The pro audio market is expected to grow from slightly over $4B In 2020 to over $5.5B by 2026, according to an August 2021 report. From hybrid conferencing solutions to explosive sound in arenas to immersive audio applications, there’s no limit to what this market can do.
Ahead of the show, we spoke with InfoComm 2021 exhibitors to explore what pro audio trends AV professionals should be aware of before they head to Orlando.
1. Software is Important for Audio
“We at Audinate believe an important next step for AV is in software. By offering application developers an easy-to-use conduit to AV installations — including AV-over-IP connections to microphones, speakers, signal processors, amplifiers, loudspeakers and more — manufacturers open the door to more innovation in multiple industries. The success of any audio software application hinges upon customers being able to easily connect to audio devices in the system they are using. So, if we as manufacturers can assist in allowing developers to add device discovery and subscriptions directly into software products, then we create a better ecosystem for everyone using conferencing, recording, lecture capture, media playback or other applications. It’s an important step in making AV more accessible and democratized for all.”
—Brad Price, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Audinate
2. AI is Here to Stay
“As audio technology advances, and digital becomes default, complex audio installations become simpler for users to control. For example, ambient noise compensation technology and AI can integrate so that users won’t have to manually control audio or volume levels. When properly configured, ambient noise sensors, like those from AtlasIED, utilize patented adaptive filtering technology (rather than a microphone) to accurately measure the noise level of a commercial environment without picking up voice. The information is transmitted to the audio processor as data. Over time the system can learn preferred audio volume levels and adjust accordingly should ambient noise increase or decrease in the space, without user interference, lending enhanced security and consistent volume adjustment accuracy.”
—Gina Sansivero, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications, AtlasIED
3. Consumer Audio Has Created New Expectations in Pro Audio
“Over the last couple of years, while we’ve been away from typical venues and gatherings, the consumer has been spending disproportionate amounts of disposable income on their homes, being introduced to the delights of high-definition custom install components. This has led to a new level of expectation when returning to entertainment venues as the masses have become far more technically savvy in their home AV installations. A high-level trend we will see in the professional space is ensuring that we provide consumers with more impressive “wow” factor moments through AV. This means using immersive and digital beam steering solutions for audio, utilizing the correct displays across a venue, and accompanying them with lighting and other effects. This will be a trend across nearly every industry: house of worship, schools, office spaces, stadiums, retail, hospitality — they will all need to compete with the new expectations of the consumer. For Renkus-Heinz, this means offering solutions that enable new and exciting soundscapes for the designers and operators.”
—Graham Hendry, Vice President of Strategic Development at Renkus-Heinz
4. The Custom Market is Growing in Pro Audio
“The design of work spaces has undergone profound changes as companies have
adopted new ways of working over the past year and a half, and as we all know, having
strong video conferencing solutions is more important than ever. While a lot of
integrators are asking us for turnkey solutions that integrate high-end audio and video
into conferencing spaces, we’ve noticed that some of our biggest clients have had an
increased interest in design and creating completely custom A/V solutions. We’re
excited to continue to offer new and creative options to integrators as the future of the
workplace continues to evolve.”
—Noah Kaplan, Founder and President, Leon Speakers
5. Immersive Audio is the Future
“It’s clear that today’s entertainment consumer is hungry for rich, immersive experiences. But in the audio world, too often creators and audiences alike settle for stereo, an aging technology that doesn’t even live up to our naturally immersive sense of hearing. For forward-thinking creators, immersive audio is the future. As the introduction of line array technology
kicked large-scale point source systems to the curb in the 90s, we think that immersive audio for live events will make stereo systems a thing of the past. Recently we introduced L-ISA Studio software, which takes the powerful, intuitive spatial audio production and mixing tools of L-ISA technology and puts them into the laptops of sound creators. At InfoComm we’re launching L-ISA Processor II hardware for spatial audio processing that offers scalable
output count and pricing to fit any immersive project’s needs and budget. At L-Acoustics, we’re designing the tools that will put the inspiring power of immersive into the hands of creators and producers everywhere.”
—Alan Macpherson, CEO, L-Acoustics Americas
To see the latest pro audio for AV, visit these manufacturers and more InfoComm 2021.
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