There is nothing more frustrating than when the audio in your meeting breaks up. Poor audio quality—static, low volume, echo—affects meeting productivity immediately. We’ve all experienced this—meeting participants asking for information repeatedly, and then the meeting ends without clear next steps. Suddenly a meeting that should have taken 15 minutes is now taking upwards of an hour’s worth of time from your team members for everyone to get on the same page.
Clear audio is critical for productive meetings. So how do you fix poor meeting room quality? Contact AV Solutions to discuss the many ways to improve audio in your meeting rooms.There isn’t a magical one-step fix, however there are considerations you should know that will make your meeting room audio better.
What to Consider for Necessary Audio Intelligibility
There are many things that can affect your audio quality. A solution you’ve implemented could cause the audio to be unintelligible. Let’s look at factors that can affect your desired audio intelligibility.
- Direction and location of talkers.The size of the room and room furniture play a role in the audio quality. Are the microphones placed so they can optimally pick up spoken word? Are the correct microphones being used? Gooseneck vs boundary, super-cardioid vs omni-cardioid, size or form-factor, and frequency response are a few key microphone choices that can directly impact audio intelligibility.
- Background noise sources. Do meeting participants need to speak louder to be heard over the HVAC? Are background discussions being picked up during the meeting?
- Room acoustics. Some of the most beautiful meeting rooms offer poor acoustics. Marble may look great, but it will reflect the audio in the room. By adding acoustic properties to the room—carpet, drapes, and sound absorption panels—you’ll improve intelligibility by keeping the original sound separated from natural echos, which can create audible but unintelligible sounds that get picked up by the microphone.
- Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) capabilities. Choosing the correct AEC for your needs is important, as there are large disparities between professional-grade DSPs. Your system should only have a single active AEC throughout the audio chain. Using AEC correctly in audio calls can improve the audio intelligibility.
- VoIP, SIP, and PSTN conversion and processing. Converting audio into telecommunication (phone) standards is often an overlooked source of poor audio quality. Because of non-linear dynamic process techniques, audio may become garbled with chunks of audio missing, making the sound on the far-end unintelligible.
An experienced AV technology partner will review these factors with you. They will examine the entire chain of audio passage and operation to identify any adjustments needed to prevent a weak link. They will then provide insight and explain how the technology solution will work.
How Acoustic Echo Cancellation Products Differ
AEC products are not equal in performance. This can be the reason why your otherwise quality designed AV system cannot deliver clear audio pickup.
Here is a look at critical differences in AEC performance:
- Db reduction
- Frequency response
- Reaction speed
- Quality of the output audio
These differences can dramatically affect whether the meeting room audio will be picked up cleanly. They can also affect how the audio will sound on to the far-end participants after being processed through VoIP, PSTN, or additional DSP audio chains.
How We Can Help Your Audio Challenges
We do extensive in-house testing, design engineering, use calculation standards, and conduct ongoing research & development of AV equipment. We do this to ensure that the equipment and system configuration will achieve critical audio clarity before it is handed over to you. You can be confident that your project is not the guinea pig for theoretical ideas.
We also take the time to understand your business objectives. We then align the solution to best solve your challenges for your meeting space.
Poor meeting room audio quality is unacceptable. If you have meeting room audio challenges, we can help. Talk to AV Solutions today.