Audio Solutions for Large Spaces

AEA Purchasing Newsletter – January 10, 2017

For more than a quarter-century, Lightspeed Technologies has been helping students hear every word with classroom audio systems like Redcat and Topcat. But learning doesn’t only happen in the relatively small space of the classroom. How can teachers, principals, and administrators make themselves heard in larger spaces such as gyms, libraries, and cafeterias?

The Lightspeed 955 Access and Cat 885 are powerful amplifiers that connect to any multimedia and installed speakers to deliver high-quality audio throughout the room. In open areas and large spaces, they provide clear sound with no audio dropout or interference. Teachers can wear a non-invasive microphone or choose the Access Link handheld microphone with the Access technology speakers to deliver crystal clear audio wall-to-wall.

Lightspeed recently outfitted a school cafeteria in Iowa’s Wilton School District with the Cat 885, an Access Link, and four TCQ Ceiling Speakers. The same system is also installed in several Iowa districts’ libraries, where the 885’s “zoning” capability makes it an easy way to connect with a small part of a large space.

With the addition of Flexcat pods, educators can monitor and interact with students while they are working in small groups. The pods work well in a large space because teachers can “listen in” to each individual pod from anywhere they are in the room. They can also speak to an individual group without disrupting the whole room. The pods help keep small groups on task and allow teachers to offer instant feedback to students who have questions or need to be redirected. 

As an example, Manchester Communication Academy (UK) struggled for years with audio management in its large open spaces. In order to minimize sound reverberation and counter the impact of externally and internally created noise, the school adopted the Redcat soundfield systems and later, Flexcat speaker pods. After a year of usage, the school reported that overall noise levels were reduced and speech intelligibility was improved, allowing students to more quickly engage in set tasks following whole-class instruction without the teacher having to repeat instructions.