Speech Enhancement Systems

Speech Enhancement Systems – An overview

General System Principle

The Speech Enhancement system is designed to ‘electronically’ assist in replacing the losses encountered by the physical glazed barrier between client & staff.

The system consists of speakers & microphones on both sides of the ‘physical’ barrier. These can take the form of separate items or in the case of the staff side, a Combo Unit’ where the speaker & microphone are ‘combined’ in the same unit to increase performance & reduce the counter ‘footprint’ required.

The system operates in what is known as ‘Duplex Mode’, that is, conversations are 2 way without switching disruption, as per how normal conversation & the telephone operates.

The system has been designed to be a Speech Enhancement product, & not a public address system. This should be established at the earliest point in the specification of the equipment, or as soon as possible to avoid potential problems prior to or immediately following the system being installed.

Specialised microphones / speakers and calculated placement of these items used are the key elements to successful operation and performance of the Speech Enhancement System.

The electronics speech processor / amplifier is an integral part of the system and has been designed using advanced acoustic design to maximise the operation when in use. The system allows in operation, volume levels approaching the physical limits of ‘acoustic feedback’. This is where the microphone picks up the sound from the opposing speaker and as it is then re-amplified by the system resulting in the familiar ‘screeching’ sound we hear. The Advanced Acoustic & Electronic design allows this to be lessened with correct installation & operation.

Where the acoustic conditions are such, that conversations are already extremely difficult on either side of the barrier due to excessive background noise and / or poor acoustic environment design; the system in operation may not overcome these particular conditions.

Sound Pressure Level checks are advised to be performed prior to installation or at the point of Site Survey, as physical rectification of such excessive ambient noise levels can be extremely costly.

The day to day use of the equipment by the end user is paramount to efficient and effective operation of the system. Without this operational knowledge, the end users perceptions / expectations of how the system works, may cause false return calls to rectify problems that do not actually exist. The user ‘training’ should consist of equipment and system component familiarisation, microphone techniques, and “best practice” when using the system.