How Audio Quality Can Make or Break Small Business and Start Ups

How Audio Quality Can Make or Break Small Business and Start Ups

Tyler Troutman | October 10, 2019

For a start-up or small to medium enterprise, an effective conferencing solution can mean the difference between winning and losing business. And when a video conference doesn’t go as planned, it’s usually the AV manager who is first to hear about your conferencing experience. 

Successful business owners and decision makers at top companies can be some of the busiest professionals in the world. If your company is fortunate enough to win a time slot for a video conference in their already-packed schedules, your team will probably only have a few minutes to convince them that your organization is the next big innovator.  

Once you have their attention, whether it’s a one-on-one discussion or a five-person pitch, you need to make the most of this window of opportunity to ensure that your company’s big ideas come through. Time is not always your friend. 

This is where effective and efficient audio conferencing come into play. As the professional behind the technology that supports it, you’re the point person. Here are some tips to making the best impression.

Audio Matters

Details make your pitch stand out. Whether you’re the first to present or the last, potential customers and clients really want answers to two questions: what do you do and why are you better than your competitors? It’s critical that they hear your answers to these key questions. The details of your value proposition make your pitch stand out.  

Clear audio conferencing is at the heart of communicating the intricacies of an idea to a potential business partner. You need to make sure every persuasive detail of your proposition is heard to win over the people who can make it happen.

Focus on the User Experience 

The fact is that your colleagues want an audio or video conferencing solution that’s super simple, scalable and manageable. If, for instance, an employee learns the Zoom desktop application, they will, in theory, be able to walk into a "Zoom Room" and successfully place and manage a call without additional support. 

Maximize the Space

Start-up and SMB (Small-to-Medium Business) cultures mean that the room used for video conferencing is likely a multi-purpose space that might also serve as a canteen, break room or private office. 

Think about the room’s function and layout. The usability and flexibility will influence the audio solution you choose, for instance the Microflex® Advance™ MXA310 Table Array or MXA910 Ceiling Array. Both microphones offer great solutions, but they are engineered for very different audio environments.

With office real estate at a premium, maximizing your workspace can be all-important, which is where the MXA910 comes into its own.  It’s simple to set up, eliminates unwanted equipment clutter and can be paired with our P300. Shure’s Network Audio Encryption provides encrypted Dante audio when both are used together, providing additional security against any potential data breaches. 

If you are using a Zoom Room, then Shure’s P300 Audio Conferencing Processor will offer one of the most effective audio solutions out there.  The state-of-the-art IntelliMix DSP technology offers industry-leading echo cancellation, noise reduction and programming-free LED mute sync functionality. 

Here’s the point: match the tool(s) to the intended space and explore your options. 

A Changing Landscape

The barriers to accessing professional, state-of-the-art conferencing audio are disappearing as technology solutions expand and, at the same time, become more affordable. 

There are environmental factors that even the most advanced technology solutions can’t defeat. In spite of the best tools, a poorly designed room with bad acoustics or a slow connection will invariably result in a poor audio experience. That, of course, impacts the effectiveness of your audio or video conference. 

Make the Most of Your Budget

Soft codecs allow start-ups and SMBs to create affordable audio and video conferencing suites, As the cost of technologies continue to fall, budget dollars can be re-allocated to other links in the audio chain. These can include acoustic fabrics, high-quality microphones and processors; all-important elements that improve the audio experience.  

Remember This

If you want to empower your colleagues to host the most effective audio and video conferences, think about their needs and what you can do to help them and your company succeed by choosing the right system.

Any solution should be reliable and simple – easy to learn and easy to use – for every member of your team. Take the time to talk to industry colleagues about the tools they’re using and meet with manufacturers, consultants and integrators who can demo their products and answer all your questions. 

Make sure you match the solution to the present and future needs of your organization, and … good luck!   

Find out more about getting the most from the MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone with IntelliMix. 

Tyler Troutman

Tyler Troutman has close to 15 years of experience in the installation and integration market, with the bulk of his career spent working directly with end users to better understand the needs of the ever-evolving meeting space. Before coming to Shure to work in Market Development, he spent time at Zoom Video Communications, helping to develop the Zoom Rooms platform.