Understanding and Controlling Reverb During Online Meetings

By The NEARITY Team2023-06-30 19:11:38




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In today's rapidly evolving digital age, video meetings have seamlessly integrated into our professional, educational, and personal lives. As we transition from traditional face-to-face interactions to online meetings, new challenges arise in our quest for effective and immersive communication experiences. The need to find a distraction-free space and overcome echoes due to internet connection issues have become paramount. Among these, one persistent obstacle that hampers virtual communication is reverb.


What is reverb?

Reverb is a phenomenon that occurs when sound waves reflect off surfaces in an enclosed space and persistently linger before fading away. It is measured in the unit RT 60, which is the time in seconds it takes for an impulse sound to decrease by 60 decibels.


Reverb during online meetings refers to the persistent and repetitive reflection of sound waves within a virtual meeting space. When participants speak, the audio waves bounce off the surfaces in the room and return to the microphone. This phenomenon will last for period before the reflection disappear.


From: Byjus

Causes of reverb in virtual meetings


Room Acoustics: Rooms with hard and highly reflective surfaces like glass, bare walls, and tiled floors tend to generate more reverb. This continuous bouncing of sound off these surfaces causes it to linger in the air, repeatedly picked up by microphones, and disrupts the flow of the meeting.


Microphone Quality: The quality of the microphone used by meeting participants can impact the level of reverb. Low-quality microphones may not effectively isolate the speaker's voice from ambient sounds and reflections. They may pick up more room reverb, resulting in a more pronounced echo effect and reduced audio clarity.


Microphone placement: When the microphone is near the speaker's mouth, it captures a stronger direct sound, minimizing the influence of reflected sound and reducing reverb. However, if the microphone is positioned too far from the speaker, it is more prone to pick up room reverb, resulting in an increase in echo within the audio.


Headphones and Speaker Interactions: sound from the speaker is picked up by the microphone and then played back through the speaker again, creating a feedback loop.


Impact of reverb on video meetings

Reduced speech intelligibility: Reverb creates a situation where remote participants struggle to differentiate between the original sound and the reflected echoes, making it challenging for them to understand each other during the meeting.

Increased listening effort: When reverb occurs during online meetings, remote participants are required to put in extra effort to listen attentively and understand the dialogue. This increased effort adds to the burden of the meeting, leading to undesirable meeting experience.

Impaired team collaboration: Effective team collaboration relies on clear and seamless communication. Reverb can disrupt the flow of conversation, hinder active participation, and make it harder for teams to brainstorm, share ideas, and reach decisions efficiently.

Negative impression: Meetings with poor audio quality due to reverb can create a negative impression of the participants or the organization. It may be perceived as unprofessional and may lead to reduced confidence in the capabilities of the team or the company.https://resource.nuroum.com/server/nearity/images/36f1b35a-31c7-4c34-b804-79927bc0d275


Effective practices to eliminate reverb

Room design: avoiding materials like glass or tiles, which are highly reflective, can help reduce reverb. Instead, consider adding wall decorations such as paintings. These additions can reduce the reflection of sound waves, thus minimizing the presence of reverb during online meetings.


Use high quality conference speakermic: advanced speakermics equipped with built-in reverb reduction technology, allowing for excellent suppression of reverb and an improved meeting quality, even when the layout of the conference room cannot be changed. For example, A20 NEARITY Conference Speakermic, offers powerful reverberation suppression, ensuring accurate and clear pickup of speakers’ voice to be heard. Please check out the video.

A50 Ceiling Array Microphone can be used in larger rooms, such as lecture halls or auditoriums,. It accurately captures voices within a range of 10 meters and automatically amplifies the sound of speakers at a distance. Despite being a ceiling-mounted microphone, the built-in reverb suppression function ensures that the speaker's voice remains crisp and clear.


Use headset: using headphones is highly recommended for remote employees. Headphones prevent sound leakage and feedback, ensuring that the microphone does not pick up audio from the speakers and reducing the potential for reverb. NEARITY HP30 Bluetooth Wireless Headset is purposefully designed for remote workers, boasting advanced noise cancellation technology. Regardless of your location, this headset excels at capturing your voice with exceptional clarity, providing an uninterrupted and echo-free meeting experience.https://resource.nuroum.com/server/nearity/images/88566d83-3373-4570-9673-93f640ee67fa.jpeg



In conclusion, understanding the causes and consequences of reverb is crucial for improving virtual meeting experiences. By implementing the best practices and utilizing available tools, we can create a more echo-free environment and facilitate seamless communication in the digital realm. Embracing these strategies not only enhances productivity but also strengthens connections among meeting participants in this ever-connected world.


For those wish to have enhancement of your virtual meetings, browse NEARITY's wide range of audio and visual equipment, which offer various options to suit different needs and preferences.


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