Our Apps Team guide to HARMAN Professional sound system solutions for House of Worship
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Our Apps Team guide to HARMAN Professional sound system solutions for House of Worship

Houses of Worship in the UK encompass everything from a small village chapel right through to large Pentecostal churches, mosques, temples and even giant cathedrals. Congregation sizes vary from a few dozen to hundreds and the audio requirements of these venues is as wide-ranging as the buildings themselves. 

Where many venues just require relay of the [worship leader] to the congregation others can require amplification of a full band, choir or orchestra. Add to that an increasing demand for recording or streaming to remote congregations and live mixing elements and you have some quite complex systems. 

Only a manufacturer the size of HARMAN can offer a catalogue of products with end-to-end solutions to fulfil all these applications. As the HARMAN distributor for more than a decade, Sound Technology has extensive experience in the Houses of Worship sector, providing design assistance, pre-sale advice and technical support for dozens of buildings. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the various sound system solutions that HARMAN has to offer, as well as real-world examples of installations in the UK that make use of HARMAN brands. 

Speaker Solutions - JBL Professional

Providing clear, intelligible audio in places of worship can be challenging. A multitude of factors come into play when considering the right speaker solution. As well as overcoming any inherent acoustic hurdles (and these can be significant), it's also vital to have a speaker that will be sensitive to the ascetics of the space and blend in with the surrounding architecture.

With all of this in mind, HARMAN has a broad variety of solutions that it can provide through the JBL brand. 

JBL CBT Series

Column Speakers for Challenging Environments 

  • Passive controlled-coverage column speakers 

  • Designed for difficult acoustic spaces 

  • Our most popular solution for Houses of Worship 

  • 50cm - 2m models to suit all applications 

The CBT line of column speakers are designed for spaces that are acoustically challenging and would typically use larger, visually obtrusive point-source speakers. JBL Professional’s CBT Series incorporates patented technical advancements that allow them to vastly outperform competitive systems with a level of user-friendliness that virtually eliminates the challenges of delivering great sound. 

The wide horizontal and narrow vertical dispersion patterns help to keep sound focused on the congregation, rather than firing up into the rafters. This helps stop unwanted reflections/reverberations in the space that ‘muddy’ the sound and vastly improves the direct audio to the listener and as such the intelligibility. Where many of the CBT lines are largely focused on speech reinforcement (ideal!) the CBT 70J-1’s and the larger CBT1000’s are enhanced with low end drivers to provide very capable foreground sound. 

This alongside the other column characteristic mentioned make them ideal as front of house for any sites that may require a bit MORE than just voice reinforcement. 

For more information on the JBL CBT Series, why not read our Pro Blog Guide

Case Study - Salisbury Cathedral

The world famous Salisbury Cathedral welcomes some 300,000 visitors each year— either to view the Magna Carta, attend its programme of major services, concerts & religious festivals, or simply for private worship.

Working alongside EM Communications we specified a full HARMAN solution comprising JBL CBT column loudspeakers - ideal for acoustically reverberant spaces - Crown DriveCore Series highly-efficient amplifiers, BSS Audio’s latest generation Soundweb network processors with Dante networking capability, and Soundcraft Si Performer 3 mixing console.

Read the Full Case Study

JBL Control Series

Workhorse Installation Speakers

The JBL Control Series comes in a number of different form factors, each designed to provide sound reinforcement for a plethora of settings. They are designed to be robust, reliable and easy to install whilst also looking the part. The majority of the series speakers are available in black and white and we have instructions for spray painting them (or can recommend third parties in the UK) so they can fit very unobtrusively into most settings.

JBL Control 60 Series

JBL Control Contractor 60 Series Pendant loudspeakers bring renowned JBL sound and outstanding coverage to spaces with open architecture or high-ceilings, while providing superior voice and musical clarity for rooms with difficult acoustics. The Control 65P/T (Pendant/Transformer) is a particular favourite with the Sound Technology Application Team.

JBL Control 50 Series

A surface-mount, subwoofer-satellite loudspeaker system for applications where wide-bandwidth, high-fidelity foreground/background music is required. The Control Contractor 50’s compact and stylish appearance, easy mounting, and compatibility with JBL’s Control 40 Series in-ceiling models, allows matching to the mounting, aesthetic, and performance requirements of any application. Running at 16 ohms low impedance these speakers are ideal for long multi-speaker runs (such as the above as fill for the choir stalls).

JBL Control Contractor 20 Series

JBL Control Contractor 20 Series surface-mount speakers and subwoofers deliver full, rich sound, high SPL output and wide, consistent coverage. The Control Contractor 20 line balances superior fidelity with versatility, ease-of-installation and contemporary style. Choose from 13 models in an array of transducer sizes, coverage patterns and output ranges. The Control 23-1 and Control 25-1’s are very popular as fill speakers in church applications and the Invisible mounting bracket allows for easy positioning in vertical or horizontal orientations.

For more information on the JBL Control Contractor Series, why not check out our Pro Blog Guide

Case Study - Trinity College Chapel

The restrictions imposed by English Heritage when installing the first sound reinforcement system in the historic Grade 1 listed chapel of Trinity College Cambridge, led installer RG Jones and consultants Peter Mapp + Associates to an innovative solution using the HARMAN Professional catalogue.

127 of JBL’s miniature Control 52 satellite speakers are discreetly concealed on the shelving under the pews and provide gentle reinforcement of the sound broadcast from seven fixed mic positions at the lecterns, via a sophisticated BSS Soundweb DSP design

Read the Full Case Study

JBL Intellivox

Beam-forming self-powered loudspeaker arrays

  • Superb speech intelligability
  • Slim, unobtrusive design
  • Column sizes of 1.8 to 5m provide coverage up to 70m

For projects where the acoustics or positioning are particularly challenging the Intellivox range is the perfect solution. It solves the issue of one of the most difficult problems facing modern sound system designers - designing an intelligible sound reinforcement/public address system for a large reverberant space.

Intellivox products make it possible to control the vertical directivity pattern and aim the sound where you want it - at the listener. Going a step beyond today’s standard beam steering, JBL’s DDS (Digital Directivity Synthesis) technology allows for full control of near field and far-field coverage creating an asymmetric vertical beam contoured specifically to your application. With columns ranging from 180cm units right up to massive 5m boxes there is a solution for any scenario. If you have a project where you think Intellivox may be needed please get in touch with us to discuss further.

Case Study - St Mel's Cathedral

The cathedral of St Mel in Longford is considered one of the finest Roman Catholic churches in Ireland. On Christmas Day 2009 it was destroyed by fire, leaving only the perimeter wall intact.
A five year project to rebuild the cathedral began, which included JBL Intellivox DS280 loudspeakers, chosen for their ability to provide excellent speech intelligibility despite the 5.6s reverb time, while remaining visually unobtrusive.

Read the Full Case Study

JBL PRX Series

Self-powered Portable PA

  • Excellent sound quality for music reproduction
  • Lightweight and durable construction
  • JBL PRX Connect app for remote control of built-in EQ, limiter & volume

With the PRX800-series, JBL has channeled 70-years of design experience for the world’s largest stages, to create the loudest portable speakers in their class. JBL believes great speakers are more than just loud so PRX800 are engineered for clear, detailed response, even at peak SPLs. With tour-grade components along with strict product validation including JBL’s100-hour full-power testing, PRX800 are rugged enough to keep performing for the long haul.

Amplification - Crown Amplifiers

Selecting the correct form of amplification is just as important as picking the right speaker system. The two will be working side-by-side to deliver clear audio to the congregation in a place of worship - so it's vital that they perform together in harmony. Crown Amplifiers by HARMAN make the perfect match for any audio system, especially those within the HARMAN umbrella. There is a full range to fit your needs, whether your system is small & simple, or large and complex. Here's a selection of Crown Amp lines that meet a variety of needs.

CDi DriveCore

Designed for small to medium installations

  • Available in 2 or 4 channels, 300W - 1200W output per channel
  • Comprehensive DSP
  • Preloaded with JBL speaker tunings

The CDi DriveCore Series is designed for any small-to-medium sized installation application and boasts an impressive mix of high-performance, rich feature set, and competitive cost.

DCi DriveCore

High-end installation amplifiers

  • Comprehensive DSP & advanced system monitoring
  • Available in 2-8 channels, 300W - 1250W output per channel
  • Digital networking options including BLUlink, Dante, AES67 & AVB

The Crown DriveCore™ Install series amplifiers is a complete line of high performance installation amplifiers based on the proprietary DriveCore™ technology.

XLi Series

Powerful, reliable, affordable multi-purpose amplifiers

  • Four models, identical except power output
  • Efficient forced-air cooling
  • Stereo / parallel / bridge-mono modes
  • Protection against short circuit, no-load, and RF interference

For applications where there is no requirement for DSP built into the amplifier, there is the Crown XLI Series. The four models in the series - the XLi800, XLi1500, XLi2500 and XLi3500 - are identical except for output power.

XTi 2 Series

Multi-purpose amplifiers with DSP

  • Four models, identical except power output
  • Efficient forced-air coolingPeakX Plus limiters
  • 49 user definable presets

Crown XTi2 Series amplifiers are designed for applications that need high output without the functions of a dedicated installation amplifier. Typically used to power Performance PA systems, the XTi2 amps feature PeakX Plus limiters, 3 user-defined fan modes and system monitoring to ensure reliable operation.

For a more in-depth look at Crown Amplifiers, why not visit or Pro Blog Guide

Audio Processing & Distribution - BSS & dbx

Houses of worship can come in a variety of different layouts, and you'll often find audio sources are going to be a long way from the speakers. It's important when assembling a system to be able to effectively distribute audio sources to a number of different points with a space, or even different rooms. BSS and dbx from HARMAN are two brands the provide a number of different signal processors that are purposely designed to fulfil this role. 


12-input, 8-output configurable signal processor

  • 48 channel low latency digital audio bus over Cat5 cable
  • Configuration control & monitoring via HiQnet Audio Architect
  • Integrates with other members of the Soundweb London family

The BLU-100 is the entry into the platform and offers a fixed configuration of 12 inputs and 8 outputs, configurable signal processing and a high bandwidth, fault tolerant digital audio bus. It can operate as a standalone device or be integrated into a larger system. It works with Soundweb London - HARMAN’s flexible and scalable audio processing and signal distribution platform.

dbx ZonePRO

Fixed configuration signal processor

  • Full suite of DSP including EQ, filtering, limiting & feedback suppression
  • Speedy setup Wizard for configuring and editing
  • 12x6 and 6x4 I/O models available with or without front panel control.

The ZonePRO® products have long been the obvious choice for managing commercial audio applications. They’re easy to install and use – thanks to step-by-step setup wizards – and they’re backed by long track record of dbx reliability. The fact that so many are in use in locations worldwide speaks to their popularity and dependable performance.

The Zone Controllers offer extended utility to the ZonePRO families. The nine Zone Controllers provide logic control ranging from zone source selection, volume and muting, to program or scene selection and fire safety interface.

Case Study - Baitel Futeh Mosque

Originally Inaugurated in October 2003, the giant complex in Morden, South London, is the largest mosque in western Europe and provides the Ahmadiyya Muslim community with a focal point for meetings, social and religious events, which are broadcast worldwide on Sky by MTA — Muslim TV and translated simultaneously into eight different languages.

Two pairs of BSS BLU-160 and BLU-120 Soundweb DSPs, installed by RG Jones, provide the mosque with greater flexibility and redundancy, advanced functionality and substantially increased processing power - a necessity to tame the high reverberation time in the large circular space of the Men’s Prayer Room, exacerbated by the domed ceiling.

Read the full Case Study

Microphones - AKG Audio

Amplifying speech in a place of worship is almost the entire purpose of a sound system solution. This makes it essential to capture spoken word with the upmost clarity, so that the audio can be distributed around the building to all those that need to hear it.

AKG have a long and prestigious history of microphone manufacture, and provide a wide variety of solutions for speech and music. Their range also allows for flexibility of movement using wireless systems, as well as installed microphones that are simple and discrete.

AKG C747

Industry standard lectern microphone

  • Low profile and unobtrusive
  • RFI shielding to block unwanted interference
  • Full set of mounting accessories included

The AKG C747 is a professional condenser capsule with a flat frequency response and a clean off-axis response. Thanks to its inconspicuous appearance, it has become an industry standard speech and lectern microphone. The C747 features an integrated RFi shield to block out unwanted interference from mobile phones, wireless microphones and other wireless devices. The C747 V11 ships with an extensive accessory set.


Digital wireless system

  • Adaptive channel selection eliminates interference
  • Licence-free 2.4GHz operation
  • Handheld and beltpack transmitter options - compatible with all AKG micro-mics

AKG DMS300 professional digital wireless system combines signature AKG sound quality and eight channels of rock-solid, license-free 2.4GHz operation with advanced security features, extended battery life and the ultimate ease-of-use. The DMS300 is available in two options: with a high-quality, AKG handheld microphone or with a bodypack for use with instruments, headset and clip-on mics (available separately) for presenters.


Spoken word lavalier microphone

  • Small housing and durable metal clip for secure mounting
  • Compatible with all AKG wireless systems

The CK99 L is a condenser lavalier microphone with cardioid polar pattern. It provides a natural sound, with a slight rise above 10kHz for added clarity, perfect for applications in houses of worship, lectures and theatres. The CK99 L provides a professional three-pin mini XLR connector that fits the body pack transmitters of all AKG wireless microphone systems.

AKG C555

Lightweight head-worn microphone

  • Left and right flexible arm mounting
  • Compatible with all AKG wireless systems

The C555 L high-performance head-worn condenser microphone is ideal for handsfree applications, including presentations or onstage performances. The C555 L rests securely and comfortably on the head, and can be attached to the left or right side of the behind-the-neck headband as desired. A transducer shock mount reduces handling noise to a minimum. The moisture shield ensures a high degree of humidity protection for the microphone. The C555 L provides a three-pin mini XLR connector and can be used with all AKG body-pack transmitters.


Hanging choir microphone

  • Wide pickup angle for superior coverage
  • Available in black and white

The CHM99 is a hanging microphone module with cardioid polar pattern, used to record music or speech in houses of worship, conference rooms or on theatre stages. A 10m cable that is treated specially to reduce twisting to a minimum and a spring steel hanging clamp for precise microphone alignment keeps the microphone securely in its position. The attached phantom power adapter connects to any standard mixer input with 9V to 52V power supply.

Case Study - Guru Nanak Darbar

One of the largest gurdwaras Europe, Guru Nanak Darbar in Kent has three spacious meditation halls - and a HARMAN Professional audio system supplied by RoryAld Live - at its core.

Three pairs of JBL PRX400 series loudspeakers, powered by Crown XLi amplifiers, are installed in the 1000-capacity main worship hall, with a Soundcraft Si Expression 2 desk, Compact Stagebox providing mixing capability of the AKG microphone package - which includes a C747 at the palki, and D5 and D40s on stage.

Read the Full Case Study

Audio Mixing Solutions - Soundcraft

It's important to maintain balance within an audio system, which is why a central mixing console is a vital component to control your sound and connect everything together. Whether you're controlling the audio levels for a handful of speeches or building a full live mix for musicians and singers, the mixer is the brains of the operation.

Soundcraft Mixers come in many shapes and sizes - all designed on a sliding scale to meet your budget, channel count and technical needs. They can provide anything from a small simple analogue mixer to a large digital console with automated recall and advanced processing. There are even modern options with full remote control from a tablet or computer system.

Soundcraft Notepad Series 

Basic Analogue Mixing Solution

  • Ultra-compact analogue mixers
  • 2-in, 2-out USB interface for recording and playback
  • 5, 8 and 12 input models
  • Easy to use

Where only a few channels are needed, and space is at a premium, the Soundcraft Notepad series combines professional-grade analogue components, renowned HARMAN digital signal processing, metal chassis, Lexicon effect engine (Notepad-8FX and 12FX only) and a built-in USB audio interface.

Soundcraft Signature Series 

Complete Compact Analogue Mixing with Effects

  • 2-in, 2-out USB interface for recording and playback
  • 10, 12, 16 and 22 input models
  • MTK models have multitrack USB interface for recording each channel individually

The Signature Series combines a superb analogue control surface with the unrivalled British sound of Soundcraft thanks to high-grade Ghost® preamps, the most musical EQ in the business, pristine Lexicon® effects and powerful dbx® dynamics.

To find out more about the Soundcraft Notepad and Signature Series , Read Our Guide here.

Soundcraft Ui24R

Advanced & Discrete Wireless Mixing System

  • Complete rackmountable mixing and recording system
  • 24 inputs including 20 microphone channels
  • Wireless control from anywhere in the venue with any PC, Mac, tablet or phone
  • Multitrack recording and playback

The Soundcraft Ui24R is a complete, rack-mountable, digital mixing and multi-track recording system that delivers flexible I/O, pristine sound quality, intuitive wireless control, and roadworthy reliability—all in a streamlined design. The system can double as a stagebox and can be controlled by up to 10 devices mobile devices - tablet, phone or laptop, via Ethernet or built-in dual-band Wi-Fi, making it possible to control mixing and multi-track recording wirelessly from anywhere in the venue. 

To find out more, read Our Guide to the Soundcraft Ui24R

Soundcraft Si Impact

Powerful & Professional Digital Mixing Console

  • As simple to use as an analogue mixer with all the power of digital
  • Huge DSP power - mix up to 80 channels
  • 32 in/32 out recording interface
  • Optional stageboxes and interface cards

Drawing on over 40 years experience in live sound mixing, Si Impact brings the latest digital mix innovations together with the unrivalled sound quality of Soundcraft. Designed to be as simple as an analogue mixer, but offer radical workflow enhancements such as the unique FaderGlow™ system, massive DSP power, and a pristine 32-in/32-out USB audio interface, Si Impact delivers digital live sound mixing and recording for those who refuse to compromise on audio quality.

To find out more, read Our Guide to the Soundcraft Si Impact

Thank you for taking the time to read about Harman Audio System Solutions for Houses of Worship.

To find out more about any of the solutions we've talked about, or discuss how Sound Technology can help with your project, or just to have a chat, get in touch with our Application Team on 01462 480000 or email application-team@soundtech.co.uk

You can see more case studies and further product information here, where you can also download a PDF guide.