Posted in education on April 1, 2017 11:23 am EDT

Loudspeaker Roundup: Sound Spec-tacular

A Church Designer exclusive report discloses some of the latest loudspeakers that manufacturers tout as being "right on" for church specification.

PreSonus AIR-Series











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TAGS: audio, avl design, digital audio networking, integration, line arrays, loudspeakers,


By Carolyn Heinze

Church doesn’t have much impact if worshippers can’t hear what’s going on, and loudspeakers play a central role in making sure the message gets out there. What’s more, houses of worship are a demanding environment for loudspeaker technology, since churches require both speech intelligibility and solid music reproduction. The loudspeaker technology in churches also needs to be easy for volunteer technicians to operate. And, in many cases, loudspeakers need to be as invisible as possible so that aesthetics aren’t compromised.

Manufacturers get this, and strive to develop loudspeaker technology that is heard and not seen, that addresses the challenges of hard-to-cover areas, and that’s relatively easy to install and monitor. Following is a sampling of some of the latest products on the market, listed under house of worship-specific applications where they may fill a need.

Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Gen 5

Application : Networking Options

Four SoundTube IPD in-ceiling speakers, as well as one surface-mount model, now support Dante networking. The speakers provide 40 watts PoE (Power over Ethernet) with SoundTube’s STNet Switch per channel to any STNet speaker in the system. However, installers may also connect the speakers via standard PoE and PoE-plus switches. With STNet, the speakers are self-monitoring, reporting issues related to voice coil, amplifier, and overheating. The speakers can be grouped into zones, or will act as their own zone, individually. Also in SoundTube’s Dante lineup are its IPD4 Master speakers, which will power up to three additional non-IP speakers.

Also suited for houses of worship are SoundTube’s Line Array Column LA880 Series column speakers, which feature a long throw for covering large spaces. The speakers can be flown, wall-mounted, or pole-mounted, and are available in custom finishes.

At Renkus-Heinz, new Dante-enabled versions of the company’s Iconyx Gen 5 and IC Live for Fixed Installation loudspeakers (listed as ––RD) are now available. The speakers provide Dual Redundant Dante connectivity, with audio transport and configurable sample rates of up to 90kHz. In conjunction with this release, the manufacturer has issued updates to its Renkus-Heinze Audio Operations Network (RHAON) II software. RHAON II v2.1 features Dante support, as well as support for multiple zones, a Device Icon View mode for larger systems, System Status reports, and the ability to copy and paste DSP settings between different device types.

Martin Audio CDD-LIVE!

Application : Coverage

Martin Audio’s CDD-LIVE! Series is designed for both sound reinforcement and monitoring. Comprised of three full-range models and two subwoofers, the series is built on the manufacturer’s patented Coaxial Differential Dispersion (CDD) technology, enabling even sound coverage from the front to the back of a space, while at the same time providing even horizontal coverage. The loudspeakers support both DSP and Dante networking, as well as onboard Class D amplification.

Application : Compact Size

Touted as a “problem-solver” for designers and integrators, Yamaha’s NEXO ID Series features a compact, high SPL, low-profile cabinet for front fill and side fill applicationsand, Yamaha adds, is an ideal complement to its NEXO line arrays in spaces with acoustical issues. The ID24 is a full-range, compact speaker with twin four-inch drivers, a V formation, and a high-frequency compression driver with two directivity options. The ID Series features several versions of the cabinet: the ID24i (installation); the ID24t (touring); and the ID24c (custom configurable by designers/integrators). The series also includes two low-profile subwoofers, the ID S110 and the ID S210. The loudspeakers may be mounted either horizontally or vertically.

Nexo ID Series

Worx Audio XL1

Application : Speech & Vocal

WorxAudio’s latest addition to its TrueLine series of line array loudspeakers is the XL1, designed for both speech and music reinforcement. The two-way cabinet, available in both powered and passive versions, has a horizontal dispersion pattern of 160 degrees. It is built with a large format, 1.4-inch exit compression driver pair with a stabilized, proprietary FlatWave Former, which produces clear high frequencies over a coverage area that the manufacturer says is predictable and controlled. The powered version of the XL1 is equipped with the PDA-1000 power amp, featuring Dante audio networking and the WorxControl loudspeaker management system. The WorxControl is reported to feature an 800 millisecond alignment delay adjustable in 0.1 millisecond increments, facilitating the alignment of delay systems.  continued >>