Featured Article from Conferencing

Audio Quality is Not Negotiable in UC and Conferencing

June 27, 2016

One of the biggest issues holding back unified communications (UC) and conferencing from reaching their full potential is quality. Particularly when it comes to voice calls, dropped syllables, static and background noise can all render a conference unsuccessful in seconds.

Despite the technical issues, the UC market is expected to grow at a very healthy 18.5 percent CAGR through 2020, according to BCC Research, reaching $62 billion. What will ultimately propel growth and bring UC to the next level of adoption will be improved audio quality. A recent article from Alan MacLeod, VP of product at Revolabs, which specializes in audio quality solutions for businesses, discusses how improvements may be achieved.

“When it comes to conferencing, the considerations need to be sound, sound, sound, content and video—in that order,” wrote MacLeod. “The first three translate to room sound, equipment sound and infrastructure sound. Get them wrong, and the last two are far less important because the experience is already poor for the users.”

MacLeod offers some guidelines for achieving better sound quality, including using a room or space without excessive background noise and artifacts like echo and reverberation for conferencing. The area should be enclosed and optimized as much as possible by adding elements like wall and window treatments to combat unwanted artifacts. Conferencing and audio products should also be chosen based on the specific environment where they will be used and should offer wideband or ultra-wideband audio to enable the full range of human sounds.

This is where companies like Revolabs come in, providing solutions like wired and wireless conferencing phones, microphone systems and accessories. Revolabs’ offerings are specifically designed to meet the needs of corporations along with vertical markets like healthcare, financial services, government and the education sector.

“Because we’ve been used to inadequate audio quality on remote calls for so long, many of us don’t realize it doesn’t have to be that way,” wrote MacLeod. “Face-to-face quality communication is now achievable within a realistic budget and we should expect it. The challenge is selecting the products that meet that expectation.”

High-quality audio is a non-negotiable component of any conferencing solution and is simply too important to overlook. By carefully researching product features and specifications and ensuring their conferencing environments are properly designed, organizations can achieve high levels of audio quality with their UC and conferencing solutions.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi