Qatar stadium prepares for 2022 World Cup with new mic install

The Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar has been successfully implemented with Sennheiser wireless microphone systems as the country prepares to become the first in the Middle East to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

The systems have already played a vital role in enabling handball fans across the world to enjoy televised broadcasts of live matches. The stadium will also be used for boxing, handball and basketball championships as well as for live concerts in the future.

A total of 16 channels of Sennheiser’s wireless microphone and receiver systems from the flagship Digital 9000 range have been utilised, as well as the EW 300-IEM Series in-ear monitors. According to the company, the EM 9046 SU – the multichannel audio receiver and heart of the system – is capable of delivering uncompressed digital audio transmission while maximising spectral efficiency and transmission safety. A notable feature of the receiver system is that the receiver modules cover the UHF range from 470 to 798 MHz, incorporating up to eight receiving channels in the system units housing.

The SKM-9000 handheld transmitters will be used with an MMK-965 true condenser capsule. It has a switchable pick-up pattern that allows for cardioid or super cardioid characteristics. This will prove vital for pitch side reporting and for announcements within the stadium itself.

Sennheiser, which also supplied microphones for the football stadiums in Brazil, highlighted the importance of its audio solutions: “With several hundred million TV viewers watching live, there is no room for error. Thrilling commentaries, pitch-side reports, the roar of the audience and sounds of all the on-field action are essential parts of the viewing experience. Poor audio quality or technical difficulties can hamper this and undermine the tremendous effort that goes into hosting such events,” stated Mig Cardamone, director of sales and marketing at Sennheiser Middle East. “The Qatar Olympic Committee realises that high-quality images and high-quality sound go hand in hand. This is reflected in their selection and usage of our most advanced wireless microphone systems.”

Along with the handheld microphones, presenters will be miked up using Sennheiser’s EarSet 1 headmics and the SK-9000 transmitter, helping to ensure that presenters are heard over the crowd because of their proximity to the sound source in comparison to a lapel mic. Sennheiser’s directional antennas have also been installed in the catwalk, 30 meters above the playing field.

Commenting on the implementation, Prem Kumar, projects manager at Darwish Holding, the contractor for the audio portion of the deployment, said: “The positive impact of the installed system was instantly noticeable. We managed to get it up and running in time for the Men’s Handball World Championship and the excellent sound quality was highly praised. This gives us the confidence that it will meet the high expectations set by the Qatar Olympic Committee for the 2022 football tournament.”