Learning the Basics of Audio Systems for Use in Commercial Buildings

Places of worship, gyms, restaurants, retail stores, and others look so put-together when playing background music or announcements, regardless of their coverage area. How do they achieve this? The secret is the commercial audio and video systems, which one can also call a 70-volt system. It differs from what you see in a traditional household theater or stereo system. Commercial systems with speakers offer better flexibility, affordability, and personalization choices while delivering incredible sound in any environment. There is a lot to discuss here. Let’s explore this system a little.

Commercial speaker

Standard stereos can serve small spaces, but business environments need high-quality solutions. You can only fill a moderately-sized room with good-quality sound with a regular stereo receiver. But commercial spaces depend on multiple speakers, longer wires, volume control, and central control system. Also, stereo amps need thick speaker wires to transmit low voltage and more power. If you load them with additional speakers, the amps will need help. Installing wired amplifiers in different locations can increase your expense in a multi-room setup. Hence, relying on commercial products with more voltage and low power usage is better. You can achieve the best result even with thin speaker wires. Because of the straightforward wiring terminals, commercial speakers and components generally require daisy-chaining to distribute power efficiently. If you want to design a sound system for your place, online commercial audio training courses are available.

Nevertheless, commercial speakers are versatile and rugged designs that offer excellent audio quality even in busy and noisy corners. Many come with intelligent mounting options to avoid wasting precious flooring area. Once you establish a system, you can connect more speakers quickly to adjust to your business’s growing demands. Speakers can be available in various mounting styles, such as wall or post, in-ceiling or in-wall, landscape, pendant, etc. Furthermore, commercial speakers feature transformer taps containing a rotary dial on the back or rear end to allocate power to different units. Higher power will help with the sound’s loudness.

One critical factor you must consider is the total wattage requirement of the speakers. You can add as many of them as you want till they remain within the amplifier’s power output strength. Suppose you buy a 500-wattage amp. You can connect up to 90 speakers, each requiring less than 5 watts of power. Generally, one-watt power consumption is enough to create intelligible sounds or music for listeners about 10 feet away from the speaker. Noisy restaurants and retail stores can do with two watts. Since things can be confusing without knowledge, please refer to relevant tutorials for guidance. Once you get a grip on these aspects, there will be no looking back.

Commercial amplifiers

Setting up a home stereo device differs from pairing an amplifier with commercial-grade speakers. With proper knowledge, one can tap each speaker to increase or decrease its power requirements. Experienced sound designers can quickly assess the number of speakers a place would need and the appropriate tap settings for them. Based on the total wattage consumption analysis, they can choose an amplifier with 20% more headroom. Imagine you need something for your gym. You buy 11 pendant speakers with two similarly designed subwoofers to hang them on a 15 feet high ceiling. You can power them through two 200 watt of amplifiers.

Interestingly, some amplifiers also help amplify sounds in different zones per the need. A multi-room building can use various sound systems in other rooms. Think of a restaurant, for example. The bar can play TV for the sports fans; the dining room prefers soft background music; and the waiting room will need a paging system. If you have a multi-zone system, you can accomplish your goals quickly. One multi-channel amp can be efficient in serving this purpose.

In some cases, you may need individual zone amps. Other than this, you also like to decide on the mounting style. Usually, rack-mounted options get much attention as you can stack devices vertically. Since many amps allow remote control access, you can adjust them hassle-free. The bulky part will be in the central location, hidden from everyone else’s sight.

Commercial mixers

Mixers fit in the scene when you use multiple sound sources. The device lets you connect wireless and wired PA microphones, music streamers, TV sound output, etc. You can control their volume individually even though they all link to the same audio mixer. A mixer should have multiple channels to accommodate different sources and proper input configuration for a smooth job. Again, this device can have various versions, such as tabletop, rack-mounted, drywall installation, etc.

Sound masking

Any discussion on commercial audio systems needs to consider this aspect. Many businesses need to maintain privacy and discretion in their area. Think of a doctor’s clinic or HR office. Installing a sound masking generator allows you to keep your information confidential without any leakage. Usually, offices go for acoustic treatments to solve these problems. They add acoustic panels to reflective surfaces to prevent echo or muddy announcement problems. These panels come in many options. But this will be an extensive and complex work. While some areas may still need them, you can add a sound masking device to manage your situation better.

A few critical inputs

Commercial settings use 70-volt distributed sound solutions for a constant power supply. The impedance level of the speakers should be compatible with the amplifier. Most loudspeakers can be 8ohm, and amps tackle 4-16 ohms. In traditional setups, calculations become tricky when you have to add more speakers other than the existing four speakers. In that case, you may include more amplifiers to solve the puzzle. But your investment cost will shoot up. Thankfully, you are free of this stress with modern commercial solutions. 70v distributed sound systems in the US have reduced your mental work. You can estimate the speaker wattage to keep it lower than the amplifier’s power output.

Creating or designing an audio system for a commercial space or building is no breeze. Attention to detail, skills, and knowledge of the subject matter is critical. You can subscribe to online sound system training courses to enhance your understanding.

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