Neat Delivers the Best Audio to More Meeting Spaces

Øystein Birkenes, Jun 11, 2024

Hear, hear! Neat is delighted to announce new audio enhancements, including a significant upgrade to Neat Center and the support of hearing augmentation. These enhancements reinforce our mission to provide clearer, more accessible and inclusive audio to as many people as possible.

Thanks to Neat’s incredible audio wizards and our bi-monthly software updates, you can rest assured that your Neat devices’ audio will only improve, becoming ever more advanced and innovative. That’s because while competing solutions rely primarily on signal processing for their audio, we’ve developed a modern machine-learning approach to our audio processing. Neat devices are continuously learning. Hence, we’re excited to introduce our unique Neat Audio technology to Neat Center to boost its audio capabilities further.

Neat Center has always identified which direction meeting room participants face and adjusted the view to the optimal camera angle for those on the far end. Thanks to an automatic mic-switching capability, we’ve improved its audio features to fluidly track people’s speech for increasingly natural and engaging meeting experiences.

So, whether people are close to the primary front-of-the-room device and speaking or closer to Neat Center, our unique Neat Audio technology intuitively shifts to the device nearest for continuously clear audio. As a result, everyone will enjoy an uninterrupted conversational flow that ensures no one misses a word or verbal cue.

We’ve given our Red Dot Award-winning Neat Center companion device a serious audio boost.

No more distractions when someone talks

High-quality audio is one of the most critical aspects of effective video collaboration. 

As such, Neat has always focused on delivering devices that allow everyone to be heard. Also, people should feel confident that others can hear them equally well. Therefore, besides automatic mic-switching, we’ve added even more Neat Audio technology to Neat Center, including enhanced voice isolation capabilities like deep noise suppression and dereverberation.

Neat’s deep noise suppression filters out all distracting sounds besides someone’s voice. Simultaneously, our dereverberation makes people’s voices sound more apparent and less jumbled by filtering out and reducing room reflections, such as those from walls, ceilings, objects and other room surfaces. Neat Center’s dereverberation enhances the clarity and intelligibility of anyone speaking.

Finally, as with all our primary Neat devices, we’ve given Neat Center an excellent echo canceller to remove acoustic echoes. That’s when you hear your voice echoing back at you after a short delay, which, as everyone knows, is annoying and distracting, even at a low level. 

Neat Center’s echo canceller cancels echo but not someone’s voice. While other echo cancellers do a great job suppressing echo, they unintentionally squash speech, too, which typically happens if people talk over each other—a phenomenon known as “double-talk.” When a device’s double-talk performance is poor, people may not always hear what you’re saying. Or worse, they probably won’t even realize you’re saying anything at all. It means you can’t quickly jump into a conversation without most other vendors’ devices clipping or dampening your voice. Neat devices enable you to share in lively debates without that worry.

Discover more about Neat Audio in our “The Art of Audio” blog.

Neat Bar Generation 2 now supports hearing augmentation. So do Neat Bar Pro and Neat Board 50.

Hearing augmentation for greater inclusivity

By extending our industry-leading audio capabilities to Neat Center, we continue to make video meetings clearer, more equitable and engaging for everyone, which leads nicely to some extra “earresistable” news!

Based on feedback from our customers and partner community and our inherent desire to make Neat devices more accessible for more people, we are thrilled to confirm the support of hearing augmentation on Neat devices.

As part of Neat’s goal to bring ever-increasing accessibility and inclusivity to your Zoom and Microsoft Teams meetings, all our new-generation meeting room devices now support third-party hearing augmentation systems, expanding inclusivity for anyone with hearing difficulties.

Hearing-impaired people can use their hearing aids, headphones, or neck loop transmitter and receiver to wirelessly connect with our Near Bar Generation 2, Neat Bar Pro or Neat Board 50 devices for clear audio.

Low latency between hearing augmentation systems and our devices’ speakers was an essential requirement for a good listening experience, so arriving at an optimal solution proved challenging at first. In addition, everything had to comply with governmental laws and regulations (many local authorities require that any AV system amplifying audio in settings such as meeting rooms or other indoor public speaking spaces support hearing augmentation).

Anyone with hearing difficulties can enjoy perfectly audible Zoom or Microsoft Teams video meetings.

Helping everyone enjoy clearer video meetings

But, as with everything Neat strives to achieve, we thrive on technological challenges,  especially if they involve making video meetings universally accessible and inclusive for all. Hence, in typical Neat fashion, our esteemed audio team devised a way for third-party hearing augmentation systems to sync up with Neat devices to stream audio via an HDMI output.

Your certified Neat Partner or advanced customer AV team can enable the new hearing augmentation feature in the “Accessibility” section of Neat’s system settings. Then, anyone with hearing impairment can use a hearing augmentation system with the Neat Bar Generation 2, Neat Bar Pro or Neat Board 50 device in the room.

All the upgrades above mark a major leap up in the evolution of Neat’s audio tech. Delivering more precise and extendable audio experiences to small, medium, and large, complex meeting spaces via Neat Audio or with renowned audio partners like Shure, Neat devices will undoubtedly have you grinning from ear to ear!

Discover more about Shure and Neat.

Get sound advice on Neat’s pioneering device portfolio at InfoComm 2024. We are in booth C9265 in Central Hall, Las Vegas Convention Center, from Wednesday, June 12, to Friday, June 14.