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Conferencing: Sometimes It's All About that Base

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Conferencing: Sometimes It's All About that Base

December 01, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor

The opportunity to stay connected with customers and colleagues across the miles is one of the perks associated with conferencing. The challenge for business owners everywhere is the reality that conferencing solutions come in a variety of packages. While some may present as the optimal solution in all situations, a number of factors can contribute to the success or failure of the interaction.

A recent Revolabs (News - Alert) video gives us some insight into what to consider in conferencing solutions, especially when it comes to audio. The individual on the other end of the line who can’t follow the conversation is just wasting time – it’s critical that they can understand and engage. According to Ryan Shannon, Field Sales Engineer for Revolabs, the better conferencing experience has to involve more than just the equipment and placing the microphone purposefully in the room.

When participants speak, the sound comes out of their mouths and then enters the room on the other end through the microphone. The audio is sent to the codec and then to the speaker, which then produces the sound into the room. The distance between participants can have a lot to do with the experience as sound pressure drops by a factor of four each time the distance is doubled. Sound will typically travel at 360 degrees, but the sound waves created by the voice are small enough to prevent a drop by a factor of four. Things in the room will reflect the sound and therefore reinforce levels.

To produce the best audio, it really is as simple as ensuring the speaker is as close to the microphone and speakers as possible. This helps to reduce the drop in pressure as sound travels through the room. At the same time, we rely on our brains to do some of the work in a conferencing situation. If a sound gap exists, our brains try to fill in the missing information so we can still understand the interaction.

A good room to manage the interaction is also important. Low noise levels combined with high speech levels helps to produce the best outcomes. For instance, if you conduct your conferencing sessions in a room with no reverb, all participants will have a much better experience as the intelligibility of the conversion is minimized. Anytime reverb is added with reflective surfaces, you have a higher chance or not understanding parts of the conversation.

The point is conferencing success requires more than just a solid solution. You have to pay attention to other attributes to ensure optimal communication, especially sound. To learn more, check out the Revolabs video in full. 

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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