Soundbars continued to have a prominent
presence at this year’s CEDIA EXPO, a sign that
integrators and consumers have warmed up to the
category. There were also a range of new tabletop
or bookshelf-style speakers on display by audio
manufacturers, as well as various “not a soundbar”
audio consoles, a new subcategory meant to assuage
the hi-fi capability concerns some still harbor about
the traditional soundbars. Here’s a rundown of
some of these products introduced in Indianapolis.
|The Paradigm Shift Series Soundtrack system includes a six-driver soundbar and a compact, wireless (with wired option) subwoofer.|
Artison replaced its current passive threechannel
soundbar with three new models designed
for TVs with thinner displays. The soundbars,
comprising the Studio series, are 2.25-inches-deep
and positioned as offering both aesthetics and
performance. They are the Studio 39, Studio 46,
and Studio 55.
Boston Acoustics’ M series of highperformance
speakers is a completely new line
consisting of six models: the MSub subwoofer, M
Center center-channel speaker, M25 bookshelf
speaker, the M250, the M340, and the M350
floorstanding speakers. All but the subwoofer are
two-way models. The new models add extendedbandwidth
tweeters and feature Lo-Q cabinet
construction to minimize cabinet interference.
GoldenEar’s first soundbar is the passive, threechannel
SuperCinema 3D Array. The company’s
highest powered active sub, the
ForceField 5, ships in December.
The soundbar measures 49
inches wide by 4.75 inches tall
by 2.5 inches deep. It’s designed
to minimize inter-aural
crosstalk in the 150Hz to 2,000-Hz range to
improve front-stage width and depth beyond what
three separate-but-closely-spaced speakers can
deliver, the company said.
|Yamaha’s YSP-4300 digital sound projector|
SpeakerCraft’s CS3 TV speaker, an under-TV
sound system features Bluetooth connectivity, builtin
subwoofers, and DSP technology housed in one
sleek cabinet. These include two 5.25-inch longthrow
subwoofers; four 2.5-inch midranges and two
1-inch soft dome tweeters, with midrange-tweetermidrange
positioning for optimum imaging. Ample
power is provided by four 20W (RMS) amplifiers.
configuration provides 80W RMS (total). 20 The
other pair of amps delivers 20W for the mid-ranges
The new Timbre Series bookshelf speakers from
Leon uses a reflective coupled chamber for low
frequency extension while providing a more rigid
suspension to support the full range sound delivered
by the woven cone woofers in these ported cabinets.
The Ti400-X-A features a 4-inch midrange woofer
and cloth-dome tweeter while the TiUltima utilizes
a 5-inch reference-grade woofer and referencegrade
|AudioXperts 4TV Model 5122|
KEF launched its first
powered speakers with USB
connection to PCs, Apple
iOS devices, and Android
devices to play back music.
The X300A two-way speaker
pair is said to perform as
well as professional studio
monitors, thanks to biamplification,
use of Class
AB audiophile-grade amps,
96kHz/24-bit USB input,
and KEF’s proprietary
Uni-Q driver array.
The Kevro-marketed British speaker brand Monitor Audio showed
its first home theater speaker package, the MASS, which is a 5.1 system
consisting of five curved satellite speakers and a curved active subwoofer.
The company also is also showing its first desktop computer speakers, the
WS100 2.0, which feature wireless technology to stream music from a
wireless USB dongle plugged in a computer.
|Martin Logan’s Motion 15 bookshelf speakers|
Paradigm expanded its Paradigm Shift series of products targeted to
personal-audio users and gamers with its first soundbar, first AirPlay
speaker, and a new multimedia speaker. The Soundtrack System
includes a 6-driver soundbar and a compact, wireless (with wired
option) subwoofer. Other features include bass/midrange drivers,
two passive radiators and two high frequency drivers. There are 4.5-
inch bass midrange drivers and 4-inch passive radiators that are a mineral
filled polypropylene delivering a low mass, high-stiffness cone composition.
The two high-frequency drivers feature 1-inch satin-anodized pure-aluminum
dome tweeters. Passive radiators promote extended lower frequencies.
NAD expanded its Viso series of docking speakers with the Viso 1 AP, which
is the company’s first tabletop speaker with Apple AirPlay. The speaker also
features Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth with the aptX codec, and rear USB port for
charging and streaming music directly from iOS devices.
Polk Audio’s SurroundBar 5000 employs the apt-X codec in conjunction
with Bluetooth connectivity. The SurroundBar 5000 measures 31 inches wide
and 2.25 inches deep, with a 6.5-inch wireless subwoofer. It is designed for
adding a robust surround sound experience to mid-sized displays, but the
SurroundBar 5000 IHT is adept with stereo personal music players.
Polk also demoed the SurroundBar 9000 “instant home theater” (IHT) at
CEDIA EXPO, delivering component-caliber 3D audio surround sound while
maintaining a sleek, low-profile design and easy setup. The SurroundBar 9000
IHT is self-powered, delivering 45W of discrete peak power to each of its eight
|Speakercraft’s CS3 TV speaker|
PSB Speakers’ first active speaker outside of subwoofers is the Alpha PS1,
which is designed as a desktop audio system with enough power for a small- to
Proficient Audio Systems released the MaxTV, a one-piece stereo
speaker system designed for placement under a flat panel TV. At four inches
high, MaxTV slips easily under a flat panel TV. MaxTV has four channels
of amplification powering two downfiring 5.25-inch subwoofers, four 2.5-inch
midrange drivers of two one-inch soft dome tweeters. It also streams music off
any smartphone, tablet, or computer via Bluetooth.
Startup AudioXperts has introduced the 4TV home entertainment
consoles, designed to fit directly under the TV, or on top of a furniture cabinet
below a wall hung TV set. Unlike traditional soundbars and conventional
surround sound systems, which are typically fixed into place, the 4TV
console’s built-in swivel base can rotate the console and television to
the preferred listening and viewing angle.
|Leon’s Timbre Series bookshelf speakers|
Yamaha’s YSP-4300 and YSP-3300 digital sound projectors
connect directly to TVs to deliver 7.1-channel audio. They
incorporate the company’s proprietary YSP front surround sound
technology, which creates sound beams that are bounced off walls
to deliver side and rear audio content, and 130W wireless active
subwoofers. The YSP-4300 adds a front panel USB port for audio
playback from a variety of devices, as well as an FM tuner.
Martin Logan’s Motion 15 bookshelf and Motion 30
center channel join the recently launched Motion
20 and 40 floorstanding speakers as part of a
plan to remake the Motion series, which
are priced less than the company’s
electrostatic speakers. Motion 15
and 30 speakers combine highexcursion,
black aluminum cone
woofers and low-turbulence, rearfiring,
bass ports. The Motion 15
speakers feature a single 5.25-inch
driver; Motion 30 speakers feature
dual 5.5-inch drivers.
Lindsey Adler is associate editor of
Residential Systems, Systems Contractor
News, and Healthcare AV.