the hum and then choke in the background as I spoke. It won’t completely eliminate the noise itself, but it’s muffled nicely and my voice is in the foreground. I’m quite amazed by that actually.
There’s also a microphone mute button on the right side of the webcam, and you’ll see an illuminated red LED below the lens when it’s muted.
Its speaker system is a dual speaker system (2 x 2W) and while you can listen to music and watch movies with it, it’s certainly not ideal (or designed for it) as it lacks bass and power to drive the sound. However, it’s great for video conferencing and if you don’t have a monitor with built-in speakers like my BENQ EX2780Q or desktop speakers, it’s more than enough.
Its built-in light can be turned on and off directly on the webcam, but even surprisingly, you can also adjust the brightness directly. The light design is smart as it doubles as a privacy cover for the lens. Flip the light panel over to reveal the lens and also turn on the light. Lower it to turn off the light and also cover the lens at the same time.
Apart from these hardwares, AnkerWork B600 video bar is also powered by powerful software features: smart auto exposure, smart color enhancement, solo frame and smart auto focus. With smart autofocus, you can set it so the software follows your movements and always puts you in the center. If you’re always on the go while video conferencing (or creating video content), this is a great feature to make sure everyone can always see you. The software can also automatically balance color temperature and brightness depending on how dark or bright your room is.
It all sounds great, but I had high expectations with the light and a little disappointed to see it’s not as bright as I thought. With its brightness set to maximum, I can barely notice the difference in daylight compared to using the lighting gear I mentioned earlier.
In a poorly lit room at night, however, I can see that the lights come on a bit to illuminate my face (though not as much as I expected). Streamers and content creators shouldn’t expect this to replace your existing lighting gear, but if you often video call in a dark room, the built-in light can help.
Here’s a comparison when the light bar is off, on (with the coolest color temperature), and on with the warmest color temperature (you can see the difference here as it makes my complexion look more natural):
Comparison between Jabra PanaCast 20 (left) and Anker VideoBar 600 (right):
The set itself is excellent but also makes the device heavier than traditional webcams. If you’re on the desktop and put the webcam on the monitor, you’ll be fine. But it will be harder to configure if you are trying to use it on a lightweight laptop. Fortunately, the mounting bracket can be used as a desktop stand so you can place the B600 VideoBar on a desktop surface.
The package includes a separate power adapter to power it separately but, interestingly, I find it can just be powered by the USB-C cable connected to my desk (without plugging it into the power supply). A USB-C cable is also included, but it’s quite short. You may need to invest in a longer USB-C cable, depending on your computer setup.
AnkerWork B600 Video Bar Review Conclusion
AnkerWork B600 VideoBar has everything for all your video calling needs: built-in lightbar, microphone, speaker, and lens. Each of these components also benefits from special treatments and a set of clever features. You can adjust the lighting brightness and temperature manually (or automatically), the microphone system has pretty good active noise cancellation (which I haven’t seen in any webcam before), the speaker system is adequate for video conferencing needs, and the lens offers 2K resolution with autofocus and autotracking.
Despite a few minor flaws, AnkerWork B600 VideoBar is a great all-around webcam that may seem expensive, but can cut the cost of buying desktop speakers and a desktop microphone if you don’t have them yet. The included lighting is adequate but not as bright as I expected. And in some cases, you can achieve the same glowing effect by opening a blank, white document on your screen. However, the ability to set the color temperature to a warmer temperature gives your face a more natural complexion. Professional streamers and content creators should always invest in better lighting equipment to make their content look more professional.
AnkerWork B600 VideoBar retails for A$499.95 and is available to purchase now from the Anker Australia website. Also at Amazon.
Disclosure: An AnkerWork B600 VideoBar review sample was provided for review
AnkerWork B600 Video Bar Review
An all-in-one webcam with built-in speaker, microphone, privacy cover and light
- Great image quality
- Smart privacy cover design that doubles as a light bar
- On-device touch controls to adjust brightness and mute microphone
- Has a built-in microphone with active noise cancellation and works surprisingly well
- Has built-in speakers
- Powered by powerful software features
- The light isn’t that strong and in some cases it doesn’t make much difference unless the room you’re in is pitch dark
- Microphone mute button is a bit difficult to press with one hand
- Short data cable
- Heavy/bulky but understandable considering what you get inside