Active Audio delivers audio to one of Belgium’s busiest railway stations

Active Audio delivers audio to one of Belgium’s busiest railway stations
Active Audio has undergone its largest deployment of steerable StepArray SA180S column loudspeakers, as 64 are providing intelligibility as part of a new sound system deployment at Leuven railway station in Flemish Brabant, Belgium.

Originally constructed in the 1830s, the current station design dates back to 1875, when it was rebuilt. Since 2000, it has undergone a series of renovations, including the addition of  monumental roof comprising 16 sloping white domes, with 13 railway lines underneath serving national and international destinations.

The complex acoustic environment created by a mix of architectural styles, as well as restrictions on how the loudspeakers could be installed, presented the main challenges for Active Audio and system integrator TVV Sound, according to Arbane Groupe’s Eric Grandmougin, who defined the system’s specifications after modelling the acoustics of the station. 

Grandmougin explains that the design of the SA180S – which provides a 15m SPL of 97dB in a slimline 1,840mm × 124mm package – allowed his team to experiment with installing the loudspeakers horizontally, enabling them to work around the restrictions inherent in the space. 

“This new way of using Active Audio column loudspeakers was first tested and validated internally, before being integrated into an electroacoustic model of the station to predict the system’s overall performance,” he comments. “The results obtained were in line with the operator’s requirements, and validation listening sessions were carried out in Belgium at our distributor, TVV Sound. This project enabled us to validate the performance of the SA108S in a horizontal position, as well as the homogeneity of the directivity.”

In Leuven, the StepArray columns, in addition to being mounted in a horizontal orientation, were coupled together in pairs (32 × 2 SA180S), helping TVV Sound to work around the space constraints while still being able to adjust the speakers’ directivity – an essential aspect of the final installation, which needed to be capable of delivering clear public announcements, along with ambient background music, to the more than 8 million passengers annually who pass through the station.

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