Guest post written by Jacob Marash, Phoenix Audio COO

When was the last time you played charades? If it was recent, then you remember all too well how hard it is to communicate without using any sound. Now imagine playing a game of charades during an important business call… makes no sense, right? That’s because sound is the most important medium for clear human communication.

Now, does that mean that visuals are not important? Absolutely not! In the past decade or so, video conferencing has exploded in popularity, mostly due to its ability to bring in a whole new dimension of distance-communication – one that we’ve previously only been able to replicate in physical, face-to-face, meetings. That being said, it is important for us to remember that our old friend audio is still the king of conferencing; if you doubt that, try to unplug you camera, and then your microphone, in your next video conferencing session and see which one is worse.

So, why are so many companies in the market putting so much effort and spending so much money on having the best video quality, while neglecting the audio side of their solutions? The answer varies in different cases, but one thing is sure: in the past couple of decades, video has made giant leaps in terms of technology. We went from black and white, to color, to HD, to 4K, and now even 3D! But for some reason, a lot of the audio solutions we choose are of 1950s’ quality.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are solutions out there that can make your conferencing space deliver clear audible sound – you just have to look past the basic “old school” choices and explore new solutions with old technologies. High-end products today have vastly enhanced their beamforming, echo canceling, and noise suppression algorithms – allowing us to finally talk freely. All you have to do is make an effort to test out different audio solutions and make sure you leave room in your budget for high end audio – not just video. The people you conference with will thank you for it!