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One-Speaker Surround Systems Debut

10/15/2003 10:40:00 AM Eastern

Torrance, Calif. - Nirotek America, which markets two two-speaker 6.1-channel home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) systems, is going the next step with the launch of a pair of modestly priced one-speaker 5.1-channel systems.

The new systems, which pack multiple drivers into a single front-speaker cabinet, compete against home theater systems from Bose, Denon and Samsung. Those systems, however, are designed to replicate a 5.1-channel soundfield through two front speakers.

The only other one-speaker 5.1-channel system on the market is Pioneer's Digital Sound Projector, which is built around a 2-by-3-foot, 5-inch-deep panel with 254 tiny front-panel drivers at a suggested $40,000.

Nirotek's new Niro 1.1 and Niro 1.1 Pro, in contrast, retail for a suggested $599 and $799, respectively, and are configured like traditional HTiB systems.

The new systems, for example, incorporate DVD-receivers. Likewise, Nirotek's existing two-speaker systems, the $1,499 Niro Two 6.1-C and $1,999 Niro Two 6.1, use a surround receiver packaged without a DVD player.

All Nirotek systems use DSP algorithms and proprietary driver placement to create a 'broad and detailed' surround experience with a 'huge sweet spot,' the company contended. They also deliver a wide sweet spot for stereo CD listening, Nirotek said.

The single-speaker systems are available through the company's Web site, www.niro1.com and will be rolled out to audio retailers and e-tailers sometime in the future. The two-speaker systems are available through A/V specialists, custom installers, and the company's Web site.

The new systems are designed for rooms or apartments where space is scarce, said sales and marketing VP Lonnie Pastor. They and the two-speaker systems are also designed to appeal to consumers who want simple set-up in a surround system and fewer speakers to clutter up living space.

The $599 Niro 1.1 uses a 4.3-by-18.1-by-5.3-inch TV-top speaker cabinet incorporating three full-range 3-inch drivers complemented by an outboard 8-inch subwoofer. The DVD-receiver features digital amplifier delivering 3x30 watts to the TV-top speaker and 50 watts to the subwoofer. The receiver also incorporates the virtual-surround processor, Dolby Digital and DTS decoders, and progressive-scan DVD player with S-video and component output.

The step-up $799 Niro 1.1 Pro packs five 3-inch drivers into a slightly larger speaker cabinet measuring 4.3-by-19-by-7.9 inches and boosts output to 5x30 watts for the front drivers.

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