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New Audio Standards in the Works

InfoComm has submitted four audio-related projects to ANSI. The board of directors authorized its standards committee to work on what it calls the Amplified Audio System Performance Standards Suite.

InfoComm has submitted four audio-related projects to the American National Standards Institute, officials said recently. The association’s board of directors authorized its standards committee to begin work on what it’s calling the “Amplified Audio System Performance Standards Suite,” which will define requirements for an amplified audio system in an enclosed area.

When finished, the suite will include InfoComm’s existing ANSI standard, “Audio Coverage Uniformity in Enclosed Listener Areas,” as well as four others that are now under development. It would also include an ambient noise measurement standard, such as noise criteria. “Conformance to the parameters defined in all six standards would, for the first time, make it possibleand in a measureable, reproducible wayto ensure that a sound system will provide high quality, intelligibility, and fidelity,” InfoComm officials said in a statement.

The four new audio standards now in the works include:

Equalization Optimization. This standard will describe the performance requirements for audio system equalization for a variety of venues within enclosed areas and provide a method for achieving an equalization of an amplified audio system to optimize the resulting performance in the room environment. InfoComm says it will apply to music reproduction systems, which require a full frequency spectrum, and speech reinforcement or emergency notification systems, which have a more limited range.

Undesirable Sound. Audio amplification system performance can be degraded by untended issues such as hum, distortion, other unwanted electronic artifacts, and component vibrations. The new standard will set an acceptable threshold for unwanted sound elements and describe the measurement of the audio signal as compared to the noise level of the system.

Reproduced Speech and Reproduced Music Quality. InfoComm proposes to address the minimum acceptable levels of speech and reproduced music performance quality for amplified audio systems from the perspective of time-domain acoustical parameters. The standard will incorporate current methods for acoustical measurement of a system to determine minimal acceptable levels of sound clarity and quality.

Sound Pressure Level Optimization in AV Systems. The nominal audio signal level in an audiovisual system is referenced to the level of ambient acoustic noise in the venue. This new standard would characterize the ambient noise, 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.

All four projects have already been submitted to ANSI through the Project Initiation Notification System. For more information about InfoComm’s standards program, visit


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