Barix, Atlas Sound Streamline Audio Solutions

Two manufacturers illustrate benefits of marrying audio technologies and emergency communications features.

By MNEC Staff

August 10, 2015

As integrators design and implement distributed audio systems in places such as higher education campuses, corporate offices, health care facilities and more, it seems the natural progression of things would be to combine functionality when possible.

Toward that end, a couple of examples during InfoComm 2015, from Barix and Atlas Sound, illustrated benefits of marrying audio technologies and emergency communications features.

Barix showed off the next generation of its Simple Paging solution for fixed and mobile paging over the IP network. Simple Paging produces live announcements from a desk or on the move via mobile app, with the goal of giving end users an intelligible and flexible paging and communications tool.

At InfoComm, Barix demonstrated integration with emergency notification and background audio systems. This should, in theory, add value to systems integrators who wish to bring together multiple IP applications over a common networked platform.

While configurable emergency notification and background music sockets will be the headline features of the new Simple Paging solution, Barix will also add a pre-gong chime to its master paging devices. The goal of this is to capture the audience’s attention prior to an important page of security announcement.

“Many public address systems incorporate zoned background music playback and the requirement for an emergency notification override, both of which Simple Paging supports now at the device level,” says Frank Frederiksen, managing director, Barix. “The intelligence of Simple Paging ensures that pages override background music streams, while emergency messages override both.”

Barix says that its system has been designed to be as simple to install as possible, allowing for deployment in both new and existing buildings. The company claims that multiple paging groups can be set up in as little as 10 minutes, without the need for in-depth IT knowledge.

Utilizing Barix’s solutions, IP voice paging announcements can be made from paging stations, tablets and smartphones without further configuration once power, the network and loudspeakers are connected.

Meanwhile, Atlas Sound was illustrating the widening reach of sound masking technology and application during InfoComm as well as how it is working with sister company IED to deliver a solution that combines both sound masking and MNEC.

“Atlas Sound is probably one of the oldest manufacturers of sound masking equipment; we were one of the first to produce commercial gear for sound masking applications,” says Steve Brooks, VP of sound masking products. “The industry is obviously growing because sound masking is being implemented more and more — health care, banking institutions, open-office cubicle farms … 90 percent of the jobs I design are open-office cubicles, because there’s no privacy anymore; there’s too much chatter going on.”

Making amps and speaker products that cater to sound masking, including “out of sight, out of mind” speakers that go above a drop ceiling, Atlas is teaming with IED in taking mass notification systems and adding in masking, paging and background music in one combined platform and system, powered by the DNA Series amplifier.

“And the system is always out there looking at everything attached to it, saying, ‘Is my paging microphone still working? Is my speaker still connected?’ so they know everything’s ready to go with a ‘get out of the building’ message.”

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