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Horn vs. High Fidelity Loudspeakers in Military Applications

A question sometimes posed by military / government clients is “why use a full-range loudspeaker like Technomad when instead of ‘horn’ products”?  There are a few key reasons.


First and foremost, there is a critical difference between sheer volume of sound and intelligibility. High-efficiency horn designs popular in the past several decades have truly awful intelligibility – every speech or music signal that goes into them comes out a garbled mess.While this is not a problem if the horn is only generating a siren, or a warning tone, it IS a big problem for speech reproduction. A typical horn system makes quite a racket, but delivers little information – what is being said is too distorted to be understood. This is not just an issue of comfort or aesthetics – inexpensive horns destroy the ability of a government PA system / Giant Voice system to deliver critical life-safety warnings, communicate the location of potential threats, or to convey important instructions to people in crisis situations. Without intelligibility, a military PA system has no force protection value

Another consideration is the value of a PA system for deception or PSYOPS use. Signals played through horn system are not realistic – the limited frequency range, harmonic distortion, and ragged response of a horn make a signal played through a horn artificial sounding. In contrast Technomad full range military audio systems reproduce sound with outstanding accuracy, whether the signal is speech, deep-toned explosions, gunfire, insect sounds, music, crowd noises, etc.


A second issue is Logistics. Horns do not lend themselves to mobile applications – they have to be packed in protective cases or they are easily destroyed. Technomad loudspeakers have clamp-on gasketed lids that convert the loudspeakers into Military Specification 810F flight cases (complete with comfortable large-grip handles). Technomad loudspeakers in ‘case mode’ can be transported anywhere in the world securely with no additional protection, and will arrive fully functional wherever they are deployed. Technomads are the only commercial off-the-shelf loudspeakers that are MilSpec 810F rates.


A third issue is durability. Traditional horns are relatively flimsy structures that do not survive the rigors of wind, impact, and other abuse. They require protection during transport and storage. In contrast, Technomad AS series loudspeakers are extremely rugged and are totally weatherproof. [Click HERE to see Technomad “Torture Testing” videos]. Technomad loudspeakers last years longer in military environments than ordinary loudspeakers and horns.

Dual Functionality

Finally, Technomad full range military loudspeakers offer VASTLY better music playback than traditional horns. This means the same system that delivers base-wide paging and warning playback can be used as a high-quality audio system for change-of-command ceremonies, social events, sporting events etc. This dual function capability means better value in any military or government application.


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