Why Your Next Install Should Use Beam-Steering Arrays

Published: April 3, 2024
Image Courtesy of Renkus-Heinz

From complex environments to everyday spaces, every room is unique. Your sound solution should be, too.

While traditional line arrays typically use horns with controlled dispersion patterns, they still often distribute a lot of acoustic energy to places where there’s no audience. Or worse, they don’t distribute sound to where people are sitting. And whether you’re enjoying a concert, attending a conference, or waiting for a flight, there’s nothing more off-putting than not being able to hear clearly.

By focusing tailored beams of sound directly on the audience area, digitally steerable loudspeakers provide the best audio experience possible. And with new software developments from Renkus-Heinz, steerable arrays are now as quick and easy to use as point-and-shoot loudspeakers – making exceptional sound more accessible than ever.

A Little About How Beam Steering Works

Think of the focused, targeted beam of a flashlight. Now imagine that beam of light as a beam of sound. Essentially, beam-steerable loudspeakers tightly control sound and put it right where it’s needed: on the audience. By keeping sound away from other surfaces that may cause echoes and reverberation, beam steering ensures pristine, crystal-clear speech and music reproduction for an unforgettable audio experience.

Steerable arrays come with a host of benefits for integrators and end users alike:

  • Clear, Intelligible Sound: With custom-tailored coverage and minimal reflections or feedback, steerable arrays from Renkus-Heinz deliver clear, high-fidelity audio. From the crack of a bat to the last note of a symphony, every note and every word for every listener comes through crystal-clear.
  • Minimal Architectural Intrusion: Of course, designing a sound system isn’t only about acoustics but also aesthetics. As we’re steering the sound, not the loudspeaker, steerable columns can be mounted flush or plumb to the wall with no vertical angling. Add this to their tall, thin size and custom color options, and you get powerful speakers that blend seamlessly into the background for clear sightlines and minimal intrusion.
  • Cost Savings: While steerable loudspeakers can seem more expensive up front, beam-steering technology means fewer loudspeakers are needed, even to cover multiple audience areas. This capability also has a positive impact on installation since there are fewer cables to run and, of course, fewer loudspeakers to mount or maintain.

Making Coverage Generation a Snap: Meet OmniBeam

While beam-steering arrays are known for delivering clear, intelligible sound, they also have a reputation for requiring some time and know-how to get good results. In the past, system commissioners may have needed to individually configure multiple beams for each audience area. Even a single audience area may have required two or three beams. And using multiple beams often required trial and error adjustments.

Renkus-Heinz, a leading expert in steerable technology for the last two decades, is challenging the perception that beam-steering is an esoteric or niche solution. With OmniBeam, their new coverage-generation algorithm, “the driving philosophy was to give consultants and integrators back their time,” says Renkus-Heinz CTO Ralph Heinz.

A true game-changer for steerable sound, OmniBeam brings together ultimate audio performance and ultimate ease of use. With just a press of the “Snap to Audience” button, OmniBeam instantly generates custom-tailored coverage precisely dialed into the exact geometry of any space, delivering the most consistent front-to-back audio experience possible.

By taking the rocket science out of simulating and commissioning steerable arrays, Renkus-Heinz has demonstrated how beam steering is suitable for more venues than just reverberant spaces — they’re as simple to deploy as point and shoot. OmniBeam empowers integrators of all levels of expertise to achieve great results from project to project with minimal effort, every time.



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