Compact line arrays provide power in small packages

Steve Montgomery looks at the current state of line array loudspeaker development and how the latest designs are meeting a need for smaller fixed installations.

Amplified sound, whether it is at a live event, conference presentation, educational establishment or house of worship, must be clear and audible at all audience locations throughout the venue.

Restrictions imposed on mounting locations for speakers and the inherent audio characteristics of the building itself present complications to the design of top-quality audio systems capable of fulfilling this goal. 

There is a growing need for flexibility in application and installation of loudspeakers across the AV sector, and particularly in the smaller fixed venue market, resulting in the design of ranges of compact and lighter speakers from all major manufacturers. The acoustic industry has responded with line array speaker systems that permit fine-tuning of the combined sonic performance of a group of loudspeakers to precisely match a venue.

Performance and ease of deployment will always be high on the list, suggests James King, director of marketing at Martin Audio. "There is a continuing demand for smaller, lighter and more powerful devices.  While it applies to all loudspeaker categories, this demand is being increasingly satisfied by the mini line array. The scalability and flexibility of mini line arrays mean that their range of applications is huge: from four boxes pole-mounted above a sub for corporate events right up to 16-box arrays in concert halls and houses of worship.”

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