By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Infinity is stepping up the performance and price of its architectural speakers with the new CAS series, consisting of two models at $1,000 each for a two-way and $1,500 each for a three-way.
They're intended to meet the needs of "quite a few dealers" who are using in-walls for all channels in 5.1- and 7.1-channel home theater systems, said brand manager Eli Harary. They're also intended for dealers who need high-quality in-walls to add surrounds to a system that incorporates high-end Infinity enclosed speakers for the front channels, he added.
Infinity uses large woofers (7.5 and 9.5 inches, respectively) to deliver a 3dB downpoint at 43Hz and 38Hz, respectively.
CAS was designed to solve three of the most significant drawbacks of in-walls, Harary said.
The first is off-axis frequency response when speakers are mounted six- to eight-feet above the floor or far off to one side or another. To improve off-axis response without creating other response problems, Infinity's CAS speakers feature a Listening Window switch that boosts output from 10kHz-20kHz, with progressively higher boosts at higher frequencies. The boost reduces perceived high-frequency loss and delivers smoother power response to listeners sitting 30 degrees or more off the vertical or horizontal axis.
In contrast, other companies often simply boost a tweeter's level, starting at 2.5kHz or 3kHz, to try to compensate for off-axis response, Infinity said.
The second problem is wall resonances that rob speakers of low-frequency detail and distort midrange response.
To solve that, Infinity adopted a new high-density baffle material and a baffle-isolation system that reduces mechanical-energy transfer to the wall by more than 12dB below 50Hz.
The third issue is diffraction. To reduce it, the grilles sit 1/16th-inch beyond the speaker frame instead of being recessed into the frame.
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