MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Expectations are high for crystal clear sound at any new presentation facility, but when the client is Starkey Laboratories, one of the world's largest hearing aid manufacturers, they're even higher. When A/V designer and integrator Enhanced Systems was asked to outfit the company's new 400-person auditorium with a wireless microphone system that would provide maximum clarity and dependability, Lectrosonics was the choice.
"Quality sound is as important as the right lighting to presentation facilities when it comes to setting the scene, making people feel comfortable and retaining their interest," says Dave Wogsland, CEO of Enhanced Systems. "This was a room with a lot of RF-related challenges to conquer, in addition to the fact that we wanted the wireless mics to have a better build quality and superior audio capabilities. The sole system to meet all those criteria was Lectrosonics."
Equipped with the Lectrosonics Venue receiver system and multiple UT400 wireless microphones, LM belt-pack transmitters, and SNA600 antenna system - all featuring Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless™ technology - the William F. Austin Education Center serves as a key videoconferencing training hub. Both corporate employees and numerous volunteers in the charitable organization "The Starkey Hearing Foundation" (www.sotheworldmayhear.org) rely on this important source of training. The attention to sound in the large, curvaceous 95' x 95' auditorium, divisible by a moveable air wall and outfitted with ClearOne conferencing and Tannoy speakers, ensures that the critical process of education on the proper fitting of hearing aids is carried out accurately.
"When specifying the wireless microphone system, we liked that Lectrosonics was modular in design, with PC communications via USB, and front-panel displays," Wogsland explains. "The sound quality is clear and intelligible, and for audio- and videoconferencing, that's especially important. It's nice to go into a facility and be able to listen without hearing feedback or other harsh sounds. That plays a very large part in the whole experience, and that's extremely helpful when you're educating people. A good experience keeps them focused."
A modular UHF design operating with Digital Hybrid Wireless™ transmitters, the Lectrosonics Venue Receiver system offers a tremendous degree of flexibility in reception techniques for dealing with even the most challenging RF environments. Meanwhile, the rugged, ergonomically-designed, machined PVC housing of the UT400 handheld transmitters makes them ideal for surviving and thriving through the intense use that Starkey Laboratories puts them through.
"When we specify and install gear, we're always thinking about the long-term reliability of the systems," says Wogsland. "Starkey Labs uses everything in this facility six days a week, practically non-stop. With Lectrosonics, the build quality was just so much better and much more robust than what's commonly found on the market. You hold these products in your hand and you know it's built very well. That's a big consideration when you have 400 audience members passing a microphone back and forth, because inevitably someone is going to drop it. The Lectrosonics mics don't miss a beat."
"The fact that Lectrosonics microphones frequently get used by onstage performers makes me confident that they're ready for the rigors of serious presentation use, providing a highly realistic sound to live and conference audiences," Dave Wogsland says. "For a long time at Enhanced Systems, we've said, 'Quality is not expensive: It's priceless.' Lectrosonics fits in with that philosophy
Well respected within the film, broadcast, and theater technical communities since 1971, Lectrosonics wireless microphone systems and audio processing products are used daily in mission-critical applications by audio engineers familiar with the company's dedication to quality, customer service, and innovation. Lectrosonics is a US manufacturer based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.