The qualities that make a particular model of loudspeaker stand out among its siblings or competitors, are: application utility, performance characteristics, durability and, of course, appearance. When reviewing the SOUNDSPHERE line of omnidirectional loudspeaker systems, the model Q-6 tends to stand out a bit above the rest. It’s the combination and balance of the Q-6’s virtues that make it an attractive solution for its intended applications with consultants, architects, engineers and the end user.
The various iterations of the model 110 loudspeaker have served SOUNDSPHERE customers very well for more than a quarter-century, meeting the customers’ needs for broad spatial coverage, clean, articulate voice reproduction and wide band background reproduction. The 110 product line includes virtually every type of accessory required for many different installation requirements. The extensive accessory list includes mounting hardware for finished or dropped ceilings, open truss and beam construction, high ceilings, various line distribution requirements, bird (guard) screens, along with weather and dust filters.
In 1999 a new type of loudspeaker to fulfill extreme requirements was conceived. It was based the ongoing R&D from the SOUNDSPHERE engineers and how that knowledge might satisfy customers’ requests. A design team meeting was held to establish exactly what this new product needed to be, what it could be and what it had to do. The results of that short “wish list” meeting produced an equally short list:
1. High quality, broadband music reproduction. Not just low level background music, but true hi fidelity capability.
2. Durability in the form of overdrive tolerance (think warranty liability), Fully weatherproof for all-season outdoor use, resistance to the effects of bird and insect habitation and high immunity to environmental contaminants.
3. Economically attractive – suitable for large, multiple unit installations as well as small budget applications.
That short list seemed to be somewhat beyond idealistic at the time – something that a marketing department might dream up, but certainly loaded with challenges for the engineers.
Moving forward about six months; the Q-6 was born. The driver was built to parameters that would yield smooth broadband frequency response and with a moving mass/compliance ratio that affords clean, articulate transient reproduction. The Q-6 is as comfortable with paging as it is with the high-dynamic demands of virtually any kind of music. The speaker’s enclosure and coaxial driver were constructed with all inorganic materials to make it immune to almost anything Mother Nature has in her arsenal. This became the be-all, end-all solution for consumers with severe or unusual applications. The Q-6 is not affected by rust, rot, ozone, UV, salt, rain and high humidity or caustic and corrosive environmental contaminants. The effects of snow and ice buildup may silence any outdoor speaker. But once thawed, the Q6 will perform as the day it was installed. SOUNDSPHERE is so confident of this design that the speaker is covered with a very liberal warranty program.
The Q-6, like its family members, the 110B and 110PAGE, is available in textured white finish or high gloss black finish. Customers have reported that the black Q-6 speakers are often mistaken for security cameras…an unexpected bonus.
The original Q-6 prototype loudspeaker still hangs outdoors and after 17-years of New England seasonal extremes, it still sounds as good as it did on day-one. To date, only a fraction of 1-percent of the thousands of installed Q-6 speakers have been returned to the factory for warranty service. In most cases, the few speakers that have ever failed were due to over powering or similar user abuse.
Bob Betts, Director Product Design