GoldenEar Debuts Passive Soundbar, 2nd Tower



GoldenEar Technology, which launched its first home speakers in late 2010 and expanded its selection at September’s CEDIA Expo, is expanding its selection again with an International CES introduction of a three-channel passive soundbar and its second tower speaker with embedded powered subwoofer.

The company is also added to its new Invisa custom- speaker series with an in-ceiling model suitable for use as the front channels in a home-theater system as well use as surround speakers.

In its first year of shipping products, the company said it signed up more than 125 U.S. dealers and set up distribution in more than 10 export markets. The company, co-founded by Sandy Gross, a co-founder of Polk and Definitive Technology, launched its first products in September 2010.

The line’s expansion, Gross said, gives dealers an opportunity to offer a full line and step consumers up or down while keeping them within the line. It also enables different dealers to focus on different products depending on their market’s needs, he added.

The new passive soundbar, called the SuperCinema 3D Array, is the company’s first soundbar, which measures 49 inches wide by 4.75 inches tall by 2.5 inches deep. It uses technologies appearing in the company’s other speakers, including accordion- like ribbon tweeters and multi-vaned phase plugs on midrange/bass drivers to deliver greater frequency response, dynamic range and detail than competing models at the same price points and with greater imaging width, depth and height, the company said. It’s targeted to retail for $999 when it ships in the spring.

The soundbar also features technology to minimize inter-aural crosstalk in the 150Hz to 2,000Hz range to improve front-stage width and depth beyond what three separate-but-closely-spaced speakers can deliver, said Gross. The technology is based on Princeton University research showing that “imaging cues present in the front stage are corrupted when played through normal leftright speakers and soundbars when the speakers are placed closely together,” he said.

The soundbar, sized for 48-inch-and-larger TVs, features three drivers for each front channel, each channel consisting of two spider-legbasket 4.5-inch bass-midrange drivers with multi-vaned phase plugs and one high-velocity folded ribbon tweeter. The drivers are enclosed in a piano-gloss black cabinet made from aerospace–grade extruded aluminum with a marble powder-infused baffle and end caps.

The enclosure measures 4.74 inches by 49 inches by 2.5 inches. Frequency response is 80Hz to 35kHz with 92dB efficiency.

The soundbar will give A/V specialty stores “a product to sell that ties into the products [active surround bars with virtual-surround decoding] shown in big-box stores but delivers specialtystore performance levels,” Gross said.

A second new speaker is the Triton Three tower, a smaller version of the Triton Two three-way tower with built-in subwoofer. The Two, launched at $1,249 each, will go to $1,449, likely this month, because of the rising cost of raw materials such as neodymium, the rising cost of labor in China, and change in the exchange rate of the Chinese yuan.

The Triton Three, also three-way, will be priced at a projected $999 each when it ships in the winter.

The Triton Two is designed for listeners “looking for a somewhat less imposing loudspeaker that offers equally superb performance for both high-quality two-channel systems as well as in multi-home theater and music systems,” said Gross. Like its bigger brother, it features curved design that tapers backwards.

The Three is 44 inches high by 13 inches deep with a frequency response of 20Hz to 35 kHz, whereas the Two is 48 inches tall and 15 inches deep with a 16Hz to 35kHz frequency response.

The front of the Three and Two are both 5.25 inches wide.

The Three comes with built-in 800- watt DSP subwoofer instead of a 1,200- watt sub, one active subwoofer driver instead of two, and one cone midrange driver instead of two. Both models feature two passive bass radiators.

In custom speakers, GoldenEar said it plans spring shipments of its first two custom speakers shown at CEDIA and the new Invisa home-theater speaker. All feature magneticallQ attached flat micro-perf grilles that hide the flange to make the speakers virtually invisible. All three models incorporate HVFR highfrequency radiators.

The newest custom model, the twoway Invisa Home Theater Reference 7000 at a projected $499 each, was originally to be shown at CEDIA but didn’t make it. It’s due in the spring.

The Invisa 7000 is designed as a ceiling-mount left, right or center speaker for home theater or music. Shipping in the spring, it features a 10-inch round grille with a 7-inch bass/ midrange driver angled at 28 degrees toward the listening position to deliver what the company called “freestanding- speaker-quality performance.” It also features a pivoting tweeter that can be angled more than 28 degrees to reach listeners who are sitting farther back than other listeners. The company also said it took steps to optimize the speaker to deliver “open, box-less, three-dimensional imaging” that appears to emanate from the front wall rather than the ceiling.


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