How Do IP Speakers Work? Some Crucial Considerations!


The rising popularity and preference for network-wide communication systems have made IP speakers a critical player. These contain built-in amps and PoE technology, eliminating the need for additional power sources. These are more like plug-and-play systems that you link to your network switch to get started with them quickly. With paging software, you can handle speakers independently, group-wise, or all at once on the network. While it makes the process sound complex, installation takes little effort. Hence, if you wish to upgrade the communication system at your workplace, IP speakers can be the ideal choice.

The functioning of IP speakers

You get many options, such as bi-directional hall speakers, ceiling speakers, and drop-ceiling panels. But an indoor wall mount IP speaker can be most helpful. The speakers perform their job with a built-in amp, D/A converter, and network connection. If you pick something with a talkback microphone, it can make your intercom system more progressive, flexible, and affordable. The speaker’s amp module will have a network interface and micro-computer. The digital-to-analog converter will send the analog voice signal for amplification. When the sound level increases, the amplifier triggers the speaker. The network speakers become a part of the entire paging system running on the network. You can also add IP amplifiers separately to manage several speakers or intercom systems for a robust audio setup.

As mentioned, these PoE speakers provide excellent sound output. Suppose you install a wall speaker. You can expect it to provide up to 99 dB of sound across one meter. If you find it too difficult to interpret its effect, imagine the sound of your jackhammer or lawnmower. Sound will drop as the distance grows. Classroom paging sound systems need under 70 dB of sound. The sound level can be adjustable. Please avoid increasing the audio levels beyond 85 dB. Furthermore, a microphone linked to the computer will convert the microphone’s sound into a compressed digital code to send it across the network to the selected IP speaker. Compression type depends on factors like bandwidth and transport protocols.

Also, the digital copy of the audio bandwidth and speaker determines the sound quality. IP speakers usually work with 64 Kbps of transport bandwidth. The systems think they are dealing with audio. Hence, they will match the frequency range with the sound of the voice quality.

Decoding PoE technology

Power Over Ethernet technology powers the IP speakers through a single network cable. Due to this, you can save money on installing electrical outlets and power supply sources familiar to ordinary speakers. PoE is the first of its kind to power a device through Ethernet. PoE-enabled speakers can handle 15 watts of power. However, you can switch to PoE+ speakers if you require more current. These devices can transmit 25 watts of power. A PoE+ device will connect to a PoE+ router or network switch, involving an electrical connection. Some companies offer IP-powered endpoints with built-in amplifiers. They can pick signals from PoE/PoE+ switch or the Ethernet cable to convert them into output power to operate the attached speaker. There is a belief that PoE+ IP-enabled speakers can produce more output than a PoE IP speaker.

PoE vs. PoE+

Now, a pertinent question arises – what do you need the most of the two options? The first reference point is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) standards. It is 802.3at for PoE+ and 802.3af for PoE. As you know, PoE can carry 15.4 watts, and the plus version is 25.5 watts. But what does this even mean? It reflects the versatility of PoE-enabled devices. PoE Plus can support intercoms, alarm systems, and others.

Cost of PoE+ speakers

Not every Ethernet device is feature-rich, but you can explore your options to make it a good investment decision. Think of an indoor intercom system incorporated with IP Speaker, microphone, and LCD. Something that supports a unified communication service and uses LAN can be more reliable during emergencies. While these high-end systems can be a little pricey, they eliminate the need for third-party notification apps. They can easily connect to VoIP communication software or SIP server to pass on alerts or enable two-way communication. IP speakers can be a helpful addition, whether a school, corporate office, industrial facility, government building, place of worship, or transportation hub.

A few additional points

A SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) infrastructure depends on a SIP server that offers features like a SIP proxy, SIP registrar, media relay, etc. It can also provide policy-supported security and border control. The server connects devices to handle incoming and outgoing calls for end-to-end communications. Real-time voice or video communication devices depend on a SIP server to ensure seamless communication. SIP server considers a few criteria. For instance, the protocol detects the user’s location and whether the recipient is present to respond to the call. The server also identifies the media format used during the call. It configures the system so that the caller rings a user on the other end to answer the call. And it also manages the session, starting from call transfer to termination.

Businesses incorporate SIP servers for their voice improvement capabilities. Plus, they offer plenty of resources. It’s also cost-effective compared to others. When you connect your devices to this server type or similar efficient solution, you can scale your communication systems quickly to match the growing needs of the business. Make sure to pay attention to compatibility and other sides.

Nevertheless, you can enhance your intercom system by opting for IP speakers with a display and talkback microphone. Before investing your money, study all the features and requirements beforehand. They may need a specific environment to operate at their total potential. If you need to know more about their functioning and integration, check online educative resources. Or you can also consult communication system experts for commercial properties. They will evaluate your business and requirements to suggest the best way to integrate them. You can also get an idea about the cost. However, choosing an excellent product is vital to secure your investment and increase your system’s communication efficiency. Once installed, you can start reaping the benefits of the new technology.