Keir Livock, Channel Sales Manager at Anatech Distribution, discusses the evolution of Acoustic Energy technology.
The design at the core of speaker construction – drivers, crossovers, and a holding structure to insulate against vibration – have not changed much in over 70 years. Rather than adapting these principles, speaker innovations have largely been made ‘around’ them – architectural and invisible speakers effectively using part of the wall structure as the cabinet (and in some cases the driver), active speakers adding amplification to the box, smart speakers going one step further with connectivity and streaming. Stripped to its basics though, a speaker’s performance will live or die on the quality of key components – the strength of the engineering and the choice of materials used.
For the best possible reproduction of sound, strong consideration should be given to the cabinet itself – which being found lacking in architectural speakers, leads more audiophile customers to traditional ‘box’ speaker designs for their main listening rooms. Naturally, for these rooms customers also wish for speakers to be beautifully designed and constructed.
CI dealers generally have access to a lot of the same brands which produce both architectural and ‘box’ speakers, but within our dealer community, we have a split between pure Hi-fi dealers, integrators and those who do both. For our more audio-focussed integrators there is often a desire to differentiate from the well-known brands. With Acoustic Energy we’re able to offer a product which delivers rich sound, is fantastic looking and keenly priced – so it’s ticking a lot of boxes. It’s also home-grown.
Built in Britain
British-based Acoustic Energy’s speaker cabinets are made from HDF (High Density Fibreboard), MDF and at the higher end, RSC (Resonance Suppression Composite) technology – a high mass inert layer sandwiched between two sheets of MDF to create self-damping, inert panels. These are both heavier than standard cabinet materials and better damped. From touch alone, it is obvious that the sound radiation is far lower than traditional MDF or plywood cabinets.
AE have also driven innovation through their choice of materials for driver construction, traditionally using hard-anodised aluminium cones and more recently carbon-fibre for the AE500 range. Both of these are light and inflexible with excellent damping, delivering a pistonic performance even at high volumes. The material used for woofers and tweeters will be matched within each speaker, creating a cohesive sonic signature.
We’ve been incredibly impressed with all the AE products we have on demo and the carbon fibre 500 series in particular are a revelation in terms of timing and control.
Acoustic Energy products, including cinema packages, on-wall speakers, and stands, are available now from Anatech Distribution.