Remote working, 1-2-1 video meetings, and group video conferencing calls are more popular today than ever before. As a result, many companies and organisations have invested in well-equipped offices, meeting rooms, and boardrooms to support remote video facilities and collaboration with team members who may be joining calls from various locations across the country, and even across the world.
Often, the focus is on improving video quality. While this is important, research suggests sound quality is actually the deal-breaker.
When it comes to video, individuals will typically continue to watch a blurry or grainy video if the audio is crisp and clear.
However, if a video has quality visuals but the sound is poor, they’re more likely to stop watching or disengage.
The Importance of Quality Sound
High sound quality for video conferencing is crucial, ensuring:
- Everyone can be heard clearly.
- Participants can understand what is being said.
- Distraction and irritation are minimised.
- Productivity isn’t negatively impacted by individuals having to repeat themselves, which can be frustrating for everyone.
Acoustics Are Key
Provided the equipment being used for video conferencing is of good quality and has been designed and installed correctly, the culprit for poor audio quality is more than likely room acoustics.
Room acoustics are so important for audio quality, particularly in larger rooms or open spaces, where:
- There are hard, parallel surfaces such as glass walls or windows.
- Sound can become more easily distorted.
- Background noise is a concern and likely to impact the quality of the meeting.
- Meetings involving confidential information are likely to be held.
- It is important for a company to present a high quality and professional image.
Investing in acoustic improvements not only supports your employees by ensuring they have higher quality experiences but also represents your company as one that maintains high standards and a high level of professionalism.
Problems with Poor Acoustics
Not sure if poor acoustics are causing your audio quality problems?
Here’s some common issues that are likely to be caused by poor acoustics:
- Echo or reverberation making it difficult for video call participants to hear each other clearly. Sounds may seem elongated and ‘hollow’.
- Background noise is disruptive, possibly from mics picking up other conversations happening in the room, or from noises outside of the room.
- Irritation or frustration presenting in participants who ask others to repeat themselves frequently, or who appear disengaged as they are unable to follow the conversation.
How To Improve Room Acoustics
Hard surfaces such as walls, wooden floors, glass, and even tables, can reflect sound waves and create echoes. This effect can be worse in large, open rooms where sound waves have more space to bounce around, or in much smaller rooms where parallel walls are close together and sound waves can bounce repeatedly from surface to surface.
Our suggestions for improving acoustics in a meeting room or boardroom include:
- Add acoustic panels or tiles to the walls or ceiling. They are designed to absorb sound waves and reduce echo and background noise. Available in a range of sizes, shapes, and colours, they can be sourced to blend in with the design of a space.
- Put carpet in the room. If this isn’t possible, even adding an area rug or runners will help.
- Increase the soft furnishings and decorative items in the room, such as a sofa, cushions, curtains, and even plants.
- Use sound masking, which is particularly useful in open-plan spaces.
Get The Audio Experts In
If you’re not sure if the equipment being used is at fault, or if it’s the acoustics of the room, call in expert support to help you get it right.
At Fluid AV, our friendly team of experts can check the set-up of equipment including microphones and speakers to ensure they’re optimised for the space. If the equipment is suitable and set-up correctly, we can then advise on room acoustic improvements you can make to ensure your conference calls sound crystal clear every time.