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May 2014 l 47


Xirium preparing to welcome CSN at the Royal Albert Hall

The AKG DMSTetrad: a licence-free solution for uncompressed audio transmission for clubs, concerts and conferences

The Xirium NX4TRX base station

you don’t need a lot of space, and for a lot of events where mobile and quick set-up are important I do think it is going to be very attractive.” Nonetheless, it seems he regards Xirium as a complement – rather than an alternative – to more traditional high-end wireless systems: “It’s a problem-solver rather than trying to be a specific solution,” he says. Inherent in that observation is a clue to why the omens for these new systems appear to be quite so good.


Another manufacturer working along similar lines does have rather more form in the area of wireless audio: Harman brand AKG. Introduced at Prolight + Sound in March, the DMSTetrad digital wireless microphone system is – again – a licence-free solution that offers uncompressed audio transmission and 128-bit AES standard encryption for applications including clubs, concerts and conferences. Designed to be simple and easy to deploy, DMSTetrad utilises the 2.4GHz range – also frequently used for Wi-Fi. With 24-bit/48kHz audio coding, the system is claimed to provide studio-quality transmission and a linear frequency response to

suit vocal and instrumental performances. Specifically, the DMSTetrad system features the DSRTetrad Digital Stationary Receiver, the DPTTetrad Digital Pocket Transmitter and the DHTTetrad Digital Handheld Transmitter, available with AKG’s patented D5 acoustics or as DHTTetrad P5 with standard dynamic capsule. Two sets are available: the DMSTetrad Vocal Set including the DHTTetrad P5, and the DMSTetrad Performer Set including the DPTTetrad, together with a C111 L earhook microphone and the MKG L instrument cable.

An integrated four-channel audio mixer that “mixes up to four channels directly to one mix output on the receiver” is among the features highlighted by Stephan Scherthan, product line manager wireless systems at AKG Acoustics. Operating in a typical 2.4GHz environment, “it should be possible to operate up to four microphones simultaneously [and], in a very clear environment, it could be possible to use up to six or even more simultaneous channels,” he explains. Small venue live set-ups and HoWs are among the applications singled out as being suitable for the DMSTetrad, but Scherthan is frank about the eternal limitations of licence-free operation. “All licence-free systems face a very hostile working environment,” he says. “After all, it is licence- free and that includes things like smartphones, Wi-Fi routers etc.

The question isn’t ‘if’ a system will encounter such aggressive interference during use – [it’s more], ‘how does a system perform in the face of hostile interference?’” In this regard, Scherthan insists that the “audio conditioning used in the DMSTetrad system is superior [to that of] our competitors.” With the 2.4GHz band unlikely to be part of any future digital dividend, the system’s core audience appears to be fairly secure. But it is clear that Scherthan believes that there are more opportunities to be explored in the context of what he terms a “continuously shrinking frequency spectrum.” “To accomplish the same amount of simultaneously used microphone channels, products must become better

and smarter,” he says. “This can only be achieved by using high-quality components and new technical designs. Future products will also have some degree of awareness regarding their operating environment and will be able to manage conflicts automatically.”


Taking another approach but similarly aimed at achieving rapid deployment is Sennheiser’s LSP 500 PRO. Described as delivering “hassle-free wireless integrated PA”, the LSP 500 PRO is the result of specific customer feedback, explains Simon Beesley, product manager for Sennheiser UK.

“It was seen that there was a need for a system that could incorporate all the elements required for a small PA event without having to rig and

lay cables,” says Beesley. “[It is very easily scalable] to suit a number of

environments and audience sizes, [and the unit’s] delay setting means that the LSP 500 PRO can be used in larger spaces.”

Given that the system uses both wireless and IEM equipment, there is “a need to stay within the rules and regs when it comes to useable frequencies, [and] if channel 38 equipment is being used, a licence is required,” explains Beesley. However, a licence-free path is also an option: “Users can opt for the deregulated channels in channel 70 which would mean no licence is needed. There is a drawback as channel 70 has a limited number of available frequencies and this would obviously limit of the size of the system that can be configured.”

The advent of more affordable Li-ion battery technology has been a great facilitator for the system, which has received a response considerably “bigger than expected. Obviously we had an idea of a target as far as annual sales was concerned, and at this point we are double that original figure.”

Multiple Bose SoundTouch systems can work together to create a multi-room listening experience, “playing the same music everywhere or different music in different rooms”

With the system marking something of a new departure for Sennheiser, the company plans to respond to customer feedback, which will “inevitably lead to further developments within this area,” remarks Beesley. “Our customers see the benefits immediately and this leads to the LSP 500 finding its way into all sorts of different markets. Some

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