When designing a boardroom, conference room or training facility, organizations tend to focus heavily on the video component.

After all, the visuals tend to appeal to us the most – and with the technology these days, video is super impressive and makes it feel as if the conference participants are right there in the same room.

While video is an extremely important part of the conference room experience, the quality of the conference room audio can have just as significant positive or negative impact.

Here are 3 things to consider regarding your conference room audio.

1. Engage Your AV Partner Sooner Than Later

A lot of organizations are building out conference rooms with a lot of glass as part of the trend toward open office areas. The problem is that glass reflects sound, creating an echo effect that makes conference calls very challenging. Conferencing equipment that would normally deliver high-quality sound simple won’t perform as well.

Unfortunately, this happens because organizations aren’t engaging an AV partner early enough in the design process to discuss things like the acoustics of a room. These issues often are considered after the fact, so we have to look at adding treatments to improve acoustics in a facility that’s already been constructed.

By reaching out to us early, our AV designers can account for all of these factors up-front, saving you time, money and headaches.

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2. Hard Versus Soft Surfaces

Hard surfaces in your conference rooms, such as the large glass walls and windows mentioned above, along with large drywall surfaces, large marker board surfaces and bare walls and floors will reflect sound waves for a longer period of time than soft surfaces like cloth-covered chairs and carpeted floors.

The prolonged sound wave reflection is known as reverberation. Too much creates a buildup of sound that makes a room louder and covers up the direct sound, such as the voice of the presenter.

Some simple solutions including swapping out hard chairs for cloth-covered ones, installing carpet or hanging curtains. More technical and robust solutions include acoustical ceiling tiles, ceiling mounted baffles and wall-mounted acoustical panels.

3. Upgrade Your Audio Equipment

One big conference room AV mistake is microphone placement. Depending on the type of conference room microphone you choose, placement determines its behavior. Having a poorly placed microphone can lead to audio issues like feedback from nearby audio sources. Fortunately, using the correct microphone in the right place helps prevent these issues.

Many microphones are designed to be installed into or suspended from a ceiling. Benefits of using these microphones include:

  • Superior voice coverage across a room.
  • Removal of a microphone from a table, or deck, which helps prevent feedback from user-created noise like shuffling papers or typing.
  • Elimination of wires and other tech clutter, which creates a more natural experience and enhances a conference room’s appearance.

Companies such as Biamp have developed beamtracking and other technologies. That is to say, they help microphones focus on us rather than making us focus on them. Biamp’s beamtracking microphones have one focus: your voice and where you are in the room.

Want to Learn More About Conference Room Audio?

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About the Author:

Ultimate Technologies Group is the global expert in virtual communication and collaboration technology. When it comes to high-end Audio Visual technology solutions, we are trusted by some of the most respected brands:

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“The commitment by Will and his team to our success is second to none. What they bring to the table is their flexibility and their partnership, and they truly listen to you.”

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