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
Genesis Acquisition of Edcom Tells Tale of Two Companies

That Edmonton-based Genesis Integration now has most of Ontario covered with London, Ontario-based Edcom Multimedia acquired is only half the story. $40 million Genesis Integration scoops up assets of $6.5 million Edcom Multimedia, demonstrating one firm poised for growth in a market that is spitting out those that are not.

Winter Is Coming: AV/IT Convergence Is Just a Game of Thrones
3 Ways the Industry Can Improve in 2017
4 Ways the Corporate Market Is Evolving
The Future Is Now: 6 Game-Changing Technology Platforms You Can’t Ignore
View more blog posts
Inside 35 High-Tech Distance Learning Colleges

From innovative web conferencing technology to robust online learning platforms, the following North American universities offer distance learners a variety of educational options to help them earn degrees that are just as valuable as on-campus degrees.

Pub Rethinks Video Wall Usage Using Userful
Donald Trump Inauguration Coming to 11 LED Screens Across Capitol
Afraid of Heights? Christie’s Panoramic Projection of Los Angeles Has You Covered
James Madison University Students Get Real-World Media Experience with Hitachi Cameras
View more photo galleries


Recent comments

Great article, Tom!
Sensory is a great company with smart leaders!

Posted by Kevin Groves on 2017 01 18 · commented on
'Inside Sensory Technologies' Secrets to Mid-Market Success'.

This is all relevant here and now the industry is changing and either be in the know or left behind. Transformation…

Posted by Home Theater San Diego on 2017 01 05 · commented on
'9 Predictions That Will Undoubtedly Impact Your Business by 2021'.

Phil, you are making an important position. 

This industry is too much about dazzling customers…

Posted by Tom LeBlanc on 2016 12 27 · commented on
'2017 CI: State of the Industry Report'.

“Our industry is about creating wonder and experiences. We’ve become a strategic asset, but IT was…

Posted by Phil c on 2016 12 25 · commented on
'2017 CI: State of the Industry Report'.