The Working of IP Speakers And How to Select Them for Your Need

May 25, 2023

IP speakers or network speakers are loudspeakers you will typically find in places like warehouses, factories, and schools. These connect to the network cables and amplifiers. When combined with PA systems, these speakers help with audio paging, alerts, bell schedules, and other communications needs. Whether you install one or multiple of them depends on your facility's size and ultimate requirement. Integrating them into other devices or software allows you to play music or automated speeches. Generally, IP-powered speakers come with VoIP or SIP support to help users spread messages through phones. Some people opt for Wi-Fi speakers that also include microphones for talk-back capabilities.

IP enabled speaker solutions are fascinating technological advancements. You get them in many styles, such as wall mount, ceiling mount, and horn. For outdoors, horns and wall mount installations can be perfect. Today, IP speakers have become the mainstay of intercom, paging, and mass communication applications to ensure the safety and security of a place. Like analog speakers, these speakers sit on the ceilings or walls. The strength of this technology is that an Ethernet cable can power thousands of connections through IP. Much intel goes behind its work, such as ensuring which speaker should play on which connection. The architecture of this type of audio distribution largely depends on distributed processing and other systems.

The way IP speakers work

These speakers rely on PoE and come with built-in amps. They don't require other power sources. Plug them into the network switch, and these shall work. With proper paging software, you can handle individual speakers. You can send a message to one speaker or a network of them. Flexibility and ease of installation are other benefits. In the amplifier module, there will be a network interface. The digital converter sends audio signals to the analog converter for amplification. When it reaches the amplifier, the device boosts sound to run the speaker. All powered speakers belong to network paging solutions. Some people also add separate IP amplifiers for intercoms and multiple speakers to create an entire audio setup.

Their ability to produce excellent sound output makes them outstanding. Suppose you buy a wall speaker. You can expect it to create as much as 99dB of sound at a distance of one meter. You can compare the sound level with that of a jackhammer or lawnmower. The volume becomes weak with growing space. If you want it for classroom application, a paging system with a lower than 70dB sound level can be okay. However, it's relevant for a quiet classroom. You can adjust the speaker's volume by decreasing its power. For outdoors, you should add an independent amplifier. Choose a powerful IP-based amplifier for an increased sound level. Higher sound power will provide broader coverage.

When exploring IP speakers, remember that sound levels exceeding 85 dB can be dangerous if the audience sits too close. Louder speakers usually sit atop a pole or ceiling for these reasons. Do you worry about sound quality? Two components can affect this: the quality of the speakers and digital audio bandwidth. Generally, IP solutions come with 64 Kbps or higher bandwidth. The frequency range of these systems adheres to the human voice sound because they target voice announcements more. However, these work perfectly fine while playing background music too. For this, one may require a particular audio unit to play music at around 176 Kbps bandwidth.

Different institutions also favor IP speakers for their ability to help with VoIP or computer-based announcements. You can use one or multiple computers to announce something through software. The flexible solution lets you contact one classroom, an entire building, or any location on the network.

Selecting IP speakers

Before buying anything, you must determine your purpose of use: just music or voice paging. Where you will install speakers also matters. Think of the size of the room/ venue, environment, etc. Every location deserves careful attention. Learn about speakers' specs, such as dB, watts, and distance measurements. Decibel or dB indicates the resulting sound level. Watt stands for the current passed from the amplifier. Normal conversation's noise level ranges around 60dB, while a rock concert's amplified noise levels can be 120 dB. As hinted earlier, you can control the speaker's audio power by increasing or decreasing the volume. You can expect the sound level output to be 3dB more when you increase energy.

Suppose your speaker’s specs state 94 dB, one watt, and one meter. If you double the power to two watts, the ultimate sound level will be 97 dB. Likewise, if you increase the speaker's ability to four watts, you can expect the sound level to be 100 dB. However, the sound gets affected as you increase the distance between speakers. If you grow the gap between two speakers from one meter to two meters, the sound level of the speaker will come down to 112 dB if it had the capability for 118dB originally. To be precise, sound loudness can decrease by 6db with every additional one-meter distance. The speaker will produce 106 dB sound effects at a four-meter or thirteen feet distance.

Another crucial factor is the coverage, which depends on the speaker's angle. If you face the speaker directly, the sound will feel louder than when you stand on either side. That's why selecting ceiling speakers with comprehensive coverage capabilities is essential.

A few additional insights

The easy-to-install powered speakers are usually expensive. You need a network connection to make them effective. When you opt for IP-led speakers, you also work with software to manage paging and music from your PC.

Do you need help choosing the right IP speakers without hurting your bank balance? Communication technicians can guide you. Before going to them, you can consider all your communication and safety concerns. These will lead you to figure out what you need, where, and why. You can choose the appropriate sound levels. This whole exercise can be exhausting, but it's worth your time and energy. Businesses need to feel safer for their workers and clients. Advanced technological choices like these can ensure this. You can handle emergencies better and win your people’s trust.

Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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