Sound solutions: Top audio companies continue to innovate


Film Journal International’s annual spotlight on sound gathers the latest technologies from leading cinema audio companies.

Auro 11.1
Auro 11.1 brings 3D sound technology to digital cinema to heighten the immersive quality of today’s movies. It improves the audio experience by making intelligent use of the headroom in auditoriums, augmenting current sound systems to broadcast sounds all around and above the listener. Its flexibility and backwards/forwards compatibility make it a comparatively modest investment, enabling exhibitors to simply expand their existing audio set-ups with additional speakers and Auro 11.1’s sophisticated sound processing. Best of all, the Auro 11.1 format is the ideal configuration for spurring the next generation of content in facilities that can easily support the workflow. (

Datasat Digital

Datasat Digital Entertainment continues their mission of outfitting the world’s cinemas with state-of-the-art digital audio processing technology with the announcement of an additional product on the AP20 Audio Processor platform, the AP20L. Focused on the quality-discerning cinema owner, the AP20L offers the entry-level functionality and price point, yet the same audio superiority that the line has come to be known for. The AP20L is an eight-channel audio processor and takes full advantage of the modular design of the platform, allowing for field upgrades to a 16-channel system and beyond as the cinema owner upgrades over time. (

Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos expands the artistic palette for content creators, allowing them to present new cinema experiences with audio that dramatically enhances the visuals onscreen and completely immerses the audience. Dolby Atmos utilizes the same tools currently favored by sound designers and mixers, ensuring that they can efficiently create truly immersive content. A key feature of Dolby Atmos is the ability to capture, distribute and faithfully render audio in a way that is not limited by channels or fixed speaker locations. Due to this inherent scalability and adaptability, exhibitors can upgrade theatres at their own pace, improving the listening experience for audiences at every step. (

Enpar Audio
Enpar Audio announces the release of their new DCP 1000 Digital Cinema Processor. This processor comes with all the convenience and durability of their DCP 800 but with an added built-in crossover. At only $1,850, this is one of the most competitive processors on the market, and it’s backed by a two-year factory parts and labor warranty. (

JBL’s 5732 three-way, ultra-high-power ScreenArray systems provide cinema exhibition venues with unparalleled audio performance and advanced technology. The 5732 ScreenArray speakers feature a 150-watt, four-inch titanium diaphragm high-frequency compression driver on JBL’s patented Optimized Aperture waveguide, featuring Screen Spreading Compensation™. The system features a quad mid-range array of two eight-inch Differential Drive® cone midrange drivers providing 700 watts of smooth coverage, coupled with a dual 15-inch SVG™ Super Vented Gap low-frequency section providing 1,200 Watts of high power output with minimum distortion. (

Kelonik has developed the K.C.S. SR-40 speaker system, designed for ceiling mount in cinema auditoria to provide spatial sound reproduction in multi-channel configurations. SR-40 is a two-way speaker system consisting of one 15" high-sensitivity woofer, four high-frequency units, with four last-generation compression drivers and constant-dispersion horns providing wide coverage in the auditorium. This speaker system can be mounted in the auditorium ceiling in configurations of three, four or five units. (

American-made Klipsch cinema speakers offer years of reliable performance and extraordinary wide, consistent coverage. Audiences have seldom heard dialogue so precise or soundtracks so stunningly detailed and immersive.

Long a favorite of theatre operators worldwide, Klipsch continues to innovate: The new KPT-310 is an entry-level two-way screen speaker system for smaller auditoriums where cost-effectiveness is the primary objective, utilizing the new KPT-310-LF cabinet and new KPT-310-HF horn. For medium-size auditoriums, Klipsch offers the new KPT-902 entry-level two-way screen speaker system, which utilizes the new, larger KPT-902-LF cabinet and the new KPT-902-HF horn. (

Meyer Sound
The Acheron Designer screen-channel loudspeaker is the latest addition to Meyer Sound’s self-powered EXP cinema product line. Measuring only 19 inches wide, 25.37 inches tall and 14.62 inches deep, the Acheron Designer brings the low-distortion sonic quality of the other EXP members to sound design studios, sound editing suites, as well as private screening rooms and small theatres. The Acheron Designer has a peak output of an impressive 130 dB SPL, and has been in use in post-production facilities in France, American Zoetrope in the U.S., and more. (

QSC introduces the new SR Series surround loudspeaker range, with four new models that meet the needs of the smallest to largest cinemas. Key features include wide coverage angles, improved cosmetics and extended bass response. The most powerful model, the SR-1030, uses large HF and LF drivers for applications that require extremely high output and extended bass from individual surround speakers. The SR-1020, SR-8200 and SR-8101 models complete the new range. Availability is expected in October 2012. (

SLS Audio
Since the first-ever installation of any line array system in a cinema (Wehrenberg Theaters in 2006), SLS Audio’s CS6500 system has evolved into the ultimate 3D audio choice by other notable exhibitors such as Regal and Santikos Theatres. With the use of SLS’ line arrays, the audience is in the audio near field and the audio image is brought into your ears the same way the 3D video image is brought to your eyes. In addition, the output capabilities of SLS’ line arrays exceed any conventional point-source systems, making the CS5600 system ideal for all alternative-content applications. (

USL, Inc. has been designing and building test instruments since 1990, received an Academy Technical Achievement Award in 1997 for the PSA light meter, and is pleased to announce its latest innovation, the LSS-100. This wall-mounted light meter includes a microphone that measures the sound pressure levels (SPLs) as it monitors the quality of light reflected from the theatre screen. This small, compact unit can be easily installed and allows theatre owners to continuously measure expected light, chromaticity and sound levels to ensure the very best possible experience for their movie-viewing audience. In addition, the LSS-100 is a fully networked unit, making it possible for theatre owners to monitor auditorium performance globally. (

VCL Sound Experience
VCL Sound Experience, manufacturer of the cinema speaker range branded “Luis Wassmann,” introduced its latest models at CineEurope 2012:

The LW 5009 BI or TRI, a 1640W AES four-way screen system for bi-amp or tri-amp operations, is specially designed for the best stages with digital cinema and was recently installed in the NFT screens in London and Edinburgh.

The LW 6017, a 2000W AES subwoofer system with two 21” bass speakers, is also specially designed for the best digital cinemas and was recently installed in the Odeon Leicester Square in London.

A new range of two, four and eight-channel amplifiers, the LW EK and LW MK series, is specially designed for 3D sound system applications.

VCL also offers a large range of surround and ceiling speakers for the new 3D sound systems. Based on their exclusive “LAT” technology, these units have different and controlled directivity depending on the model, to be used as surround speakers, side surround speakers, rear surrounds or top surrounds.

A new range of good-value ABS surround speakers (10” and 8”) was also introduced at CineEurope. (