Louroe Audio Surveillance ReviewBy: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 28, 2012
When discussing audio for security applications, Louroe Electronics is normally the first name that comes up. In previous discussions [link no longer available] on our LinkedIn group, nearly every member commented support for Louroe. In this update, we will overview their line, and discuss where specific products may or may not fit.
Louroe, based in California, manufacturers a variety of products for use in audio monitoring and intercom applications. Most commonly, their audio monitoring kits and microphones are used for police interview rooms. While they are not providing a unique product, as most, if not all of these components could be sourced elsewhere, they have done a good job of assembling packages in common configurations that integrators may need, and making them simple to install.
Audio Monitoring Kits
Louroe's Audio Monitoring Kits [link no longer available] consist of 1-4 microphones, power supplies, and base stations or mic interfaces, provided in a handful of common configurations. There are two main types of base stations:
- First, there are base stations with built-in speakers and playback capability [link no longer available]. These are appropriate when using a DVR for recording, as they perform two functions: first, they power and preamplify the microphones, providing a line-level audio output. Second, they allow playback via the built-in speaker, or headphone jack on the front panel. Since DVR's are typically not equipped with speakers of any sort, operators need some sort of interface such as this to listen to audio. A single-input audio interface sells for approximately $150 online.
- Louroe also provides audio interfaces [link no longer available] which are simply used to power and preamplify the microphone, and provide a line-level output with some volume control. These are more commonly used when operators view and review video via a PC workstation. The built-in speaker and playback functions of the above interfaces are not needed, since users can simply plug in a set of PC speakers or headphones for listening. These interfaces are availabe in single- or multiple-input versions, so more than one mic may be connected to a DVR or set of IP cameras. Audio interfaces start at about $90 for a single input.
Louroe also provides a variety of microphone types for use with its audio interfaces. The biggest difference between most models is form factor. Normally, the Verifact A [link no longer available] microphone is used, and ceiling-mounted, with a pickup range of about 15' in all directions. The Verifact D [link no longer available] and D-V models are flush-mounted versions in a single-gang wallplate form factor with the same range, normally used in areas more prone to abuse. The -V model [link no longer available] especially, is screened so foreign objects may not penetrate the mic chamber. Microphones range from about $100 or less for a Verifact A to about $120 for a Verifact D-V. This is in the range of what competitor's microphones normally cost, such as the $140 Crown/AKG PZM11LL, also commonly used in security applications.
Louroe also manufactures two-way audio products, mostly for use in intercom applications, commonly drive-throughs, ticket counters, and observation labs. One product which may be of interest to those using IP surveillance is the AOPSP-PB [link no longer available] ($250-300 online), which is a wall-mount call box with mic, speaker, and push-to-call button. This model is made to interface to DVR's or IP cameras for use as an entry phone. An operator using the VMS' client software may be alerted of the visitor via an event in the client created by triggering a camera's dry contact input, and remotely release a door lock via the camera's relay output, for example.