By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS – Sony is launching the first ES-series speakers in several years with a quartet of speakers that incorporate technologies from its limiteddistribution audiophile-oriented AR series during International CES, here, this week.
The speakers are available only to a handful of high-end A/V specialists and custom installers.
The AR series consists of the $20,000/pair SS-AR2 and $27,000/pair SS-AR1 floorstanding speakers. The new ES speakers, whose distribution will be more open, consist of the SS-NA2ES floorstanding speaker, SS-NA5ES bookshelf speaker, the SS-NA8ES center-channel speaker and the SA-NA9ES subwoofer. Pricing was unavailable.
The ES speaker series “extends our line of highresolution speakers” and is designed “to recreate music as truthfully and naturally as possible, like the sound of live music in a concert hall,” said Neal Manowitz, director of Sony’s home audio product group.
Also at CES, Sony is unveiling a new soundbar and home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) system. Details were unavailable.
Among the new ES speakers, the SS-NA2ES is a three-way, six-driver, bass reflex floorstanding speaker with a 25mm soft-dome tweeter, two 19mm soft-dome super tweeters, a 130mm paper-cone midrange and two 165mm aluminum-cone woofers. The SS-NA5ES is a two-way, four-driver, bass-reflex bookshelf speaker with 25mm soft-dome tweeter, two 19mm soft-dome super tweeters and a 130mm aluminum-cone woofer.
The SS-NA8ES is a two-way, five-driver, bass-reflex center-channel speaker with 25mm soft-dome tweeter, two 19mm soft-dome super tweeters and two 130mm aluminum-cone woofers. The SANA9ES active subwoofer system features two 250mm aluminumcone woofers. All four speakers are hand-crafted in Japan.
Like the AR speakers, the ES speakers feature enclosures and internal bracing made of Scandinavian birch, which Sony said is highly regarded for its acoustic properties. The SS-NA2ES and SS-NA5ES speakers, like their AR counterparts, incorporate their woofers in a sub-enclosure to isolate them from the mid-range drivers, minimizing the negative effects of woofer back-radiation to ensure that “the most musically important frequencies” are delivered “clear, crisp and undistorted,” the company said.
The ES speakers also feature an I-Array tweeter design and layout that couples one tweeter with two super tweeters. The design enables the drivers “to function like a single tweeter with very wide dispersion” and create “a natural balance across frequencies” to avoid “peaks and dips that change sound coloration and create unnatural tones. Ready for the home theater,” the company said.
The AR speakers were designed to reproduce the best sound, not hit various price points, Sony has previously said.
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