By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS -Custom-market manufacturer Sonance plans to expand two speaker series at CES and introduce an upgrade option for its Navigator distributed-audio system.
The Navigator upgrade component,-called the Navigator Harbor-is an audiophile-grade six-zone preamp/controller that turns a multisource/single-zone Navigator in-wall keypad system into a multisource, multizone system. It offers onscreen display and is due in midyear at an undetermined price.
Navigator keypads, which store and emit IR control codes, were originally intended to create a simple distributed-audio system with two-zone receivers.
In the first quarter, the company plans to offer a drag-and-drop PC software program to let dealers program IR codes into the Navigator keypads to eliminate the IR learning process.
New custom speakers from Sonance include the first round models in the high-end Virtuoso series of three-way in-walls. They'll come with their counterparts' Sonic Eye pivoting concentric-mounted tweeter/midrange design. The combo pivots 13 degrees in any direction in a sealed enclosure.
The concentric design improves off-axis frequency response to make placement more flexible, as does the pivoting design, in homes whose layout requires placement in spots that would otherwise be less than optimal for sound quality and imaging.
The sealed enclosure makes it possible to cross the 8-inch woofers at 400Hz, yielding less woofer distortion than the 1kHz crossover points used in many in-walls, the company said.
The rectangular models are priced from $800/pair to $2,700/pair. The round versions will be similarly priced when they ship in the first quarter. Because the rectangular and round models are voice-matched, they can be mixed and matched in a home theater system.
In the Symphony series, Sonance will add a dipolar round surround, the RS-1. Its two 2-inch angled tweeters can be rotated to fire front-to-back or left-to-right. It ships in the first quarter at a price to be announced.
Also in the series, two round in-ceiling stereo-input models will deliver stereo output through their single-woofer, two-tweeter configuration. They're intended for rooms such as kitchens and hallways in which people are usually moving around.
In other series, Sonance stereo-input models are priced at $120 and $150 each.
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