CEDIA 2016 Speakers And AV Hardware Round-Up

CEDIA 2016 Speakers And AV Hardware Round-Up

With AV kit and speakers spreading to ever more areas of the home from inside to outside and the variety of uses customers want to also expanding, manufacturers were lining up at the show to persuade visitors to choose them as their go to AV brand.

“We’ve got three new products: the first is the hi-res, 218 zone controller for local and distributed audio systems – with IP and IR control it’s got both digital and analogue inputs, it can be teamed with an amp to drive passive loudspeakers; it has an optical input so you can hang it behind the TV, use it as a standalone DAC, or as a Sooloos end-point. For multiple zones a dedicated rack shelf is also available.” explained Rayner Sheridan, director of marketing at Meridian Audio. “It’s priced very competitively and should be available towards the end of 2016.”

Also new was the Meridian 258, a meaty dedicated rack-mount Eight-Channel Power Amplifier. This powerful, high performance cold-running Class D amplifier is suitable for a wide range of applications and delivers 100W per channel into 4 Ohms and 70W per channel into 8 Ohms. “Made in Britain, it’s got a five-year warranty and the response to this hi-res amp has been great so far,” Rayner enthused.

The Meridian 857, meanwhile, is a Reference Two-Channel Power Amplifier delivering 500W per channel into 4 Ohms. This Hi-Res Audio amplifier, bridgeable to 1.5KW, is available as a dedicated rack-mount variant.

Meridian also showcased the DSP320, its most discrete yet highest-performing in-wall/in-ceiling loudspeaker to-date. All electronics are nestled within a 12in square and 4in deep enclosure, eliminating the need for any amplification on the rack.

Speaking about the partnership with Barco Residential, Rayner said: “Under the umbrella of Meridian’s Design and Specification Service, what we’re now able to do is to specify a theatre along with the range of residential projectors from Barco. It’s been going really well, we’ve already started selling some through the design specification service.”

Meridian had a strong show with several new launches

Meridian had a strong show with several new launches

Paradigm launched the Garden Oasis series comprising four models of landscape speaker systems: two satellites and two subwoofers, a 10in and a 12in, and a 4in and a 6in satellite.

The manufacturer was also launching its Persona series which use beryllium diaphragms, not just for the tweeter, but the midrange driver as well. The line includes six full-range speakers: a bookshelf, centre channel, four passive floor-standers and a floor-standing speaker with active bass section.

Also new was Anthem AV’s new STR Integrated Amplifier, the first of a new suite of premium two-channel / stereo products due to be available in early 2017. The STR is available in black or silver and features Anthem Room Correction (ARC) for two-channel. Also included is a high-resolution pre-amplifier section and high current, high output amplifier section – 600W continuous @ 2 ohms.

Martin Logan launched its new centre channel at the show

Martin Logan launched its new centre channel at the show

Martin Logan was launching its ElectroMotion ESL C (EM-ESL C) centre channel loudspeaker, which will be shipping early 2017.

The EM-ESL C features a high-performance curvilinear electrostatic transducer, a Folded Motion tweeter, CenterForce dual woofer system – all packaged within a compact design sized to fit within equipment racks. One of the most unique features is the CenterForce dual-woofer system: two 5.25in woofers which are centrally located inside a slot within the cabinet, behind the tweeter and electrostatic panel. With the addition of the EM-ESL C, the ElectroMotion Series now consists of two floorstanding speakers (EM-ESL X & EM-ESL), a two centre channel speakers (EM-ESL C & EM-C2) and a surround speaker model (EM-FX2).

Also new, two centre channel loudspeaker models in the Masterpiece Series – Illusion ESL C34A and Focus ESL C18. Complementing the new Renaissance ESL 15A, Expression ESL 13A, Impression ESL 11A and Classic ESL 9 loudspeakers, the design of each centre channel loudspeaker is driven by its application.

Also on the booth was the new fully passive floorstanding loudspeaker in its new Masterpiece Series, Classic ESL 9. The Classic ESL 9 features a Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) XStat vacuum-bonded electrostatic transducer with advanced microperf stator technology, redesigned ultra-rigid AirFrame Blade construction, and dual 8-inch low-distortion aluminium cone woofers.

Illusion C34A, designed for ultimate performance floor standing applications, features a 34-inch wide dipolar curvilinear XStat electrostatic transducer, rigid aluminium AirFrame, dual Folded Motion XT tweeters, WBT binding posts, and powered woofers that play up to 500Hz.

Focus ESL C18, designed for on-wall or shelf-mount applications, features a fully passive topology with an 18-inch wide curvilinear XStat electrostatic transducer, Folded Motion tweeter, dual aluminium cone woofers, and an acoustic contour switch to optimise performance for on-wall or shelf-mount applications. Classic ESL 9 will be available in three finishes and will start shipping in November 2016.

The big news for Bang & Olufsen at the show was its new partnership with Origin Acoustics, pairing the latter brand’s in-wall and in-ceiling speaker technology with the aesthetics associated with the Danish brand.

The two new product ranges include the Celestial in-ceiling speakers and the Palatial in-wall speaker concept, offering an extensive range of grills and covers designed to complement modern or period designs. The Celestial speaker range is designed for discrete background music listening, high performance listening and home cinema, while the Palatial in-wall speakers are made for active listening, whether this be for music or for an invisible home theatre in the living room.

“Origin Acoustics is highly appreciated and respected in the installation industry for providing high-quality solutions that cater to the specific needs of the installers,” said Christoffer Østergaard Poulsen, Sr. director, home integration. “At the core Bang & Olufsen and Origin Acoustics share the same values when it comes to fundamental acoustics of wanting to give customers superior and accurate sound quality and a dedication to engineering performance while also considering aesthetics.”

A show of collaberations, this fine looking speaker is the child of Origin Acoustics and Bang and Olufsen

A show of collaboration, this fine looking speaker is the child of Origin Acoustics and Bang and Olufsen

Monitor Audio continued its busy year showcasing lots of new ranges including new subwoofers and exterior speakers too. The Climate Garden range offers all-weather sat/sub models which are designed to deliver big, wide, detailed sound. The speakers have a choice of different mounting spikes and can even be attached to a tree without damage. The system comprises the Climate CLG140 satellite speaker and the CLG-W12 subwoofer ‘daisychained’ together in 70/100V line arrays of up to twelve satellites per subwoofer, expandable with additional satellite and subwoofer sets according to the area needed to cover.

The CSS230 in-wall/ceiling back-box design has been created to deliver high-quality performance with installation flexibility via its 50mm (2in) mounting depth. Able to fit between 2in stud frames or where pipework or cabling reduces mounting depth, the CSS230 also has an innovative back-box design which allows, via the removal of a special plug to either deliver full bass performance or more subtle delivery if positioned in a building where sound proofing is important. Together the maker says the CSS230’s three 3in mid-bass units achieve the bass output of a 61/2in driver, all from its slim-profile. Monitor also showcased its versatile and powerful CW8 and CW10 subwoofers. Compact in design, the speakers are well suited to the install channel with lots of connectivity and tuning options as well as employing a 400W class-D internal amplifier a single active woofer and two passive radiators. The CW8’s woofer and radiators are 8in, whilst the CW10’s are 10in. The company also revealed that it is looking at creating hidden under plaster speaker designs, more news on that as we get it.

Another company getting in on the landscape speaker act was HARMAN brand Revel with its new XC Extreme Climate Series.

Three models make up the family: the L41XC 4in (100mm) Landscape Satellite, L42XC Dual 4in (100mm) Landscape Bollard and the L12XC 12-inch (300mm) Burial Subwoofer. The range includes low-voltage or 70V/100V variable tap capability, neat integrated and independently controlled low-voltage lighting (L42XC only) as well as flexible mounting options with available accessories such as a12in ground spike or an optional mount which enables the attachment to decks, walls and trees. The deck mount can also be used to suspend the satellite as a pendant mount for custom applications.

The maker says the L42XC sub is unique in that it includes integrated low-voltage 360° down-lighting with independent control that allows it to be integrated into the outdoor lighting system functioning as a path light or general area light and the unit can also be buried up to half of its height for a reduced visual appearance or it can used with the optional deck mount to become a freestanding tower for use on hard surfaces. The L12XC is a direct burial subwoofer with a 12in Aluminum cone woofer. It features a separate transformer disguised as a rock that can used for low-impedance or 70V/100V 250W variable tap operation.

Revel was just one of the brands showcasing exterior AV systems

Revel was just one of the brands showcasing exterior AV systems

Sony had a really big stand at the show, refreshing as the US Sony seems to have a much more joined up approach to install than its European counterpart. Some of this can be put down to the US market being that little more mature, but with the amount of genuine install products now in Sony’s stable, hopefully it should only be a matter of time before we see a more coherent strategy targeting installers from Sony. The seeds of this can perhaps be seen in the company’s recent deal with AWE in the UK .

Perhaps the most interesting product on the Sony stand was its tilt at the 4K disc player market, with the X1000ES. Exclusive to the channel, the machine provides connectivity and automation platform compatibility. It is not 100% clear yet though if this exact model will come to the UK and Europe.

SpeakerCraft delivered some fresh innovation at the event with the AIM Series 2 in-wall LCR speaker line and announced that its Dolby Atmos enabled in-wall height speaker, the AIM Series 2 ATX100 is now shipping. Check out the details here.

Klipsch revealed several new product categories including landscape speakers which can be powered by two new DSP amplifiers. The new Klipsch Stream Wireless Multi-Room Audio concept was also on show as was a new concept in under-TV sound-bars. Our full report is here.


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