By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Pickering, Ontario — Monitor Audio plans to ship its first active soundbar, the $1,649-suggested networked ASB-2 with built-in Wi-Fi, in mid- to late-September at the earliest.
Networked features include AirPlay, AirPlay Direct, DLNA and universal plug-and-play to stream music from networked computers and mobile devices.
The ASB-2, among a trio of networked home-audio products planned by Monitor, joins the passive three-channel Radius One soundbar launched in 2011.
The curvy, 160-watt three-way system incorporates audio and video source switching. Inputs include three 3D-capable auto-sensing HDMI inputs, HDMI output with audio return channel, auto-sensing optical and coaxial digital inputs, and stereo RCA inputs. Via HDMI, the soundbar accepts 7.1-channel PCM audio that is then digitally processed with a 3D algorithm to deliver virtual surround with discrete sound effects, the company said. It doesn’t incorporate Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 decoders.
The driver complement consists of two 1-inch tweeters, two 4-inch midranges, two 5.5-inch woofers, and an active three-way crossover. It also features wired subwoofer output. Interaural-crosstalk cancellation widens the soundstage.
The two 1-inch C-CAM tweeters are each driven by dedicated 15-watt amps. The two 4-inch C-CAM midranges are each driven by separate 35-watt amps, and the dual woofers are driven by a 60-watt amp.
C-CAM stands for ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium, a material originally developed by the aerospace industry. The material is said to avoid the ”break-up” or bending modes of more conventional materials used in dome drivers. The material delivers increased efficiency and clarity and less distortion in speakers, the company said.
The chassis measures 7.1 inches by 39.6 inches by 6.6 inches.
Network setup and upgrades can be accomplished via USB or Wi-Fi.
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