After more than six years of design and construction, the new West Gates at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) opened in June 2021. The new concourse is located in the central area of the airfield, west of Tom Bradley International Terminal.
The $1.6 billion addition to LAX features 15 aircraft gates and an interior that’s organized into a series of “neighborhoods,” which each include multiple aircraft gates, a restroom core, and a wide selection of various retail and concession spaces. It also sounds sensational thanks to loudspeaker solutions from Renkus-Heinz.
The audio portion of the 750,000-square-foot concourse construction was critical to LAX as crisp and intelligible sound helps the airport’s millions of annual travelers stay on the move and up to date with important announcements and communications. LAX officials worked with California-based systems integrator, Direct AV, to design and install the gate announcement system for the terminal.
“This is a huge new terminal with the characteristic high ceilings, reflective glass walls, hard reflective floors, and a lot of ambient noise expected from a transportation hub,” said Jeff Barrett, System Design Engineer at Direct AV and lead point person for the project. “We needed loudspeaker technology that could give us precise beam control and a high level of speech intelligibility while offering a discreet footprint to fit the architectural requirements and constraints; and for that, we turned to the Iconyx beam steering system from Renkus-Heinz.”
The Iconyx Gen 5 arrays from Renkus-Heinz provide an elegant solution to long-standing acoustical challenges — with slim, attractive enclosures that blend into any environment. The system delivers unsurpassed full frequency pattern control via Renkus-Heinz proprietary Unibeam algorithms, which is essential for providing intelligible speech in acoustically challenging spaces.
The Iconyx system’s 4-inch low-frequency transducers and triple 1-inch high-frequency drivers produce more than enough headroom allowing for significant levels above the ambient noise floor. Specifically, the Direct AV team installed a mix of more than 30 Iconyx IC8, IC16 and IC32 arrays within the West Gates. Additional installations of the Iconyx Gen 5 arrays also planned.
Barrett says the system was specifically designed for terminal-wide passenger announcements and gate announcements. With fine-tuning through Renkus-Heinz software, the system covers all common areas within the terminal, including all gate seating areas and all retail, restaurant, restroom, and concession areas of the concourse.
“Due to architectural constraints, the Iconyx loudspeakers had to be mounted relatively high on the adjacent walls at around 12 feet above the finished floor level. Using conventional loudspeakers would have compromised the direct to reverberant sound – which was not an acceptable compromise – thus, the Iconyx digitally steerable loudspeakers were the perfect solution for this challenging space,” said Garrison Parkin, Western Regional Sales Manager for Renkus-Heinz who worked closely with Barrett on this project. “With Iconyx, we can digitally steer the sound down to the travelers giving them the direct sound element rather than reflected to the walkways— and deliver remarkable sound quality right to where the people are and away from the reflective surfaces.”
The result of this digitally steerable capability is crisp, intelligible, and perfectly positioned sound solution from Renkus-Heinz – ensuring everyone who needs to hear the sound in the concourse, hears it with clarity.