Stadium sound systems from Sound Technology/Harman Professional


emirates_1Wherever sound matters, products from brands under the Harman Professional umbrella are present. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of sports stadia and arena.  Harman Professional’s reputation in this field is second-to-none thanks to a platform of superior performance, unique technical integration of their products and proven experience across some of the world’s most famous venues.

In the UK alone Harman Professional products can be found at the Emirates, O2, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, Ricoh Stadium, St James’ Park and Wembley to name but a few. Aside from football you’ll find Harman products at Wimbledon, Epsom and Ascot amongst many others. Internationally think of the Yankee Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, FedEx Arena, Stade de Suisse, Carl Benz Arena and no fewer than twelve (12) Olympic venues in Beijing.

Harman Professional Group is represented in the UK and Eire by Sound Technology Ltd, an independent distributor and service provider. Based in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, Sound Technology co-ordinate sales, marketing, service and support for Harman Professional, and themselves have a 30 year history. Working alongside major contractors and consultants, Sound Technology provides the premium products and support services to ensure exceptional project delivery. Thanks to the integration of products within the portfolio and proven experience on flagship projects they can offer valued benefits as a single source supplier.

Sound Technology’s in-house acoustic specialists, bringing together extensive experience of full system design, complex networked audio and powerful 3D acoustic modelling software, work in partnership with consultants drawing up project specifications. Combining products from major manufacturers with experienced system engineers means more than audio systems that deliver superb sound and exceed regulatory requirements. It means guaranteed results.

emirates_2The requirements of today’s sports venues demand multi-purpose facilities. Thanks to the sheer range of products in the portfolio, Sound Technology can cover every area. From the high output main stadium speakers and power amplifiers to cut through the roar of the crowd, to concourse ceiling speakers, to board room AV, to the network audio hubs and software that control today’s sound systems. This sophisticated computer control of all elements of the system using Harman’s proprietary protocol allows constant status updates, fault monitoring and even automated tasks.

Gareth Collyer is Sound Technology’s head of engineered sound projects.

“With Harman Professional you get the confidence of an investment in products with a proven track record and guaranteed longevity with access to spare parts for many years, if not decades to come. We’re viewed as a premium solution but the overall cost of specifying a premium product system is not always much greater than a lesser quality system since the sheer quality and predictability of the system allows us to provide the same power and coverage using fewer speakers – resulting in reduced cabelling costs, reduced labour costs and reduced servicing costs down the line. Having said all of that, we are more than used to working to client budgets and we’re in the fortunate position of being able to offer a selection of products to fit virtually any purpose and budget.”

Emirates (Complete Harman System)

Arsenal’s new Emirates stadium has established itself as one of the best in Europe, with a much expanded seating capacity and improved facilities compared with the club’s old home at Highbury.The Public Address / Voice Alarm system at the Emirates is also state-of-the-art, as befits a modern 60,000 seat stadium. The backbone of the new sound system comprises several different models of JBL speakers, powered by over 120 Crown amplifiers, installed by Honeywell Business Services with AMS Acoustics acting as design consultants. Sound Technology worked with AMS Acoustics and Honeywell to support their design and installation work and ensure that a solution that met both the performance requirements and financial constraints of the project could be delivered. The end result is that Harman-brand equipment is used throughout the stadium, from the terraces to the VIP areas, such as dining club and bar.

O2 Arena (Complete Harman System)

From the following engineer’s description of the 600,000 watt BSS and JBL system used in the arena, some sense of the scale of the O2 project emerges. “There are about 20 control racks up in the gantries in the roof of the Arena, each with separate A and B networks and components. One of those racks draws 260 amps, and the cables to it – just the cables – weigh five tonnes.” Acousticians from Harman Pro in the UK and USA worked closely with Vision Systems, providing them with support throughout the installation, while Vanguardia Consulting handled the Arena’s acoustic treatment. The company’s specialists carefully modelled the behaviour of various possible PA solutions in acoustic design software package EASE, discussing the designs with the Vanguardia team until they settled on a system. The finished venue combines products from every Harman brand, including JBL speakers, Crown amplification, dbx, BSS and Lexicon signal processing, numerous AKG microphones and two Soundcraft Vi6 digital mixing consoles. The key components in the venue are controllable via the Harman group’s proprietary HiQnet network.

All England Lawn Tennis Club (BSS Soundweb)

Back in 2002, Royal Warrant Holders RG Jones carried out a progressive, multi-brand installation for The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, to improve the audio network at the home of the world-famous Wimbledon Tennis Championships. With that year’s Championships as the deadline, the integration turned out to be one of the largest deployments ever of BSS Audio’s Soundweb audio networking. In fact Soundweb’s broadcast quality audio gave the BBC the confidence for the first time to use the media wall box feeds from RG Jones to supply many of the feeds required for The Championships. At the same time the BBC also chose to install a Soundweb in each of the No.1 Court and Centre Court scanner trucks, while further devices were installed in OSCAR, the audio and video distribution area where the BBC routes all the Court feeds to the international broadcasters. But the standard of signal quality, routing flexibility and processing power has moved on considerably – and a further major upgrade by RG Jones last year (largely focused on the Centre Court redevelopment) coincided with the release of BSS Audio’s new generation Soundweb London family. This has facilitated additional processing, more audio channels and the security of 100% redundancy.

The latest project to come onto Sound Technology’s books is at Burnley F.C. where an audio refit is taking place during this close season thanks to their promotion to the English Premiership. A system incorporating JBL AE Series speakers, Crown amplifiers and BSS Soundweb networking is being installed by Eddie Thomas Associates.

Sound Technology Ltd

Tel: 01462 480000


Comments are closed.