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Real World Gear: Fixed Installation Loudspeakers

Key design aspects of loudspeakers for the installation market as well as a roundup of recent models from around the industry to serve as a starting point for more detailed research.

Let’s take a look at loudspeakers designed for installation applications, where there are consistently a steady stream of ongoing projects.

Note that we’re focusing on two- and three-way point source models, some with coaxial driver arrangements, and all specifically engineered to meet the unique circumstances presented by venues and other spaces that often can’t be reconfigured to accommodate a new sound system – the loudspeakers in these applications have to be located wherever they best fit into their surroundings while delivering the desired sonic result.

The manufacturers of virtually all the models presented here also offer a range of optional mounting hardware to further help overcome placement challenges. And, aesthetics are often another concern, and most of the models we present are available in white and custom colors as well as the traditional black.

We’re largely focusing on series of products – the manufacturers do a great job of providing installers with many options from the same loudspeaker family, ranging from larger, more powerful models to smaller units that can still do the job in more diminutive scenarios in addition to fulfilling a host of fill and delay roles. All are designed to share the same sonic characteristics and voicing. Further, most are also accompanied by multiple subwoofer options also optimized to work with the full-range line.

It’s true that many loudspeakers designed for portable applications can also be applied for installations; after all, most have threaded inserts that can come in handy for more permanent flown deployments. Still, there can also be limitations because they’re not purpose-engineered to meet the needs of many of the scenarios that are a regular occurrence in the world of install.

Another upside is that many of these loudspeakers incorporate the same leading-edge transducer technologies and matched power and processing packages (as well as networking and control capabilities) as their portable brethren. They may not look quite as attractive in a visceral sense, but that’s by design (again, aesthetics) – sonically they can most certainly get the job done.

As always with Real World Gear, this roundup of models from around the industry is intended to serve as a starting point for your own more detailed research. Fortunately, the manufacturers also do a fine job of providing a wealth of additional information and data online in that regard. Enjoy this tour of loudspeakers for installation applications.

Spotlight Listing

Adamson CS-Series

The CS-Series brings the performance of the company’s compact S-Series loudspeakers into the networked realm with onboard amplification and DSP plus very flexible connectivity options.

Loudspeakers in the series include the CS7p point-source enclosure; CS7 two-way array enclosure; CS10p point-source point source enclosure; CS10 two-way and CS10n narrow-dispersion array enclosures; and companion CS118 and CS119 subwoofers. A range of mounting options are available to meet the specific needs of fixed installations.

Rounding out the platform are a suite of rack-mounted systems and dedicated CS software. The Gateway contains dual-LAN, Milan-ready AVB, AES/EBU and analog connections. The NDS is a network and analog patch bay to send redundant audio and control to loudspeakers on a single network cable.

Models: CS10p (10-in) & CS7p
(7-in) point source
Dispersion: Available with either 70 x 40 or 100 x 50-degree waveguides, each rotatable by 90 degrees
Power: Accompanying amp/DSP/networking package
Mounting: Rigging discs on cabinet top and sides; horizontal and vertical brackets, H-clamp, adapters and more.
Companion Subs: CS118 (18-in) and CS119 (19-in)

Technology Focus: New CS software enhances the user’s ability to design, deploy, control, and monitor systems with a simplified workflow and easy-to-navigate user interface.

Of Note: CS-Series loudspeakers are available as stand-alone products or as an upgrade to existing S-Series enclosures, with the turnkey CS Upgrade Kit providing the means for conversion.

Standard Listings


Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 19 kHz (full-range)
Dispersion: 80 degrees conical
Power: Self-powered (Class D), 1200 total watts
Mounting: 12 x integrated M10 fly­points, 1 x 35 mm pole socket
Size/Weight: 15.75 x 16.5 x 13.5 in; 34 lbs
Companion Subs: BB15-MK3, DJ18S, SSP118-MK, VS21-MK3, SSP215-MK3

K-array Kayman-KY102

Model: Kayman-KY102 column with eight 4-inch neodymium cone drivers
Dispersion: Vertical is user-selectable from 7 to 30 degrees; horizontal is 90 degrees
Power: Passive; rated power is 1200 watts; user-selectable impedance at 8 and 32 ohms
Mounting: A wide range of mounts, clamps, adapters and more
Companion Subs: Thunder subwoofers offered in single 12-, 18-, dual 18- and 21-inch options; both active and passive versions available

1 SOUND Contour CT28

Frequency Response: 70 Hz – 18 kHz (-6 dB preset dependent)
Dispersion: 100 x 50-degrees
Power: Passive, 1780 watts continuous
Mounting: Eight M5 points and four M6 points; wide range of accessories available
Size/Weight: 13.6 x 13.6 x 20 in; 44 lbs
Companion Sub: SUB2112 (2 x 12-in, 1 x 21-in); numerous other options also offered


Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 18 kHz (full-range)
Dispersion: 80 x 60 degrees (rotatable)
Power: Self-powered (Class D), 3200 watts (2400 watts LF, 800 watts HF)
Mounting: Four internally braced steel M10 fly-points, 35mm pole socket
Size/Weight: 48 x 14.5 x 18 in; 99 lbs
Companion Subs: SSP218-MK3,

Renkus-Heinz ICLive X

Model: ICL-XL
Type: Digitally steerable
Drivers, LF: 4 x 8-in cone drivers
Drivers, HF: 4 x 19-mm high-frequency drivers (mounted coaxially)
Frequency Range: 80 Hz – 18 kHz
Dispersion: 120 degrees horizontal, vertical adjustable (steerable down to 750 Hz)
Power: Self-powered (8 x amplifier channels, each with DSP)
Weight: 70 pounds
Size (h x w x d): 38.5 x 10.5 x 13.4 in
Mounting: M10 UMH points; M10 nutplate for pole adapter; R-HANG array hardware; W-WALL-ICX wall-mount bracket

RCF Compact C 45

Type: Two-way, point source
Drivers, LF: 1 x 15 in neodymium woofer
Drivers, HF: 1 x 4-in neodymium compression driver
Frequency Range: 48 Hz – 20 kHz
Dispersion (h x v): 100 x 50 degrees
Power: Onboard 700 watts power handling (RMS), XPS Series amplification recommended
Mounting: 4 x M8 and 14 x M10 points
Weight: 71,7 pounds
Size (h x w x d): 27.8 x 16.5 x 18.1 in
Companion Subs: Numerous options available, including the SUB Series

d&b audiotechnik xS Series

Overview: Options range from 24S (2 x 12-in) to 4S (4-in coaxial)
Dispersion: Model specific, ranging from 110 x 45 to 75 x 45 degrees and more, all rotatable, as well as 100 degrees conical on smaller models
Power: Numerous D Series amplifiers available for optimized matching
Mounting: M10 and M8 threaded inserts on cabinet; horizontal bracket, pipe & rota clamps, wall mount, flying bracket and more
Companion Subs: 12S-SUB, 18S-SUB, 21S-SUB, 27S-SUB
Of Note: Deep line provides multiple options in both larger and smaller-format packages; recent addition to the line is the 44S compact flush-mountable model

L-Acoustics A Series

Models: A15i (15-in) & A10i (10-in)
Dispersion: Wide (30 degrees) and Focus (10 degrees); user-adjustable waveguide
directivity (70, 110 or 90 degrees asymmetrical)
Power: LA2Xi and LA4X are the recommended amplified controllers with one enclosure per output channel; three LA12X can be used to power and control up to three enclosures per output channel
Mounting: Threaded inserts for U-bracket and rigging plates; accessories include horizontal bracket, tilt bracket, rigging bar and more
Companion Sub: KS21i (21-in)


Overview: Three-way design with 15-inch woofer; 6.5-inch midrange woofer; 1.75-inch diaphragm compression driver; additional models include the KW152 and KW122
Dispersion: 75-degree conical coverage with proprietary Directivity Matched Transition technology
Power: Onboard 1000-watt class D power modules in all models (2 x 500 watts continuous), DSP with proprietary DEEP and Intrinsic Correction; amplifier and thermal protection also onboard
Mounting: Cabinets equipped with M10 threaded inserts; KW M10 eyebolt kit available
Companion Subs: E2118sw (single 18-in)
Of Note: Onboard mixer with two combo XLR and 1/4-inch inputs, and stereo RCA inputs, (three audio input sources); two direct channel outputs and single summed balanced output

Martin Audio CDD Series

Overview: All models have a coaxial design, ranging from CDD15 (15-in) down to CDD5 (5-in); 70/100-volt versions also offered
Dispersion: Varies by model – i.e., CDD15 is 100-60 x 60 degrees, while CDD5 is 120-90 x 80 degrees; note that the coaxial drive units are rotatable
Power: DX4.0 controller and iKON amplifiers provide enhanced DSP and FIR-based presets for maximum performance with limiter protection
Mounting: CCD10, -12 and -15 cabinets equipped with integral inserts for eyebolt suspension; yoke assembly
Companion Subs: SX110 (10-in), SX210 (2 x 10-in), SX12 (12-in)
Of Note: New transformer versions of the 8 and 10-in models as well as more weatherized variants; also new DSP voicing settings across the series for up-to-date sound and consistency among all models

Electro-Voice EVF Series

Overview: A deep line of two-way point source models that includes dual and single 15-in and 12-in models
Dispersion: Numerous options are offered (i.e., 60 x 40, 60 x 60, 90 x 60 degrees. and several others); constant-directivity waveguides are rotatable
Power: Can be utilized with numerous amplifier models, including models from sister company Dynacord IPX Series, L Series with FIR drive and more; Dynacord also provides numerous electronics options such as the new MXE matrix mix engine; can also operate in bi-amp mode
Mounting: Cabinets include numerous threaded inserts that accommodate a range of mounting options, with several accessories also offered
Companion Subs: EVF-1121S (12-in). 2121S (dual 12-in), 1151S (15-in) and 1181S (18-in)
Of Note: Incorporate the company’s latest transducer components; “S” designated systems utilize SMX Series symmetric drive woofers and ND2B 2-in titanium compression drivers; upgraded “D” high-definition systems are equipped with high-performance DVX series symmetric drive woofers and DH7N 3-in titanium compression drivers

JBL AE Series

Overview: Two-way (and one three-way) point source models, with the original series offering 15 and 12-in units that can be specified with a wide range of coverage patterns; they’re now joined by additional options that include the AE Expansion and Compact Series
Dispersion: Numerous options are offered (i.e., 120 x 60, 100 x 100, 90 x 50, 60 x 40, degrees. and more); horns are rotatable
Power: Switchable passive/bi-amp modes; sister company Crown offers a range of amplifiers to drive the loudspeakers
Mounting: Cabinets include numerous threaded inserts that accommodate a range of options
Companion Subs: Numerous options offered, ranging from single 15-in to dual 18-in
Of Note: The company just released new FIR tunings for the series, designed to provide enhanced performance; the release contains 70 individual tuning files for use with Crown DCI-N and DCI-DA amplifiers

Q-SYS AcousticPerformance Series

Overview: A selection ranging from the AP-5152 (15-in) to the AP-5102 (10-in), as well as some cabinets designed to serve as stage monitors as well
Dispersion: All conical, ranging from 105 to 75 degrees
Power: Can be used in passive (full-range) mode to minimize amplifier channel count or bi-amp mode for added control and performance; tunings using the company’s Intrinsic Correction techniques are available for Q-SYS
Mounting: Cabinets equipped with M10 threaded inserts for deployment via eyebolts as well as mount points for an optional yoke bracket
Companion Subs: AP-212sw (dual 12-in)
Of Note: All models utilize the company’s proprietary Directivity Matched Transition (DMT) design approach that matches the compression driver to the natural coverage angle of the woofer in the crossover region

Meyer Sound ULTRA-X20

Overview: Self-powered full-range loudspeakers bringing the company/s ULTRA X40 point source technology to a smaller, lighter footprint
Dispersion: ULTRA-X20 offers 110 x 50 degrees; X22 provides 80 x 50 degrees; X23 supplies 110 x 110 (horns are rotable)
Power: Onboard 3-channel, 860-watt peak class D amplifier with DSP
Mounting: Four integral M8 rigging points for mounting in horizontal or vertical orientation; four M6 points are compatible with most wall mount brackets
Companion Subs: USW 112P and USW-210P subwoofers, 750 LFC low-frequency control element
Of Note: ULTRA-X20 models offer telemetry data when equipped with the Milan option; users can also utilize the company’s RMS platform and Compass control software

DAS Audio ARTEC 500 Series

Overview: Two-way point source line that includes the ARTEC-510A (10-in), 508A (8-in), 526A (dual 6-in) and 506A (6-in)
Dispersion: ARTEC-510A is 110 x 50 degrees, other models are 80 x 80 degrees. symmetrical
Power: Active (bi-amplified) with onboard third-generation class D providing (for ARTEC 510A) 360 watts continuous to LF and 180 watts continuous to HF; DSP also onboard for
Mounting: Cabinets include numerous threaded inserts that accommodate a range of mounting options, including adjustable ceiling/truss mount bracket and U-bracket
Companion Sub: ARTEC-S15A (15-in)
Of Note: All models, including subwoofers, also available as standard in white; full-range models incorporate premium M-34 compression driver for HF

Alcons Audio V-Series

Overview: Several options include the VR12 (12-in) down to the VR5 (5-in), all with the company’s patented pro-ribbon HF driver
Dispersion: The VR12 is available with 60 x 30 or 90 x 40-degree dispersion; waveguides are “revolvable”
Power: For optimum performance, the VR Series should be driven by the company’s ALC controller-amplifiers (Sentinel3 and Sentinel10)
Mounting: Cabinets include threaded inserts that accommodate a range of mounting option; VR12 available in an “i” (install) version, without handles, stand mount or tilt-point
Companion Subs: Company offers a wide range of models with woofer sizes starting at 12-in (BF, BQ and BC Series)
Of Note: Proprietary Signal Integrity Sensing pre-wiring is designed to provide complete cable/connector compensation between the loudspeaker and ALC to significantly increase response accuracy; VR asymmetrical enclosure design offers flexible mounting (ceiling, wall)

dBTechnologies VIO X206

Overview: An active two-way model equipped with two 6.5-inch neodymium transducers and a 1-inch compression driver
Dispersion: Available in two versions – standard 90 x 60-degree coverage or a 100 x 15-degree dispersion pattern that basically turns it into a line array module
Power: Onboard Digipro 900-watt class D amplifier joined by a DSP preset switch on board to match the coverage pattern in use, and as with all VIO models, it’s equipped with RDNet that allows for remote control with Aurora net software
Mounting: Cabinets equipped with M10 threaded inserts; 100 x 15-degree version can be mounted in line array mode with an LP-5 link plate, which also enables users to set different splay angles
Companion Subs: Several, including the VIO S115
Of Note: Both the horn and waveguide are removable, meaning that users can replace them, adapting the system to the venue and application


Overview: Leverages the design tenets and core technologies deployed in the QX series by deploying a pair of spaced low-frequency transducers (2 x 10-inch) centered around a large-format rotatable horn working with a 4-inch neodymium compression driver
Dispersion: Available in three versions – 120 x 60, 60 x 45 or 90 x 60 degrees
Power: Passive or bi-amplified
Mounting: A dozen M10 mounting points with M10 eyebolts and U-bracket available
Companion Subs: Numerous options including the SBX218 (double 18-in)
Of Note: Optional wall-mount or ceiling-mount brackets; several weather protection options and custom colors; gently curved front allows for concealed installations in visually sensitive

NEXO P+ Series

Overview: Selections range from the new P15 (15-in) to the P8 (8-in), all with custom HF/LF drivers in a coaxial configuration and with a cabinet angle for stage monitoring
Dispersion: Horn flanges with variable directivities can be interchanged from the 60 x 60 degrees provided as standard to 90 x 40 degrees or an asymmetrical 50-100 x 40 degrees
Power: Designed to work with NEXO NXAMP4x2mk2 controller amplifier; a recessed switch on the cabinet allows fast changing from passive to active mode
Mounting: Threaded inserts on the cabinet back and on both sides for connection of mounting accessories, including wall mount, vertical cradle, yoke bracket and more
Companion Subs: L15 (15-in) and the new L18 (18-in)
Of Note: Unique curvilinear enclosure of custom birch and poplar plywood, with the bent wood designed to enhance cabinet robustness; the NXAMP4x2mk2 also has processing algorithms optimized for the L18 sub

Ramsdell 15-X-SS Champion

Overview: The company offers numerous options under the umbrella of “Full Range” loudspeakers, with models ranging from single 12 to dual 15-in (there’s also a three-way model)
Dispersion: Several options are offered (the 15-X-SS Champion is available with a choice of 90 or 60 x 40 degrees); some models utilizing horns and others employing waveguides
Power: The 15-X-SS Champion is available in active or passive versions; most others are passive and can be utilized with a range of suitable power amplifiers
Mounting: A range of mounting/flying accessories are offered
Companion Subs: A wide range of options with various woofer sizes and design parameters (i.e., vented, band-pass and more), offered, ranging from dual 12 to dual 21-in
Of Note: Available in black and white (subwoofers as well); the 15-X-SS Champion incorporates a 2-in neodymium compression driver with a 4-in voice coil; frequency response is stated to extend down to 45 Hz (+/- 3 dB)

Optimal Audio Cuboid 15

Overview: The Cuboid 15 is the largest option in the company’s series of full-range, two-way loudspeakers available in seven models (15-inch down to 3-inch)
Dispersion: 80 x 50-degree dispersion, and the horn (working with a 1-inch compression driver) is rotatable
Power: Biamped; 500 watts (AES), 2000 watts (peak); 8-ohm nominal impedance
Mounting: 19 x M8 inset bolts; wall bracket C, U-bracket D, M8 eyebolts available
Companion Subs: Sub Series
On Note: When coupled with Zone and WebApp, system set up and end user control is straightforward, and can be further enhanced by ZonePad wall controllers; smaller models offered in ABS cabinets while larger models have wooden enclosures

Biamp Community

Overview: The V2 includes eight models, with the three-way V2-3594 outfitted with a 15-inch cone driver (vented bass) joined by horn-loaded midrange and high-frequency drivers vented bass, user-rotatable horn
Dispersion: 90 x 40 degrees, particularly suited for rooms that are wider than they are deep; horn is rotatable
Power: Community ALC404D is recommended; higher power ALC models can be used safely as well
Mounting: 13 x M10 fittings; 4 x M8 fittings for third-party suspension products; numerous mounting options available
Companion Subs: Numerous options, including the I Series
Of Note: Proprietary DYNA-TECH driver protection circuitry; ferrofluid-treated HF driver for improved heat dissipation

Crest Audio CPL + Series

Overview: Models range from a single 5-inch coaxial to a 15-inch system (14 total); the brand denotes the series as “hybrid,” meaning the enclosures are wide range of applications; the CPL15+ incorporates a 15-inch woofer and 1-inch compression driver
Dispersion: 90 x 60 degrees, the horn is rotatable
Power: Passive, 500 watts program and 2000 watts peak at 8 ohms
Mounting: Multiple eyebolt flying points, U-brackets, Versamount and special wall mounts
Companion Subs: CPL265B+ and CPL15B+
Of Note: Loop-through connectivity; tweeter protection; dual 4-pin twist-lock connectors plus 4-pin Euroblock connectors

Yorkville Sound EF15

Overview: A member of the Elite family, the EF15 incorporates a 15-inch and a 3-inch voice coil compression driver on a custom waveguide; a three-way model is also offered in the series
Dispersion: 60 x 40 degrees
Power: Passive (700 watts program at 8 ohms) and powered versions offered
Mounting: 8 points (2 top, 2 bottom, 2 each side, 2 pullback)
Companion Subs: 5 options offered in the Elite series
Of Note: Stated maximum SPL is 128.5 dB peak (125.5 dB continuous), sensitivity is 97 dB (at 1w/1m); outfitted with both 1/4-inch and Speakon (4-pin) inputs

Ocean Way Audio AeroWave AW9090

Overview: A proprietary approach consisting of a large low-frequency horn, in which each entrance has a narrow vertical pattern, along with a smaller, coaxially-mounted high-frequency horn designed to have the same coverage
Dispersion: 90 x 90 degrees (a 90 x 45-degree version is also offered and is pictured here)
Power: System ships with required amplification and master DSP for system balancing, calibration and voicing
Mounting: N/A
Companion Subs: S218AW (dual 18-inch)
Of Note: The design minimizes reverberations and interference while maintaining dynamic range and a clear stereo image with 90-degree coverage both horizontally and vertically

Blaze Audio CBL528

Overview: Incorporates 4 x 5-inch low-frequency drivers with tightly designed acoustic centers to help minimize comb-filtering joined by 8 x 2-inch mid/high-frequency drivers
Dispersion: Patent-pending mid-high frequency gain shading designed to provide a controlled 45-degree vertical pattern from 420 Hz to 18 kHz; 180-degree symmetrical horizontal pattern
Power: Bi-amped design for integration with the company’s amplifiers
Mounting: M10 (x 4) mounting point plus a projector mount and two-position pole mount
Companion Subs: BL218iSS (dual 18-inch) & BL118iSS (single 18-inch)
Of Note: Highly focused pattern with consistent frequency response throughout the frequency range, on and off-axis

Danley Sound Labs J8-94

Overview: A member of the Jericho family, the J8-94 full-range loudspeaker employs the company’s patented Synergy Horn design, loaded with 46 drivers connected to a single horn, including 24 1-inch compression drivers mated to a fifth-generation high-frequency combiner, a dozen 6-inch midrange drivers and ten 10-inch low-frequency drivers.
Dispersion: 90 x 40 degrees
Power: Single or dual amp mode utilizing either one or two DNA20K4-Pro amplifiers
Mounting: M10 rigging points
Companion Subs: Numerous 12, 15 and 18-inch options available
Of Note: Includes multiple Danley technologies and patents, In addition to Synergy Horn, includes multiple Danley technologies and patents that include Layered Combiner, Tapped Horn as well as other mid and high frequency combining technologies

Yamaha Installation Series

Overview: A very deep line with a wide range of configurations and options, including the IF2112 (choice 12- or 15-in woofer) and several more compact models; three-way models available as well
Dispersion: Numerous options, including several cabinets offering three horn dispersion patterns: 60 x 40, 90 x 50, and 90 x 90 degrees; horns are rotatable
Power: Can be driven by a range of amplifiers, depending on model; the company’s DME series digital mix engines offer customized parameters
Mounting: Cabinets include multiple threaded inserts; U-brackets and array frames are also available; four eye bolts are provided with all models except IF2205 and IF2205W
Companion Subs: IS1112 (12-in), IS1215 (dual 15-in), IS1118 (18-in), IS1218 (dual 18-in)
Of Note: 12- and 15-in two-way models have a selector on the rear panel that allows switching between bi-amp and single-amplifier modes

Peavey Impulse 1015

Overview: The 1015 is one of several Impulse Series models, loaded with a 15-inch Black Widow long-throw woofer joined by an RX22N neodymium compression driver
Dispersion: 110 by 80 degrees utilizing patented Quadratic Throat Waveguide technology
Power: Passive, 1000 watts program and 2000 watts peak
Mounting: Two M6 mounting point locations – on top and one on the side for attaching a VM 70 mounting bracket
Companion Subs: Versarray 118 and 218
Of Note: Also offered in a white version; HF driver protected by proprietary Sound Guard III; IP44-rated weather resistance

Fulcrum Acoustic CCX15

Overview: The CCX15 is the largest model in a series that all include single-neodymium-magnet coaxial transducers and utilize the company’s patented Passive Cardioid Technology
Dispersion: Choice of 60 x 45, 75 x 75, 90 x 45, 100 x 100 or 120 x 60 horns that are rotatable
Power: Single-amplified with DSP; 400 to 800 watts at 8 ohms recommended
Mounting: 12 x M10 flying points, 2 M10 x 1.5 yoke points; YK-CX15 yoke bracket available
Companion Subs: Numerous options include Sub115, Sub215 and Sub218
Of Note: The enclosure’s unique vertically trapezoidal shape and compact size allows mounting very close to ceilings or under balconies with minimal effect on sight lines

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