Today’s fast evolving technology often means many companies look to install new audio systems to access the latest capabilities. However, updating an existing system can be just as effective and is more environmentally friendly. In this article, we look at how to get benefits of network audio without having to rip and replace your current system.
Commercial audio systems are everywhere. Whether used to play soft background music in a retail store or to provide live or scheduled travel updates in an airport or train station, audio is an effective way to communicate with your customers in real-time. But with changing technology, analog audio systems are becoming antiquated. There is now more demand for network audio, which, unlike a siloed analog system, can be integrated as part of the building management solution to offer more advanced capabilities.
When it comes to upgrading commercial audio solutions, organizations often opt to install a completely new system. The installation of new hardware devices ensures technology is at the cutting edge and can provide you with the latest capabilities to enhance your offering. However, this also requires a substantial investment, whether in upfront equipment costs and/or installation fees. If you do not have the monetary possibility or resources to regularly purchase a new system every few years, updating an existing system can be more viable and sustainable. For instance, it is now possible to keep much of your analog audio system and still enjoy the benefits and efficiency gains of network audio.
In fact, at Axis, our audio solutions have been designed to do just this. AXIS C8110 Network Audio Bridge and AXIS C8210 Network Audio Amplifier are designed to provide a smooth migration from analog to network audio systems. Smart, easy and unified, these solutions can transform your existing audio systems while maintaining the legacy of your investment.
Enabling the shift to digital with smart migration solutions
Migrating to network audio is simplified with our solutions, enabling compatibility with existing analog speakers. For example, AXIS C8110 Network Audio Bridge is a smart solution based on open standards for connecting and combining analog and digital audio systems. The audio bridge can seamlessly enable your analog speakers to work with an intelligent network solution, , essentially ‘smartening up’ your existing technology. AXIS C8110 can also connect network speakers to an analog input from any audio source – converting the whole system and making it more intelligent.
AXIS C8210 Network Audio Amplifier is a compact and smart migration tool that transforms any passive speaker into a network speaker. With AXIS C8210 you can either use your existing passive speaker, or upgrade your system with a new speaker, depending on your business needs. This flexibility enables you to integrate both passive and network audio speakers in one installation while ensuring they will work together seamlessly. This makes AXIS C8210 the perfect solution for existing installations that you are migrating to network audio, as well as new installations with specific speaker requirements.
Built on an open platform, these solutions provide you with access to the latest applications developed by third-party Axis partners to enhance your audio offering. This openness also allows for easy integration with other solutions to streamline your existing system. For example, US college Binghamton University wanted to unify its campus security solutions, without replacing its existing hardware. The college opted to integrate its network cameras and intercoms with Axis network audio hardware and software solutions. With the ability to sound alarms and communicate alerts through an emergency notification system, the use of smart, integrated technology enhanced its physical security.
Flexibility and scalability with edge-based audio
With intelligence on the edge, our audio solutions make it easier for you to build a scalable, flexible system. By bringing analog systems onto an IP network, these edge-based capabilities allow you to expand your existing system as your business needs change and grow over time. This flexibility is particularly beneficial if you’re looking to gradually upgrade your system, versus making the total investment up-front.
Additionally, built-in AXIS Audio Manager Edge provides you with enhanced management software to support specific functionalities. Whether that’s zone management for live, scheduled or triggered announcements, or content scheduling, you can control all of your audio devices from one, centralized platform. Swedish retail store chain Kjell & Company has seen the benefits of this first-hand. Having previously used analog audio systems, the retailer wanted to streamline its capabilities to guarantee consistent delivery of audio in each of its stores. Migrating to a system with network audio meant its connected devices could be managed centrally, enabling the retailer to schedule its background music playlist with in-store voice announcements and other audio communications – all while retaining its existing hardware.
Upgrading existing systems for a sustainable future
With analog speakers having a lifespan of 30 years or more, it is important to consider more sustainable ways to upgrade your audio devices. By adding a bridge or amp to your existing solutions, you can achieve the benefits of an intelligent, fully integrated system without having to rip and replace hardware. Offering flexibility and scalability to upgrade your systems as and when your business requirements change, network audio solutions allow you to do more with what you have. This will not only save costs, but will result in a greater return on investment in the long term.