Appreciating High-Definition (HD) Audio

Michael Vizard

With the Consumer Electronics Show about to formally kick off, sometimes it's the subtle things that wind up getting the attention of end users.

One of the things that will become apparent at CES is how far audio quality on all kinds of systems has come thanks to high-definition (HD) audio. On the face of it, this may not sound like that much of an advance. But HD audio is one of those things you have to experience to truly appreciate.

In particular, HD audio is going to have a transformative effect on not only video conferencing, but simple voice calls. Imagine participating in a telephone conference call where instead of everybody sounding like the equivalent of a tinny broadcast, every word comes across in a rich sound format that is roughly equivalent to what you hear on digital radio broadcasts.

The advent of HD audio on these systems doesn't mean that everybody is going to rush to upgrade their phone and video conferencing systems. But HD audio is one of those intangible things that makes the average end user feel better about IT and the work that the IT department might be doing.

So if you get a chance, check out HD audio from any of the providers of conferencing systems. You'll be pleasantly surprised by what a difference it actually makes, and in the grand scheme of things, it's one of those little things that do a lot to improve the perception of the entire IT department among the rank and file.

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