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Expo Products That Got People Buzzing

DENVER — New audio and home-automation products that generated a buzz at the CEDIA Expo included products from some old brands and some new brands. Here’s what got installers buzzing at the show.

Belgium-based Auro Technologies showed its first two AVRs and first two A/V processors equipped with Auro-3D surround decoding. The top AVP, the 17,800 euro Mensa, also features Dolby Atmos decoding for people who don’t want to choose between the two surround technologies. Consumers, however, have to make a choice of speaker configurations, Auro said. Atmos soundtracks play well over an Auro-speaker configuration, but Auro soundtracks don’t hold up well over an Atmosspeaker configuration. Speakers in an 11.1-channel Auro configuration include a surround-level (ear-level) five-channel array laid out in typical 5.1 fashion. A “height layer” consists of five height channels whose speakers are placed high up on a wall above the ear-level five, and there’s one overhead channel.

Montreal – based start-up Revolution Acoustics launched invisible in-wall speakers said to combine the simplicity of peeland- stick installation with full-range sound (45Hz to 20kHz), stable response throughout a large room, and volume that doesn’t drop off significantly with distance. Installers place a cylindrical exciter on back of the wall, or on front if installed down low behind a couch, to excite an entire wall. The exciters are screwed to a plate that sticks to the wall. Separate drivers can be used to deliver separate left and right channels. The company is packaging two exciters with a purpose- built amplifier at a suggested $1,495, though the drivers can be mated with any standard speaker.

Trinnov Audio demonstrated 32-channel Dolby Atmos surround though its new Altitude32 3D AV preamplifier, which ships in October. The company will add Auro-3D decoding in December as a software update. The Altitude32 retails from 14,950 euros up to 26,950 euros. U.S. pricing wasn’t set. It comes with Trinnov’s room-acoustics correction technology, providing the “capacity to virtually reposition the speakers to the recommended positions to compensate for room shape constraints,” optimize spatial accuracy, and provide “maximum flexibility in the installation and system design,” the company said.