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Polk Solutions Include Wireless Surround, Subs

Baltimore – Polk Audio continues to sharpen its focus on
“solutions and applications-oriented products” with the planned launch of wireless
subwoofers and a wireless speaker that reproduces two to four surround channels
from a single cabinet.

According to Al Barron, product manager, many of the
solutions “will attract a class of customer not prepared to deal with the
challenges of component audio.” One of those solutions is the $399 WRS Wireless
Surround F/X, a wireless active rear surroundbar that, from a single behind-the-couch
chassis, delivers two to four channels of surround sound through a combination
of DSP and driver placement. Surround sound is delivered wirelessly to the
speaker via an included transmitter.

Another solution is a trio of wireless-ready subwoofers
designed to provide more placement options and dispense with unsightly speaker
cables running along the floor.

In another product launch, the company is upgrading the
sound quality and weather resistance of its Atrium outdoor speakers, which
mount on exterior walls or under eaves. The new models also add a speed-lock
mounting system that enables one-handed placement by installers on ladders.

Here’s a closer look at the products:

Wireless rear surroundbar: Polk is targeting second-quarter
availability of what could be a first-of-its-kind surround speaker system. The active
single-chassis WRS Wireless Surround F/X, when placed behind the main listening
position, reproduces two to four surround channels delivered via 2.4GHz
wireless transmitter, which is connected to an A/V receiver or other audio
component. The $399 8-inch by 20-inch by 8-inch speaker combines active DSP and
passive Controlled Dispersion Array (CDA)
driver placement, which bounces sound off the ceiling and sidewalls, to deliver
an enveloping soundfield and directional cues. A three-position switch
optimizes response for placement on the floor, on a waist-high surface, or on a
higher shelf or mantle.

The speaker array in the ported cabinet consists of a down-firing
5.25-inch woofer and two 2-inch drivers, one firing to the left and up, and the
other to the right and up, from angled baffles. The transmitter connects to an
audio component’s speaker or line-level outputs.

Wireless-ready subwoofers: The company’s first three wireless-ready
subwoofers, in the DSW Pro Digital series, can be connected wirelessly to home
entertainment systems via an optional plug-and-play kit to enable more
placement options.

The wireless kit, the
$119 PWSK 1, consists of a small wireless dongle that connects to the subwoofers’
amplifier plate and uses the subwoofers’ own power supply. An included compact
wireless transmitter connects to an A/V receiver. The kit uses the wireless
platform used in Polk’s PSWi225 wireless subwoofer.

The three Polk’s new wireless-ready subwoofers are the
compact DSW PRO 440wi at $449 with 8-inch woofer and 360 watts of
amplification. The DSW PRO 550wi at $559 sports 10-inch woofer and 400 watts of
power, and the flagship DSW PRO 660wi at $679 features 12-inch woofer and 500
watt amplifier. 

The subs set sail in the second quarter.

Atrium outdoor speakers: In upgrading its two-way Atrium
outdoor series, Polk said it improved sound quality, weatherproofing, and
reliability while making installation easier when installers on ladders attaching
them to outdoor walls or under eaves. New anodized-aluminum tweeters and molded
woofers were designed for outdoor use, with the tweeters described as “immune”
to the weather while delivering smooth indoor quality and broader dynamic range
for outdoor use. A weather-resistant port in larger models adds efficiency and
an additional 3dB of bass output.

Six models in the lineup included three sealed-enclosure
models priced from $100 each to $329 each. Two ported models are priced at $399
and $499, the latter capable of being used as either a left-right speaker or a
single-speaker stereo model. It features dual-voice-coil 6.5-inch woofer and
two 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeters. A slider switch lets installers select
single-channel or stereo mode. Sliding the switch to single-channel mode covers
the second input to prevent improper hookup.