Musical Instrument Museum chooses innovative Sennheiser audio tour system

(Dave Molter | Posted 2010-07-24)

Musical Instrument Museum chooses innovative Sennheiser audio tour system

Three years ago, Sennheiser began working on one of its most ambitious guidePORT wireless audio tour system installations to date: the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), which opened to the public in Phoenix, AZ this spring. The museum contains 75,000 square feet of exhibits with some 4,000 objects on display, drawn from a total collection of over 10,000 instruments and artifacts from all over the world. The instruments have been selected for their fine construction, the reputation of their makers, special origin or connection to famous performers.

The audio delivered by guidePORT plays an integral role in bringing MIM's exhibits to life, dramatically enhancing visitors' overall learning experience--regardless of age or background. The system ensures that each user receives pristine, 16-bit audio quality for the ultimate multi-sensory experience.

MIM's guidePORT infrastructure is able to accommodate 1,800 simultaneous visitors, each with his or her own audio receiver. As visitors enter the MIM, they are provided with a guidePORT unit and the rest is automatic; there are no buttons to push or other actions required. As visitors move throughout the museum, guidePORT detects their position and introduces the appropriate 'soundtrack' to accompany whichever exhibit they are viewing. Audio seamlessly fades in and out according to their location within the facility.

Since music is the foundational building block of MIM and its vast collection, our selection of the audio technology was obviously of paramount importance," commented Bob Ulrich, MIM founder and board chairman. Sennheiser's guidePORT system plays an integral role in our ability to deliver an experience like no other, allowing musical novices and experts, tourists and scholars, children and grandparents to hear, see, and feel the powerful and uniting force of music in an entirely new way.

As a leading manufacturer of microphones for the world's most renowned music artists, Sennheiser's own equipment is also featured among the museum's exhibits. The "Sennheiser: Rockin' the Mic," exhibit features the original or replicas of customized Sennheiser microphones used by world-renowned artists in the music industry. Susanne Seidel, president of marketing, Sennheiser, commented: "As soon as you step into the MIM, the uniqueness of the collection and quality of the exhibits are immediately apparent, and indeed, audible. Sennheiser worked with MIM to deliver an incredible listening experience that reflects the unique sounds and rich background of each of the exhibits. We are pleased that our guidePORT technology plays such an integral role in the MIM's visitor experience."

The guidePORT system, which is fully automatic and requires no action by the user, is a powerful example of how Sennheiser's innovative audio technology is able to deliver an astonishingly rich experience to consumers. This is true not only with guidePORT, but throughout Sennheiser's entire product line, which includes microphones, headphones, wireless systems and other high quality audio products. For more information on guidePORT, please visit (

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