Unified Communications 101: Four Audio Technology “MUST HAVES”open original article
Posted on Monday, July 1, 2013
Whether you’re new to unified communications (UC) or a seasoned veteran, we all know the importance of audio quality for effective conferencing, collaboration and other communications. In fact, good audio quality is as important as the actual words used during a conversation.
With the aim of offering a high-quality audio conferencing experience to unified communications users, companies such as ClearOne have developed a wide range of advanced technologies, which should be considered as “must-haves” for top-notch communications:
One of the challenges in delivering good sound quality during a conference call is eliminating acoustical echo. Acoustical echo arises when sound from a loudspeaker is picked up by the microphone in the same room and transmitted to the far end of the conference. . The problem can exist in any communications scenario where there is both a speaker and a microphone, causing, far-end participants to hear their voices echoed as they speak. For this reason, some form of acoustical echo-cancellation technology should be used on every microphone on the system.
Noise Cancellation stops ambient room noise from being picked up by conferencing microphones and headsets. Examples of ambient noise sources include HVAC systems, laptop computers, projectors and fluorescent lights. The latest systems use spectral content analysis techniques, which isolate a talker’s voice from ambient noise and only applies noise cancellation to ambient noise sources. This allows the voice signal to pass to the far-end phone device with a much higher sound quality.
First Microphone Priority
When multiple microphones are active simultaneously during an audio conference, voice signals arrive at different microphones at different times due to the reflection of the sound from walls, ceilings or other surfaces in the environment. This causes sound distortion, which participants typically describe as a “hollow” or “tunnel” sound. First microphone priority technology minimizes this distortion by using intelligent voice detection methods to activate only one microphone at a time based on proximity to the person speaking.
In any conferencing environment, a number of factors can cause changes in the room’s ambient noise level, including the HVAC system cycling on and off, an increase or decrease in the number of people in the room, changes in seating arrangements and other similar acoustical events. These events can cause a variety of audio problems, such as feedback and residual echo. Adaptive Modeling monitors key acoustical elements to predict and adapt to such changes, ensuring high quality audio, regardless of varying room dynamics.
These are just a few samples of the many ways your company can benefit from the technologies powering unified communications. But the possibilities are endless, limited only by your creativity and the ingenuity of your service provider.
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