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Line Array Speakers

The Advantages of Line Array Speakers

The term “line-array” is used to describe a speaker system having multiple speaker units with the same characteristics arranged vertically to emulate a linear acoustical source. In contrast to standard speakers, which operate as a point source or “stage speakers” from which sound propagates over a wide dispersion angle in both the horizontal and vertical planes, the sound propagating from a line-array speaker disperses very little in the vertical plane. One of the advantages of these systems is, therefore, lower attenuation of sound pressure over distance.

The 3 main advantages of line array speakers

1)    Sound reinforcement with more consistent sound pressure

With this type of speaker, sound pressure is affected less by distance, allowing for clearer, more consistent sound reinforcement. As a result, ample sound pressure can be delivered to back-of-house without making front-of-stage excessively loud.

2)    Clear sound reinforcement

Undesirable reflection can be reduced, thereby ensuring clearer reinforcement of sound even in highly reverberant spaces.  Sound waves disperse very little in the vertical plane, significantly reducing the amount of reflection at the roof and floor surfaces. Traveling directly from array to audience and free of reflections, the reinforced sound is clearer overall.

3)    Less prone to feedback

The total output from line array speakers is smaller and undesirable reflections are fewer, making feedback less likely to occur. Another important factor, however, makes the line array less prone to this type of problem. Whenever a certain sound pressure must be achieved at a specific distance, the line-array speaker, which adds the sound energy output by multiple speaker units, will require less output energy per unit than a standard point-source or “stage speaker” system. A microphone in close proximity to the array will only pick up a relatively small amount of energy from the closest units. The total incoming energy will thus be considerably smaller than with the standard speakers, meaning that feedback is less likely to occur.
When should you consider a point source or “Stage Speaker” system?

Line array speaker systems don’t perform as well when the audience is spread out from side to side or for audiences clustered close to the venue stage. Line array speakers that are built from the ground up rather than suspended in the air also afford poor coverage.

Both of these situations are more suited to a point source loudspeaker system, or at the very least should be augmented by a point source system, which provides full-range coverage for small venues. Another factor to consider is price. Line array speaker systems are typically more expensive than point source or “stage speaker” systems.

No matter what you decide to go with, we at the Loud Factory have you covered!  For the highest-quality, most reliable line array or stage speakers around, shop with us!  We’d be happy to work with you to set you up with a powerful sound system capable of addressing all of your Pro Audio system needs.

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