InfoComm to Pursue Amplified Audio System Performance Standards
Feb 3, 2011 12:13 PM
InfoComm's Board of Directors has authorized the development of a suite of standards for submission to ANSI. The Amplified Audio System Performance Standards suite will define performance requirements for an amplified audio system in an enclosed area.
The goal of the planning committee is to develop four new standards with separate task groups. These standards, combined with the 2009 Audio Coverage Uniformity in Enclosed Listener Areas standard and an ambient noise measurement standard, will constitute a comprehensive characterization of a sound system.
All three audio/acoustical domains—time, energy, and frequency—are covered, with acknowledgement of phenomena that affect the experience of the listener or ambient noise. Conformance to all six standards would, for the first time, make it possible and in a measureable, reproducible way, ensure that a sound system will provide high quality, intelligibility, and fidelity.
The committee also acknowledges that during development other issues such as room effects may be considered. Here is a breakdown of the suite:
Audio Coverage Uniformity in Enclosed Listener Areas: One of the fundamental goals of system performance is the delivery of uniform coverage in the listening area. A well-executed audio system design allows all listeners to hear at approximately the same sound-pressure level throughout the desired frequency spectrum range. This completed standard provides a procedure to measure this spatial coverage, with criteria for use in the design of audio systems.
Equalization Optimization: This standard will describe the performance requirements for audio system equalization for a variety of enclosed-area venues, and provide a method for achieving optimal performance in the room environment. Note that this standard will apply to both music reproduction systems, which require a full frequency spectrum, and speech reinforcement and/or emergency notification systems, which have a more limited frequency range.
Undesirable Sound: This standard will set an acceptable threshold for unwanted sound elements of amplified audio systems; describe the method for testing of the amplified audio system; and provide the method of documentation to demonstrate that the unwanted sounds are not evident while the system is operating. The standard would describe the measurement of the audio signal as compared to the noise level of the system.
Reproduced Speech and Reproduced Music Quality: This standard proposes to address the minimum acceptable levels of audio quality for amplified audio systems from the perspective of time-domain acoustical parameters. The standard should incorporate currently accepted methods for acoustical measurement of the system to determine minimal acceptable levels of sound clarity/quality for speech and performance reproduction quality for music.
Sound Pressure Level Optimization in Audiovisual Systems: This standard would characterize the ambient noise in the venue, recommend a signal-to-noise ratio for different venue types, and provide measurement techniques using common test equipment. The standard may also refer to maximum sound pressure levels acceptable for audience safety.
InfoComm has formally submitted these projects to ANSI. These documents are available at http://docdev.infocomm.org/apps/group_public/workgroup.php?wg_abbrev=standards. For more information about InfoComm's standards program, please visit www.infocomm.org/standards.
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