In essence, audioconferencing is the meeting of people across some sort of distance via what is generally a telephone line, although other communications media can be used. At its core a telephone conversation is essentially just an audio conference, although between only two people. Generally speaking when we are discussing audioconferencing, however, we mean a conference between more than two persons. Generally audio conferences are also performed via speaker phones rather than a typical handheld phone.
The real power of audioconferencing, however, lies in its ability to transcend a simple two-person (or two phone) conversation and in fact be able to connect multiple people into the same conversation. This is where we bring in the audio conferencing bridge. It is the audio conferencing bridge that is the most common and most powerful method of creating these multi-person conversations.
Bridge is the most important concept to grasp here. A bridge serves as a focal point for many people to come to the same place in order to cross a body of water. So does an audioconferencing bridge serve as a focal point for a number of people to come and connect with everyone else, crossing great boundaries of land (and possibly sea).
One would think that in order to hold a proper audio conference it would be required that somehow all the participants are able to call all of the other participants. This idea definitely makes sense, however it is a very difficult task to perform and can lead to a number of various problems. The beauty of the audioconferencing bridge is that it is not required that everyone connect to everyone else via some sort of audio web, but rather everyone involved connects to the same central point, and are then able to converse with everyone else connected to this single point.
For online dating, most web services offering audioconferencing utilize an audioconferencing bridge of some sort. Since many companies operate using web based conferencing, this bridge is often an internet web site which all participants are able to connect into. If you are used a phone service, it will generally be a special number that all participants are able to phone in to.
The best in audioconferencing technology is generally considered to be one of the Polycom audio products. Polycom is definitely one of the forerunners in the world of audioconferencing. Their products are higher quality and more powerful than any of their competitors. Regardless of the use of an audioconferencing bridge, even if you are just using it as a normal telephone Polycom audio products are among the best in the business.
If you are an online dater who is not looking to purchase the best (and unsurprisingly most expensive) hardware available for your audioconferencing, don't worry. Polycom audio equipment is definitely not a requirement to get in on the fun of online dating. There are many web sites that provide web-based audio and videoconferencing services that do not require the use of any special hardware (outside of, perhaps, a webcam or microphone). This can be a great way for you to get in on not only the online dating revolution but the audioconferencing and videoconferencing revolution as well.