Axis Launches IP Speakers

Author: Brian Rhodes, Published on Sep 21, 2016

First, Axis introduced an IP horn, then it was video intercoms, and now it is Networked Speakers?

While IP-based Public Address systems are not new, Axis is one of the only security manufacturers to enter that market.

In this report, we review the functionalities and pricing of Axis speakers, compared to competitive offerings from Atlas and Valcom, concluding with a review of the strengths and weaknesses of the offering.

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Key *******

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Competitive ********

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Advantages ******

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Weaknesses ******

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Comments (11)

If used as a PA system with a live mic, this is setup will likely range from unacceptable to deplorable.

The reason is simple, latency. If you have ever done announcements live, say an instore promotion, you can imagine the difficulty of speaking while hearing yourself delayed. Even the small delay of analog equipment + room reflections takes a little practice to get used to.

And Axis has a history of high latency audio, most recently with its video intercom taking several seconds (!).

The reason is simple, latency. If you have ever done announcements live, say an instore promotion, you can imagine the difficulty of speaking while hearing yourself delayed. Even the small delay of analog equipment + room reflections takes a little practice to get used to.

When I was in college, back in the days of analog tape recorders, a friend set up the analog out of a tape recorder, which had a variable delay depending upon the tape speed of (IIRC) 0.5 to 2 s, to run a pair of over-the-ear headphones. Connected to the input of the recorder was a microphone.

He put a test subject (guinea pig) in front of the microphone handed him a page of text to read and then stepped back and laughed at the results. It proved impossible for anyone (yours truly included) to read more than half a sentence of the text before descending into gibberish.

Not quite the same, but pretty impressive (jump to ~1:45 if you don't want to watch the run up):

Ok, that guy can get it!

Then again, he might just end up saying "Hello, Shoppers" over and over again...

Camera are getting commoditized, margin are under huge pressure, it could be a way a way for Axis to diversify and protect margins....

Axis is slowly moving from a camera manufacturer to end-to-end supplier... solution provider. You protect margins better when you sell solution versus individual component. However their distribution only strategy could an issue as part of that strategy...

Am I the only one that thinks it is an oversight that Axis did not include support for more modern audio networking like DLNA (which, granted, is getting outdated), AirPlay, etc? It seems like a good use for these speakers would be background audio in retail stores and I would have expected from Axis something that makes these speakers a little more competitive and flexible.

They are touting connections to online music streaming services, but I can't find any details of what exactly that entails.

I'll ask Axis to elaborate on that and report back here.

Axis response:

For online streaming our network speakers have already today support for MP3 streams in M3U or PLS format. Which means that you can connect any music content provider supporting this formats. Or as an alternative, you can also set up you own server enabling you to have full control an stream your own music. Since our product is based on openness it is also possible for partners to build an application with support of the inbuilt ACAP support, for deeper integration and functionality.

The thing that might set this product apart is the rare ability to integrate music and surveillance.

Instead of the tired, one size-fits-all blaring klaxon sound, you could tailor a playlist to the event.

For instance, playing the theme from "Cops" on intrusion would certainly make a startling impression on would be theives.

Or even an anti-passback/tailgating warning consisting of "Don't Stand So Close to Me", by the Police of course.

I would be afraid to put more than one next to each other. 1 per room, not a problem. grouping them in a zone say in a large classroom, or hallway, wont try it.

The IP paging we install, we use a loop out of the first IP speaker in the zone to a self amplified set of standard 24v speakers. And because the IP and non-IP versions have an identical visual appearance, there is little reason not to.

latency, while can be accounted for in settings, is never constant at the device. and across IDF/MDF's is not going to be my problem!

Plus I can win every competitive bid with the cost savings, and in person live demo with no loss of usable features.

I would still use these Axis speakers where it made sense.

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