Growing from a user base of just 20 million in 2019 to over 270 million at the start of 2022, the success of Teams has been remarkable even for a Microsoft product. As more and more small- to medium-sized businesses begin adapting Teams for a new system of hybrid meetings, many are finding the audio solutions they used primarily for remote work applications are no longer cutting it. This begs the question: as hybrid meetings grow in importance, what’s the best audio device mix for a conferencing system that will primarily be using Teams? To answer that, we need to investigate what technological solutions have been developed over the past few years to acclimate to a quickly changing business communications landscape.

The Audio Ecosystem

Despite some initial skittishness from the business world, hybrid and fully remote work environments are looking like they’re here to stay. The latest statistics tell us that up to 76% of businesses are currently using or planning on adopting a hybrid model. This relatively quick adoption of a new way to do business has led to a rush to find the tools that can help them adapt to the changing office environment. The best of these tools for hybrid work environments today are audio ecosystems, a combination of hardware, software, and accessories that boost engagement and productivity by creating a seamless conferencing experience. 

Audio ecosystems like the Stem Ecosystem remove obstacles to employee participation in hybrid meetings by reducing the difficulty of using a conference system and dramatically improving call quality, ensuring that every voice can be heard during meetings without annoying and frustrating disruptions. The Shure Stem Ecosystem is made up of four audio devices: TableWallCeiling, and Speaker that work in tandem with two support devices: Control and Hub. With Stem, you can mix and match devices to create the perfect pickup in every room in your organization. 

Small Conference Rooms and Huddle Rooms

While it may seem simple to set up a small conference room, many have found that just plopping a microphone, speaker, or speakerphone onto the table can lead to poor performing audio during calls. The Stem Ecosystem gives you the ability to outfit each conference room with professional-level sound thanks to a nearly infinite number of device combinations. Each room can use up to ten audio devices to give you the maximum level of flexibility and scalability. 

For smaller rooms, a single Stem speakerphone like Table or Wall may be enough to cover the space when combined with our powerful software tools. For a more out-of-sight option, you can use a combination of the Stem Ceiling and Speaker, which provide crystal clear audio on both ends of the conversation.

Medium-Sized Rooms

Medium-sized rooms let you get even more creative with device mixes. You can use multiple Stem Tables lined up on your conference table, or you can line the room’s walls with the Stem Wall. A mix of devices – using a Wall as a soundbar under the display monitor, one Table in the middle of the room, and a Ceiling for the head of the table, can work as well or better depending on the needs of the room.

Large Rooms

For larger rooms, Ceiling is a popular option for covering wide areas without worrying about taking up valuable tabletop space for your devices. Depending on the height of the room, using Stem Ceilings can provide optimal audio quality that can ensure that each individual in the room is heard during important discussions and meetings. Ceiling’s beam settings let you widen or narrow the pickup zone depending on the needs of the room, so a single array can pick up an entire conference table, the forward section, or an individual speaker.

Using Microsoft Teams In The Classroom

Schools around the country are STILL trying to find out how to incorporate Hyflex curriculums with their limited technological resources. The Stem Ecosystem simplifies the hybrid format by giving teachers access to a seamless audio solution that lets both in-person and remote attendees communicate easily and efficiently with both their educators and peers.

The Stem Advantage For Hybrid Microsoft Teams Meetings

The Stem Ecosystem gives users access to software that provides some of the same tools that professional AV installers use when creating a fully integrated conferencing space. The Stem Ecosystem Platform allows users to digitally recreate their physical conferencing space using the RoomDesign tool, which lets them map out their devices to their approximate locations on the recreation.

The RoomAdapt tool lets users optimize the devices to the room’s unique acoustical properties at the click of a button. Once the tool is activated in the room settings, each Stem device in that room will work together to test the local acoustic environment and adjust the device settings to reduce the levels of reverberation and echo present in the audio.

Once the devices have been placed in the room, users can then use the RoomCheck tool in the room’s settings on the Stem Ecosystem Platform, which provides audio coverage heatmaps that measures the audio pickup within the physical space and maps it onto the digital room you created. This allows users to identify dead zones or areas where participants may not be heard clearly so that they can make informed choices about their microphone and speakerphone placement.

The Stem Ecosystem Platform also lets organizations remotely manage all the registered conference rooms that utilize a Stem Ecosystem. Administrators can observe usage reports and monitor each device for error messages to ensure that important meetings won’t be interrupted by technical issues.

(2022, August 25). Shure. Retrieved from https://www.shure.com/en-US/conferencing-meetings/ignite/what-audio-devices-work-best-for-a-microsoft-teams-hybrid-meeting