Polk Prepares Game-Console Speaker

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Baltimore, Md. - Polk Audio developed its first speaker designed for consumers playing music-based games such as Rock Band and Guitar Hero on a game console.

The powered HitMaster gaming speaker takes on the appearance of a pro-audio stage monitor to bolster the illusion of performing on stage. It features a single-point-stereo driver configuration to deliver a wide, immersive stereo soundfield from a single cabinet. It ships early next year at a suggested $99.99.

Polk's HitMaster

Recently, Altec Lansing introduced its first game-console speaker system, also designed for use with music-playing games.

HitMaster won't be the first Polk speaker designed for use with game consoles. The company's $499-suggested SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater, launched earlier this year, is designed for use with home theaters and game consoles, in that order, a spokesman said. The HitMaster, on the other hand, "is gaming exclusive, though you can hook it up to any audio source with a 1/8-inch output." The SurroundBar connects to the stereo audio outputs of any TV, features outboard wireless subwoofer, and lacks embedded DVD player.

Unlike other stage-monitor gaming speakers, claimed product line management VP Mark Suskind, "HitMaster is designed to bring a real on-stage presence to game play, with sonic output that is worthy of the Polk brand." Rock Band and Guitar Hero, he said, use high-quality soundtracks whose quality is lost when played through TV speakers. "Music games like Beatles Rock Band are rightfully cited for sounding as good if not better than the original releases," he noted.

Polk's HitMaster incorporates two 1-inch neodymium tweeters, each in 2.5 by 5.5-inch horns that flank a 6.5-inch woofer in a 9.5 by 14 by 8.5-inch cabinet. The amplifier delivers 80 watts maximum and  60 watts RMS, with frequency response of 40Hz-20kHz (-10dB). It connects to a game console's line-level outputs, and included line-level inputs and outputs enable daisychaining of two or more monitors. A 1/8-inch input jack connects to TVs, iPods and other sources with a 1/8-inch headphone output.


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