An intercommunication device – intercom for short – is a stand-alone voice communications system independent of the public telephone network. It is a two-way communication device that contains electronic circuitry for the purpose of transmitting and receiving audio and/or video signals. Intercom allows someone in one location who is speaking into a microphone to be heard on a speaker by people in a different area. Intercoms are not only restricted to buildings (permanent installation), but can be used for communication between individuals in the field (portable system), for example between central command and an emergency personnel responding to a particular situation.
Since an intercom system involves a talker and a listener it employs two different acoustic components, a loudspeaker and a microphone (or a loudspeaker configured to work as a microphone). Depending on the use of the intercom system the loudspeaker size can vary. For example, in buildings, the intercom panel can accommodate loudspeaker sizes up to 50mm. In situations where the intercom system is portable, smaller size loudspeakers are used since the communication device needs to be lightweight. Some applications require the loudspeaker to be waterproof, dust proof and even be able to work in extreme temperature environments. Irrespective of the application sound quality for loudspeakers used in intercom systems cannot be compromised. The sound needs to be loud and clear.
The microphone in intercom systems are generally electret condenser microphones (ECM). Depending on the application, the ECM’s may need to have some of the same stringent environmental requirements as the loudspeaker.
Over the years, intercom systems have come a long way from the simple single button door buzzer panel. Today with the push for smarter homes and buildings intercom is here to stay and is well positioned to be the leader that brings together audio and video communications.
Stetron designs and manufactures a variety of loudspeakers and microphones suitable for use in intercom systems, even for those systems which will work in harsh environments. For your next project requiring a loudspeaker and microphone please contact Stetron for a free consultation.