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Polk To Bring Products, Programs To Expo

CEDIA Expo 2009 Atlanta
– Polk Audio will go the CEDIA Expo with new products and programs, including a
line of barely visible custom speakers, its thinnest surround bar ever, a
lifetime parts and labor warranty on customer speakers, and a new branding

The branding campaign includes a first-quarter extension of the
company’s main Web site, a Facebook fan page already on-line, and a return of
the company’s long-running tagline, “The Speaker Specialists.”

The improved Web site will include more interactivity and
updated, easier-to-find educational material on basic audio topics, such as how
to choose a home-theater system and where to place a subwoofer, said marketing
VP Al Ballard. New help documentation will also be easier to find. The Facebook
fan page will help the company reach a broader audience, he noted.

In returning to the tag line that it dropped about two years ago
when adding such products as an iPod-docking tabletop radio and iPod speakers,
Ballard said The Speaker Specialists “rings true to who we are.” The company’s
expertise, he said, is in speakers, whether they’re in radios or not. The
tagline has already appeared in an ad in the New York Times and on the company’s
web site.

The new non-transferable lifetime warranty policy applies to
parts and labor on all in-wall, in-ceiling, and built-in subwoofers purchased
by consumers through installers or over-the-counter. The policy goes in effect
on the first day of the Expo. The company’s current policy covers parts and
labor for five years.

In products, the company will display select in-wall models of
its new barely visible speakers, with the in-ceiling versions planned for a
January International CES debut. The Vanishing
series will replace the current LCi and TSi series of mid- to high-end custom
speakers, said product manager Al Baron.

The new series features slim bezels of only about an eighth of an
inch, and the micro-perf speaker grilles protrude from the wall or ceiling only
by 7mm. “They pretty much go away,” Baron said of the speaker’s visibility.

The in-wall models, intended for multiroom and home theater
applications, will include left-right speakers, center channels, and
bipole/dipole surrounds. Per-pair prices range from $400 to $1,500.

Six in-ceiling
models still under development incorporate the same cosmetic advantages but add
a patented acoustic design to deliver the deep bass, acoustic output, and
dispersion of 9- to 11-inch speakers in 5.25- and 6.5-inch packages, Baron
said. Consumers, architects and interior designers will prefer in-ceiling
speakers that don’t overwhelm the shrinking sizes of in-ceiling light fixtures,
he noted.

Also at its suite,
Polk will show a prototype of the first of a planned series of slim surround bars
whose depth will shrink to match the 1.5- to 2-inch depths of a new generation
of shallow flat-panel TVs. The first model, due mid next year, is a
five-channel passive surround bar in a cabinet measuring 4 inches by 50 inches
by 1.5 inches. The SurroundBar 50 Slimline will feature Polk’s passive SDA Surround
technology, which provides a wide, deep soundstage extending far out to
the sides and wrapping around the listener without bouncing sound off side
walls, Polk said.

The SurroundBar 50 Slimline will ship mid next year. The company also
plans to add one more passive model and two active models to the Slimline
series. All will feature a new driver technology that will squeeze the most
performance, including “remarkably low bass,” from the small enclosures, Baron