As an AV products manufacturer we are asked by end-users and AV Integrators to help provide input and design assist the best audio conferencing solution for conference rooms. Of course there could be more than one individual solution or several options, depending upon certain preferences (e.g. wired vs. wireless mics, etc.) and budget considerations. But, let’s put budget aside for now and assume the user simply wants the best possible audio experience for a conference room.
The next course of action is to gather pertinent information about the room. There are the basics – room dimensions, ceiling height, wall materials, floor materials, acoustic ceiling tiles or drywall, etc. – in other words learning about the acoustic properties of the room. We are then provided some additional information such as: “we only need mics to cover the conference room table, we will have remote callers in home offices and using cell phones, and we have an analog phone system in the conference room.” At this point some folks may think this is enough information to make recommendations based on the basic data gathered.
However, some additional information will help to truly provide the best solution. What is the functionality of the room? How many people will be in the room? Consider the popular, ever-changing, multi-purpose conference rooms today...is it possible that the table layout of the room could change? With the additional particulars the ClearOne University Calculator can be utilized to calculate Reverb Time, Critical Distance, Signal to Noise and Mic Placement, etc. Now we have a much clearer picture of the audio requirements for the room and the ability to provide possible solutions.
But there is one extra question that could be asked:
“Has it ever happened, as folks are sitting around the conference room table, that the door suddenly opens and an executive, temporarily, but actively, joins the meeting while standing by the door just inside the room? ”
At that point, the executive is one of the more important speakers in the room and needs to be heard by all. And many times this is when you’ll see the proverbial light bulb go on and the response is, “oh sure that happens... great point... So maybe we should consider full-room coverage as opposed to just table coverage!”
Sometimes there’s that one extra question to ask that can help provide the right solution for a conference room’s audio conferencing requirements.