Audio Conferencing is the process of using the communication channels to organize a conference with simultaneous transmission of audio signals between three or more participants.
There are three types of audio conferencing systems: distributed, local and integrated.
Distributed (Remote) audio conferencing connects several participants from different locations.
Local audio conferencing connects several participants who are in the same room (conference room or meeting room).
Integrated audio conferencing brings together remote and nearby participants.
What Are the Main Differences Between Video Conferencing and Audio Conferencing?
1. The methods of information transmission: During the audio conferencing session, users can communicate only in voice mode, while all other methods of communication, present in video conferencing, are not available. They cannot see other users or show presentations, and use other collaboration tools that imply eye contact.
2. The cost of solutions: Audio conferencing systems are much cheaper than video conferencing systems. Serious video conferencing requires a much greater investment in equipment, because in this case video transmission is added, which requires the use of broader communication channels and tools to capture and display the video image for each participant. For audio conferencing, it is enough to have telecommunication equipment (ordinary telephone, IP phone, conference phone) and IP telephony software application, through which users can communicate with each other. It is often already implemented in enterprise’s digital PBX.
3. Convenience: It is believed that video conferencing is a technology that is able to make virtual meeting as close to a real audio-visual contact as possible. In this case the mutual understanding between participants reaches up to 90%. Communication in the audio conferencing mode is equivalent to speaking on the telephone, and therefore the level of mutual understanding between the participants is significantly lower.
Equipment for Audio Conferencing
If the user wants to equip a room for the purposes of audio conferencing with a remote branch office, it is necessary to pay attention to the equipment such as conference systems consisting of a central control unit and remote conference microphones. This equipment is specifically designed for the organization of audio and video discussions in large-area conference rooms. Also, you can use echo cancelling speakerphones for audio playback, which can be combined in a chain to cover large areas.
If the user needs to negotiate with foreign partners or customers, an additional equipment can be used – simultaneous translation systems, in order to avoid any difficulties in communication. This equipment can be both integrated with a conference system and autonomous. In the first case, the translation is distributed by the central unit, in the second case, it is necessary to use IrDA.