SpeakerCraft To Expand No-Flange Speaker Design


Riverside, Calif. - SpeakerCraft will go to next month's CEDIA Expo with an expanded selection of flangeless (or bezel-less) in-wall and in-ceiling speakers with magnet-mount grilles to deliver a less-obtrusive look.

The first eight models in the Profile selection were shown at last year's CEDIA, and another 14 will ship before CEDIA, the company said. By the end of the fourth quarter, the company expects to ship most of its core speakers, or 43 models, with the flangeless design at prices ranging from $370-$2,000/pair.


 The Profile series adopts the audio technologies of the company's AIM and CRS speaker series. AIM speakers feature pivoting tweeters and woofers to direct sound to the main listening position. CRS speakers feature pivoting tweeters and WavePlane baffle to broaden high-frequency dispersion. The Profile versions of the speakers feature driver complements that match their corresponding flanged models to deliver identical performance characteristics, the company said.

For the Profile speakers, the company offers a choice of square and round grilles so that installers have the option of offering round speakers with square grilles, reducing inventories. Profile grille options "reduce the cost of doing business as you only stock one product and then attach the grille," said company president Jeremy Burkhardt.

All speakers use neodymium magnets to attach the grille for simple installation, and they come with large enough lip to cover mistakes in cutting the drywall, SpeakerCraft said. Once the grille is in place, however, there is no visible flange, making it unnecessary for installers to adjust to closer tolerances or change their current installation procedures to achieve the new look, the company continued.

The configuration also simplifies the painting of the speakers because the grilles can be popped off for painting, and there is no flange to paint on the speaker itself, the company added.

The company's first entry into flangeless design, launched at the 2007 Expo, was called NEAT! (Narrow Edge Audio Technology). The in-wall and in-ceiling speakers in the series, no longer available, boasted a near-invisible look because installers mounted a panel to studs, mounted the speaker into the panel, and then mudded up to the panel. The grilles were also completely flush with the wall or ceiling.

NEAT "installation was difficult, so it did not have the attraction we hoped," said marketing chief Nick Berry. "That speaker did use our AIM technology, but Profile is the first from SpeakerCraft that use neodymium magnets to attach the grille."


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