Intercom Glossary


Here is a list of terms that will help you understand our products better.



All Call System — An intercom system where a talk call is heard in every room on the system.

Door Station — Exterior speaker configured with or without a bell button for use with communication between the intercom system and a door location.

Finish-out — This part of the installation process takes place after the drywall is up and the walls are painted. This phase includes installing the master and room stations.

Flush Mount — A method of installing an intercom speaker where the speaker is recessed into the wall.

Hands Free — Using the listen function to hear communication responses without having the responder push the talk button.

Home Run Wiring — A wiring method where all room stations are wired direct from the room to the master unit.

Listen — To hear a response over the intercom system.

Master — The main unit or control for the intercom system.

Master Housing — The rough-in can that is used to house the transformers and intercom master and CD player.

Monitor — To listen to sound coming from a particular room in the house.

Patio Station — Speaker designed to withstand weather for use on outside patios or in areas with high moisture or sun exposure.

Privacy — To set a room so that it cannot be listened to or monitored by other rooms on the system.

Remote Scan — Ability to change intercom sources from the room station.

Room Station — Speaker and controls that are installed in a specific room or zone of the home.

Room Station Ring — The rough-in ring used to mount the intercom speaker.

Rough-in — The part of the installation process that takes place in a home prior to installation of the dry wall. This phase includes running the CAT5 wire, antennas, master housing and room station rings.

Selective Call System — An intercom system where a talk call can be directed to a specific room.

Sources — Any musical devices connected to the intercom system.

Surface Mount — A method of installing an intercom speaker where the speaker is placed in a plastic box that is mounted on to the wall.

Talk — The process of communicating over the intercom system.

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Center Channel — The center speaker in a home theater setup is ideally placed within one or two feet above or below the horizontal plane of the left and right speakers and above or below the display device, unless placed behind a perforated screen. Placement is important, as voices and many effects in a multi-channel mix come from this speaker.

Crossover network — A circuit of component comprising low-pass, high-pass, or bandpass filters that separate lower-frequency signals from higher-frequency ones. A crossover is used in a speaker that has more than one driver. In a two-way speaker, the crossover sends the low frequencies to the woofer and high frequencies to the tweeter.

Dog Ears — Mounting tabs to adhere to the wall or ceiling.

Driver — An individual woofer, midrange, tweeter, or other transducer within a speaker.

Frequency — The measurement of the number of cycles per second in an audio tone or an alternating current. Frequency is represented in cycles per second also known as Hertz, abbreviated as Hz. The range of human hearing is typically considered to range from 20Hz to 20,000Hz. (20Hz – 20kHz).

Frequency response — The range of frequencies (or bandwidth), expressed in hertz (Hz) that a component could handle with specified limits of amplitude error expressed in decibels (dB).

Kevlar — The strength of Kevlar helps the cone retain its shape at very high energy levels and its low mass assures quick, accurate response. The cone’s woven surface delivers a smooth response.

Mounting Rings/ Pre-Construction Brackets — Rough-in rings for new construction for both ceiling and in-wall speakers-placement of these are prior to sheet rock.

Ohm — The basic unit of electrical resistance or impedance.

Rubber Surround — The surround is made from SBR rubber because of the wide operating temperature, low creep and long- term reliability.

SPL-Sound Pressure Level — Acoustic pressure is normally measured in a unit called a Pascal. SPL ratings get exaggerated a little. It is derived from a formula which includes various known parameters of the loudspeaker, such as magnet strength, Q, magnetic energy from the voice coil, weight (or mass) of the system (cone, spider, etc.). Plugging these numbers into the formula yields a calculated, predicted SPL. It’s kind of like predicting how fast a car will go when you know the weight of the car, the gearing, and how much horsepower you have.

Subwoofer — A speaker designed to reproduce only low-bass frequencies. A powered subwoofer contains an amplifier and an electronic crossover.

Treble — The upper part of the audio spectrum, from 2 or 3 kHz to about 20 kHz.

Tweeter — A speaker driver designed to reproduce treble frequencies.

Watt — A unit of electrical power, the audio power of an amplifier is measured in watts.

Woofer — A speaker driver designed to reproduce bass or bass/midrange frequencies.

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Amplifier — This is a device that increases signal level. Many types of amplifiers are used in audio systems. A pre-amplifier is used to increase the signal level from an audio source. A power amplifier increases the signal level sufficiently to drive a speaker. Pre-amplifiers and power amplifiers can be purchased as separate units or can be packaged together with other audio functions. A receiver is an audio unit that contains pre-amplifier, control, switching, processing, and power amplifier functions built into a single unit.

Audio Wall Plate — Can be added to every zone, this allows for a local audio source to be connected to the local zone keypad.

Central Controller — This is the main brain of the XMD4600. The Central Controller connects to 6 audio sources in a central location and acts as a router or switcher to control these sources.

Class D Digital Amplifier — A class D amplifier is a power amplifier where all power devices are operated in on/off mode. The term applies to devices intended to reproduce signals with a bandwidth well below the pulse frequency. The main advantage of a class D amplifier is power efficiency. Because the output pulses have a fixed amplitude, the switching elements are switched either on or off, rather than operated in linear mode. This means that very little power is dissipated by the transistors except during the very short interval between the on and off states.

Door talk — From any room anyone can communicate to the front door from any room in the house.

Expansion Hub — The Expansion Hub connects to the central controller and expands the number of zones to eight.

IR Emitters — The IR Emitters connect the Central Controller IR output to the audio equipment IR eye so the IR remote can be used to control that equipment from the zone keypads.

Listen Function — Ability to monitor other rooms.

Local Source — By adding a local audio wall plate to a zone or room a local source can be added to each room (ie MP3 player, iPod) a subwoofer can also be added to the local audio plate.

Macros — Allows a series of functions that can be performed with just two or one button key press.

Party Mode — From any keypad you can play the same source throughout the home by holding down a specific source such as a CD player.

Privacy Feature — The ability to prevent other rooms in the home from listening or monitoring that room, this feature is ideal for a home office. This feature can be enabled from any keypad. All other functions will work while in this mode.

Sources — Any audio input or device-CD player-MP3 player (Ipod).

Watts per Channel — A specification of how much power an amplifier or receiver can deliver to each speaker connected to it.