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CEDIA 2017: Sonance In Major Product Launch As iPort Taps New Niches

Dana Innovations unveiled at CEDIA its largest number of Sonance-brand custom speakers in years while the company’s iPort brand added a premium tier to its selection of iPad wall- and tabletop-mounting systems.

iPort also unveiled its first on-wall battery-operated Sonos keypad controller.

iPort’s premium mounting systems, called Luxeport, turn iPads into touchscreen home-control interfaces when other companies’ home-control apps are installed. The Luxeport products will ship in late November or early December and be followed sometime in mid-2018 with versions that add Wi-Fi hard buttons, which can be programmed to operate specific functions or scenes.

The new Luxeport series consists of three aluminum cases in white, silver and black. One case is for the iPad Mini 1 through 4 and, at $600, comes with choice of magnetic surface-mount/charging plate for on-wall installs or an aluminum tabletop charging stand. A $650 version is designed for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and the third version at $650 is for the iPad Air. These cases are thinner than other iPort cases and are made from aluminum instead of plastic. The cases also boast a cleaner, more symmetrical appearance, and the cases’ speakers fire from the sides of the case rather than from the front.

The table stand adjusts the iPad’s viewing angle.

iPort’s new Luxeport series if iPad mounting systems consists of three models with aluminum cases and choice of tabletop or on-wall mounting options.

The Luxeport versions equipped with hard buttons will cost about $200 more than the button-less models.

The on-wall Sonos xPress keypad, available at $100, uses Wi-Fi to control various Sonos functions, including volume, play/pause, and track up/down. One key can also be used to toggle through Sonos playlists. A software update will add the ability to program Sonos scenes into the keypad, such as a party scene to send music to select rooms at different volume levels. The keypad runs on a rechargeable battery lasting up to six months. It can be mounted with peel-and-stick tape or with an included two-gang Decora adapter, enabling the keypad to be installed next to a light switch.

Under the Sonance brand, Dana is launching new products in 10 different categories, said Josh Blanken, Sonance product management director.

The products include a redesigned Visual Performance series of in-wall and in-ceiling home-theater speakers, which have been rebranded as Reference speakers. The two-way speakers maintain their footprints but add larger drivers to go louder and lower than before. They include two in-wall LCR speakers at $2,500 and $1,250 each, two matching in-wall surrounds at $2,500 and $1,250 each, two in-wall subs at $1,200 and $1,000, an in-ceiling LCR at $1,250 excluding separately sold enclosure, and an in-ceiling surround at $1,250 excluding separately sold enclosure. A cabinet center channel is also available at $1,250 if an in-wall center channel speaker isn’t practical.

Sonance is also replacing its three cabinet subwoofers, changing the series name to Impact, and upgrading them to include DSP with 16-band parametric EQ and room correction via an iPhone app. They also add a wireless receiver for use with an optional $100 wireless transmitter. They come in 8-, 10- and 12-inch sizes at $750, $1,000 and $1,250, respectively.

Sonance’s revamped in-wall and in-ceiling home theater speakers add larger drivers than their predecessors but maintain the same footprint.

The brand’s smallest sub ever is a 7.5- by 7.5- by 9-inch model that’s about a fourth of the size of the brand’s 10-inch sub but delivers similar performance, Blanken said. It ships in the first or second quarter at a tentative $1,000 to $1,250 with 300-watt amp, extruded-aluminum cabinet, two square drivers firing on opposite sides, a passive radiator, 16 bands of parametric EQ and wireless receiver.

The brand also relaunched its Extreme line of outdoor-rated in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for marine use, and it showed its first in-ceiling enclosed subwoofer system for the shallow-depth ceilings of multiple dwelling units. The $1,100 BPS6-TL features 3.38-deep enclosure and 3×13-inch oval driver to deliver the surface area of a traditional 8-inch round driver. It joins two in-ceiling enclosed subwoofers for single-family homes.