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How to listen better for more productive meetings

The advantages of spatial audio in UCC

March 02, 2020

How to listen better for more productive meetings

More and more companies today use audio conferencing as a way to bridge distance and accommodate the schedules and whereabouts of disparate employees. However, in some circumstances audio conferencing is less than ideal—it can be difficult to identify the current speaker, and if more than one person is talking at the same time, none of them can be understood easily.

Spatial audio, also known as ambisonics, can help alleviate these drawbacks. This full-sphere, surround-sound technique uses a dimensional approach to audio to mimic the way people hear in real life. This allows listeners to pinpoint where sound is coming from in a conference room or other setting. Spatial audio can take two forms: binaural (through headphones) or object-based (via video cameras, TVs, radios, conference phones and other devices).

The advantages of spatial audio in UCC
The benefits of spatial audio are well documented in scientific research, which has found that people interpret and absorb sound much more effectively when it is spatially separated. That’s why spatial audio is such an enhancement to UCC, delivering a much more productive and meaningful audio conference. It gives attendees the ability to:

  • Detect and hear accurately what a person is saying and separate out unnecessary sounds and focus on the necessary—particularly when someone is speaking in a noisy multi-talker environment.
  • Hear multiple sources (talkers and background audio) without losing focus.
  • Detect interrupting or waiting speakers during an ongoing conversation— basically being more in tune with the dynamic of the meeting to intuitively assign content to appropriate speakers.
  • Identify the number of talkers present in a multi-talker environment—resulting in more efficient interactions between talkers, as the ear almost instinctively knows who is present and has a more natural interactivity with them.
When attendees hear points more clearly, meetings tend to run shorter and more is accomplished—so spatial audio can also lead to more productive meetings.

If you want to learn more about spatial audio and the technology to make it happen, contact our UCC specialist, Chad Simon.

You’ll like what you hear.