Washington, D.C.—March 2018… Nestled in Northwest Washington, D.C., near Logan Circle, 880 P goes far beyond the conventional apartment building. Named for its address on P Street, 880 P offers apartments that look like something out of a design magazine, complete with private balconies, and features a full service concierge and an espresso lounge. The surrounding Shaw neighborhood is one of the city’s hippest enclaves, filled with chic shops, trendy restaurants, craft cocktail bars, and the historic Howard Theatre.
Although the area offers plenty of recreation spots, when it’s time to relax, 880 P’s residents often migrate to the building’s two-story rooftop terraces. There, a dozen stories above the street, they can enjoy incredible views of downtown Washington, a cascading waterfall, high-tech grills, plenty of lounge chairs, and an indoor music room, complete with a Steinway baby grand player piano, a bar they can stock for parties, and still more great views. The rooftop even sports a private dog park, along with grooming stations. After all, why should humans be the only ones getting VIP treatment?
Music for this extraordinary terrace area flows through a high-tech sound system accessed using an Attero Tech unBT2A Bluetooth audio wall plate. The unBT2A is a single-gang, Decora-style wall plate system that provides simple, one-button pairing for Bluetooth devices and outputs stereo audio over CAT5 cable, using Dante. Designed for integration, it offers customizable Bluetooth-friendly naming, remote pairing activation, and remote status monitoring via RS-232.
“The music room is a lounge space for the residents, and the ownership group and management can throw parties there,” relates Daren Eveleigh of Washington, D.C., systems integrators HS Solutions, which designed and installed the sound system at 880 P. “We installed the Attero Tech unBT2A at the bar in the music room, and you can use either the button on the unBT2A or the Crestron panel to pair your phone and play music through the sound system. The cool thing is that the Bluetooth signal is really strong, so the range is good, and you don’t have dropouts. We’ve tried other Bluetooth products, and many times you can’t get more than 10 or 15 feet away or the signal drops out. We haven’t had that issue here, and we’ve walked all the way down to the end of the rooftop deck.”
Another advantage with the Attero Tech system, Eveleigh notes, is the way it handles pairing. “I like the fact that when you pair a new phone, the old phone’s pairing is broken,” he details. “That’s good because in a residential or commercial environment, you don’t want other people’s phones to be stuck paired to the system. With the unBT2A, you can pair, unpair, delete the old pairing information, or cancel a pair with a phone. If somebody’s phone does get stuck on the system you can unpair it from the Crestron panel.”
The unBT2A can send stereo or mono output, which also helps. “You can log into the Attero Tech system with your computer and change settings so you have a mono output, which makes wiring a little easier,” offers Eveleigh.
In 880 P’s new sound system, audio enters the Attero Tech unBT2A over Bluetooth and then flows to a BSS Soundweb London BLU-100 DSP, which manages three audio zones. “We have twelve JBL 8-inch ceiling speakers in the music room, throughout the ceiling,” Eveleigh specifies. “Outside, we have a dozen or so speakers on each of the two terrace levels. All three zones are controlled with the Crestron system.”
Eveleigh has observed the evolution of installed audio “on-ramps” for some time. The changes have been most welcome. “We used to install iPod docks on the wall but they became obsolete,” he recalls. “We had to find a different solution, so we went to Bluetooth. But we had those issues with weak signals and dropout with other systems, and the other systems often needed to be reset by unplugging and plugging back in. Then we found Attero Tech, and we no longer have any of those issues, plus we have mono/stereo control. It’s just a better system all around.”