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    Sound quality

OmniSound® - The search for the perfect sound

As more and more of us choose to hold distance meetings, the demands on technology continue to grow. But in the search for the perfect sound, Konftel is holding the trump card – OmniSound®.

The search begins

The search for the perfect sound starts in around 1849. Italian Antonio Meucci invents an electromagnetic telephone intended to establish a link between his office and his bedroom, in which his severely rheumatic wife is bed bound. 

This creates the inspiration for communication between people at a distance, unrestricted by location, while the first step towards producing the most natural sound possible is taken.

The bar rises

When one of Sweden’s largest banks opens a branch in Umeå at the end of the 1980s, the bank manager is on the lookout for a speakerphone which allows meetings to be held with minimal sound interference. He would be disappointed. 

Elsewhere in the city, in a basement on Skolgatan 123, friends Peter Renkel and John-Erik Eriksson have been experimenting with telephony solutions for radio broadcasting for some time. Employed as a power consultant on the construction of the new bank, Renkel (currently CEO at Konftel) is asked if he can help solve the problem.

When Peter and John-Erik offer the bank manager a conference telephone featuring full duplex capability, a new world of possibilities opens up.

OmniSound® resonates with quality

As distance meetings become increasingly commonplace, there is greater demand for audio without sound clipping, interference and echoes. Meanwhile, OmniSound® technology makes its entrance. The OmniSound® seal certifies that Konftel’s products provide the highest possible audio quality.

According to John-Erik Eriksson, currently an acoustic designer at Konftel, audio pick-up in the room has always been high priority. Featuring 360° audio pick-up, a hypersensitive microphone is used to capture as much sound as possible, and the products with the best bandwidth are capable of picking up sound across virtually the entire audio spectrum, from 70 Hz up to 15 kHz – known as super wideband.

In Konftel’s unique audio lab, an anechoic quiet room, objective measurements of distortion, echo, speech transmission index and other areas are carried out. And after years of research and development, a range of factors guarantee that OmniSound® can enable meetings featuring the highest audio quality, without interference from sound clipping, damping or echoes:

  • Hypersensitive omni-microphone
  • Powerful loudspeakers
  • Full duplex capability
  • Equalizer
  • Noise suppression

So what happened next?

Back at the bank’s newly opened conference room in Umeå, our bank manager is overjoyed. However, what was considered good audio quality in those days can’t be compared to today’s technology. Holding a dialogue without the sound clipping is the least people expect during a telephone meeting. These days, attendees expect to be able to walk around in the room without audibility being affected by echoes or weak sound. In short, you should be able to fully focus on your meeting without any other distractions.

– An audio engineer is never truly satisfied. We're always striving to achieve something we can be proud of.
John-Erik Eriksson, Acoustic designer, Konftel

At Konftel, the search for the perfect sound never stops. With the team seeking improvements day- to-day, John-Erik is focused on helping Konftel’s customers hold conference calls in increasingly demanding settings, without compromising” on audio quality.

“We’re working towards creating even cleaner transmission and a greater feeling of presence by assessing increasingly advanced microphones and more sophisticated acoustic technology for loudspeakers, among other things.”

What is sound?
Sound refers to wave motion created by pressure variation in the air. This is perceived by the ear, which subsequently conveys the wave motion to the brain in the form of electrical impulses. What we hear is dependent on the number of times per second the air vibrates, which thereby determines the sound’s frequency. When we are young, we can perceive sound from 20 to 20,000 Hz.

So what is full duplex?
Full duplex refers to the simultaneous transmission and receipt of sound, even in speakerphone mode. This means there is no sound clipping when more than one person is talking. Konftel was one of the first companies to harness this new technology.

What are we talking about?
Audio is an advanced field. When we talk about Equalization, we mean the ability to adjust the frequency curve in order to improve audibility. Noise suppression, however, refers to filtering out background noise in order to create the most crystal clear sound possible.

Is there such thing as the perfect sound?

Yes and no. What we perceive to be the perfect sound is highly individual, and depends on what we are listening to, the way we listen and what mood we’re in. When it comes to audio technology, this often refers to the creation of sound without distortion.

Read more about our audio technology OmniSound® here.