Audio is the unsung hero of the modern meeting room. While video technology often steals the spotlights, nothing would ever get done without clear, intelligible audio in conference rooms and meeting spaces.
And audio has never been more important than it is today. As businesses continue to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, many workplaces are moving to a hybrid model with some employees working in-person, some working remotely, and many doing both. Good audio is key to keeping these hybrid teams connected, collaborating, and productive.
But what exactly makes good audio? Here are six functionalities your meeting spaces should have to ensure everyone can hear and be heard no matter where they are.
Get Good Audio with These 6 Essential Capabilities
- Audio coverage that enables physical distancing. For employees who are working in-person, keeping a safe distance from each other will be a requirement for the foreseeable future. That means full microphone coverage around the room that allows participants to space out, move around the room, speak naturally, and still be picked up. Full audio coverage also means meeting participants can space out and move around the room and still be able to hear meeting participants clearly.
- Audio Echo Cancelling well matched for your environment and physical configuration. Matching an AEC to a meeting room isn’t complicated, but it’s critical and often overlooked. When the AEC tuning doesn’t correctly match the meeting space, the audio system cannot produce the expected outcomes. Poorly placed speakers, microphones, and noise sources can also limit the audio quality and prevent an effective AEC from doing the optimum job required.
- Room acoustics that support intelligibility. Meeting rooms that look good don’t always sound good. Design elements such as floor-to-ceiling windows or glass walls, marble accents, and hardwood furniture can all reflect sound and garble your audio. Adding acoustic elements such as sound absorption panels, curtains, drapes, carpet, and cloth furniture—for example, cloth chairs—can improve the intelligibility of your audio by keeping the original sound separated from natural echos and background noise from being picked up by your microphones. Clever room treatment techniques can turn a modern room into a functional room.
- Limited physical contact with shared devices. BYOD connections to microphones, speakers and other audiovisual tools let your teams use meeting room systems from their own devices, reducing touchpoints in the workplace. Touchless control enabled by AVOS such as voice activation or room occupancy sensors can also let employees engage with AV technology without touching the same surfaces.
- Flexibility to support changing room designs. As employees move between in-person and remote work, the demands on your meeting spaces can change quickly. Your cafeteria may need to convert into a conference room to accommodate a larger group safely. Or your large conference spaces may need to divide into smaller rooms to accommodate smaller, COVID-19-compliant groups. AV Solutions have configured many rooms with fixed flex-microphone capabilities, providing broader, whole room coverage for various applications which can be automatically adjusted with auto-detected room configuration provided by AVOS. These configurations can be powerful with clear audio while dramatically reducing the time, energy, and attention of a company’s workforce.
- Equipment that’s easy to install, maintain, and adjust. A remote workforce includes a remote IT team. With IT teams not on-site to respond immediately to issues with meeting room AV technology, you need audio solutions that are easy for your teams to use and take care of. A remote diagnostic tool such as AVOS from AV Solutions can add another layer of support when in-person IT help isn’t readily available. Any time an issue arises with your meeting room technology, AVOS takes a real-time, diagnostic snapshot of your system and sends it to the AV Solutions team for a quick resolution.
AV Experts from AV Solutions Can Help You Hear and Be Heard
So, how does your meeting room audio stack up? Do your meeting spaces have the flexibility and functionality they need to accommodate the evolving requirements of the modern workplace? If you are missing any of the must-haves on this list, it might be time for an audio upgrade.
The team at AV Solutions takes the time to understand your business objectives and then find the best solutions to solve your meeting room challenges. Say good-bye to poor audio quality; get in touch with AV Solutions today.