Collaboration has become more important than ever with hybrid and remote work becoming the standard even as the pandemic wanes. With meeting participants both online and in person, this new way of working has brought the significance of intelligible audio—for all—to the forefront. The ability to clearly hear not only a presenter, but also every person in the room—with ease—is crucial to ensuring each participant is given equal opportunity to participate, to reduce miscommunications and to avoid meeting burnout.
Middle and high frequencies are where most consonant sounds are found and are also those that are most at risk of being lost in the shuffle of ambient noise in a typical conference room or lecture hall. Add in that people are located at varying distances from one another and may be seated in a classroom or training room seating arrangement, where not everyone is facing each other, and intelligibility is further compromised.
Voice lift is a technology that amplifies voices slightly for certain ‘high risk’ frequencies to improve voice intelligibility for all—whether on site or remote. Those frequencies that aren’t in need of amplification remain unchanged, unlike in conventional voice amplification systems where all frequencies are amplified such as via a handheld microphone. Voice lift typically increases speech levels by somewhere between three and six decibels, which is so slight that most users will not even realize it. In a Voice Lift system, the room design is key, with the area being divided into zones. The microphones in one zone are reinforced with the loudspeakers in areas that are farther away.
With a voice lift system, participants can hear one another clearly and easily without the need to pass around a microphone, even if users are seated on opposite sides of the room. For educational purposes, students throughout the classroom can clearly hear, and the instructor doesn’t have to strain their voice to make sure students in the back are able to understand the lesson. In situations where social distancing is required, distance does not become an obstacle to having a successful meeting, training session or classroom lesson.
There are several Voice Lift systems on the market such as Sennheiser’s TeamConnect Ceiling 2 (TCC2) and Shure’s Microflex® Advance™ MXA910. If you are looking to redesign your conference room, training room or educational space to be effective in today’s working and learning environments, voice lift should be an important consideration.