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High quality audio is essential to video conferencing everywhere

By James Hill, director, integrated systems sales for Shure UK 

James Hill, Shure UK

Businesses across the world have certainly experienced the challenges, along with opportunities, that remote working offers employees. 

The trend has shifted from remote workers using their mobile devices with integrated microphones and cameras that provide (at best) a mediocre experience, to realising that dedicated devices offer a superior experience which makes being involved in a high number of virtual meetings a day less tiring and more productive.

There are, of course, certain issues that are raised when deploying remote working solutions. Audio video conferencing will typically require PC and AV hardware with higher specifications than a workstation that only needs to perform word processing or traditional office-based tasks. 

Real-time audio and video processing is a complicated task – inbuilt cameras and microphones in laptops and mobile devices might be acceptable for the quick video call with a family member – but the quality they offer can make being engaged in a multi team member conversation difficult, tiring and unproductive. 

Simply, augmenting a laptop with a high-quality external microphone or headset can make the remote working experience much closer to an ‘in’ person one, and therefore offer a much more efficient and effective solution. 

Technological advancements have also made it much easier for software-based DSP to fit in with IT workflows, offering premium audio capabilities into more meeting and collaboration environments than previously, with products designed to work seamlessly with each other throughout the audio ecosystem. 

Now that everyone has experienced the effects of listening to poor quality audio every day, we should each appreciate how important investing in high quality audio equipment really is.

And, as offices return back to the ‘new normal’ following social distancing guidelines, AV technology will be at the forefront of bringing organisations together and moving the economy forward once again.