Constant Voltage or 100v line audio systems are an ideal setup for retail, commercial and large scale distributed audio systems due to the cable distances allowed and simplicity of design and installation. As mentioned in the previous article they are ideal for systems that require more than 2 or 4 speakers per amplifier channel.

Once you have established the customer’s needs, you will need to select the appropriate speaker mounting style and quality to suit. In this article we will look at the main speaker styles and their typical uses:

• Horn speakers are designed for maximum output level and ‘throw distance’ (how far they can project sound). This makes them ideal for high noise areas, mounting high or use outdoors and are often IP rated. The compromise for these features is limited frequency response, meaning they are suited to voice rather than music. They are often used in warehouses.

• Ceiling/flush mount speakers are designed to be mounted inside a ceiling cavity, with only the speaker grille protruding. These speakers have a wide dispersion (which is the maximum angle audio is emitted from the speaker at the full range specified) and are available from small 3” fire evac speakers through to 10”+ home theatre style speakers, so the correct speaker will be chosen based on the client’s sound quality expectations. It is important to note the mounting depth of the speaker, as some have large ‘back cans’ to improve bottom end frequency response. This speaker type is used widely, and can be found in office spaces, homes, retail stores and shopping centres.

• Box/Surface mount speakers are used where a speaker must be installed on a wall, and are available in a range of similar sizes as flush mount speakers. Surface mount speakers often feature a different ‘dispersion’ than ceiling speakers, as the sound emitted needs to be directed in a different way. They generally offer the highest frequency response and sound quality of all the styles. These are found in similar environments to flush mount speakers.

• Pendant Speakers are designed specifically for suspension from high ceilings, and have a similar dispersion to ceiling speakers. They are often an expensive option and obstructions to the sound such as high bay pallet racking should be considered when implementing this style of speaker, to ensure maximum efficiency. These are often used in large retail warehouses.

• Column speakers are specially designed box style speakers with wide horizontal dispersion, whilst maintaining limited vertical dispersion. This makes them useful where minimal speakers need to be used to cover a wide area, or where you need to ‘steer’ (or direct) the sound in an environment where reverb (sound bouncing around in a space) is an issue. These are very useful problem solvers, but require consideration and planning to ensure the best results. Column speakers are often found in public transit stations, churches and large open indoor areas.

In our next article, we will address flush mount speaker coverage and how to select the right quantity and spacing of speakers to suit a space.

Talk to us to discuss the best solutions for your clients!