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IP Compatibility Comes To More Custom Speakers

Austin, Texas – Architectural speakers compatible with NetStreams IP-based multiroom-AV systems have been available only from Polk, but Triad and Sonance plan to follow.

In 2006, Polk shipped its first two IP-addressable speakers with on-board amplification, electronic crossovers, DSP, and room-error correction at prices of $2,400 and $2,900/pair. At the recent CEDIA Expo, Polk launched a pair of lower cost IP-ready speakers, the round $175-each SC80 IPR and rectangular $215-each SC85 IPR. The two-way 8-inch speakers operate passively, but their internal passive crossovers can be bypassed at the flick of a switch to connect to NetStreams-provided amplifier/DSP modules mounted nearby. The modules, designed specifically for Polk’s speakers, offer all of the DSP features of the IP-addressable speakers except for DSP-based room-acoustics compensation. Both speakers will carry the StreamNet-Ready logo.

The lack of included amplifier/DSP modules helped bring the price of Polk’s new models down, as did the use of two-way rather than three-way designs, lower power drivers, and lack of back box, the company said. With optional amplifier/DSP modules, their prices go to about $1,500/pair, or about half the price of the IP-addressable models.

For its part, Triad said it would make all of its passive architectural speakers available with the StreamNet Connected logo. And Sonance will begin developing a line of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for use in IP audio distribution systems for availability sometime in 2008.