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Axiom Targets New Speaker Segments

5/07/2007 09:56:00 AM Eastern

Dwight, Ontario, Canada — Speaker maker Axiom Audio launched its first outdoor speaker and its smallest DSP-equipped subwoofer, and plans to expand its selection with its first component amplifier, first wireless outdoor speakers and first PC speakers.

The company, which converted to online-only sales about five years ago, has begun shipping its 13.75-inch tall, 10.5-inch wide Epicenter EP400 subwoofer, available at $1,100 including taxes and shipping to the 50 states and Puerto Rico. Designed for smaller rooms such as bedrooms, it generates 116dB SPL from its 8-inch aluminum-cone driver and 500-watt digital amp. Its DSP algorithms reduce distortion, yield a 3dB rolloff point of 23Hz, and make it “virtually impossible” to overdrive the speaker at highest volume, the company said. It’s available in four in-stock finishes, but custom finishes are available.

The company’s first outdoor speaker is the $330/pair Algonquin, which is based on the company’s M3 bookshelf system with 6.5-inch aluminum woofer and 1-inch titanium tweeter. Its 13.5- by 8.5- by 8.25-inch enclosure is said to be waterproof, making it suitable for use in saunas. It’s wedge-shaped to reduce standing waves, and its rear bass port is angled to prevent water collection. It can be mounted on posts and patio walls or under eaves, and it delivers an anechoic-chamber SPL of 88dB (1 watt/1 meter) with a frequency response of 60Hz to 22kHz.

By fall, the company hopes to offer an eight-channel digital home theater amplifier that’s 96 percent efficient and can be bridged down to one channel capable of delivering 1,450 watts into a 4-ohm load.

Also in the fall, the company hopes to offer an outdoor wireless speaker with removable sealed, lead-acid rechargeable battery to deliver 75 watts per channel, more than the output of other outdoor wireless speakers that use alkaline batteries. The speakers will play for up 15 hours at high volume between charges, a spokesman said. The speakers can be recharged by plugging them into a wall outlet, or consumers can opt for an optional solar panel. Wireless range will be up to 100 feet.

As early as June, the company will ship its first PC speakers, a sub/sat system with 225-watt amp to fill a niche for upscale PC speakers, the spokesman said. The two-way satellites will look like bookshelf speakers with a choice of wood finishes or brushed silver finish. The subwoofer, which might contain the system’s amplifier, will be black. The price might be around $600.

To encourage consumers to buy speakers that they can’t audition in a store, Axiom offers a 30-day home trial, after which consumers can return the speakers if they pay shipping charges to the Canadian company’s Buffalo, N.Y., depot. Shipping costs on bookshelf speakers are about $20, and shipping costs on larger speakers are up to about $100. “We pay return shipping if they upgrade,” the spokesman added.

Axiom also uses a network of existing owners to audition speakers for other consumers. Axiom owners get a commission if the audition results in a sale.

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