We’re ending the year by identifying key technologies you don’t want to overlook in 2019. First, we evaluated conference room cameras, then we tackled collaboration screens. In today’s blog, we again went to Ingram Micro’s in-house UCC experts—Curt Vurpillat and Chad Simon—to learn more about the latest conference room audio trends. Here are 5 trends to watch:
- Wireless audio
As many offices look to add flexible huddle spaces to their conference room options, the costs associated with wiring an area or room for AV can be cost-prohibitive. Vendors have responded by releasing wireless audio solutions that eliminate unwieldy wires and cords while providing on-the-fly configurability.
- Speaker form factor
Today’s conference room speakers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including sound bars. For example, HARMON’s AMX Acendo Vibe combines JBL speakers, far-field microphones and DSP algorithms to ensure participants can be heard. Bluetooth allows you to connect wirelessly, and audio inputs and outputs can be leveraged to integrate the device with other room technology, such as hearing-enhanced systems.
For customers seeking subtle technology implementations, microphone arrays and speakers can be ceiling-mounted. Some implementations fit within standard ceiling tiles to blend into the existing office ceiling. Ceiling speakers are ideal for large rooms that require a full sound. In-ceiling microphones are great for medium to large conference rooms where multiple people may be speaking.
- DSP advancements
A DSP (digital signal processing) may be required to capture audio from microphones and process it for transmission. Benefits of a DSP include:
- Active noise control—the removal of unwanted ambient sounds through cancellation effects
- Echo cancellation—good for large rooms
- Sound enhancement—improves sound quality
Historically, the challenge with DSPs is that they aren’t easy to setup and configure. That’s changing. For example, Phoenix Audio’s menu-driven sounds engineering seeks to redefine DSPs made simple. It’s also now possible to find conference room solutions with built-in DSPs. Today, DSPs can be local or cloud-based. In either case, they’ve become more user-friendly and easier to use.
- Audio intelligence
Related to DSP, companies such as Dolby, with its all-in-one voice solutions, provide high-quality audio for conference calls, suppressing background noise and separating participants and adjusting levels to make it easier to hear each voice on the call. Dolby Voice Room (which also includes video) provides features that dynamically adjust acoustics of the meeting space to maximize the sound quality for each participant.
By piecing these next-generation audio technologies together with leading video solutions, you can create solutions that provide exceptional communication and collaboration experiences for your customers. Contact your Ingram Micro representative to learn more.