Choosing the Right Microphone Audio System for Lecture Halls & Auditoriums

Author: Gina Cunsolo

Choosing the Right Microphone Audio System for Lecture Halls & Auditoriums

When it comes to delivering a presentation or classroom instruction in a lecture hall or large auditorium, speakers have a variety of challenges to overcome. Unless the auditorium has been designed with excellent acoustics in mind, it’s unlikely that a speaker’s voice will carry clearly to the back of the room. Compounding that issue can be noise from the audience, acoustic echo and reverberation, and the rumbling of fans or HVAC equipment.

When it comes to education, numerous studies have established that good audio enhances learning, increases students’ attention span, and makes classrooms easier to manage. And with class sizes on the rise as schools deliver education to more students while coping with fewer resources, the audio quality in large auditoriums is of increasing importance.

The obvious solution to audio issues is to outfit the auditorium with a lecture hall audio system. Still, it’s important to recognize that good audio is more than just amplifying the speaker’s voice. But with so many choices on the market, what’s the best solution for auditorium audio?

Important Factors when choosing the right microphone and audio system for lecture halls and auditorium:

Dereverberation technology

Any large auditorium is likely to include high walls on all four sides. Unfortunately, those surfaces can reflect sound that can be picked up by a microphone, creating a slight echo effect, or reverberation, that can distort a speaker’s voice.  Dereverberation technology can help minimize the effects of that reverberation.

Dereverberation is a sound-processing technology by which the effects of reverberation are removed from sound to improve clarity. Some audio systems, such as the ADECIA family of products from Yamaha Unified Communications, include built-in dereverberation technology.

Voice lift

Simply put, voice lift refers to using a microphone(s) to amplify or lift one’s voice in a given space. When a system is set up for voice lift audio, speaking into a microphone will cause voices to be broadcast back into the room through the system’s speakers, amplifying it so that everyone in the space can hear them clearly. Voice lift systems are designed so the listener who’s farthest away from the speaker can hear as well as the closest person.

Although it seems like an obvious feature, not all microphone systems are suitable for voice lift. Systems designed primarily for audio calls and videoconferencing, for example, feature a limited bandwidth that will introduce distortion outside of that range.


Installing an audio system in a large auditorium or lecture hall typically involves connecting speakers, microphones, and amplifiers with an assortment of cables. Unfortunately, such an installation method can limit how those audio systems are deployed. It may be difficult or impossible to run cables inside walls or above ceilings, and running those cables across the floor can be both unsightly and hazardous.

Additionally, long cable runs may be required for large spaces. Because audio signals degrade over long distances, the result may be poor sound quality.

Instead of those cables, a Dante network may be a better option. Developed in 2006 by Australian company Audinate, Dante stands for Digital Audio Network Through Ethernet. Instead of traditional audio cables, a Dante network transports digital signals via Cat 5e or fiber optic cables. Because data is digital, there’s no deterioration in the quality of audio on a Dante network no matter how far the signal travels.

And because Dante-enabled devices can receive and pass high quality audio over ethernet, they can co-exist on an existing converged data network alongside VoIP, email, and other types of network traffic. Some existing audio products can be outfitted with a Dante network interface hardware card or a Dante adapter that makes it easy to connect an audio device to a Dante network. Additionally, many of the audio products Yamaha UC offers are Dante-enabled.

Wired or wireless

This is probably the most important question to ask when it comes to choosing an auditorium mic system.

If the speaker will remain at the podium for the entirety of the lecture, a wired microphone system is sufficient. Wired microphones don’t require batteries, are easier to keep track of and might offer a slight improvement in audio quality.

On the other hand, most speakers will at some point want to step away from the podium. They might want to address specific audience members, step away from in front of projected material or simply want to add a bit of visual excitement to supplement the lecture. In those cases, a better solution might be a wireless mic for lectures.

Microphone and Audio Solutions for Lecturers or Speakers in Auditoriums

Yamaha UC offers a variety of wireless mics, each offering advantages for different situations. For conference rooms and smaller auditoriums, there’s Revolabs HD Single, Dual & Venue wireless microphone systems. These systems feature a plug-and-play design, simple setup, and superior HD sound quality make them excellent options for many applications.

For classrooms and remote learning scenarios, there’s the EDU Kit Wireless Microphone System. These HD Single & HD Dual wireless microphone kits are the perfect solution for education. They are ideal for lecture halls as well as remote lecture capture and interactive online learning.

A professor who uses a quality microphone and audio system will improve the volume of any live presentation or recorded lecture. To learn more about the microphone systems Yamaha UC has do offer, visit our Products page. For additional advice on the best solution for your needs, reach out to the experts at Yamaha UC!