Chris Drage Promethean ActivSound ONE
Long gone are the days when children were expected to be seen but not heard. In today’s busy classrooms learning is hardly a silent process. But without reasonable classroom acoustics there can be a decline in student attention, behaviour, speech perception and comprehension.
That's why more and more schools are 'miking up' their teachers and using professional amplification systems. Promethean’s ActivSound system narrows the gap between student and teacher by removing barriers caused by ambient sound, noise and distance.
ActivSound ONE is a portable, all-in-one audio system with infrared microphone capability that makes audio amplification possible in the smallest, most remote or most temporary of situations. It is very portable and ideally suited to large rooms or areas where the teacher’s voice may be easily lost. It is a standalone, all-in-one solution for spaces where other solutions like Promethean’s ActivSound 100 /200 wall or ceiling mounted speakers may not be possible.
The full ActivSound ONE package includes an all-in-one amplifier, speaker, microphone system which can support up to two wireless, infrared microphones. It features two auxiliary inputs, and one line output, each with volume control; thus providing connectivity for other multimedia devices such as a PC or an MP3 player and provides output for digital recording or integration with hearing impaired audio systems. An optional pass-around microphone can be added which can encourage classroom conversation and help everyone focus attention on the person speaking.
In use the ActivSound ONE’s wireless pendant microphone is easy to use and picks up the teacher’s voice very well. It does not seem to pick up static electricity or the rustle of clothing but, as with all microphones, you have to be careful where you stand in relation to the speaker in order to prevent feedback. The optional pass-around student microphone allows students to contribute just as clearly. All are interfaced digitally with the mixer-amplifier and play evenly on the speaker.
The downside to the ActivSound ONE is the rather hefty price of the basic system (and the optional remote microphone) which to my eyes anyway seems a trifle much for what is a portable PA system. The upside is that the system is versatile enough to fit any space, even the smallest or most temporary. It is ideal as a temporary solution where you can't fix permanent speakers into the ceiling or it isn't a permanent teaching area. It gives better audio than a voice that isn’t using ActivSound, and it will reduce the strain on a teacher’s voice – ideal if a member of staff is suffering from, say, throat problems.
The ActivSound ONE is most suitable for language learners and children with reduced hearing. The only raised voices in an ActivClassroom are those inspired to debate. ActivSound ONE helps ensure that whatever the subject and whoever the speaker, the message can be heard, loud and clear. Price aside, if you are looking for amplification in a learning space to improve instruction or a portable audio solution with multimedia sound, the Promethean ActivSound ONE can be recommended.
Ratings (out of 5)
Fitness for purpose 4
Ease of use 5
Value for money 3
Portable classroom audio system with pendant microphone for teachers and presenters, £825+VAT (£209.54+VAT for optional handheld microphone). Options to add wireless handheld microphone and additional speakers.