Choosing the Right Speakers for Creating Effective Learning Environments

Often thought of as small cities unto themselves, large college and university campuses use a wide range of specialized education, presentation and event facilities. From classrooms, lecture halls and active learning centers to multi-use rooms, theaters, arenas and stadiums, there’s almost no limit to the range of applications they support. As is the case with many systems, facility managers and maintenance teams would like to standardize their audio/video solutions. But a one-size-fits-all approach to AV system design is a lesson plan for disaster.

In classrooms and lecture halls, effective communication and learning is based on the spoken word and listening. Studies show that the use of professional AV systems in the classroom provides a wide range of benefits, including improved comprehension, reduced fatigue, decreased vocal strain for instructors and better overall student performance.

Room size and shape, flat or tiered seating, high ceilings, table tops, hard floors and the number of students in the room (bodies absorb sound very efficiently) are among the many elements that impact system design and speaker placement. Every campus has a wide range of spaces, and each requires a unique AV and sound system solution to meet the room’s specific needs.

  • In huddle spaces and small rooms, where enhanced sound quality and volume are needed beyond the built-in TV speaker, soundbars are an excellent, easy-to-install and affordable option.
  • Pendant speakers can be used to create isolated learning spaces in active or flipped classrooms by focusing sound over specific areas, such as workstations and conference tables.
  • For the standard classroom, using a distributed audio system with a pattern of in-ceiling speakers greatly improves communications and comprehension.
  • Wall-mounted speakers can be added to larger classrooms and theater-type spaces to improve coverage, especially in high ceiling areas, where in-ceiling speakers alone may be insufficient or impractical.
  • For rooms with difficult acoustic reflections or raised/tiered seating, JBL CBT Series speakers can provide a smooth and even volume of sound for everyone in the room. These systems focus sonic energy on seating areas and away from reflective surfaces, allowing educators to tune their facility and provide a comfortable and effective learning environment.

In applications where information exchange is the core function of the facility, campus architects need to work closely with sound engineers to optimize acoustics and system design.

Join the HARMAN Professional Solutions conversation. Do you have experience with sound systems in education applications? Feel free to brag about your success in the comments!

We also invite you to visit HARMAN Installed to learn how professional AV systems are helping colleges and universities create effective learning environments.

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  1. Shane Holden

    Would love to work with you!

  2. Don langford

    A great engineer at JPL set up a conference room like you describe. He also added microphones in the ceiling