AV and Acoustics: a good sound pairing

- 4 min read

Discover the recently refurbished space of Shure, a leading AV company in the UK, which took up an acoustic challenge and turned it into an opportunity to offer better sound experience.

Raise your hand if you have never experienced sound issues while holding a meeting. Poor acoustics in a meeting room cannot contribute to a fruitful meeting. Having to concentrate on hearing prevents us from listening and, even worse, from participating.

Shure, a global AV company with a UK logistics and training base in Waltham Abbey, greater London, refurbished their offices last year. Soon after, they realized first-hand, that this was a great opportunity to upgrade the meeting rooms with a well-balanced environment in order to provide visitors with a superior new sound experience.

Andrew Francis, Applications Engineering Manager at Shure, says, “As a leading voice in the industry for championing the message of fixing the environment first and the technology second, we were in a position to identify where to make changes to implement the high intelligibility system performance our customers expect to experience during product demonstrations.”

The advocates of flawless sound

Since 1925, musicians and music enthusiasts around the world have used Shure audio-visual solutions for their performance. So, being a leading AV company, who else can value an acoustically well-balanced space the most?

“As a manufacturer of some of the most advanced microphone technologies on the market, we are fully aware of the importance of having acoustically sound environments for getting the best performance out of an audio system,” Andrew states.

Not only does Shure provide outstanding sound experiences to the customer, but they are also committed to creating high-quality products—a passion we share, too.

It’s not the first time that we have worked together. Shure has been involved with BuzziSpace in a number of projects with mutual corporate end-users, who were looking to improve the acoustic performance of their meeting rooms and, in turn, the audio and video conferencing systems being used to hold meetings across the globe.

AV company and acoustics playing in synergy

In order to face these challenges, several spaces with different purposes had to be acoustically balanced.

  • Huddle room: a dedicated 6-person meeting room with the sole purpose of in-person or video conference meetings.
  • Board room: holding meetings for larger groups of up to 14 people around a table as well as acting as a demonstration suite for all of the installed microphone and DSP (short for "Digital Signal Processing”) products.
  • Training Room: with flexible furniture to accommodate various layouts for product training and demonstrations.
As an AV company, we are fully aware of the importance of having an acoustically well-balanced environment.

But life is not a bed of roses. All the walls in the spaces were made of glass, partition walls with hard surfaces or whiteboard writable walls, none of which absorb sound waves—the consequence: an uncomfortable and noisy space to be.

Let’s get the ball rolling. Although all treatments had to be permanently installed on the walls in spaces already furnished, the customer came across a fascinating challenge. Andrew explains, “BuzziSpace has a vast array of options to choose from, so the difficult part was narrowing down the choice. Fortunately, this was made easier by a member of BuzziSpace’s design team who came to our office for a site survey and made appropriate recommendations on which products to use for best results and pleasing our facilities team.”

Therefore, sound-absorbing solutions, like BuzziSkin Printed and BuzziTile, were installed, enlivening the small meeting rooms and turning the walls into a must-see. In the big board room, BuzziFalls was installed to mitigate sounds while the rail system creates different dynamics when sliding the panels with ease.

The occupancy of the two rooms reversed, as people started to favor the nicer sounding room to hold meetings.

Before-and-after test pays off

The results are supported by empirical evidence since they’ve carried out an interesting experiment in-house.

”Ahead of doing the room treatment trials, we noticed that one of our two huddle rooms had lower occupancy than the other, and this was tested as being the worst performing room in terms of acoustics,” says Andrew and continues, “So, without telling our colleagues what we were doing to the rooms, or why, we treated the lesser-used room and monitored usage. In a short period of time, the occupancy of the two rooms reversed, as people started to favor the nicer sounding room to hold meetings.”

It goes without saying that audio systems and acoustics are a good pairing. And our continued collaboration with pioneer AV companies like Shure can vouch for that.

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