A High Quality Compact 4" Coaxial Two-Way Loudspeaker 

Our search for an ultra compact loudspeaker arose out of the need for a more visually discrete loudspeaker than our EAW RSX89s but still capable of delivering high quality audio.

So the search was on and it became evident the sub 8 inch loudspeaker market was primarily comprised of passive coaxial cabinets from a wide range of manufacturers with varying features and price tags. For us the main drivers were high quality audio at a price point that could achieve a relatively quick ROI without the need to purchase additional amplification and digital signal processing.

Feature Rich Point Source Loudspeaker with Wide Dispersion

So this narrowed things down to a passive speaker we could utilise with our existing Powersoft X4 DSP amplifiers. The Renkus Heinz CX41 with its 150° H x 150° V dispersion and 115 dB peak quickly rose to the top of the list because it contained a number of well thought out features that made it quite attractive.

  • Passive crossover - this is a great inclusion because it means you can use it right out of the box with decent results. At 16 Ohms it also represents good value in terms of amplifier channels as you can hang four of a single channel.

  • Wood enclosure - plastic enclosures have their place but in our opinion not in pro audio loudspeakers. The wood enclosure for these share the same rugged build and texturised paint finish as other pro audio speakers so would not look out of place with our existing speakers.

  • Speakon connectors - the inclusion of speakons is a nice touch because it means you can use it as a mobile production speaker with a reliable and neat presentation at the back, no need for funny adapter cables.

So we contacted Amber Technology the Renkus Heinz distributor in Australia to enquire if a demo model was available to evaluate and a week later one arrived from Sydney.

Quick and Easy Setup with Powersoft X4 Digital Signal Processing  

The first thing we did before running it was to use the Powersoft Power Sharing Tool to determine appropriate limiter settings so the speaker would be protected from damage as it is only 50 watts program power. This is critical because if you just plug it in and crank it up just to see how loud it gets it is very likely you will blow it up in short order.

Powersoft Limitter Settings

With that sorted we measured the speakers response using Rational Acoustics Smaart with an iSEMcon 7150 measurement microphone at one metre on axis with no EQ filters applied. The out of the box response together with listening tests showed it was quite usable as is, but for us could be optimised a bit further to suit our intended application and taste.

Smaart Loudspeaker Measurement

So we used the X4's powerful DSP capabilities to develop our own output EQ and limiter preset using the Powersoft Interactive Tuning Plugin. This basically inserts your live Smaart traces and allows control of Smaart from the amplifiers EQ processing section for a more intuitive optimisation workflow.

 Powersoft Interactive Tuning

The goal here was to achieve very pristine music, speech and vocal reproduction in a live setting. So we raised the 200Hz-700Hz area to bring out low mids a bit more, made the speech and vocal range between 2.5kHz-5kHz a bit more linear whilst adding a bit of high end sheen in the 7kHz to 18kHz range.

The resulting orange trace (1/3 Octave Smoothing) is the output preset we locked in after testing with a wide range of material to suit our ears. Off course further onsite optimisation is possible with input EQ which is accessible by users.

Renkus Heinz Smaart Measurement

Our Verdict

The Renkus Heinz CX41 is a very capable and well priced ultra compact loudspeaker that excels at acoustic music, speech and high end playback as either a main or fill speaker where low end reproduction is not required. Its features such as speakon connectors, mounting bracket and wood enclosure make it a versatile live production loudspeaker that can happily coexist sonically and visually with other pro audio loudspeakers. 

We see it being used by small professional acoustic bands after a PA that is visually discrete and in high quality installations and distributed audio applications such as corporate events, weddings and highly reverberant spaces.