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Classroom Speech

Classroom Speech

Intelligibility and
Background Noise

Speech Intelligibility

array case study

Sound System Design

Will that be one
mic or two?

Lavalier vs.
lectern mic

Elementary, Junior
and Senior Schools



The classrooms, music rooms,drama rooms and gymnasiums all require acoustical design to optimize reverberation time and background noise for each application. We are intent on improving the acoustical performance in drama and music rooms in our school projects to help deliver an environment that works for the student musicians and actors. Optimized reverberation time and early reflections help enhance the communication and delivery of music and spoken word.

Gymnasiums in schools need reverberation control to allow reasonable speech communication, and to suit the other typical multi-purpose applications: school assemblies, music concerts, dances etc. Controlling the reverberation time helps control the noise levels, reducing the impact on surrounding rooms. Lower background noise and controlled reverb reduces the strain on the teachers and coaches vocal chords too.

The requirement for providing speech intelligibility in classrooms should be obvious, but many classrooms built since the sixties offer poor acoustical performance due to a combination of excessive background noise and reverberation. Pre-teen children require a better acoustical environment than teens and adults to learn language effectively. We've been pro-active in working with local and national audiology and hearing impaired oragnizations, as well as the Canadian Acoustical Association to help define and improve acoustical conditions that relate to classroom speech intelligibility. We design classrooms and school gymnasiums for optimum reverberation time and background noise levels for speech intelligibility for teaching environments.

Listen to these examples of speech in a large classroom with different reverberation times. The listening position is at the back of the classroom. These reverberation times are typical of the range found in many large classrooms. The last sample is an example of a room designed to hearing impaired accessibility standards. Two examples of gymnasiums are available as well.

  • Classroom with 1.3 second Reverb time
    WAV (184kB) - MP3 (35kB)

  • Classroom with 0.8 second Reverb time
    WAV (158kB) - MP3 (31kB)

  • Classroom with 0.6 second Reverb time
    WAV (150kB) - MP3 (29kB)

  • Gymnasium with a 5.0 second Reverb Time
    WAV (294kB) - MP3 (55kB)

  • Gymnasium with a 2.0 second Reverb Time
    WAV (251kB) - MP3 (48kB)

Music/Drama Sound Systems

We regularly provide sound system designs for special purpose sound systems in schools. The increasing demands for multi-use spaces, music rooms, drama theatres and cafe-torium rooms make effective sound system design an important issue. These are very different from a school public address system, as these provide sound production capability. We are able to provide sound system design for low-cost systems that are functional, and offer desirable features for drama and music use. We often help school purchasing departments with the acquistion of this type of equipment.

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Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc
323 - 901 West 3rd Street, North Vancouver, BC. V7P 3P9   Ph 604-986-8181
116-5100 Anderson Way, Vernon, BC V1T 0C4   Ph 604-986-8181
403 - 1240 Kensington Rd NW, Calgary, AB. T2N 3P7   Ph 403-452-2263
901 King Street West, Suite 400, Toronto, ON. M5V 3H5  Ph 647-479-8601