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Isolated Audio Field

Jul 28, 2014 12:37 PM

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Recognizing the interests of neighborhood youth and their affinity for embracing future technologies, Rice+Lipka Associates sought to provide the New York Public Library (NYPL) with an exciting, modern makeover of its Hamilton Grange Teen Center. By focusing on integrating fresh technologies to provide unique social experiences, Rice+Lipka were able to transform the aging facility into an open-concept hangout space full of interest, engagement, and community.

As the preservation of quiet is utterly synonymous with public library space, NYPL was faced with the challenge of catering to the increasingly multimedia-centric senses of today’s youth without adding noise or distraction to the quiet library. The company’s solution was the Holosonics Audio Spotlight directional speaker systems. The Audio Spotlight provides a narrow sound beam of coverage, with audio levels dropping more than 90 percent only a single step away. Harnessing such directivity, the library could create a tight, well-defined listening area, while maintaining quiet for all others outside this zone.

Several of Holosonics’ directional speakers were mounted over the circular listening area. Inside the boundary, teens can rock the afternoon away to Garage Band on the Wii, while others study peacefully and quietly just outside the isolated Audio Spotlight sound field.

“The Audio Spotlight is impressively effective at localizing sound,” says Michael Beach, project manager for HB Communications, the AV integrator responsible for the Hamilton Grange install. “Libraries are notorious for very closely monitored sound levels, so it’s not everyday you see an open-air media center with speakers pumping sound out right in the middle of one. The Audio Spotlights make that possible.”

“It’s pretty remarkable to be able to offer the only speaker technology with precise enough coverage to be tolerated in library settings,” says the technology’s inventor Dr. F. Joseph Pompei. “It’s one of the most demanding environments concerning noise, and this success is a real testament to the Audio Spotlight’s unmatched sound field control.”


Holosonics Audio Spotlight

There are two models: the AS-16, which measures approximately 16in. x 16in., and the 24in. x 24in. AS-24 that can provide about twice the power and extends an octave lower in frequency response. The system requires a companion amplifier/processor. All required interconnection cables (25ft. BNC coax) are included.

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