Loudspeaker World

Ongoing Innovation: An Overview Of The Compact Loudspeaker Landscape

Taking a look at the capabilities, feature sets and options in the most recent portable 2-way loudspeakers to see what’s available.

By PSW Staff January 7, 2019

The RCF NX Series incorporates much of the power and accessories of the company’s TT+ Series of touring/theater loudspeakers, including rigging points and FiRPHASE technology, in a multi-function, multi-ply birch cabinet that also includes a pole-mount cup. The NX 32-A (12-inch) and NX 45-A (15-inch) are driven by onboard 2-channel class D amplifiers rated to provide 1,400 watts that is joined by DSP with limiters and protection. The proprietary FiRPHASE filtering is intended to help achieve linear and coherent distributor of sound without phase distortion.

All models in the d&b audiotechnik E Series employ an integrated coaxial driver, with cone options of 4, 5, 6.5, 8 and 12 inches. The E12 (80- x 50-degree dispersion) and E12-D (110 x 50 degrees) have a multifaceted enclosure shape that allows use either in an upright or horizontal orientation as well as deployment as a stage monitor.

Further, their patented coaxial horn assembly can be rotated without the need for any special tools to permit changes to the dispersion angle (this also applies to the E6 and E8). d&b D20 and 30D amplifiers are recommended to drive the E12, and the d&b D80, 10D and D6 can also be used. When the E12-X or E12-DX configuration is selected, an E12 or E12-D can be driven passively in parallel with an E15X-SUB from the same amplifier channel.

RCF NX Series

The Clair Brothers 10SPOT combines Clair Curved Array Technology together with the One Series coaxial horn technology that results in a unique form factor loudspeaker that occupies little visual space while delivering coherent coverage.

Specifically, the coaxial horn arrangement provides constant curvature in the vertical plane with progressively increasing divergence in the horizontal plane, resulting in a directivity pattern of 90 degrees at the top and 135 degrees at the bottom, across a 45-degree vertical coverage angle.

The 10-inch woofer as well as the compression driver both load into the unique combination of two overlaid horns, designed to solve the horn shadowing of some coaxial designs. 10SPOT is outfitted with eight integral M10 mounting points that are the attachment points for an installation mounting bracket.

Yamaha recently unveiled both new powered (DZR/DXS-XLF) and passive (CZR/CXS-XLF) lines of loudspeakers (as well as companion subwoofers). The powered versions incorporate the company’s latest DSP technology at 96 kHz, combined with newly developed Advanced FIR-X tuning technology designed to minimize latency and phase distortion.

All models are housed in plywood cabinets coated with military-grade polyurea, and they also have numerous flypoints suitable for standard eyebolts and specialized U-brackets. In addition, DZR and DXS models with Dante integration are expected to be shipping soon. They incorporate system integration with Yamaha consoles and other Dante devices via a 2-input/2-output I/O configuration.

The Bose Professional F1 Model 812 is a portable, powered model offering the ability to control the vertical coverage pattern – push or pull the array into position to create “Straight,” “C,” “J,” or “Reverse-J” coverage patterns. Once set, the system automatically changes the EQ to maintain optimum tonal balance for each coverage pattern. It’s loaded with an array of eight MF/HF drivers and a 12-inch woofer, both driven by a 1,000-watt amplifier. The F1 Model 812 is also available in a passive version.

Two recent additions to the Electro-Voice ZLX Series, the 12-inch ZLX-12BT and 15-inch ZLX-15BT, are both Bluetooth-equipped for audio streaming from any mobile device. Also onboard is QuickSmart DSP processing offering four application-specific presets, sub/top system-match, two-band EQ, five user-programmable presets, visual monitoring of limiter status, input level control and meters, and master volume control, all via a single-knob controller with LCD. The transducers are driven by 1,000-watt class D amplification, and the patented Signal Synchronized Transducers (SST) waveguide is designed to produce consistent coverage, minimal distortion, and maximized acoustical loading.

Yamaha DZR12-D

The just-released Renkus-Heinz ICL-X is a steerable array module, with dual 8-inch cones joined by six 19 mm HF drivers.

The proprietary Acoustic Source Multiplier (ASM) waveguide coaxially mounts the HF section in front of the LF section, an arrangement designed to produce a consistent and symmetrical array of both high frequencies and low frequencies along the entire length of the array, allowing the freedom to choose any acoustic center available.

The built-in amplifier has eight amplifier channels, each with its own dedicated DSP channel. ICL-X can be used stand alone as mains and a range of fill applications, and it can also be deployed in array combinations up to 12 boxes tall.

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