Soundfields for learning, and their procurement, are a recurring question Sound Advice gets from parents and educators. Here’s a “Soundfields 101” piece to demystify the obtaining and use of these audio-systems.
Soundfield presentation from Sound Advice’s EdTech event in October 2011:
- Soundfield Classroom Audio (Andrew Taylor, Classroom Comms)
Q: What is a soundfield (audio) system?
A: A soundfield is a speech intelligibility audio system that provides clarity of voice and distributes sound evenly in a classroom or learning environment.
Q: How exactly does a soundfield work?
A: A soundfield creates an optimal ‘social distance’ between a speaker and a listener, regardless of this distance, or ambient noise in the room. Research shows listeners at this 7 to 10 feet distance feel more obliged to listen!
Q: How do soundfields benefit all educators and pupils?
A: Voice level in a learning-room is reduced by 50% every time the distance from an educator doubles (1). Noise, distance and echo all impact this sound quality. Teacher absences however fall by 25% in ‘amplified’ classrooms (2).
Documented benefits of soundfields in classrooms include:
- Attention increases for students’ on-task times
- Less stress in classrooms is experienced
- Classroom interaction and participation improves
- Academic test scores improve perceptibly
- Easy wireless audio integration with laptops, DVD players, and iPods
Q: How do I get a soundfield for use in a learning environment?
A: Full details are in this post, Sourcing A Soundfield System (Ireland only).
- Hyper Physics: C.R. Nave, 2005
- Gertel/Rosenberg, 2004
- IDK’s Technology in Education Event (October 2011)
- Advice on FM Systems ‘Versus’ Soundfields
- Teacher Question: Sourcing A Soundfield System
- Soundfields Explained in IDK article, “Hearing On One Side Only”