Sound Devices Acquires Wireless Microphone Specialists Audio Ltd

February 14 2018, 03:00
Reedsburg, Wisconsin-based Sound Devices announced the recent acquisition of Audio Limited, the UK manufacturer and developer of high-performance wireless microphone systems. Audio Ltd., now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sound Devices, will continue to operate out of its Watford, UK offices with Kishore Patel and Lee Stone continuing as managing director and technical director, respectively.

Audio Ltd was founded in 1963 by Geoffrey Blundell to make radio microphone systems for the film and television markets. These early systems operated in the 72 MHz band. The receivers used valves and the transmitters used some of the first transistors on the market. Geoffrey passed away in 2003, but left a strong legacy, ensuring that the highest audio quality was instilled in all designs. Over the years Audio Ltd systems have been used on numerous feature films, including the 1968 release of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Later films using Audio Limited include the Oscar winning movies Gladiator, Saving Private Ryan, and Titanic. Audio Ltd. wireless is presently used on numerous major projects, including multiple award-winning dramatic TV series.

In 2015, Audio Ltd previewed the 1010 digital system after several years of research and development. The 1010 accomplished the goal of a fully digital system with the lowest end-to-end latency of 2 mS. It also exhibited better RF range and audio quality than the best analogue systems. Based on the engineering work done for the 1010, in 2017 Audio Ltd introduced the A10 Digital Wireless System, available for sale worldwide. 

In November 2017, Sound Devices announced an agreement to become an exclusive distributor for Audio Ltd, and bring the new A10 Digital Wireless Microphone System to North America and Latin America. The relationship now expanded into an acquisition, with  Sound Devices considering Audio Ltd's heritage of excellence in wireless microphone systems for film and TV markets, an ideal match for its business. Design and engineering of RF products will remain in the company's Watford, UK offices.

Matt Anderson, CEO of Sound Devices says, "We have long admired Audio Ltd. While working with their developers to implement SuperSlot compatibility on the A10 (digital wireless microphone system), we came away impressed with their leading-edge digital RF technology. Audio Ltd’s long heritage of making great performing gear matches Sound Devices ethos.”

Audio Ltd. began distributing Sound Devices products in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2018. The new A10 Digital Wireless System is designed for the technical demands and requirements of today’s RF-hostile, multi-channel productions. The A10-TX portable transmitter and A10-RX receiver provide users with broadcast-quality audio, reliable digital RF performance, and easy multi-system setup. Its proprietary digital RF topology and Advanced Digital Diversity is the result of years of research, laboratory experimentation, and customer experience. The result is a wireless link with full 20 kHz audio bandwidth, high dynamic range, ultra-low distortion, and industry leading 2 millisecond end-to-end delay.

The A10 Digital Wireless System operates in the 470 MHz to 694 MHz UHF band (frequency ranges are country-dependent). Its spectrally efficient digital modulation enables up to twenty A10 Digital Wireless Systems to simultaneously operate in a single 8 MHz TV channel. Multiple simultaneous systems operate without compromising RF range, audio quality, or latency.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2018, Sound Devices designs and builds high-performance audio mixers, audio recorders, and video recorders for professionals in television and film production. Sound Devices' award-winning products are used in the field and on stages, worldwide. |
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