Whether it’s an object-based surround installation like Dolby Atmos or a complex whole-home audio system, customers are challenging home technology pros like never before to deliver the best audio experience possible. In response, integrators are turning to new speaker solutions to exceed their customers’ expectations. One of the best solutions is the AIM Series 2 line from SpeakerCraft.
The SpeakerCraft brand has long been identified with significant advancements in architectural audio and AIM Series 2 is no exception. While this line of in-ceiling speakers boasts multiple firsts and many enhancements, none is more obvious than the ARC Tweeter Array. Inspired by the line arrays used in concert venues, the high frequency array in the AIM Series 2 family features up to four tweeters oriented along a pivoting arc. They are fed in phase to constructively interfere with each other, thus sending high frequency sound waves farther into the listening area than traditional loudspeakers using a single tweeter, and with a more carefully defined sound output pattern as well. More on the output pattern later, but first, let’s discuss the multiple tweeters.
More is better, right?
In this case, yes; the multiple tweeters in an AIM Series 2 speaker have three to four times the surface area of a standard single tweeter in-ceiling speaker. This expanded surface area means: 1) each tweeter does not need to be driven as hard, and 2) the woofer does not need to be attenuated to keep it in balance with the tweeter array. In fact, none of the speakers in the AIM Series 2 family require a heat dissipating resistor to achieve proper balance between the low and high frequencies. This makes for a more efficient speaker as energy is not being lost as heat.
The multiple tweeters in the array give the 8” AIM Series 2 speakers the equivalent surface area of 3.5” midrange dome, and this lets the SpeakerCraft engineers lower the crossover point, resulting in increased performance in the critical midrange frequencies that bring out the nuances in vocals. Performance is further accentuated by the asymmetrical crossover design, which has a much gentler slope than on the woofer. This delivers a performance similar to a 3-way speaker without the complexity of another driver and crossover.
Sound output pattern
A typical single-tweeter “point source” in an architectural speaker radiates a very wide soundfield. This actually creates multiple reflections from the room’s periphery, presenting the listener with multiple delayed and out-of-phase versions of the original sound which reduce the clarity of that sound. SpeakerCraft engineers developed The ARC Tweeter Array with specific goals in mind including significantly enhanced speech intelligibility. This is accomplished by narrowing the sound output pattern in a manner that gives integrators more control of the soundfield. By arraying the transducers closely together along a single arc, SpeakerCraft minimizes the disruption to the horizontal off-axis frequency response.
Meanwhile, the high frequency response soundfield along the transducers’ vertical axis will be diminished due to the close proximities of the adjacent transducers, which increases the vertical directivity. The increase in vertical directivity diminishes reflections on the floor and ceiling of a room, thus enhancing speech intelligibility – those critical midrange frequencies discussed earlier. True to the AIM legacy, the fully pivoting speaker with an additional +/- 15 degree toe-in/toe-out adjustment of the tweeter array means the high frequency soundfield can be directed more precisely than ever.
While this has obvious positive implications for home theater, the ARC Tweeter Array creates opportunities for whole home audio as well, delivering a more “musical” blend between the tweeters in the ARC Array and the woofer. It’s that “3-way performance” mentioned earlier, delivering a “sweeter sweet spot” and a musical experience those customers will appreciate in all settings.
See the complete line of AIM Series 2 in-ceiling speakers at SpeakerCraft.com.