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12 Products to Improve Audio for Collaboration

The dispersal continues: the trend of companies permitting more employees to work remotely shows no signs of slowing. According to a report by Futuresource Consulting, 11 percent of surveyed employees work from home three or more days a week. So how are they staying productive? Thirty-two percent of those respondents reported an increase in the average amount of time spent meeting remotely via conferencing technology on a weekly basis.

The key to these meetings success, of course, is audio intelligibility. If everyone can’t hear what’s being discussed, little will get done—and it won’t matter how much money you’ve spent on the best video technology. 

Here are some solutions that will help ensure your collaborative efforts go as smoothly as possible.

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Vaddio AV Bridge Mini

Well suited for lecture capture, conference rooms, and videoconferencing applications, the AV Bridge Mini encodes, captures, and streams content from a convenient half-rack unit size. With the AV Bridge Mini HD Audio/Video Encoder, you can bridge any high definition HDMI and audio source into soft conferencing applications such as Skype for Business, Zoom, and WebEx through its USB 3.0 interface. Creating production-quality live streams on platforms like YouTube Live, UStream, LiveStream, and Panopto has never been easier with the AV Bridge Mini’s flexible RTMP capabilities.

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Audix M3

The M3 is a tri-element hanging ceiling microphone designed for applications where aesthetics, sound quality, and ease of installation are critical. The M3 is well suited for videoconferencing, distance learning, courtroom activities, and surgical procedures. It can also be used for ambient room miking and surveillance. The incorporates three phase coherent hypercardioid capsules with tailored frequency response optimized for speech intelligibility, and can be connected to the input of a mixer or dsp console via a breakout cable (provided).

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ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array 2

ClearOne’s Beamforming Microphone Array 2 is a professional-grade microphone array using patented audio beamforming with adaptive steering and next-generation Acoustic Echo Cancellation technology. Twenty-four microphone elements steer pickup patterns toward participants and reject unwanted noise and reflections, offering superb and unmatched performance for group conferencing environments. The ClearOne Beamforming Microphone Array replaces up to 10 traditional microphones, with twice the pickup range, and includes flexible mounting for ceiling, tabletop, and wall modes.

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Shure P300 IntelliMix Audio Conferencing Processor

The P300 offers IntelliMix DSP algorithms optimized for audio-video conferencing applications, featuring eight channels of acoustic echo cancellation, noise reduction, and automatic gain control for a high-quality audio experience. The P300 provides Dante (10 in / two out), analog (two block in / two block out), USB (one in / out) and mobile (3.5mm) connectivity options that makes connecting to room systems and collaborating with laptops and mobile devices easier than ever.

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Yamaha UC YVC-1000MS

Yamaha Unified Communications YVC-1000MS USB and Bluetooth Speakerphone is designed to make it possible for every participant to hear and be heard in meetings. It features discrete speaker and microphone units, providing the scalability to add up to five daisy-chained microphones for audience participation, a handheld microphone for presenters, and external speakers for voice amplification. Yamaha’s sound processing technologies, including adaptive echo cancellation and human voice activity detection, ensure clear audio free of background noise.

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MXL AC-360-Z

Designed for use in corporate communication settings like group web conferencing rooms, huddle rooms, meeting rooms, and more, the MXL AC-360-Z is the product of decades of expertise developing studio-recording microphones. Twelve internal microphone capsules, divided into four quadrants, enable 360 degrees of speech intelligibility within a 25-foot radius, without reliance on any additional equipment. Multiple AC-360-Zs can be linked together to cover large areas, and it features simple plug-and-play connectivity, no drivers required.

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Biamp Tesira TCM-1EX

The Tesira TCM-1 is an AVB ceiling microphone comprised of a pendant microphone and plenum box. Each microphone includes beamtracking technology with three 120-degree zones, providing full 360-degree coverage of the meeting space. The plenum box is equipped with an additional RJ-45 connector for daisy-chain connections; a maximum of three microphones are permitted per daisy chain (one TCM-1 or TCM-1A required, plus up to two TCM-1EX).

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Nureva HDL300 Audio Conferencing System

The Nureva HDL300 system aims to redefine audio conferencing with patent-pending Microphone Mist technology, which utilizes a DSP algorithm to fill a room with 8,192 “virtual microphones.” This results in even coverage for all participants, regardless of their location or the direction they’re facing. Featuring 12 omnidirectional microphones, two built-in speakers, and a processor 15 times more powerful than conventional systems, according to the company, the HDL300 processes sound from all 8,192 virtual microphones simultaneously and focuses on the best source.

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Audio-Technica PRO44

The PRO 44 is a wide-range condenser microphone with a hemi-cardioid (half-space cardioid) polar pattern. It was designed for surface-mounted applications in high-quality sound reinforcement and other demanding sound pickup situations. Its low-profile design makes the PRO 44 ideal for use in applications where minimum visibility is required. A 25-foot (7.6 m) cable with TA3F and XLRM-type connectors is provided for use between the microphone and electronics input.

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Crestron Mercury

Crestron Mercury is a UC all-in-one tabletop solution designed to support nearly any web collaboration application. Combining a variety of conferencing tools in an easy-to-use console, Mercury enables people to work together regardless of location or conferencing application. Well suited for huddle spaces and securely connected to the network for cloud-based provisioning and management, Mercury is engineered to be easy to deploy and manage across an enterprise.

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Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling

Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling is well suited for mid- to large-sized meeting rooms. It uses the latest beamforming technology to automatically focus on the voice of the speaker in a meeting, regardless of his or her position. Twenty-nine individual omnidirectional microphone capsules enable the best speech intelligibility for audio or video conferencing. Whether integrated into the ceiling or in a suspended version, the understated design goes well with nearly any decorating style.

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The CS3 System is a modular and flexible conference system for small- and medium-size applications. Its components are designed to be easily set up, wired, and expanded. One CS3 base unit can support 60 microphones. The base unit connects to all relevant devices like PA, recording, external audio sources, and camera control systems. Different operating modes enable automatic or controlled conferences, even without PC remote. The CS3 combines ease of setup and use with professional AKG audio quality.

The staff of AV Technology serves the community of decision-makers comprising AV/IT technology managers and directors, instructional technologists, and anyone making or influencing AV/IT technology decisions within their respective facilities and institutions.