Cultivating the Audio Atmosphere to Match the Brand Experience in Hotels

June 11, 2019

Looking forward to this year’s InfoComm show, I’m excited to participate in a seminar entitled Audio Atmosphere and Brand Experience in Hotels. I’ll be joining experts from PlayNetwork and Mood Media to explore how sound and music helps foster brand and wellness experiences in hotels. We’ll be discussing how hotel designers can collaborate more effectively with technology providers to create serene, consistent atmospheric sound in both public and private spaces. The topic is one that I’ve worked extensively on over the years, so I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned with more of the AV community.


Here’s the full description: Hotels can offer a completely immersive wellness experience with carefully selected music and sound offerings. How can hotel designers collaborate more effectively with technology providers to provide a serene and consistent atmosphere across public and private spaces? What is the best way to ensure that high-end, customized sound control enhances a hotel brand as much as luxury bedding and dining options? What do hotel operators need to know about music selection and playback?


If you’re interested in this topic, the seminar takes place Tuesday, June 11 from 3:30-4:30pm at the Orange County Convention Center. You can attend as part of the seminar and workshop package and earn CTS credits. You can find the full info by searching the event explorer for Seminar ISO 028,

Take a sip, and close your eyes. Listen closely, and pay attention to your taste buds.


It might sound like a weird sci-fi experiment, but I’ve had this theory for sometime about how audio impacts our sense of taste. I recently had the chance to test my idea out on a few hundred students at a New Jersey career fair, dually introducing them to the idea of audiovisual job opportunities.


I’ve been on a soap box for sometime now about how the AV industry needs to educate more young people about the business. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to expose students to AV when I was invited to participate in Junior Achievement of New Jersey’s Inspire Trenton Career Day.


The Junior Achievement (JA) event brought over 700 eighth grade students to The College of New Jersey for hands-on experiences about career opportunities. One of the things I love about my work in AV is creating something for people to see and hear, so when it came time to decide how to present the idea of AV as a career to these students, I knew it had to be like a show and tell.


Initially, I had thought of just setting up a bunch of equipment and talking to kids about AV, but with the format of the event, we only had about 3 minutes with groups of 4-8 kids. As I was thinking more about how to speak to the students about AV, I was also thinking about my theory that sound affects taste, which stems from the amount of work I do with restaurant acoustics. I’m really interested in how noise and loud sounds in restaurants alter how diners perceive taste. I recognized that I would have a sizable, captive audience at the JA Inspire event, so why not combine these two interests?


The result was a really interactive experience for eighth graders to understand that AV is not a bunch of geeks with carts and projectors. There’s acoustics and designing sound, loudspeakers, components and so many other things. There are all these different aspects to the AV business that exists.


So we put together this experiment where we had students take a sip of gatorade. Then, we gave them headphones to put on with a fun playlist queued up; we had them take another sip and asked them if it tasted different. The result? Only about 5 kids out of several hundred said they couldn’t taste a difference. Even some of the adults around skeptically gave it a try, and you could see the lightbulbs go off in their heads. It was really fun!


Of course, we also took the opportunity to measure the sound levels in the headphones to show kids how they might be damaging their hearing by listening to music with the volume too high. We really packed a lot into the experience by also presenting various media on loudspeakers, an amplifier and a projection system that we displayed. In my elevator pitch, I explained how when you go eat at a restaurant or you go shopping, and you hear music or see visuals, that that’s someone’s job. Those things don’t just happen by accident.


I also made it clear to them that I love what I do, and it’s possible to make a good living by doing something that you love. I worry sometimes that in the push for career development, kids either want to be an entertainer, some kind of celebrity, or they just want to make money. My main message to kids was that regardless of the career path that they choose, they should choose wisely.


While most of the students certainly came along with preconceived notions of what they think they want to be, I hope that through the Taste Challenge, we were able to give them a new idea to consider as they go into High School. I’d like to think that someday, some of those kids might remember the Taste Challenge and think, ‘Oh yea, THAT’S what I want to do.’

La Sirena Sound System Saved by Careful Planning

March 01, 2018

The first sound system installed at La Sirena turned out to be less than adequate for the fast-growing restaurant’s needs. Worse, a few months after it was installed, a fire sprinkler flood ruined important elements of the system. The restaurant’s management quickly turned to AV systems integrator Essential Communications of East Hanover, New Jersey for help.

SCN's 2018 Hall of Fame: David Schwartz

January 05, 2018

SCN's 2018 Hall of Fame: David Schwartz

David Schwartz President and Founder of Essential Communications is Inducted into the SCN Living Legends AV Hall of Fame

December 31, 2017

SCN's Seventh - Annual Hall of Fame Recognizes AV Business Leaders and Innovators.

CASE STUDY: Soho Grand Hotel, Manhattan

December 10, 2017

The Soho Grand Hotel is a classic part of its Manhattan neighborhood, but it’s anything but old-fashioned, keeping up with the times in both design and technology.

To ready myself for the holiday shopping season, I did some intense endurance training on the mean midtown streets of Manhattan with retail and hospitality audio guru David Schwartz, president of Essential Communications

The Roxy is our client, and they were in the market for a new live mixer for The Django,” explains David Schwartz, president of Essential Communications.

Old-School AV: Looking Back to Get Ahead

August 23, 2019

In a field that’s racing forward as fast as AV, who’s got time to look back? Turns out, not taking a moment to review the roots of the industry that converges audio, video, and control would be a big mistake. When SCN interviewed AV experts about the importance of the sector’s history, we uncovered a group with a long memory—a trait that crossfades neatly with an eye for the future.m about? What makes it interesting? 

The Next Big Trend In Restaurants Is Hard To See, But Diners Can Definitely Feel It!

October 06, 2017

A recent shift in attitudes is causing restaurateurs, designers and architects to take a closer look at how noise and acoustics play crucial roles in the dining experience.

Ashly Spotlights New John Varvatos Fashion Location in Westfield World Trade Center

September 21, 2017

Ashly is one of those rare companies that delivers great sounding products that are rock-solid reliable for way less than comparable products from other manufacturers,” says Schwartz.

Community Delivers Power and Quality for Manhattan’s Soho Grand Hotel

July 11, 2017

Essential Communications has recently completed a major upgrade to the audio systems at Manhattan’s Soho Grand Hotel.

Symetrix a Grand Success at Soho Grand Hotel

May 28, 2023

The Soho Grand has redone its sound system four times in the past 17 years in order to present a variety of musical events and other programs, including contemporary DJs. All four sound system makeovers were designed and installed by Essential Communications.

Please reload

© 2020 by Essential Communications. Proudly created with

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon