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LEA Professional provides seamless audio with Dante for Hawaiian residential complex

Pacific Audio & Communications specified brand for new Lilia Waikiki mixed-use development high-rise apartment complex in Waikiki, Hawaii

Integrator Pacific Audio & Communications (PAC Audio) has specified LEA Professional as the preferred audio system in the new Lilia Waikiki mixed-use development high-rise apartment complex in Waikiki, Hawaii. Opened in 2022, the 28-story residential tower features over 400 apartment units and over 40,000 square feet of neighbourhood-serving retail.

PAC was brought in to supply audio intelligibility within the common spaces of the complex such as the entrance lobby, mail areas, conference rooms, recreation areas and fitness areas. Like many new residential buildings, the communal spaces were given as much consideration as the apartments themselves. For PAC Audio, this meant the team needed to deliver precise, seamless audio to guide the residents on their journey through the building.

“We needed to achieve distributed audio in one seamless integration,” said Corey Lopez, project manager, PAC Audio. “The audio needed to follow the tenant through every building touchpoint from the lobby and the mailboxes, to the elevator, recreation deck and more. Not only that, but the music would run for long periods of time, so it needed to be a very stable, reliable system.”

To deliver on this brief PAC Audio required a scalable, flexible system. The company was recommended to try LEA Professional by Sonance. The PAC team chose three LEA Connect Series 168D Dante-enabled smart amplifiers for the project, installing one on the first level, and two on the 9th level of the complex. These alongside a lineup of 23 speakers – five different models – powered all of the common areas of the complex.

When installing the Connect Series the team used LEA Professional’s Web UI, which enables system control and monitoring from any device. The Web UI provides users a clear status check of every amplifier connected to the network. Integrators can see which amps are online or offline, whether the amps are on or in a standby mode, as well as a performance status to report any errors or faults. In addition, with one click, users can view the status of every channel on any given amp to quickly monitor channel performance and adjust channel settings.

“The Web UI was super useful,” commented Kale Bishop, senior engineer at PAC Audio. “We had amplifiers on different floors of the building and the ability to view and adjust the first-floor amp while on the ninth floor was really convenient,”

The team needed a Dante-enabled amplifier to future proof the system and supply the same continuous music throughout the building. The Dante Connect Series amplifiers are perfectly suited for small- to medium-scale installations. This range of two-, four-, and eight-channel, Dante-ready amplifiers feature direct HiZ (70V or 100V) or LoZ, selectable by channel. And with three ways to connect, system designers can engage the built-in Wi-Fi access point, connect to the venue’s Wi-Fi, or use the FAST Ethernet to connect to any local area network via Cat5 or Cat6 cable. The Dante Connect Series also features analog inputs and external I/O control for remote on/off and fault monitoring. Large or small, designing an audio system based on Dante-connected devices offers many benefits, including nearly limitless system flexibility and scalability.

Pono Nauka, general manager, PAC Audio, concluded: “The Dante Connect Series amplifiers fit a need for us, between the size profile ensuring it was taking up little rack space, to the flexibility they provided in allowing us to use five different models of speakers; they gave us everything we needed and then some. There is nothing on the market that can replace the Connect Series, it is a really unique product and one that we have also specified for upcoming installations.”