Audio quality related problems often occur in newly integrated rooms, due to poor audio design or problems in identifying the source of the problems when the room is commissioned.

In this article we identify some of the most common problems that our clients face, and recommend ways to address them.

PROBLEM 1: Audio hum or vibration 

Cause 1: A common cause for an audio hum or vibration is the ground loop issue. It is critical that all AV Electronic devices for same application have a common ground source as reference. Else hum or noise surges at the audio output as a close loop is established due to different reference points.

Cause 2: Ceiling microphones can pick up noise from HVAC ducts in the vicinity, creates hum or vibration that is amplified causing disturbance. This can be solved by changing the position of the microphone or by eliminating the source of the vibration.

Cause 3: Interference EMI/RFI from mobile phones or radio waves can be picked up by the room audio system and also come across as vibration noise.

PROBLEM 2: Audio echo

Cause 1: Echo is caused when sound is not absorbed by the walls or ceiling in the room and is reflected back to the source. Acoustics play a vital role in audio system design, and to bring out the best performance from audio electronics, sound absorbing materials such as polyurethane foam and fiberglass can be used. Sound absorbing materials vary in thickness and shape to achieve different absorption ratings.

PROBLEM 3: Audio feedback

Cause 1: If a microphone is placed too close to the speaker, it picks up the audio waves from speaker and feeds it back to the amplifier forming a loop. This causes feedback or hearing of one’s own voice with a delay. More care in the audio system design and in the placement of microphones and other audio sources can help avoid this problem.

Cause 2: Program speakers or wall mount speakers have a different sound dispersive pattern than in-wall or ceiling speakers. It is necessary to employ the right speakers for your application to have an effective audio system. Issues like feedback and echo can often be attributed to an incorrect choice of speakers.

PROBLEM 4: Poor audibility zones 

Cause 1: It is more or less mandatory to use microphone for larger board rooms, VC rooms, space with many occupants or presenters. The microphone pick-up pattern has to be sharp to capture only relevant sound and so that extraneous/unnecessary sounds are not transmitted. Ensure that you have adequate number of microphones, coverage and placement to avoid poor audibility.

Cause 2: Poor speech reinforcement is another common cause, and can be eliminated by the use of ceiling speakers. Using a distributed audio system for Education, Retail, Corporate Training rooms eliminates poor audibility zones as the audibility remains uniform at all locations, irrespective of where the audio source is.

Cause 3: The performance of the audio delivery system – the power amplifier and speakers are important elements too. By making the right choice of Power Amplifier to drive adequate number of speakers (obviously placed in the correct positions) is critical for good coverage.

For more solutions for room audio performance, contact our team at 022-3080-8080 or write to

AV Solutions, Audio Visual Consultants at Actis Technologies India