ifoAppleStore is reporting that some US Apple Retail Stores are so crowded that Apple's trainers and their “students” can't cope with the noise anymore, being unable to carry out One-to-One personal training sessions. Seemingly, the stainless steel architecture of some stores generates quite serious acoustics, forcing trainers and their students to wear headsets.
“Being one of the busiest retail chain’s [sic] in the United States, and being lined with stainless steel, the noise level in Apple’s stores can rise to an uncomfortable level,” ifoAppleStore is reporting. “The noise has apparently become so bad that it affects One-to-One personal training sessions that occur on stools near the back of the store,” notes the site that deals exclusively with news and information about Apple Inc.'s Retail Stores.
As you can see in the picture above, the trainer (right) and the student (you guessed it – left) are wearing huge headsets, like the ones pilots use on helicopters to keep out the noise from the propeller. According to the source, these are part of a “full-ear headphone intercom system,” and allow clear communications between the two individuals, even though they are less than two feet away from each other.
However, a commenter notes that the systems are “actually used as headphones for the computer and have built-in mics, so that Creatives don’t need to scrabble around for equipment.”
Whether or not the poster has any real knowledge of the equipment Apple uses in situations such as this, he claims that “audio from the computer is routed to the headphones,” and that the built-in mics do not allow the two people to hear each other as well. The mic is there to “teach podcasting” and other things, according to the reader, who thinks that the claim of Apple Stores using intercom-based solutions is “laughable.”
Do you have any knowledge of Apple's ways of dealing with in-store noise? Do you reckon it's more important for the student to hear the computer instead of the trainer?