Video conferencing is one of the most effective and efficient ways for companies to communicate. It saves companies on travel costs, promotes more face-to-face interactions, and increases productivity. Video plays a huge role in providing the many benefits of video conferencing, but the importance of clear audio is too often overlooked. Audio issues can completely negate the benefits of video conferencing by hindering communication efforts. What are some causes of audio issues in video conferencing—and more importantly—how do companies solve audio issues? Let’s explore.
Causes of Audio Issues During Video Conferences
Video conferencing is meant to make everyone involved in the conference feel as if they are in the same room. This feeling of unity is a staple of video conferencing. However, when a video conference involves numerous locations with multiple people, cross talk is a major issue. Some video conferencing systems are so antiquated that they still allow participants to only speak or only listen, not both simultaneously—making cross talk is inevitable. When more than one participant of a video conference speaks at the same time, the audio becomes jumbled.
In our mobile-first world, background noise can be another main cause of audio issues. For many businesses, it might seem like a no-brainer to ensure video conferences are set in a quiet, distraction free environment. But as more participants join in from devices outside the office, it’s not possible to regulate background noise.
Some factors plaguing clear audio during video conferences are not man-made. For example, companies’ conference rooms are often a symbol of status, therefore they are big, ornate rooms with large conference tables. Spacious conference rooms are great, but only if a company has large enough speakers to disperse the sound evenly throughout the entire room. If soft speakers are used in a large conference room, audio clarity suffers.
There is nothing wrong with spacious conference rooms—it displays to both employees and clients that a company takes collaboration and communication seriously. However, if a company does not plan its technology to fit the size of the conference room, it becomes an issue. In conference rooms that contain high ceilings or a large conference table, echo and audio reflection confuses real-time audio during video conferences. The goal of video conferencing is to enhance communication and collaboration, but the enhancement is made difficult if an echo is causing participants to hear the same thing over and over.
Solutions to Audio Issues for Video Conferencing
Audio issues can hinder the various benefits of video conferencing, but there are ways to combat these issues. Cross talk is an issue that will continue to arise, despite the technology being used. However, having a clear, structured, and outlined video conference can eliminate some cross talk. Another non-technological solution for issues such as background noise is to simply educate and inform participants and employees. Encouraging employees to use the mute function on their microphone when they are listening can make a world of difference.
There are many technologies that alleviate audio issues as well. Acoustic treatments can help combat audio issues like echo and reflection in large conference spaces. Isolation platforms, diffusors, sound barriers, and absorbers are all viable options to ensure echo and audio reflection will no longer be an issue.
Microphones can also cut down on unnecessary background noise and provide clarity of audio during video conferencing. Provide clients and employees with microphones and you will notice it has a major impact on the audio quality during video conferencing. Specific types of microphones are designed to pick up only intended audio while rejecting unwanted ambient noises—fans, computers, etc. Microphones are a way companies can ensure efficient communication and collaboration during video conferencing.
Video conferencing is rapidly becoming the standard of communication in enterprise settings. Video conferencing provides practical benefits for companies looking to streamline and enhance communication and collaboration. The video functionality of this style of conferencing is a staple to its success, but the audio aspect is often overlooked. Audio issues can completely negate the benefits of video conferencing. However, by educating employees and participants on the best video conferencing practices, using the best system for specific spaces, and using microphones, companies can ensure audio quality during video conferences are crystal clear.