Can you hear me?
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Can you hear me? What is that noise?
All looks great on the surface, but scratch a little deeper and you realise picture perfect is still not good enough.
Poor sound quality is a common complaint in the market place when it comes to meeting rooms, and something that is often overlooked when designing meeting spaces and integrating audio visual technology.
Even here, at Universal AV, we were guilty of falling into the same trap when designing our new office space.
We had a lovely blank space to create a fabulous office space for our Universal AV team. We needed open plan offices, individual offices and meeting rooms.
All were created, decorated, the furniture was ordered and AV technology integrated (of course – it is what we do best!). However, what we failed to take into account was the acoustics of the new building.
We had it all: a bright new meeting room equipped with the latest integrated audio visual technology incorporating screens, microphones and cameras. We were set. The first Teams meeting took place in the office with employees also working in a hybrid manner from home. Unfortunately those at home complained that they could not hear us speaking, and that every time we moved the noise was unbearable.
“It couldn’t be that bad, could it?”
That was what we genuinely believed until those of us in the meeting room worked from home, dialled into the call, and had the same experience.
How could it be so bad? What did we need to do to change it? From that point onwards we did not make external calls in this manner until we had it resolved.
Thankfully, we are in the industry, so we carried out some investigations with our partners Audio Technica.
The team came to the office, where they carried out an acoustic test. To the untrained eye this looked rather like the team came in, waved what looked like a weird microphone around, and made some recommendations.
It is of course quite scientific, and the results showed that for the size of the room there was a lot of reverberation, and significant improvements could be made by simply installing some acoustic panels across the walls.
We acted immediately and installed five printed panels on the rear of the room.
Every day is an opportunity to learn
Our experience has made us realise just how important it is to look at all aspects of a space when designing your meeting room solutions. We had done everything right from a technical audio visual point of view, but overlooked something relatively simple that had a huge impact on the quality of the video calls we could have. It is something we now always discuss with clients, and always suggest you experience what it is really like on the other end of a video call when deciding whether or not to invest in acoustic panels.
The results are truly fantastic and you would have to hear it to believe just what a difference the panels have made to meetings in the room and to those on the other end of a call.
Can you hear me?
“To be able to host meetings in which we can clearly hear what is being said by all, and be confident those on the other end of the video call are not having their hearing assaulted whenever anyone moves is fantastic. Not only do the panels look visually striking and provide some colour to the room, they also deaden the sound from the outside of the room ensuring any conversations held are done so in...”