#CES Las Vegas - THX launched a certification program for compact speakers intended for use in small rooms, including home-theater rooms, gaming rooms, and living rooms in homes and apartments.
THX said it created the Compact Speaker System Certification program because of a major trend in mainstream consumer audio to more compact speaker systems.
Though small speakers perform better than flat-panel TV speakers, the sound quality of existing small speakers varies widely because of limitations imposed by their small size, THX said. Certification standards will ensure consistent quality and raise customer confidence, THX explained.
The new standard is designed for speakers intended for use in rooms up to 1,000 cubic feet, or 13.5 feet long by 10 feet wide by 8 feet tall. The recommended listening distance is up to 8 feet from the screen. A 2.1-speaker system with one subwoofer is the minimum requirement, but the standard includes 7.1-channel speaker systems. High output up to 105 dBC SPL is also required, among other things
THX already offers two tiers of certification for speakers. THX Ultra2 Certified products are intended for larger home theaters of 3,000 cubic feet in size with a viewing distance of 12 feet or greater from the screen, THX's website says. THX Select2 Certified products are for medium sized rooms, up to 2,000 cubic feet in size, with a 10- to 12-foot viewing distance from the screen.
The new standard also calls for:
- flat frequency response for better dialog clarity across a wide, optimized listening area;
- a low-frequency crossover for consistent, lifelike audio playback with richness and depth;
- extended subwoofer low-frequency output for enhanced bass performance with tailored equalization for an overall smooth, well-balanced sound when combined with the satellite speakers; and
- integration with current and future THX Select2 Plus or Ultra2 Plus Certified A/V receivers using standard THX 80Hz crossover settings.
The first THX-certified small speaker will be from MK Sound, the direct seller of speaker systems. The speaker, whose certification is pending, is based on the M Series MK M7 speaker.
"Consumer demand for high-quality sound systems that fit the aesthetics of smaller home theaters or dedicated media rooms continues to increase," said Peter Vasay, THX technology operations VP. "The THX Compact Speaker System Certification offers consumers the same promise of high-fidelity sound expected from any THX Certified home entertainment product, and performance above typical smaller speakers that are on the market."
THX is showcasing the program at the Renaissance Hospitality Suites.