In need of a classroom audio system, but not sure where to start? Follow 4 simple steps below to learn how to build one piece by piece.
Step 1: Choose Your Input Sources
Input sources are generally the most important basic feature of a sound system. Without the correct inputs, you won’t be able to use your system as you intended. Input sources could be a wireless microphone to amplify your voice and eliminate vocal cord strain, an MP3 Player or XM Radio to play music, a laptop or iPad to connect for presentations, etc.
Ultimately you need to assess which input sources you would like to function with your system, then search for classroom systems with those inputs. Classroom sound systems generally have fewer input options than larger systems built for concert halls or auditoriums, so you’ll need to take into account budget as well.
Step 2: Pick Your Mixer and Amplifier
Once you have your inputs you’ll need a mixer and an amplifier to connect your input sources to your speakers. A mixer takes an input signal from a source – a microphone for example – and changes it into a higher-voltage audio signal that travels to the amplifier. Many classroom system mixers may have a built-in amplifier, cutting costs and saving space.
Once the audio signal reaches the amplifier, the amp turns that signal into wattage (either 70V or 8 ohm wattage), which then travels to the speaker system where we hear the final product of sound or music. This process of turning one form of energy into another is called “transduction”.
Step 3: Select Your Speakers
The type of speakers you choose for your system will be determined by a few conditions: how large or small your space is, you speaker placement options, compatibility with the other devices in your system, and budget.
The size of your room will determine how small or large your speakers need to be, how many you need, and how much power they need to have.
Placement options include surface-mount (wall or ceiling), in-ceiling and in-wall mounts, bookshelf speakers or freestanding equipment. In-ceiling and in-wall mounts are popular and attractive, blending in seamlessly like the SD4 or VCA8 from Pure Resonance.
You also have to make sure your speakers are compatible with your mixer and amplifier, and staying within your budget is of course a top priority. Thankfully we have a variety of affordable and compatible classroom speaker systems already created for you with easy operation and high-quality audio.
Step 4: Expand Your System’s Functionality
Once your classroom sound system is complete, you may want to add additional equipment to configure your system to better suit your specific needs.
You can add a processor for advanced audio effects, paging input to allow you to address students, or have remote volume control from an infrared control unit, rather than the usual in-wall. You could also include a wireless microphone (which can be head worn, handheld, or lapel worn) allowing more freedom of movement in class.
Every system has limitations in how it can be configured to meet your needs. Luckily, our sales reps are available to find the right style of system for you, ensuring that you have the input sources, mixer, amplifiers, speakers and any additional features that give you the best bang for your buck and make your audio needs a reality.