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Tech Showcase: The Latest Architectural Speakers ’22

Architectural speakers have become very popular with homeowners — and interior designers — and offer a variety of options including in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, subwoofers, and soundbars. Here is a look at some of the more recent entries to this space-saving, discreet product category.

Origin Acoustics PC60 In-Wall Speaker

Origin Acoustics Professional Collection In-Ceiling Speakers

Each in-ceiling model in the new Professional Collection from Origin Acoustics is a 2-way loudspeaker with a pivoting silk DPSD tweeter, utilizing Origin’s patented Multi-Motion Pivoting for aiming and dispersion. The new in-ceiling models are available in three sizes, the PC50, PC60, and PC80, and are now shipping. Features include DPSD and multi-motion pivoting tweeter; front-mounted 8-ohm, 70/100v tap switch with premium transformer; bass-enhancing woofer ports; and Phoenix connector and conduit lock. It also includes a safety strap connection for seismic events. All Units Are UL Rated, Safety Certified.

JBL Stage Architectural Speaker

JBL Stage Architectural Series Lloudspeakers

The JBL Stage Architectural Series loudspeakers are crafted to be visually discreet, with Zero Bezel magnetic grilles and easy installation that allow the speakers to be heard and not seen. They feature high-performance design elements, including 1-inch/25-millimeter aluminum acoustic lens tweeters, JBL’s patented High-Definition Imaging (HDI) waveguides, baffles with acoustic smoothing, and premium crossover components. A range of eight models is available in various configurations for both in-wall and in-ceiling installations.

Designed to provide high-performance sound at an affordable price, Stage Architectural Series loudspeakers include acoustic components typically found in many higher-priced products. At the heart of each model is an aluminum tweeter with an acoustic lens and waveguide that delivers crystal-clear high frequencies. In-wall models include larger waveguides with JBL’s patented HDI geometry for smooth dispersion and low distortion. Polycellulose cone woofers and premium air-core inductors and mylar cap capacitor crossover network components ensure that sound remains dynamic at all listening levels. Additional highlights include a rigid baffle design with acoustic smoothing for improved transducer integration as well as Harman’s target curve acoustic performance for accurate sound over a large listening area. The XL-2 Mounting System provides for quick installation and is compatible with up to 2-inch/50-millimeter material thickness. Paintable Zero Bezel magnetically attached grilles offer a contemporary appearance that blends easily into any décor.

Grimano Rioxs In-Wall Speaker

Grimani Systems Rixos-L

The Grimani Systems Rixos-L is the new flagship in the ultra-shallow Rixos line. Main applications are Front LCR speakers for rooms up to 600 square feet, and Surround speakers in rooms up to 1200 square feet. Incorporating the proprietary wide dispersion CSA waveguide, Rixos-L uses the same patented design, philosophy, and quality that bedrocks all of Grimani Systems’ products.

Featuring high-quality dynamics and finesse, wide dispersion, and smooth off-axis response, Rixos-L is an active tri-amplified speaker with integrated digital signal processing and room correction EQ. Calibration, diagnostics, and 24/7 monitoring are all managed over IP networking. At 6 inches deep, Rixos-L can be installed either in-wall or on-wall. MSRP for Rixos-L is $8200 and it is available now.

Rixos-L Specs

  • 2 x 8-inch woofer and 1-inch annular driver in CSA waveguide
  • Max SPL, 1m, Long-Short: 113-120 dB 80 Hz to 20 kHz
  • 600-watt rack amplifier
  • 5 way with DSP crossover, diagnostics, and room EQ
  • 36 H x 13 W x 6 D (inches)
Perlisten Audio S71 In-Wall Speaker

Perlisten Audio S7i

According to Perlisten Audio and THX Ltd., the S7i (SRP: $7495 each) is the world’s first in-wall speaker to achieve THX Certified Dominus status. The speaker uses the same technologies as the Perlisten’s S7t tower speaker. The S7i, which measures 39.25 inches in length and has a depth of 4 inches, is a 4-way fully self-enclosed aluminum cabinet in-wall with a bituminous damping layer to ensure the frequency response is consistent in any installation.

THX Certified Dominus demands more than double the output levels compared to the well-known THX Certified Ultra specification. The high-power tweeter and dual midranges all share the same motor technology, utilizing massive Neodymium motors, shorting rings for low inductance, and flux stabilization with low distortion, plus a damped anti-resonant back chamber to remove internal reflections and Ferrofluid for power handling. The four 7-inch woofers re-create the dynamic range needed for huge transients while remaining under control.

Perlisten’s patent-pending Directivity Pattern Control (DPC) waveguide is centered by three 28mm “beamforming” tweeter and midranges to accurately control vertical and horizontal dispersion. A beryllium tweeter with expanded bandwidth to 40 kHz and a rear absorption chamber reduce internal reflections to the bare minimum. The Signature S7i re-creates the high output levels required for THX Dominus, with vocals that are silky smooth, and dialog that is consistently clear.

Related: Finishing Luxury Installs in Style

Crestron Ultimate In-Wall Subwoofer

Crestron Ultimate In-Wall Subwoofer Made by Origin Acoustics

The Crestron Ultimate In-Wall Subwoofer joins an existing array of over a dozen architectural and landscape speakers from Crestron. When paired with Crestron speakers from the Ultimate or Reference lines, the new Ultimate In-Wall Subwoofer helps create an immersive sound experience with deep, gratifying bass for demanding multiroom audio settings or home theater applications. Like the other offerings in this line, the Ultimate In-Wall Subwoofer is made with high-quality components as well as paintable grilles for a customizable aesthetic. Installation of each subwoofer is streamlined through an in-wall dogleg mounting system that is optimized to reduce interference with other elements present in the wall space. The Ultimate Subwoofer pairs natively with DM NAX AoIP technology and Crestron Home ecosystem.

Theory Audio Design ic5 in-ceiling speakers

Theory Audio Design ic6 In-Ceiling Speakers

As the first in-ceiling loudspeaker in the Theory product line, the ic6 provides installation flexibility. A discreet and highly capable solution, the ic6 is ideal for residential or commercial installations, surround sound, or distributed audio — and even outdoors when paired with Theory’s optional all-weather grille. The ic6 can also be installed in open-ceiling and exposed environments when integrated into one of Theory’s pendant housings.

Theory’s new in-ceiling loudspeakers offer a maximum output of 112 dB thanks to the advanced polymer compression drivers and 6-inch carbon fiber woofer. For large, distributed installs, the ic6 includes a switch-selectable 70V/100v transformer that can be driven direct by Theory’s forthcoming DLC-250.4 4-channel loudspeaker controllers. For commercial installations, the ic6 is UL-certified for fire signaling and for use in air-handling spaces.


Starke Sound P3 in-Wall Speaker

Starke Sound P3 Speakers Series

The in-wall mountable Starke Sound P3 speakers is part of the company’s Series of passive loudspeakers, which are designed to pair with its A and AD multichannel amplifiers. The P3 can be used optimally as a main or surround speaker in the broadest range of private theaters with projection distances of up to 32 feet. It’s a two-way design suitable for both multichannel cinema and high-fidelity stereo playback, and its AMTHorn tweeter provides up to 50 watts RMS power handling and frequency response to 40 kHz. The tweeter is integrated with a high-efficiency, coated-cone, 8-inch midrange-bass driver of 500 watts RMS power handling. The P3i version is surface mountable for in-wall or in-ceiling applications.

PRO SR-28212ai

Pro Audio Technology (PRO) SR-28212ai

The Pro Audio Technology (PRO) SR-28212ai features a 1.7-inch advanced polymer compression tweeter, two ultra-high output 8-inch midrange drivers, and two 12-inch, 2000W woofers inside a distinctive enclosure. It serves as three loudspeakers in one: a high-output, full-range loudspeaker for LCR or surround applications, an LFE (main) subwoofer, and a subwoofer for surround and Dolby Atmos speaker bass management — all at the same time, and all within a single 6-inch deep enclosure.

Designed with residential surround sound systems (including DCI) in mind, the SR-28212ai can be configured with straight-firing axi-symmetric or 40-degree asymmetric waveguides that aim the sound at a 40-degree angle to the loudspeaker’s main axis. This allows the sound to be “aimed” at the reference listening position while the speaker is mounted flush in a flat architectural wall. The SR-28212ai is also the first PRO product to utilize PRO’s new Theorem Waveguide, which offers textbook on- and off-axis dispersion of critical high frequencies.

Fully aimable using PRO’s pivot brackets, the SR-28212ai provides a very wide dispersion, is incredibly efficient (>100 dB/W in every passband) and offers output of over 130 dB. The low frequency section is 102 dB sensitivity (with 4000W, 2000W AES, power handling); mid frequency is 106 dB (1000W, 500W AES, power handling); and high frequency is 108 dB/W.

A2V In-Wall Speaker - Rear

A2V In-Wall and In-Ceiling Speakers

The A2V In-Wall Speakers will compliment all indoor audio installations. Dealers can select from two models, 6.5-inch (IW65MG34) and 8-inch (IW80MG34), both models feature a flush-mount design, magnetic paintable grilles, and a paintable shield. The IW65MG34 features a frequency response of 60 Hz–20 kHz and 90 dB sensitivity, while the IW80MG34 features a frequency response of 50 Hz–20 kHz and 90 dB sensitivity.

Built from durable components that feature a flush mount design and magnetic paintable grilles with paint shields included, the A2V In-Ceiling Speakers provide dealers with a simplified installation process. Dealers can select from two models, 6.5-inch (IC65MG34) and 8-inch (IC80MG34), making both lines a versatile option for home theater and audio installation needs. The IC65MG34 features a frequency response of 70 Hz–20 kHz and 85 dB sensitivity, while the IC80MG34 features a frequency response of 55 Hz–20 kHz and 90 dB sensitivity.

Wall-Smart Sonos IniWall Mount

Wall-Smart Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts

Wall-Smart’s Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts are a line of flush wall mounts for Sonos’ Beam and Arc Soundbars. The mounts enable the soundbars to be recessed within wall surfaces, giving builders, architects, designers, and systems integrators an installation alternative to placing soundbars inside furniture or attaching them directly to displays.

The wall mounts, which are available in black and white, are covered with an attractive, matching acoustically and IR transparent grille cloth. The mounts ship as a kit ready to assemble on site. All the materials to build and install the Wall-Smart Sonos Soundbar Wall Mounts, as well as detailed instructions and documentation, are included.