Meyer Sound CAL system at Swiss university lecture halls

Meyer Sound CAL 64 column array loudspeakers have been installed in two leading Swiss universities’ lecture halls to provide ‘highly intelligible’ voice reproduction in challenging acoustical environments.

The identical CAL systems at ETH Zurich (pictured) and the University of Basel apply advanced beam steering technology to custom tailor uniform coverage of two differently shaped lecture halls, aiming to improve students’ intelligibility of instructors’ voices.

“Thanks to the vertical steering capability of CAL, we were able to precisely direct the beam angles to the seating areas in each room,” explained Nicolin Salis, executive project manager for Thalwil, Switzerland-based consultant RGBP, which specified the two systems. “The beam-steering technology of CAL gave us astounding results. This was despite the fact that the mechanical mounting positions in each room were not optimal and prevented us from placing the loudspeakers at the preferred angle.”

The ETH Zurich lecture hall, located in the environmentally sustainable LEE Building, has all seating set in a semi-circle on a flat floor plane. For this installation, the downward tilt and beam spread of two CAL loudspeakers were precisely calibrated to cover the seating without exciting the surrounding hardwood walls or the reflective ceiling surfaces.

Meanwhile at the University of Basel lecture hall, seating is arranged on three sides at steeply raked angles. For this application, a broader vertical beam with an upward tilt was applied to two CAL loudspeakers to ensure ‘clear and seamless coverage’ throughout the room.

The RGBP contract also encompassed control and video systems, including AMX touch panel controls in both lecture halls and four Sony video projectors with 7,000 Lumens at the University of Basel. Founded in 1460, the university is the oldest in Switzerland and claims association with such intellectual giants as Erasmus, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Carl Jung.

Also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich was founded in 1855 and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading institutions for the study of engineering, natural sciences, and technology.