Developing a ‘Family Sound’ with Flexibility.

The ArenaMatch loudspeaker development project was kicked off through a series of interviews with leading AV system designers and integrators for outdoor, sound reinforcement systems in key market segments—professional sports stadiums, outdoor entertainment areas, and higher-education sports facilities. These industry leaders described common problems with using existing loudspeakers for these applications and discussed ideas for design changes that could improve audio performance, simplify system designs, and reduce installation project time and costs. These ideas formed the guiding design principles for the ArenaMatch DeltaQ array modules: full-range, high-SPL loudspeakers that can be configured in either line-array or distributed point-source applications, with IP55 rating for direct-exposure, outdoor installations. Additionally, the research revealed the need for a complementary line of smaller zone-fill loudspeakers with a similar “family sound” and IP55 rating, which led to the development of our new ArenaMatch Utility series.

ArenaMatch DeltaQ Array Modules

Featuring Bose proprietary DeltaQ array technology, ArenaMatch DeltaQ modules can provide customized array coverage to better match audience seating areas and thereby improve sound quality from seat to seat. The product line consists of array modules with 10-, 20- or 40-degree vertical coverage with field-replaceable waveguides that provide 60-, 80- or 100-degree horizontal coverage, for a total of nine different coverage patterns. Each module is a two-way, passive loudspeaker that delivers full-range, impactful music playback with high speech intelligibility.

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DeltaQ Array Technology

Bose Professional first introduced DeltaQ array technology with the RoomMatch loudspeaker series, designed for indoor, fixed-installation systems, about seven years ago. The innovative DeltaQ concept combined a hybrid of both line-array and point-source loudspeaker technologies. We took the variety of horizontal-by-vertical coverage patterns from point-source loudspeakers and combined that with the design concepts of line array loudspeakers that provide superior vertical acoustic summation. The innovation: Coverage pattern and directivity could now be changed for each module in the array, allowing customization of the array coverage to better match the target audience area shape. Compared to the coverage of traditional line array systems, which offered only a single horizontal and vertical coverage pattern, DeltaQ technology offered a much greater level of flexibility for more consistent array coverage throughout the seating area.

Additionally, DeltaQ array technology gave designers the flexibility to scale array size based on coverage, SPL and low-frequency control requirements. For example, designers could use three- or four-box arrays to replace conventional line array designs that required eight or more boxes to achieve 90 degrees vertical coverage, provided the requirements for SPL and LF control were met.

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DeltaQ Product Line Expansion

With the favorable DeltaQ benefits of improved sound quality consistency, reduced box count and improved vocal clarity found with RoomMatch loudspeakers, our partners soon asked for a smaller system that could also be used for portable/rental applications. So, with that input, we developed the ShowMatch DeltaQ array loudspeaker system, which was introduced about three years ago. ShowMatch and RoomMatch loudspeakers share many of the same technologies, including multiple compression drivers per module that combine seamlessly in arrays thanks to the unique manifold device and large-format waveguides for superior pattern control.

Most recently, our dealers requested that we apply the benefits of DeltaQ technology to outdoor-rated sound reinforcement loudspeakers. This was the initial spark that led to our development of ArenaMatch loudspeakers.

Developing the ArenaMatch DeltaQ Array Loudspeaker System

As we discussed market needs for outdoor sound-reinforcement loudspeakers with leading system designers and integrators, we uncovered several challenges with existing products that could be improved upon with DeltaQ technology. The first problem was using point-source loudspeakers in three-to-four-box arrays, as conventional line array solutions either required too many boxes to achieve the required coverage and were too heavy for the existing building structures, or line arrays were not stocked with outdoor-rated weather treatments. These point-source arrays were typically very difficult and expensive to rig, as most lacked array rigging accessories and produced peaks and dips—or array “seams”—in the coverage response due to the physical gaps in high-frequency transducer placement. Our solution was to use DeltaQ technology, which enables four-box arrays that provide greater than 90-degree array vertical coverage, very consistent coverage response, factory-stocked IP55-rated weather treatments and a complete line of array rigging accessories.

The second challenge was that most outdoor-rated loudspeakers that provided good speech intelligibility did not have sufficient frequency response for good playback of high-level music content. In response, we specified components such as large-format waveguides, two-inch-diaphragm compression drivers and 14-inch high-excursion neodymium woofers to ensure that ArenaMatch provides outstanding speech intelligibility and the full-range response required for high-level music playback without need for supplemental subwoofers in most applications.

The third problem we heard about was that these markets wanted complete system solutions that were easy to design, install, commission and maintain. The DeltaQ approach provides several advantages to aid in system design and commissioning. With ArenaMatch modules available in 10-, 20- and 40-degree vertical coverage—all with the same transducers—you can easily design main arrays with the coverage you need, then use single 40-degree modules for zone-fill sections. This approach can save time during commissioning, as the main arrays and zone-fill loudspeakers have the same transducers, thus providing similar tonal balance and consistent sound quality for all seating locations—without requiring extensive equalization work. And, the complete line of rigging accessories, with load limits certified by third-party labs, saves considerable time and money compared to having custom array frames designed, certified and fabricated.

ArenaMatch Utility Loudspeakers

Based on the popular RoomMatch Utility series, our new ArenaMatch Utility loudspeakers are designed to deliver zone-fill coverage or high-SPL foreground music. They use the same Bose compression driver as ArenaMatch DeltaQ array modules, providing similar tonal balance and making it easy to provide consistent sound quality from the largest main-array coverage zone to the smallest zone-fill section.

Finally, to complete the system solution requirements, we provide ArenaMatch loudspeaker presets and recommended configurations for Bose ControlSpace Designer software, ControlSpace DSP hardware and PowerMatch configurable amplifiers. For design workflow flexibility, loudspeaker directivity files are available for both Bose Modeler and AFMG EASE acoustic design software.

Scalability and Flexibility for Many Different Applications

The scalability of DeltaQ technology allows ArenaMatch loudspeakers to provide cost-effective solutions for many different venue applications, from large professional sports stadiums, to smaller venues such as educational athletic facilities and outdoor entertainment complexes—all with the system performance for outstanding speech intelligibility and impactful, full-range music playback.

Alan Shirley is product line manager for Bose Professional

Bose Professional • pro.bose.com