By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
JBL and Boston Acoustics are launching new speaker lines, with the former adding Plus One technology to its Grand Touring line and the latter focusing on new 5-by-7 inch models.
JBL will ship this month its first speaker line to use Plus One technology, which offers larger cones than typical speakers.
Under the new Grand Touring series are nine new speakers, as well as two component systems and a separate tweeter. All of the speakers (except the GTO15t tweeter) feature Plus One, which changes the configuration of the cone, surround and basket so that the speaker offers more cone space for a typical frame size. It also increases bass and adds 2dB to 3dB greater efficiency, said JBL.
The new Grand Touring speakers also come with 1 inch edge-driven Kaladex tweeters, and four of the models offer Omni-Pivot tweeters, which allow installers to rotate and angle the tweeter for better imaging.
The new Grand Touring line ranges from the GTO325, a 3.5 inch two-way speaker with 25 watt RMS power handling at a suggested retail price of $69.95 per pair, to the GTO935, a 6-by-9 inch, three-way speaker with 100 watt RMS power handling at $169.95 per pair. Component systems include 5.25 inch and 6.5 inch models at $209.95 and $229.95, respectively. Also new is the GTO15t tweeter with 50 watt RMS power handling and a suggested retail price of $99.95.
Boston Acoustics is shipping four new 5-by-7 inch speakers, in response to noticing that size is one of the few car speaker categories showing growth over the past year.
Claiming it now has the broadest line of 5-by-7 inch models, the company launched two new coaxials and two component speakers.
At the top of the line is the RC820, which is a woofer with a center-mounted aluminum Amplitude Modification Device (AMD) that acts as a heat sink for higher power handling. It also uses a 1 inch Kortec soft dome tweeter, and it can plug into a Neo3r Ambient Tweeter System. The Neo3r is a second set of tweeters and a circuit board that plugs into the crossover of the RC820 and other Rally speakers for simple installation.
"To get the best performance, we recommend you mount the woofer and tweeter next to each other to approximate a point source. That gives you a strong image, but in some cars, the sound stage height is close to the floor. So by adding the Ambient System, which is a second set of tweeters, you raise the sound stage," said Leif Blackmon, director of mobile audio. Suggested retail price for the RC820 is $329.95 per pair and the Neo3r is $139.95 per pair.
Other new Boston Acoustics models, which do not accept the Neo3r, include the FS80 drop in speaker with .75 inch soft dome tweeter with neodymium magnets, ferrofluid cooling and multiple mounting kits; and the RX87 and FX8 with .75 inch copolymer tweeters. Suggested retail prices are $229.95, $159.95 and $119.95 per pair, respectively.
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