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How Important Is Audio Quality In Conferencing?
Think about any problems you come across with your conferencing equipment. Is poor audio quality often the culprit? These factors may come into play as well:
- TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) refers to the communication process in which two or more streaming digital signals are transmitted over a common channel. In terms of conferencing, this means that narrowband codecs are used, namely G.711 and G. 729. Because these signals are utilizing a common channel, even when traffic is low, audio quality may be fine, but not as great as it can be. These limitations can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.
- For impromptu meetings, firms may utilize huddle rooms, or small meeting spaces, which are usually equipped with smaller scale conferencing tools. While huddle spaces provide more availability for last minute meetings, equipment is often less than stellar, leaving you with a mediocre conferencing experience, if that.
- Huddle spaces make it hard to provide a consistent conferencing experience. The audio in your dedicated conference room will likely differ greatly from other endpoints, providing variable experiences.
- Again, rather than using dedicated equipment, people are going with convenience over quality when they utilize their personal endpoints for conferences. Specifically, using mobile phones for conferences can noticeably affect the call quality with things like wireless interference, poor reception, or choppy voice quality.
The impact of these audio problems can be damaging to your business. Conference calls can be time consuming in itself, but when you run into problems, you can negatively affect workplace productivity as a whole. Here are some examples:
- When you have poor audio quality for phone calls, let alone conferences, you become more susceptible to miscommunication. With poor clarity, it is hard to understand people, and you waste time asking people to repeat what they said. When people have to keep repeating and explaining the same thing, it can lead to frustration and anger.
- If it is hard to understand people, it will be even harder to follow the flow of the conference. People may get distracted and will need to backtrack to understand what is going on, thus wasting more time.
- If this persists, “audio fatigue” may set in and callers may tune out. Because callers must make an extra effort to understand and follow along, this detracts from the point of the meeting.
Luckily, the answer to all these problems is quite easy. Implement the appropriate tools, equipped with advanced technologies and you will greatly enhance your conferencing experiences.
- First and foremost, upgrading to wideband codecs will have a promising effect on your conferencing experience. On an IP system, these codecs support a much wider audio range (50 Hz to 7 kHz) than narrowband codecs. Beyond that is ultra wideband, with different examples in difference stages of deployment.
- To support wideband audio, your system must be equipped with enough bandwidth, for fixed line conferencing along with Wi-Fi to enable HD on mobile endpoints in the future.
- Aside from all this, utilizing purpose-built conferencing solutions is key. Choose the equipment that supports the features you desire, such as HD and wideband codecs, and that can be fully integrated to deliver a consistent experience throughout your system.
You will want to analyze what is feasible for your own office environment and budget, however, this gives you a general idea of what to look for in conferencing tools. Once you find the right tools for you, you will find improved audio quality and more effective conferences.
For excellent conference phones and equipment, browse our inventory online at Startechtel.com. To speak with us directly, please call 1-800-564-8045.
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