NEAR has begun shipping nine new outdoor audio product SKUs for residential and commercial installations. They are the first products from the brand since its rebirth at CEDIA EXPO 2013 in September.
Gardiner, Maine-based NEAR, a division of Bogen Communications, is shipping all-new under-eave and in-ground outdoor speaker models and a 600WPC stereo/mono amplifier ideally suited to powering outdoor speaker systems. NEAR showed the new models at CEDIA Expo 2013, and after months of design refinement and tooling now have inventory to satisfy the high demand spring and summer selling seasons.
The LB and IG series speakers feature industrial design by Allen Boothroyd and acoustic design by NEAR founder and general manager William (Bill) Kieltyka. In designing these new products, NEAR placed special emphasis on installation ease and security, long lasting appearance, and reliable performance.
All LB and IG series models employ ultra-low mass Metal Diaphragm Technology (MDT) woofers and inverted dome tweeters for best-in-class sound quality and durability. The woofers are Magnetic Liquid Suspension (MLS) “spiderless” designs resulting in longer cone excursion for better bass output and lower distortion. As an added benefit, the magnetic fluid serves to draw heat away from the voice coil for exceptional high power durability.
All LB models are available in paintable white or black finish, and in 8-ohm or 70V configuration.
There are four models of under-eave LB series speakers, ranging from 4.5-inch to 8-inch coincident 2-way designs, all featuring NEAR’s unique new mounting system. The system includes a bracket clamp with a pre-terminated waterproof plug-in connector that can be pre-installed. The speaker can be clamped in place at a later time, at project completion. NEAR’s system minimizes installation effort and time, allows last-minute speaker mounting to minimize the chance of theft during the construction phase, and optimizes the integrator’s inventory and cash flow.
All LB models are available in paintable white or black finish, and in 8-ohm or 70V configuration. The LB’s injection molded cabinets are fabricated from UV-inhibited mineral-filled polypropylene for superior color stability and resonance-free sound quality. All grilles and mounting hardware are stainless steel and aluminum that will not rust, corrode or change color even if exposed to salt air, constant humidity or driving rain. The LB Series models are designed to meet or exceed the stringent Mil-Std-810 (Humidity, Salt Air, Heat, Cold, Immersion); and IEC IP X5 durability standards, making them totally weatherproof not just “weather resistant.”
The NEAR 6XL is a 600-watts-per-channel amplifier, purpose-designed to power outdoor loudspeaker systems.
NEAR backs up the build-quality of the LB series with a 12-year parts and labor limited warranty.
NEAR’s IG Series are designed for in-ground installation but are attractive enough to be used “free standing” and can be easily camouflaged among planters and pots. In-ground installation affords the homeowner better sound performance, lower visibility and greater security.
There are three IG full range models: 5.34-inch, 6.5-inch, and 8-inch 2-way full range systems plus an in-ground 12-inch subwoofer system and a 600 WPC amplifier specifically designed to power outdoor systems. All represent the pinnacle of outdoor speaker durability, technology and sound quality.
NEAR’s use of color-through enclosure material means IG models will never color-fade even after years of direct sun exposure. IG models are designed to meet or exceed the stringent Mil-Std-810 (humidity, salt air, heat, cold, immersion); and IEC IP X5 durability standards, making them totally weatherproof not just “weather resistant.”
NEAR’s IG Series are designed for in-ground installation.
Like their LB Series cousins all IG series models employ NEAR’s MDT metal diaphragm and MLS Magnetic Liquid Suspension technologies. For even higher performance IGs feature patented UDIO (upside down/inside out) low frequency drivers. UDIO is an inverted cone diaphragm woofer driven by voice coils wound both inside and outside the former. With UDIO technology frequency linearity and sound quality are maintained even at punishingly loud volume levels. Along with their omni-directional dispersion pattern, the IG Series’ advanced technologies and rugged build quality provide just what’s needed to fill the wide outdoors with clean, enjoyable music for years on end.
The IGS 12 subwoofer delivers unparalleled low-frequency performance via groundbreaking design. The IG12’s unique enclosure design enables both in and on-ground installation. Employing a 12-inch UDIO woofer in an LLDP (Linked Low-Density Polyethylene) enclosure, the IGS 12 remains musical at any playback level and is capable of withstanding almost any abuse.
The NEAR 6XL is a 600-watts-per-channel amplifier, purpose-designed to power outdoor loudspeaker systems. High and Low Pass filters that can be applied to either channel, 4-8 Ohm or 70V operation, built-in subwoofer low frequency EQ, along with a stereo to mono summing circuit make the 6XL flexible enough to drive full range stereo speakers, limited bandwidth stereo speakers or subwoofers. Retailers and custom integrators need only stock this one amplifier to be ready to fill any outdoor system amplification need. Professional touches such as XLR inputs, full protection circuitry and commercial-grade components make the 6XL stand out in the residential marketplace for performance, flexibility and reliability.
As founder of New England Audio Resource, Kieltyka developed the NEAR product line, which is carried on today as a division of Bogen Communications Inc. NEAR’s original AEL Series outdoor speakers gained a reputation for audiophile sound quality combined with a rugged build-quality capable of standing up to the harshest weather conditions, including atop New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington (reputed to have the worst weather in North America). After being purchased by Bogen Communications, Inc. in 1997,the product line went into hiatus for redesign and retooling. The all-new NEAR under-eave and in-ground models featuring exclusive patented technologies started shipping to distributors and dealers earlier this month.