More than Meets the Ear


When a church looks at technology, it doesn’t necessarily stop being a house of worship but it does begin to take on the coolly analytic characteristics of any business looking to make a major capital acquisition. As objective as those per lustrations may be, they are nonetheless vulnerable to perceptual biases that can color the process. And that’s what lies behind Kevin Knox’s initial assessment of a Bose RoomMatch PA system that was under consideration at the Church of Apostles, an evangelical mega church in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, where Knox is the media and communications coordinator. “I remember thinking, ‘Bose-they make great headphones for when you’re on an airplane but you’re not putting them in my sanctuary,’” Knox recalls. “I just didn’t associate the Bose brand with professional products.”

That’s an issue the Boston-area company has faced since it entered the professional audio sphere in the 1990s. It’s L1 portable PA system, introduced in 2003, achieved a relatively small but avid following among touring musicians, in large part for its seeming impervious feedback problems.

The RoomMatch, which was introduced in 2011, took Bose to another level, putting up against the more familiar brand names in large-scale house sound systems. The product, which is actually a series of modules with highly specific dispersion patterns that lets sound-system singers couple together combinations that are very specifically tailored to each space’s scale and nuance, has been making steady inroads in houses of worship and elsewhere, tough it’s ironically still dogged by Bose’s more well-known success with compact home stereo system, interesting and expensive desktop radios and the noise-cancelling headphones that initially came to Knox’s mind when he first encountered the RoomMatch system at a WFX event in 2012.

Then, he heard the system. “It had a real warmth that you don’t usually get with a big PA system,” he says. “It felt like it was right there in the room with you. I got the sense that it would be able to give us what we really needed: good intelligibility in the mid-range and full-range sound for music.”

Knox and some his colleagues at the church – he has a 14-person tech team comprised of local AV professionals of various specialties, who are paid staffers – listened to the RoomMatch system in a variety of environments, including some nightclubs. His acceptance of the RoomMatch, intended to replace an aging EAW point-source system in the church’s 12 year old 2,450-seat sanctuary, was more a process than an epiphany, and he found some of his initial reservations shared even by the AV integrator they chose to help design and install the new sound system, Nashville, TN based CTS. “They were pretty cautious about it at first, too, like everyone else was,” Knox says of CTS, which was brought on board the project after the church decided in favor of the RoomMatch system.

Looking for a Bose RoomMatch Solution for your organization, contact MCC’s Audio Visual Solutions Division today to learn more! 

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