Multi-Zone Public Address

The previous example systems were designed for making announcements to all areas at the same time. They could be further developed by splitting speakers in different areas into separate zones which would allow a message broadcast to be sent to a particular area, or enable music to be routed to the shop floor while the offices only receive announcements.

A typical application would be a small factory with horn speakers covering the shop floor and ceiling speakers in the offices. In the system below, both areas receive announcements through speakers suitable for the location, environment and noise levels.

Changing the amplifier and microphone to multi-zone types would enable this to be done with ease, allowing the user to select either or both areas to be paged at any time. Multi-zone systems can be developed to suit most requirements with different manufacturers producing amplifiers and paging microphones for two, five, eight, ten or more zones.


Now we have a paging (PA or Tannoy) system which can provide effective voice communication to a wide area, we can also distribute background music at the same time. This feature enables greater control of sound levels, equipment and amount of exposure to staff.


Most commercial amplifiers have inputs for connecting a music source such as a radio tuner, MP3 player etc. These inputs are known as auxiliary inputs and are designed to dip in level when an announcement is made and restore once completed. This feature is known as override, VOX or priority depending upon the brand of equipment used.