This blog is a transcript and throwback chat with Commercial Integrator’s Editor in Chief, Dan Ferrisi, and Clockaudio’s North American Managing Director, Bob
Moreau on the importance of enabling remote workers to enjoy simple, versatile audio solutions.
Delving into trends seen for remote offices since the pandemic, we highlight two of Clockaudio’s USB Solutions – the CUI2 and the CUB-33.
CI: What topline trends are you seeing regarding the drive to bring high-quality audio from boardroom and enterprise environments into the home for remote workers?
Bob Moreau: Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a lot of people complain about the lack of good sound and intelligibility. And, as we know, if you have a meeting for 20 minutes or half an hour, if the sound is not up to par, you can get a lot of brain fatigue trying to understand the people at the far side.
This has been a big focus for us, and that is what we have been trying to address. We have been working on a new platform - a USB platform - to bring some of the solutions that have been proven over the years, which we use in boardrooms, huddle rooms and similar environments, and apply them into smaller office settings and in home applications.
The genuinely exciting part is, you now have the same flexibility as our Dante platform in terms of microphone options, but in a USB format that can connect directly to your computer.
CI: Tell me a little bit about the value proposition of the CUI2, which is well suited for workers looking for simplicity and versatility.
Moreau: The CUI2 is a little bit of a hybrid. Instead of coming out with one USB-type microphone for home, we wanted to give the user more flexibility. Because every home / remote office environment is different, just like every office is different.
Our motto has always been that we do not want to limit the possibilities. With the CUI2, you can use any type of condenser microphone from Clockaudio.
You can use any type of control device from Clockaudio with the RGB rings and the switch. And you can really customize, to your environment and your needs.
That is the beauty of it. It is integrator-centric and for people working remotely who want something a little bit more sophisticated, they can do that with a lot of options.
CI: Now, the CUB-33 is even simpler, suiting people who do not want an install that is going to be more involved. Tell us about that.
Moreau: Not everybody is going to want to drill a hole in their new table or want to do modifications to an existing table they have purchased. Some people are looking for more of a plug-and-play type of a product.
The CUB-33 is using the same type of interface as the CUI2.
The only difference is that it has a permanent microphone on it, with a semi-rigid gooseneck and a C3 cardioid capsule, which is one of our signature capsules. And the beauty of this package is that it also can give you a lot of visual cues.
For instance, you have a view-meter that can be activated on the screen that allows you to see if you are overloading. Obviously, you do not hear yourself when you are communicating with somebody on the far side, but they hear if you are distorting, so, you now have visual cues to help you.
The other thing is the display is rather large, enabling you to see if your mic is on or if you are muted.
It also gives you flexibility if you want to have your microphone, for example, to function as a push-to-mute. You are in control. Just push to mute the microphone if you must cough or something like that, or, you can have it latching.
The cool thing is that it mutes locally within the unit. So, you are sure that if the display shows you are muted, the mic is off. You have full privacy. The other remarkable thing about this unit is that it is one USB cable. You connect it to your laptop or computer of choice, and you are up and running. It is as simple as that.
CI: What is the timeline of availability for these products?
Moreau: The CUI2 is presently in stock and available. The CUB-33 launched at ISE in Barcelona in 2021 and became available about two weeks after that.