In today’s world of technology, Public Address Systems, better well known as PA Systems, are taken for granted and very often go unnoticed.  However, you undoubtedly notice when you can’t hear an important message or distortion fills the room with terrible sound quality. Some common symptoms of a PA System in need of repair include distorted or blown speakers, unintelligible announcements, thundering loud interference, or even too few speakers that result in uneven sound quality throughout the primary listening area. In times like this, we must ask the question – When should you consider a new or upgrade your current PA system? To answer this widely asked question, you must understand how different applications require different designs, what benefits you will receive from a PA system, and the factors you should consider prior to purchasing.

Understanding what is a PA System really is and who should buy it? (Service Page Link)

To begin, a PA System can be easily defined as an electronic system comprising of microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers, and related equipment. But really – in its simplest terms, the true goal of a PA system means making sure the desired presentation, no matter how soft or loud their voice is, be heard without needing to yell or raise their voice. The PA system should go unnoticed and be aesthetically pleasing while blending into the environment. It is very important to understand that PA Systems come in all shapes and sizes. Which one should you choose for your project? Next, there is the Point Source Installed System. This system typically utilizes mixers, digital signal processors, full range stereo speakers, and large subwoofers depending on the intent. This type of setup is extremely useful in reinforcing speech and music for indoor or outdoor venues. A well-designed system accounts for room deficiencies including odd shaped rooms, hard floors, or rooms with high ceilings. This can make the primary listening area too reflective and cause feedback or sound which is hard to understand. Typically, this type of PA system is found in public gathering areas, meeting rooms, houses of worship, live theater, college athletic fields, and school gymnasiums. Subsequently, there is the Distributed Sound system. Often, this is referred to a distributed 70V or 100V system and can utilize multiple ceiling mono speakers or horns that are connected with long speaker trunks while using one amplifier. Each speaker would use a line matching transformer which would tap off the required wattage for the required volume level. This system is customarily designed for vocal public address announcements, but can additionally be used for background music for hallways or lobbies. It is very flexible and cost-effective to install due to the requirement of only one trunk wire for large amounts of speakers. Volume controls can be installed to adjust certain speakers.  However, it is important to realize this is not a foreground system and has limitations, including limited frequency range and limited bass reproduction capabilities. In recent times, PA Systems have become so flexible that it is possible to integrate them into your IP network. Generally, you will find these in doctor offices, bank lobbies, mall hallways, school classrooms for general announcements, and even apartment lobbies where the use of the use of communication from lobbies to rooms to rooms is possible. This is a perfect system when large amounts of speakers are required to cover a large square foot of area. Thirdly, there is the Portable Sound system. This is the system that many think of when one speaks about PA Systems. This system is portable in design, making it easy to be set up and broken down, making aesthetics secondary. It commonly includes a mixer amplifier, speakers mounted on portable tripods, and various wired or wireless microphones. This type of system is necessary, but unfortunately most of the time there will be problems that are never addressed, which limit how well the system can perform, along with the quality of the sound. This system is perfect for those who need a quick solution for a one-time event with a limited budget. These setups are most often found in community centers, outdoor fairs, wedding receptions and large business meetings.

Benefits to Consider Prior to Purchase 

Once you know the different types of PA systems that are available, you must consider the benefits purchasing a system. Regardless of the system that you purchase, there will be numerous advantages. Benefit #1 – Effective Communication Worth It is important to consider how effective communication can save time and money. Benefit #2 – Easy way to Convey Messages A PA System will provide an easier way to cover a large area with music or voice announcements. Benefit #3 – Emergency Announcements A fire and alarm system can be easily integrated to provide automatic messaging which will signal people to protect themselves or exit a building. Benefit #4 – System flexibility PA Systems include features that allow integration into your existing phone system or IP network for  increased flexibility. Also, two-way communication through any speaker can be implemented which can easily improve communication with your employees.

Important Factors to Contemplate Prior to Purchase 

Firstly, you need to answer the question – Do you need a point source or distributed system? This can be a tricky question to answer and oftentimes you may need a combination system depending on your circumstances. To answer this question, you need to know if the system is for one room or an entire building, if room shacking bass is a requirement, and if you need a stereo or a mono system. Next, you must analyze if you need a standard system or an IP based system. Today, everything is available on the network, which makes systems much more flexible. Speakers can power over the network and an amplifier would not be necessary. Additionally, you must figure out if you want to use phones as input into the system. This could also allow access via desktop computer and cell phone. Finally, you must ask yourself one of the most important questions – What kind of sound quality do you require? More often than not, the explanation for this may be subjective, as budget typically comes into play. Do you have a small budget or is there flexibility for added functionality in favor of additional features? You need to evaluate important factors, such as speaker selection, size, and quality. You may also want to look into aesthetics which may include hiding components in the environment. Currently, PA systems are a necessity and require careful attention while being installed to achieve the desired result. When considering upgrading your PA System, there are many decisions that must be made that can prove to be difficult.  When choosing a system to fit your needs, you must consider understanding what a PA system really is, the benefits of acquiring one, and important factors to consider prior to purchasing. Our staff can help! Contact us for a free consultation or just to discuss a upcoming project? Contact us here

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