TechDecisions spoke with Dan Shore, Product Manager and Engineering Manager for TOA Electronics, about audio conferencing best practices and some of TOA products. You can listen to the full interview in the latest episode of My TechDecisions Podcast.
TD: Why is audio quality so important to audio conferencing and why is it so hard for end users to find a quality solution?
DS: It seems like a fairly easy question but it’s not. Audio quality is extremely important to audio conferencing. Extraneous noises, room reflections, HVAC – all of these combine to deteriorate audio quality in audio conferencing situations. There have been many attempts to try and alleviate those problems – from mounting twenty microphones around the table to solutions that use a push-to-talk button – but none of them have been particularly successful.
TD: Your NUBIO Integrated Audio Collaboration System addresses a lot of these problems. Why should end users consider NUBIO for their audio conferencing needs?
The NUBIO is part of an audio collaboration system that TOA has introduced. It’s one of two pieces. It’s specifically designed for huddle room and small conference room applications, where you want to easily attach your computer to an audio device, have video through that audio device, and be able to communicate effectively over one of the many online tools available.
The NUBIO is a device that hangs on the wall, is installed easily, and has a steerable microphone and a high-quality set of speakers in a sound bar type configuration built in. This allows the steerable portion of the microphone to hone in on a specific speaker while ignoring or reducing extraneous noises. With the NUBIO in a huddle room situation everyone is looking at the screen and speaking naturally, with a microphone that has an extended horizontal pickup up to 12 to 15 feet. Everyone is heard extremely clearly.
TD: NUBIO is part of a series of products that includes the AMIO Array Microphone System. How can this device work to produce a quality audioconferencing experience throughout the company?
The AMIO microphone is a standalone microphone and processor that is processor agnostic. It is a reasonably priced solution to a room where a steerable microphone is the best solution. Multiple microphones can be placed in the room and, with the proper processing, be sent out over a standard conferencing system, a high-definition conferencing system, or be used for a web-based conferencing system.
TD: How can people get in touch with TOA Electronics and what can end users expect when working with TOA?
TOA works through a dealer network. All of our dealers are well experienced with our equipment. You can talk to TOA directly by calling our product support group or any of our sales representatives. The best way to get a hold of people at TOA is to go to our website. Contact us. Our regional sales representatives will be able to direct you to local dealers. If you have technical questions, we have two offices – one in San Francisco and one in New Jersey. Our product support group is available from 8:00 AM ET to 5:00 PM PT.