We live in exciting times for speaker technologies. I’m seeing more innovations in the last two years than the last two decades. All application-specific of course but new approaches nonetheless.
One of which worth talking about was born just weeks before last week’s Infocomm convention. This product is an in-progress creation temporarily being referred to as the Shark Fin. Its odd shark-fin shape is WAY out of the box. Inside, it has two 8 inch low/mid drivers and one 1 inch high frequency driver. Seems simple but its not. It has a remarkable pattern of approximately 180H x 60V coverage.
What makes this so innovative is that the 60-degree vertical pattern has a graduating attenuation range of approximately 15db from the top of the pattern to the bottom of the pattern. They accomplish this by implementing a slot-style opening that gets larger towards the top of the speaker. This attenuation is typically achieved using a line array but here we are in one box, with one exit point, one single point of phase and no seams. Secondly, I noticed that the low level pattern control on the back side was substantial, even down to very low frequencies.
This 180-degree width could be a great solution for churches or auditoriums that are very wide and would normally need to go with cross-matrix stereo or mono solutions (That’s my 4-letter word- mono kills immersive music mixes !). It also could be a lifesaver for low ceilings where there isn’t room or available site-lines for a line array but you still want to keep the front rows from being blasted out.
The Shark Fin sounded amazing and loud with plenty of bottom end. It was kind of magical considering its size. They already are speaking of scaling the design to offer different sizes. It still has no specs, no model numbers, no pricing and no ETA but will certainly be a game changer. We’re looking forward to seeing it become something that can be purchased.
Chuck Mitchell-CEO, Creative A/V Design