In a recent sit-down with TWICE, Origin Acoustics founder and industry vet Jeremy Burkhardt reviewed the details of the new Celestial in-ceiling and Palatial in-wall speakers, which were co-developed with B&O and began shipping June 1.
The two new lines, previewed at CEDIA 2016 last fall, are currently being sold through B&O’s retail stores worldwide. All B&O employees have received specialized, dedicated sales training for the new lines, Burkhardt said. No easy feat, given that B&O has over 600 stores on six continents.
With a hard nod to the luxury market — and described as “ceiling and wall jewelry” by Burkhardt — the Celestial line will have the option of decorative round and square grilles made from either paintable white steel or sleek, anodized aluminum. Speakers will also feature Origin’s notable tool-less Zip-Cliq installation technology, which enables speaker installation without the user of screwdrivers.
Burkhardt is particularly proud of the patented Zip-Cliq method, which he said was inspired by all the zip ties he used while spending a great deal of time scuba diving in Indonesia. Indeed, he was able to translate the simplicity and flexibility of zip ties into an attractive install option for CI dealers.
The Celestial line will feature six pivoting models, with woofers ranging from 6.5 to 10 inches. The Palatial line, meanwhile, will include two models: the BOPTHTR66 three-way speaker with four 6.5-inch woofers, and the BOPLCR66 model with two 6.5-inch woofers.
Origin is also launching its second generation of Director series and LCR Collections loudspeakers, hitting the market just two years after the first iteration. When asked what motivated the company to refresh the line so quickly, Burkhardt said simply, “We listened to our dealers.”
The specs do more than aimlessly beef up product performance; they were implemented in order to address issues in the marketplace, as well as stay one step ahead of the competition, Burkhardt said.
Included in these upgrades are reduced depths, with the Director three-way models shaving off up to 2 inches and now fitting into additional ceiling spaces. This line will come in 3- to 10-inch sizes in 15 SKUs.
The speakers also feature improved output sensitivity by an average of 3dB, according to the company, making them more efficient by reducing power requirements in large multiroom systems. Baffle interiors are now fitted with a rubberized insert, termed VDAL (Variable Depth Absorption Layer) by Origin, which reduces resonance and rids rooms of mid- and high-frequency reflections.
As with the first generation, the new speakers will feature X-Wave Surround technology in the woofers, capable of absorbing frequencies between 700Hz to 1,400Hz and reducing distortion. They also come with paintable, perforated magnetic grilles, and magnets in the second gen have been enclosed in the grille plastic, protecting them from moisture.
Also new for the second gen: model numbers, with odd-numbered models replacing the first-gen even numbers.