Meyer Sound has provided the sound element for a new AV-enhanced terminal extension called Aukio at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Aukio comprises a relaxing space that provides an immersive audio-visual experience with an undulating, two-metre high Samsung 4K video screen wrapping around the walls across 75 metres and a multi-channel soundtrack playing out of 27 Meyer Sound loudspeakers. The experience showcases imagery, and accompanying sounds, of the Finnish landscape across the four seasons.
With the help of AV technology, Aukio counteracts the often noisy and unpleasant experience of travelling and sitting in airport lounges, making for a more pleasant, peaceful atmosphere.
As Joni Sundelin, director of Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, puts it, the goal of the project was to “create a showcase through which millions of international passengers will receive their first contact with Finland. The experience of Finnish design, fluency and peaceful nature will leave the traveller with a long-lasting, pleasant memory.”
High-quality and balanced audio was key to creating this atmosphere, principally because while weary travellers can close their eyes, they cannot always shut out sound.
The AV package was designed and engineered by Studiotec Ltd. of nearby Espoo, Finland under the general direction of managing director John-Axel Stråhlman and with project management by system specialist Kai Granholm.
“We evaluated options from two other leading loudspeaker manufacturers but in the end we determined Meyer Sound offered the best overall solution,” said Granholm. “Their loudspeakers provide excellent natural sound quality, a wide choice of sizes and a range of rigging options that allowed precise placement and orientation.”
The complete Meyer Sound complement comprises 16 UPJunior and 10 UP-4XP loudspeakers with low-frequency extension from a single X-400C cinema subwoofer. The UP-4XP loudspeakers incorporate Meyer Sound’s IntelligentDC technology, with balanced audio signals and 48V DC power for the amplifiers supplied to the loudspeakers from a remote rack mount unit over a single flexible cable.
“The sound of the system naturally supports the effect of the wide, 360-degree panoramic view,” added Granholm. “The design emphasis is on the natural beauty of Finland, including some very subtle but remarkable natural sounds. For instance, many people are surprised that the Aurora Borealis [Northern Lights] creates audible sound, usually described as crackle, sputter or hissing. The effect on all sounds is remarkable, and overall the airport management has been very pleased with the Meyer Sound system.”