You have caused a template loop due to improperly nested sub-templates ('modules/mod_spotlightheadlinesmore' recursively called)
Sound Advice on Upselling Acoustical Treatments
Options abound for ambitious integrators, who can turn to sound masking products and acoustical consultants to solve clients’ audio issues.

Article


November 15, 2012 By Arlen Schweiger

The bad news for commercial integrators is that the majority of the time, they are working on an existing building, an edifice that’s been meticulously planned by architects and interior designers and constructed with wood, metal, glass and the like for aesthetic purposes rather than how it meshes with technology.

The good news for integrators is that this can open up a world of opportunity for helping these property owners enhance the sound quality of their spaces - and showing them how (typically) poor the rooms are as a starting point.

The other good news for integrators is that there’s a range of solutions at different price levels that they can present to a client, and that even if the category is outside of their scope of expertise there are professional acousticians and consultants that are more than happy to collaborate.

On a base level, the conversation that can lead to acoustical treatment sales involves talking to a client about return on investment: better acoustics enhances worker comfort and productivity, which benefits all parties involved.

“Bad sound is everywhere,” says Eric Smith, founder and president of Auralex Acoustics, echoing the 35-year-old company’s marketing mantra. “I think money is often left on the table because in customers’ minds, the gear is often the bright shiny object they focus on. Acoustics too often takes a backseat to what may be perceived as the sexier part of the project, when in fact it is the acoustical control package that will help reduce the equipment budget and will allow whatever equipment is chosen to perform to its maximum potential. I reiterate: You cannot overcome a bad room with more gear.”

Photos: 8 Great Acoustical Treatment Products

You Can Add Sound, Though

Actually, a type of solution that’s gaining momentum in the commercial space does involve adding more gear, and more sound - only it does so in a way that can increase a space’s work comfort, productivity and speech privacy levels. It’s a form of treatment known as sound masking. Proponents such as manufacturers Cambridge Sound Management, Atlas Sound and Lencore explain that sound masking works by piping in ambient sound to mask other noises within the environment. It’s used mainly in corporate and heath care markets, where comfort and privacy are especially pertinent to employees and guests.

Click image to subscribe

Systems like Cambridge Sound Management’s Qt Quiet technology, Atlas’ Generators and Lencore’s Spectra products work by distributing user-adjustable sound - usually white or pink noise - through plenum or direct-field loudspeakers to single or multiple zones, and also including music and paging options.

Cambridge Sound Management, for one, has tried to ease integration headaches by making sound masking more attractive to clients with implementations such as the direct-field approach to speakers, “coffee-mug” size loudspeakers, flexibility of a standalone system, and a category cabling architecture.

“We use direct-field methodology, so the speaker is in the space you inhabit, in the ceiling tile or ceiling proper. All other audio devices use direct-field technology, so you and the speaker are in the direct field of sound,” notes Danny Barr, VP of Sales at Cambridge Sound Management. “Secondly, rather than using custom or specialized cabling, which can be more expensive, our system uses Cat 3 or Cat 5 or 6, which is everywhere. If you know how to run cables and terminate, you can install our system. And, the product is designed acknowledging that office spaces or hospital building have different physical attributes, functions or requirements.”

It may seem counter-intuitive to add sound to help mitigate acoustic effects, but if you’ve worked in an environment where you can hear a “pin-drop effect,” you’ve probably experienced a setting that could have benefited from sound masking. Manufacturer Primacoustic produces more traditional acoustical treatment solutions, but president Peter Janis notes the scientific and pragmatic functions behind the masking products.

“The primary market is in offices, where increasing the noise level so that the brain then psycho-acoustically reduces it is the magic behind the science,” says Janis. “It is pretty much the same idea as having a waterfall in your backyard. The noise blocks out the street noise and gives you a sense of peace and quiet.”

View the 8 photos attached to this entry
             
View photos
About the author

Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro and Commercial Integrator magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews.
View all posts by Arlen Schweiger
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
The Haves and the Have Nots: The Next Step in the Evolution of the Audiovisual Industry

With larger firms benefiting from greater access to resources, audiovisual industry groups of service providers will be forced to band together in order for smaller firms to support their clients and be able to compete with big firms.

10 Ways to Create a Culture of Collaboration
Q&A: Matrox Discusses Driving, Moving, and Streaming 4K
What Are Your Clients Doing in the Event of an Emergency?
Revolabs FLX UC 500 USB Conference Phone Interoperable with Google Chrome Devices
View more news
The Haves and the Have Nots: The Next Step in the Evolution of the Audiovisual Industry

With larger firms benefiting from greater access to resources, audiovisual industry groups of service providers will be forced to band together in order for smaller firms to support their clients and be able to compete with big firms.

10 Ways to Create a Culture of Collaboration
Q&A: Matrox Discusses Driving, Moving, and Streaming 4K
Read the ‘Most Important’ Blog NSCA’s Chuck Wilson Has Ever Written
What Kramer Control and Crestron. AV Framework Mean for Automation Programmers
View more blog posts
The Future of Displays: 15 Innovations from the InfoComm Show Floor

LCD video wall systems, retractable screen technology and never-before-seen LED cabinet designs were just a few of the display solutions at InfoComm 2016 that are leading the way in display technology.

Inside Prysm’s InfoComm 2016 Booth
13 InfoComm Products that Break New Ground
Finding Dory Scoring Mixer Explains How He Chooses Microphones
17 Impressive InfoComm 2016 Digital Signage Innovations
View more photo galleries
White Paper:
Ignorance, Defiance on ADA Compliance Among Regulatory Nightmares

Many integrators still don’t know everything they’re supposed to be doing — from ADA to new overtime rules to EPA compliance and more — possibly bogged down by laws they are unable to keep up with.

White Paper: Secrets to Installing Outdoor Audio-Video Safely
White Paper: New Standard Revs Up Networking Game
White Paper: 7 Tips for Rolling Out University Digital Signage
White Paper: From Chaos to Control - Your Guide to Business Efficiency
White Paper: The Ultimate Guide to As-a-Service
White Paper: IP Meets IoT: Choosing the Right Technology for the Future of Building Automation
Webcast: How Selling Broadband Services Can Boost Monthly Revenue
View more papers or webcasts


Recent comments

Mike;

Great to hear. Nice selection and focus on the AV Integrator.

What section of InfoComm…

Posted by Tucker on 2016 06 22 · commented on
'Lights Out: How Integrators are Missing Opportunities in the Lighting Sector'.

Jack:

Thanks for the good words.  How do you think we can bring the two together?  Would…

Posted by Tucker on 2016 06 22 · commented on
'Lights Out: How Integrators are Missing Opportunities in the Lighting Sector'.

If anyone is interested in more details, feel free to reach out to us at EBS.
This system uses our…

Posted by Alex on 2016 06 22 · commented on
'Inside One of the Most Innovative Dental Simulation Clinics in the World'.

Commercial and residential integrators need to visit www.colorbeamnorthamerica.com for the evolution in lighting.

Posted by Mike Teolis on 2016 06 21 · commented on
'Lights Out: How Integrators are Missing Opportunities in the Lighting Sector'.