Looking For Answers about Directional Speakers?
Looking For Answers about Directional Speakers?
Directional Speaker FAQ
How much do they cost?
We don’t put prices on the website, as we prefer to speak to our customers and ensure they have the best possible solution, rather than the cheapest option. We have several options for each solution at differing price points, so can usually find a solution that fits your budget. As a guide, the cheapest directional speakers we carry for sale start at around £600 + VAT, and the cheapest rental speaker is from £150 a week (+VAT)
What is the lead time?
This depends on the product chosen, but as a rough guide, if we don’t have them in stock, we can get ultrasonic or planar wave speakers in about a week. Dome speakers, sound bars and overhead arrays are generally about 6 weeks lead time. If time is tight, consider renting as a fast solution.
Do you have a price list?
As we only sell to the trade, we don’t publish prices. Contact us with the problem you are trying to solve and we will work out the best solution for you at your budget. We are not a “box–shifter”, so want to make sure that our customers get the best possible solution to their sound problem. We encourage customers to actually hear the speaker before purchase, as data sheets will only tell you so much, and there is no substitute for actually hearing it.
What’s the sound quality like?
Essentially, directionality is inversely proportional to sound quality. In other words, the tighter the beam, the less mid range and bass you get. Most sound, such as speech, works really well in all the products, but fuller range sound can still be achieved with phased array speakers and even the addition of our exclusive directional sub.
How do Directional Speakers work?
Different speakers work in different ways. We stock speakers that use four main technologies :
- Planar Wave – Sound waves generated by planar transducers travel in the straight “plane” with minimal dispersion and therefore are directional and focused in nature. It is this characteristic of plane waves that offers greater intelligible range over cone speakers producing acoustic output at the same SPL.
- Ultrasound – It’s complicated! The speaker array actually produces a modulated wave made of two separate ultrasound waves. One of them is a steady, reference tone of a constant 200,000 Hz frequency (the carrier wave) and the other is the signal that fluctuates between 200,200 Hz and 220,000Hz (the modulating wave). Although they’re combined, it’s easiest to think of them as two separate waves travelling out in parallel straight lines through a column of air without overlapping. If they meet an obstruction (such as your curious head), they suddenly slow down and mix together so they interfere constructively (by adding together) and destructively (by subtracting from one another). By the principle of wave superposition, two ultrasound waves of those frequencies can subtract from one another to produce a third wave with a much lower frequency in the range 200–20,000 Hz—and that’s in the frequency range that your ears hear. An electronic circuit attached to the piezoelectric transducers constantly alters the frequency of the two waves so they produce the correct lower, audible frequency when they collide and “demodulate.” (It also encodes the signal in a unique way that ensures there’s less noise and distortion when it separates out in the listener’s ear.) The process by which the two ultrasound waves mix together is technically called parametric interaction, which is why speakers that work this way are sometimes called parametric loudspeakers.
- Phased array -When multiple sound waves arrive at random times, some waves cancel, producing a sound wave that is less than the sum of the incoming waves.
If two or more sound waves arrive at the same place at the same time, they add and produce a sound wave that is the sum of all of the incoming sound waves.
If several speakers are mounted equal distance from the listener, the sound from each of the speakers arrives at the listener’s ears at the same time. The resulting sound is considerably louder than the sound from each individual speaker.
While it wouldn’t be practical to mount the speakers in a spherical array, we can achieve the same results by delaying the launch time from the speakers.
By changing the delay time, we can move the distance to the focal point, move the focal point sideways, or even change the size and shape of the focal area.
- Domes – we specify hemispheric domes which allows the best stereo reproduction of your input sound. The speakers output upwards to the inside of the dome which then focuses the output into a specific spot under the dome. Cheaper parabolic shaped domes are also available but with mono output and a less focused end result.
Do these work in the home?
Yes – they do, but we would usually steer home customers to more consumer oriented products, except in very unusual requirements.
Do you deliver abroad?
Absolutely – we have sold and rented speakers across the globe, from the Middle East to all over Europe.
Can you install it?
Definitely. Whilst many of the speakers are simple to install, more technical installations can be carried out by our experienced team of installation engineers.
Do you have demo units?
Yes – we have demo units for virtually all of our speaker range. We are happy to loan out demo units for up to 3 days to potential customers who just have to pay carriage to and from their premises. If you need longer demo periods we may well be able to rent you most models for a defined period.
Where can I hear the speakers?
We have a fully setup demo room in our office space with the majority of speakers installed, so that you can hear them all in one place before making a decision. Alternatively contact us for details of where you may be able to hear the speakers installed near you.
Do they work outside?
In most cases, we can weatherise the speakers so that they can be used outside. Obviously this depends on the type of speaker selected and the conditions expected, and doesn’t apply to rental speakers.
Got a Question?
Have a question about our installation service, wondering which audio solution is best for you or know exactly what you’re after and want a no-obligation quote to buy or hire? Speak to our directional audio experts for tailored advice and support.