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Case Study

Azusa Pacific University Survives the Transition to Distance Learning with Stem Audio

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing guidelines, Azusa Pacific University had to transfer into hybrid learning. This required an upgrade in some of the AV equipment to enable a seamless learning experience for the students.
September, 01 2021 |
Azusa Pacific University

Customer Profile

Founded in 1899 as one of the largest Christian universities in the nation today, Azusa Pacific University (APU) has been recognized for its traditions of Christ-centered academic excellence. Recognized as one of America's best colleges, the university continues to earn their reputation in scholastic excellence by offering 68 bachelor’s degrees, 48 master’s degrees, 18 certificates, 10 credentials, and 9 doctoral programs at the university’s main campus in Azusa, seven regional locations, and online. By providing students a variety of campus locations and an online curriculum, APU is able to expand and offer education to students across the country and abroad.



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Azusa Pacific University had to make a swift transition to online learning and needed to quickly outfit 217 classrooms across seven campus locations with video conferencing in time for the Fall 2020 semester. It was very important that APU found an audio solution that could provide remote students with the best online learning experience while at the same time staying within budget and allowing their team to install it themselves. However, during their extensive research and testing process, most other solutions required a more complex installation and did not meet quality and coverage standards. “With a team of two full-time people, six part-time student employees, and four part-time IT department employees, we needed a solution that we could install ourselves with no CTS certifications or formal technical installation training needed.”

Specific challenges included:

  • Installation timeframe
  • Multiple campuses
  • Large scale deployment
  • Budget limitations
  • Repurposing of audio for future use


Jonathan Lord, Classroom & Events Technology Manager, and his team needed a solution that would fit in any room and could be used as a USB conferencing device to work with their existing classroom setup. They put Stem to the test in a demo video comparison with a dozen other designs including various. Then each variation was presented to their academic and return to campus committees, “so that they could see not only the different designs and budgets but they could also see the products and experience what they would actually sound like on the receiving end,” Lord said. “This gave our customers, being our faculty, staff, and administrators, the confidence to endorse the products we were putting forward in these designs.”

Through their rigorous testing process, they found Stem Audio Wall and Table devices to be the right fit for deployment in the classrooms across their campuses. “Stem Wall was really the best quality conferencing array microphone that came out of our tests,” said Lord. “Our classroom designs went through various iterations of products and fine-tuning after testing but the one thing that we have been set on from day one has been the audio devices from Stem, which has been the easiest part of this project by far.”

APU%20classroom__907x500.webpStem Wall mounted below whiteboard

Stem Table and Wall’s dual connectivity option gave them the freedom to install the devices in their classrooms exactly the way they wanted and in minutes. “Essentially, the whole setup with Stem was getting the device either on the wall or on the desk and just plugging it in via USB to the computer in the classroom. We got our installation process really down pat to where we were installing well under a half an hour in each room, and that’s including installing Stem Wall or Table, webcams, document cams, and updating Zoom,” Lord said. “One of my student employees and I were able to knock out 30 rooms in about six hours of work.” Professors now are able to easily conduct online learning classes in properly equipped classrooms on APU’s many campuses without worrying if their students can hear them properly. With the increase of online learning courses for the Fall semester, the university even has plans to repurpose Stem devices in the future. “A big concern of our administrators and budget managers was how can this equipment continue to be used when we start to return to normal. The possibility of repurposing by mixing and matching devices means we can move around and combine devices into other rooms and lecture halls in the future which is huge for us. It says that this isn’t just a device that can only work in a single space, this is a device that can be repurposed and added to any room on campus, for any type of design.

"Stem Wall and Table have really blown away everyone who has used them. Obviously they look great but they also fit into just about any space, the price point is awesome, and they were super easy to install, which was something that was really important to us as our team had to pump these rooms out very quickly in time for the beginning of Fall semester."

Jonathan Lord, Classroom & Events Technology Manager


In deploying Stem Audio, Azusa Pacific University was able to prepare their classrooms for online learning with an affordable, high quality audio solution that can be scaled to fit in classrooms of all sizes. The Stem Audio ecosystem enabled APU to continue to provide students with an exceptional education experience despite the challenge of connecting students and staff remotely. “Stem Wall and Table have really blown away everyone who has used them. Obviously the looks are great but they also fit into just about any space, the price point is awesome, and they were super easy to install, which was something that was really important to us as our team had to pump these rooms out really quickly in time for the beginning of the Fall semester.

Gear List

Model NumberQuantityDescription
4Stem Ceiling is an innovative ceiling microphone array that can be mounted on the conference room ceiling and enables you to create high quality audio coverage.
35Stem Hub is a conference communication center device that enables multiple Stem units in a room to communicate with each other and function as one ecosystem.
140Stem Table is a conference table array speakerphone with nine built-in microphones that turns any environment into a professional conference room.
100Stem Wall is a wall mounted speaker with 15 beamforming microphones plus two full-range speakers and subwoofers. Stem Wall can be wall mounted in any room.