By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
SpeakerCraft came to CEDIA Expo with a slew of new products to please interior designers, residents of multiple dwelling units (MDUs), gadget lovers and, ultimately, its dealer base.
To win over interior designers and architects, the company unveiled its NEAT! (Narrow Edge Audio Technology) in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, which boast a near-invisible look for two reasons. First, their grilles aren't surrounded by trim pieces (flanges) and second, the grilles are completely flush with the wall or ceiling. The series includes the industry's first flange-less in-ceiling speakers and the industry's first flange-less speakers with aimable drivers, said marketing VP Dave Donald.
Eight different NEAT! models feature 4.5-inch, 7-inch and 8-inch woofers in various configurations and performance levels at suggested retails ranging from $225 to $850 each, or about $100 per pair more than equivalent SpeakerCraft speakers with flanges, Donald said. At these prices, SpeakerCraft's implementation of flange-less designs are less expensive than flange-less implementations by the only other major company offering a similar design, he said. NEAT! models are also easier to install, he claimed.
For MDU residents, the company is building upon its AccuFit series of speakers whose shallow, 70mm-deep integrated enclosures limit sound transfer into adjacent rooms and apartments. The new AccuFit Ultra Slim series of in-ceiling speakers sports integrated 50-millimeter-deep steel enclosures, which will also please installers confronted with mounting-depth restrictions in any venue, the company said. The two AccuFit Ultra Slim models, priced at a suggested $249 and $325 each, feature a single dome tweeter surrounded by two 3-inch midranges and two 3-inch woofers.
For gadget-loving show-offs, SpeakerCraft expanded its selection of TIME motorized in-ceiling speakers by adding three smaller models. Their drivers are mounted at a fixed 45-degree angle in a cylinder that descends from the ceiling when activated by a control unit that controls the movement of up to eight TIME speakers. During installation, an installer rotates the cylinders to point the speakers toward the listening area.
The TIME Mini 2 at $315 uses a 2.5-inch full-range driver and has en exterior diameter of 5.75 inches. The TIME Mini 5.1 at $465 and TIME Mini 5.3 at $565 are two-way models with 5-inch woofers, dome tweeters and exterior diameter of 7.5 inches. Prices exclude integrated amplifier/controller.
In other product announcements, the company:
expanded its selection of architectural speakers with integrated enclosures by launching the high-end Plus series. The series consists of two in-ceiling models at a suggested $600 and $700 and an in-wall model at $900 each.
launched its first wireless keypad, a ZigBee-equipped version of its Mode in-wall keypad. With embedded ZigBee and rechargeable battery, the Mode Free keypad can be carried around the house, docked in a tabletop stand/charger, and docked in an in-wall dock/charger, which also connects the keypad via CAT-5 to a SpeakerCraft multiroom-audio system.
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