Most office furniture is non-technical and easy to understand, but sound lecterns involve electronics and acoustics.
Let’s review a basic glossary of terms that you may see used in descriptions for sound lecterns --
AC, also known as “alternating current“. This means you need to plug the lectern into an electrical wall outlet to power it.
DC, also known as “direct current”. This means the lectern can run on battery power. This is convenient for when electrical power is not nearby or available.
An AC/DC lectern can be plugged into the wall OR run on batteries.
Mic. The same as a microphone. The device into which you speak. There are many types of microphones. Wireless microphones do not need to be plugged into a lectern. A wireless mic is convenient, but it’s possible that you could get outside interference. Some wireless mics have more than one channel to guard against that.
Gooseneck Mount. This is the flexible arm mounted to the top of a lectern that holds the microphone. Its flexibility allows you to precisely raise, lower, and position the microphone.
Amplifier. The electronic device that increases the strength of a signal or sound so that it can drive a speaker. It will have controls for features such as power, volume, source selection, treble, and bass.
Speaker, or Loudspeaker. The device that reproduces the sound and sends it into the room. It changes electrical energy into acoustic energy. Larger rooms need larger speakers to fill the room with sound. Many lecterns will have a room or audience size recommendation shown in the description.
Acoustic Power Output, or just plain “Power Output” or “Output” is the measurement of the sound generated. It’s measured in watts.
Acoustic Feedback. This is the loud screeching sound you’ve heard that is caused by sound leaving a speaker and cycling back into the microphone, then back through the speaker, and back to the microphone, again and again and again. This phenomenon can be solved by decreasing the volume or making sure the microphone is behind the loudspeaker.
Decibel (or dB). This is a measure of sound pressure levels, or loudness. 1 dB is the smallest difference between the intensity of two sounds that can be detected by the human ear. The decibel readings of some common sounds are a whisper at about 15 dB, a lawnmower at about 90 dB, and a jet engine at about 120 dB.
Input. This is the open port in the amplifier face where you can insert devices such as microphones or CD players that go “to” the lectern. Some lecterns have multiple inputs.Output. This is the open port in the amplifier face where you plug in an output device that is going “from” the lectern, such as an extra speaker or recording device. Some lecterns have multiple outputs.
We hope this summary of basic sound lectern terminology will help you in selecting a lectern.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact Modern Office at 1-800-443-5117 with any of your lectern questions. We carry a large selection of both sound and non-sound lecterns for your business, school, church, or institution.