By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
DENVER — Monitor Audio is coming to the CEDIA Expo with its first active soundbar, first wireless tabletop speaker, first wireless tabletop streamer/amplifier and a revamped CP series of architectural speakers.
The company is also replacing its RX series of in-room speakers with the Silver series, launching next-generation compact Radius in-room speakers, and launching its first in-wall subwoofer.
The Silver series of in-room speakers is a mid-market speaker line replacing the RX series. It expands to eight models from seven with the addition of a third floorstander, which is a three-way model that tops the line and offers more power handling than the rest of the models in the line.
The lineup, targeted to ship in October, consists of two stand-mount models, three floorstanding speakers, a center channel, a surround speaker and an active sub. Per pair prices range from $875 to $2,500 with standard real-wood veneer finishes and $975 to $2,800 in high-gloss black and white finishes.
The line features new tweeter, midrange and bass drivers to lower distortion, and the tweeters have been improved to offer more high-frequency extension, reduced breakup, and more accuracy at lower frequencies for a smoother handoff to midrange and bass drivers, the company said.
The next generation of Radius in-room compact speakers has begun shipping. It consists of two compact LR speakers, a center channel, an LCR, a three-channel passive soundbar, a compact floorstander and two active subs. Per pair prices range from $375 to at $1,250. The new series adds all-metal alloy bass drivers, new tweeters, and slimmer (2.56-inch deep) versions of the center channel and soundbar.
The CP Trimless architectural speaker line gets its first LCRs, first pivoting tweeters and first threeway. The series also goes bezel-less for the first time, though other Monitor architectural speakers are already bezel-less. All come with integrated back boxes.
The 10-SKU selection, shipping in October or No- vember, consists of eight two-way models in three performance levels and two flagship three-way designs. All two-way models feature 1-inch pivoting dome tweeters, and the three-way models feature pivoting tweeter/midrange module.
The lineup includes four inceiling left-right speakers from $250 $500 each, four in-wall left-right speakers at $300 to $550 each, and two in-wall LCRs at $375 and $450 each. A three-way in-ceiling speaker and three-way in-wall speaker are priced at $750 and $800 each.
A new in-wall sub is the company’s first. The IWS-250 features optional back box, C-CAM flat 10-inch driver, and rack-mount outboard 230-watt Class D amp. Price and ship date hadn’t been set at press time.
The networked ASB-2 is the company’s first active soundbar, priced at a suggested $1,649. It features built-in Wi-Fi and ships 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 joins the passive three-channel Radius One soundbar launched in 2011.
The curvy, 160-watt three-way ASB-2 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.
The wireless tabletop devices are the $499-suggested Airstream A100 networked music streamer/amplifier and the $499 networked Airstream S300 tabletop stereo speaker. They are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, AirPlay and AirPlay Direct. The A100 adds DLNA compatibility.
The A100 streamer/amplifier, shipping in October, connects to any pair of passive speakers to play back music streamed wirelessly via Apple AirPlay and AirPlay Direct from Apple’s mobile devices and iTunes-equipped PCs and Macs. The A100 also streams from DLNA-equipped network-attached storage (NAS) drives and PCs that lack iTunes music-management software; from DLNAequipped Android devices; and from DLNA-enabled apps on Android, Apple and Windows mobile devices.
An Airstream app for Apple mobile devices will also let users search for music on an iTunes-equipped computer as well as on NAS drives and on PCs that lack iTunes.
The A100 features a curved chassis made of aluminum and a rigid polymer. Available in white or black, it incorporates a 2x50-watt RMS Class AB amplifier with single optical digital input, enabling A100 to double as a DAC.
The second new product, shipping in September, is the $499 Airstream S300 single-chassis two-way tabletop speaker, which also incorporates Wi-Fi and the same networking capabilities as the A100. The two-way stereo speaker features 24-bit DACs, four DSP-controlled Class D amps delivering a combined 150 watts, two 1-inch tweeters and two 4-inch woofers.
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