The Future of Conferencing Audio
Workspaces are undergoing a complete transformation as businesses envision a post-pandemic future. With meeting rooms acting as the nerve center of many companies, understanding the shifting use and technical requirements of these spaces is essential. What does the future hold for audio conferencing?
Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2
Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2 offers high-audio quality for voice and videoconferences. Thanks to its patented dynamic beamforming technology, the array automatically follows the active speaker’s voice, letting people speak at a natural volume whether they are sitting, standing, or walking around the room.
“It’s all about touchless audio,” said David Missall, technical application engineer manager at Sennheiser’s business communication division. “In today’s office environment, the question on every AV and IT professional’s mind is how to make meeting spaces, presentation rooms, and classroom technology as safe as possible. As hygiene is an important factor for all organizations in the wake of COVID-19, there is an urgent need to eliminate AV integrations with shared microphone and headphone technology.”
There are many options for corporate and education environments having to adapt to COVID-19 recommendations, such as Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2 microphone array technology, whose beamforming technology makes it suitable for environments with social distancing.
“It eliminates the need for multiple microphones in a meeting, presentation, or classroom space by automatically tracking the person who is speaking at that moment. It is also certified for Microsoft Teams and is compatible with Zoom, enabling high-quality audio collaboration for increasingly remote workforces and classrooms,” added Missall.
Working to Capacity
As companies begin to welcome employees back into the office, conference rooms will be used differently. We won’t see people filling conferencing spaces to capacity. Integrators will need to ensure their customers’ technology will work for employees who are physically spread out more within the same space.
The same goes for loudspeakers. To ensure that what is being said can be easily heard by all participants, directing sound efficiently and in the right direction will be key.
Travel restrictions will likely continue, so face-to-face meetings may be replaced by online collaboration. Huddle rooms and conference rooms will be as popular as ever, with one or maybe a few people in the room due to social distancing. Quality audio capabilities and ease of use will be critical.
This means organizations will need to equip teams with the right products for home conferencing, and equip offices with gear that facilitates distancing and improves the experience for remote attendees—from earphones or headphones to USB mics and touchless array mics in conference rooms.
It is more important now than ever before that integrators are able to scale and customize audio pickup in conference rooms. With fewer people allowed in meeting rooms at one time, your audio must cover the room adequately to accommodate larger spaces, with a conference room ecosystem that gives you freedom to scale your audio and customize it based on the needs of each room.
Audio networking will continue to have an impact on conferencing audio. With audio over IP becoming a new standard, the associated capabilities will continue to far exceed USB audio solutions. Networkable audio gives you the ability to manage an entire organization remotely, identify problems before they occur, and push updates automatically to all devices. This way, your ecosystem is constantly strengthening and providing users with the best experience possible.
After all, conferencing audio is an investment. Technology changes quickly, and having a system that grows with the user and has a strong customer support system in place is extremely important.
Keep It Simple
Simplicity is key when it comes to system design and integration. Conference audio is expected to be as simple as possible now. As personal technology and devices are intuitive and seamless, the same experience is increasingly being expected of business solutions and classroom technology. Everything is driven by the end user, and they want plug-and-play products with a user-friendly interface and built-in automation.
Achieving simplicity with this level of audio is not as easy as it sounds. The most common misconception is that it is easy to achieve good audio. A lot of the time, audio is an afterthought of an install. In reality, it is the most important factor and can make or break the user’s experience.