SpeakerCraft Aiming To Please

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Denver – SpeakerCraft came to the CEDIA Expo with a slew of new products to please interior designers, residents of multiple dwelling units (MDUs), gadget-loving guys and ultimately its dealer base.

To win over interior designers and architects, the company unveiled its NEAT! (Narrow Edge Audio Technology) in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, which boast a near-invisible look because their grilles aren’t surrounded by trim pieces (flanges) and the grilles are completely flush with the wall or ceiling. The series includes the industry’s first flange-less in-ceiling speakers and the industry’s first flange-less speakers with aimable drivers, said marketing VP Dave Donald. Eight different NEAT! models feature 4.5-inch, 7-inch and 8-inch woofers in various configurations and performance levels at suggested retails ranging from $225 to $850 each, or about $100 per pair more than equivalent SpeakerCraft speakers with flanges, Donald said. At these prices, SpeakerCraft’s implementation of flange-less designs are less expensive than flange-less implementations by the only other major company offering a similar design, he said. NEAT! models are also easier to install, he claimed.

For MDU residents, the company is building upon its AccuFit series of speakers whose shallow, 70mm-deep integrated enclosures limit sound transfer into adjacent rooms and into adjacent apartments. The new AccuFit Ultra Slim series of in-ceiling speakers sports integrated 50-millimeter-deep steel enclosures, which will also please installers confronted with mounting-depth restrictions in any venue, the company said. The two AccuFit Ultra Slim models, priced at a suggested $249 and $325 each, feature a single dome tweeter surrounded by two 3-inch midranges and two 3-inch woofers.

For show-offs, SpeakerCraft expanded its selection of Time motorized in-ceiling speakers with three new smaller models. Their drivers are mounted at a fixed 45-degree angle in a cylinder that descends from the ceiling when activated by a control unit that controls the movement of up to eight Time speakers. During installation, an installer rotates the cylinders to point the speakers toward the listening area.

The control unit uses signal sensing, contact closure, or IR commands to activate the speakers’ motors, and it incorporates 150-watt amp to power an 8-inch in-wall subwoofer to deliver bass.

The Time Mini 2 at $315 uses a 2.5-inch full-range driver and has en exterior diameter of 5.75 inches. The Time Mini 5.1 at $465 and Time Mini 5.3 at $565 are two-way models with 5-inch woofers, dome tweeters and exterior diameter of 7.5 inches. Prices exclude integrated amplifier/controller.

In other product announcements, the company:

  • expanded its selection of architectural speakers with integrated enclosures by launching the high-end Plus series. The sewries consists of two in-ceiling models at a suggested $600 and $700 and an in-wall model at $900 each.
  •  launched its first wireless keypad, a ZigBee-equipped version of its Mode in-wall keypad. With embedded ZigBee and rechargeable battery, the Mode Free keypad can be carried around the house, docked in a tabletop stand/charger and docked in an in-wall dock/charger, which also connects the keypad via CAT-5 to a SpeakerCraft multiroom-audio system.
  • unveiled the in-wall Cinema subs in 8-, 10- and 12-inch versions with dedicated amplifiers delivering 150, 200 and 250 watts of power. Each model is available with an MDF cabinet that fits into a standard 3.5-inch stud bay but can be used without the enclosure in an infinite baffle installation. The systems retail for $750, $1,000 and $1,500, respectively

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