Sound Systems 101 | Voice Only Systems | Background Music Systems | High Output Systems | Assistive Learning Systems

Voice Systems

Systems for voice have specific requirements, that differ from systems designed predominately for music.

In simplest terns, the design should be based on - Information provided by the customer/user on the intended use of the system, and the environment in which the system will operate.

If only the most basic voice communications are required, voice horns (similar to the image shown), will provide high output and reasonably controlled dispersion. The main drawback to such voice horns, is that their frequency response is limited, and the sound is therefore colored, that is, the voices reproduced sound somewhat unnatural. In some cases (a factory paging system, for example), this is perfectly acceptable. These systems are usually efficient and relatively inexpensive to install. Constant (high) voltage distribution is normally used, to reduce power loss in the (often long) cable runs.

If more natural voice reproduction is required, the (frequency) response of the system must be extended. The spectrum of the human voice is limited however, and can be reproduced reasonably well with a response of 100+Hz - 10 KHz (still considerably less range than is required for good music reproduction).

Voice systems in highly reverberant environments can be a difficult animal indeed. If not properly designed and installed, the voices can be blurred to the point of being unintelligible. Highly directional loudspeakers, that direct the sound energy only where needed (as opposed to reflective walls, floor or ceiling), make the best of a difficult situation. Using multiple smaller speakers, located close to the listeners, is another option (this keeps the ratio of direct sound, to the (blurring) reverberant sound, higher, and therefore the overall sound clearer).