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Custom, Non-Custom SKUs To Debut At CEDIA

8/22/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

INDIANAPOLIS – CEDIA Expo returns in September
to this Midwestern city for the first time
in years to view the latest in custom and noncustom
A/V products.

The products will include at least one new postprocessing
surround technology, an expanded
selection of low-profile bezel-less custom speakers,
and a handful of audio specialty brands offering
up their first active soundbar systems.

In addition, at least two more suppliers of inroom
speakers, including Krell, will enter the
custom-speaker market, as will at least one multiroom
audio/home-control supplier.

New products that distribute music wirelessly
to multiple rooms will also debut at the show to
be held Sept. 8-11.

In the weeks before the show, however, the number
of new custom A/V products scheduled to debut
seemed light, with many major suppliers focused on
showing previously announced products to potential
dealers.

Suppliers of traditional in-room speakers, however,
will show up in force with new products. The suppliers
include Definitive Technology, Jamo, GoldenEar
Technology, Mirage, Paradigm,
and Monitor Audio.

In bezel-less custom speakers designed for a less
obtrusive look, SpeakerCraft will go to next month’s
CEDIA Expo with an expanded selection of models,
and Niles will launch a new entry-level in-ceiling
speaker line that has been upgraded to include narrow
bezels, magnet-mount grilles, and low profiles. Jamo
will also show its recently shipped series of bezel-less speakers with flat low-profile grilles.

New audio brands entering the active soundbar business
include Energy, JBL, and a third company that
will demonstrate a model promoted as offer bass deep
enough to make an outboard subwoofer unnecessary.

In wireless audio, Proficient and Jamo will show new
products, and the new surround processing technology
will be demonstrated by Lexicon.

Here are some of the products that dealers will see
next month. More details can be found at www.twice.com
and in the special Sept. 8 CEDIA print edition of TWICE:

Elan: For its g! entertainment and control system, Elan
has added two new system controllers and a 10-inch
touchscreen to control the systems. All are shipping.

The $1,100 HC4 and $2,400 HC8 controllers are designed
for installation in Elan’s on-wall structured-wiring
enclosures. They join two rack-mount G! control systems.

The HC4 is a compact foursubsystem
controller for smaller
home-control systems but
with expansion capabilities. It
features one audio output to
distribute audio from sources
connected to a home network,
features 720p video out for
on-screen-displays, IR, relays
and sense inputs. It comes
with Shoutcast Internet radio.

The HC8 is a full-featured
eight-subsystem controller
that adds embedded 500GB
hard drive to store security video, music and photos. It
also adds a second audio output.

Both models act as audio sources for Elan’s
six-source eight-zone M8 audio zone controller/
amplifier, a rack-mount model.

The $2,200 in-wall TS10 10-inch 16:9
touchscreen features touch-and-swipe control
and a display suitable for viewing television or
security cameras in a kitchen or bathroom
through a composite-video input.

Energy: The $399-suggested Energy
Power Bar is the brand’s first-ever soundbar,
an active two-way model with included wireless
8-inch down-firing subwoofer. The soundbar
measures 4.4 inches by 30 inches by 4.1
inches, and it incorporates two 0.78-inch softdome
tweeters and two 3.5-inch drivers.

Total system power is 200 watts peak, and
frequency response is 50Hz to 20kHz at +/-
3dB.

It features one optical digital input and one
analog RCA input.

Krell: Architectural speakers is in the line
for the first time with the $5,000-each onwall/
in-wall Modulari Ion, which incorporates
technologies from the company’s reference
in-room Modulari Duo.

Krell is considering more in-wall/onwall
speakers and other architectural
models. A high-performance soundbar
is also in the works, said president Bill
McKiegan.

The Ion, sized at 32 inches by 9.5
inches by 6 inches, can be installed in horizontal or vertical
configuration because of its driver array. The drivers
consist of a 1-inch ring-radiator tweeter flanked on both
sides by a 7-inch woofer with aluminum cone, proprietary
suspension and extended voice coil to deliver high power
handling with linear response. The tweeters go out to
64kHz.

Woofers are positioned ahead of the tweeters to
achieve time alignment between the woofer and tweeter.

Niles: A new entry-level in-ceiling speaker line that has
been upgraded to include narrow bezels, magnet-mount
grilles, and low profiles are part of Niles CEDIA introductions.

The design already appears in the company’s step-up
in-ceiling Directed Soundfield speakers, which feature independently
pivoting woofers and tweeters.

Thirteen two-way speakers in the CM line feature pivoting
tweeters and suggested retails ranging from $99
to $299 each. Each CM speaker can be used with a
round, paintable rust-resistant grille, but square grilles
are available as an option for $45/pair. Each model fits
the same 7- and 8-inch cutouts used for Directed Sound-
Field speakers, letting installers specify a hole size but still
have the option later to install speakers at a wide range of
price points from $200/pair to
$2,000, said Niles president
Mike Detmer.

The series is split into
groups based on application.

Paradigm: The company
completely redesigned the
technology and cosmetics of
its Monitor Series 7 speakers,
reducing the sizes of
the floorstanders and center
channels but preserving the
series’s acoustic signature,
the company said.

The floorstander and center speakers also offer greater
sensitivity and deeper bass extension than their predecessors.

“We wanted the highest possible performance
in the smallest physical envelope
while maintaining the important Paradigm
affordability difference,” said product development
manager Paul Wojciechowski.

The series also features a more streamlined,
more linear aesthetic, the company
said.

The line consists of nine speakers ranging
from compact monitors to floorstanding
L-R speakers priced from $199-$749 each,
two center channels at $349 and $549
each, and two surrounds, whose prices
were unavailable.

Proficient Audio: The company plans
a CEDIA Expo launch of a wireless multiroom-
audio system with more capabilities
than its predecessor.

The Zero Wireless Audio System, designed
for retrofit installations, promises
wireless distribution of up to six audio
sources simultaneously to freestanding stereo
speakers in up to 24 rooms.

It is positioned as expanding the multiroom-
audio market to existing singlefamily
homes and to renters because
cables don’t have to be run through
walls.

SpeakerCraft: The company will go
to next month’s CEDIA Expo with an expanded
selection of flangeless (or bezel-less) in-wall and
in-ceiling speakers with magnet-mount grilles to deliver a
less-obtrusive look.

The first eight models in the Profile selection were
shown at last year’s CEDIA, and another 14 will ship before CEDIA, the company said. By the end
of the fourth quarter, the company expects
to ship most of its core speakers,
or 43 models, with the flangeless
design at prices ranging from $370-
$2,000/pair.

The Profile series adopts the audio
technologies of the company’s AIM
and CRS speaker series. AIM speakers
feature pivoting tweeters and
woofers to direct sound to the main
listening position. CRS speakers
feature pivoting tweeters and Wave-
Plane baffle to broaden high-frequency
dispersion. The Profile versions of
the speakers feature driver complements
that match their corresponding
flanged models to deliver identical
performance characteristics, the
company said.

The line consists of nine speakers
ranging from compact monitors
to floorstanding L-R speakers priced
from $199 to $799 each, two center
channels at $379 and $599 each,
and two surrounds at $279 and $399
each.