Shure completes large-scale audio installation at Utrecht University

With a change of frequencies to Europe’s 4G network, one of the oldest and most respected universities in the Netherlands needed help updating its audio equipment system.

Utrecht University was the setting for an ambitious three-year audio installation of Shure equipment, with ULX-D Digital Wireless systems being deployed across three main areas: Utrecht Science Park/De Uithof, the University Quarter in the city centre of Utrecht and the International Campus Utrecht (ICU).

With more than 29,000 students, 5,500 faculty and staff and 100 buildings – including 45 buildings used for educational purposes and lecture halls – updating the audio equipment to a digital system that delivered superb audio clarity, along with flexibility and ease of use was essential.

Award-winning integrator JNV, with support from AV specialist distribution company Output, managed the installation of the Shure equipment to provide the right solutions for the university.

“Utrecht University has around 90 microphone systems in use across the campus; that is a mixture of handheld, lapel, podium, head-set and radio mics,” said Jan Zwanenberg, digital architect, JNV. “Because of the amount of microphones, we needed a system that could provide a lot of channels into the restricted bandwidth available.”

Actual numbers of equipment used across the campus revealed the true challenge of managing channels within a restricted bandwidth: 86 ULXD4 receivers, 103 ULXD1 bodypacks and 14 ULXD2 handhelds. With such a demanding audio requirement, having the ability to test the systems before integration was a bonus, with AV specialists Output having the facilities in place for hands-on demonstrations ahead of purchasing.

“The Shure system provides us with a flexible, stable solution to continue to offer the best possible learning experience to all our students across the university,” said Peter Janssen, AV domain specialist at Utrecht University. “Our academics also appreciate the ease of use when switching systems, from lapel to headset microphone. It’s a straightforward process which works perfectly and means there’s no lost time within the classes.”

Having had the Shure systems in place for 12 months, both Janssen and Zwanenberg are pleased with the decision to upgrade: “ULX-D is now the new standard at the university,” Zwanenberg concluded. “Each microphone system is totally reliable and works perfectly depending on the needs of the room.”