What’s New In Speakers? – April 2013 (Part 1)

4/10/2013 2:42:47 PM

Our round-up of all the very latest product news. If it isn’t here, it isn’t happening…

Back in black

Elipson has introduced a new Matt Black version of its revolutionary and unique Planet L loudspeakers, combining exceptional high-end audio performance, state-of-the-art design with a fashionable finish.

The use of Matt Black has become a trend recently in several product sectors, including the car market, so Elipson has now followed suit into audio and, due to the Planet L’s spherical form and powerful characteristics, the high tactile and durable Matt black finish creates a more individual and purposeful look.

The Planet L speakers boast a powerful 2-way

The Planet L speakers boast a powerful 2-way

The Planet L speakers boast a powerful 2-way, 165mm coaxial driver with an integral 25mm soft dome tweeter. With no less than four clever mounting accessory options, the Planet Ls can be used for table, floor, wall and ceiling applications, and can be purchased as a stereo pair for music or individually for multi-channel or commercial applications.

The Planet L is the first of the Elipson speaker line to feature the Matt Black finish and is available now at a UK SRP of $899 per pair. All Elipson speakers are also available in a choice of three piano gloss colors: red, white and black.

Diamonds are forever

The Diamond name has been a permanent fixture in the Wharfedale catalogue ever since, establishing itself as the classic entry point to high-fidelity sound and delighting millions of music fans in the process. Diamond is no longer just a bookshelf speaker but a complete range of stand mount and floor standing designs; the last iteration, the Diamond 10 Series, launched in 2009 and became another best-selling range, receiving numerous plaudits including the coveted Product of the Year Award from What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision for the stand mount Diamond 10.1. Now, as 2013 dawns, it’s time for a new Diamond to take the stage: the Diamond 100 Series.

The Diamond 10 Series was a huge critical and commercial success

The Diamond 10 Series was a huge critical and commercial success

The Diamond 10 Series was a huge critical and commercial success, so Wharfedale’s engineers were set an enormous challenge to improve upon its performance whilst maintaining the traditionally affordable prices that embody the Diamond ethos. First, the drive units were redesigned; Wharfedale’s woven Kevlar cone, already refined through successive generation, now sports a new profile based on research originally undertaken for the high-end Jade range, which launched in 2011. The bass and midrange cones incorporate semi-elliptical ‘break-up’ areas, which smooth the response throughout the audible range, and each surround is treated to match the cone edge, and each surround is treated to match the cone edge with a unique ‘Diamond pattern’ molding. The dust cap is blended and treated to provide a smooth transition with the treble unit, which has also been entirely redesigned and now incorporates an advanced ferrite magnet system, together with a carefully constructed waveguide around the fabric dome for optical dispersion.

Cabinet design and construction is also critical to sound quality, yet this is an area where many affordable loudspeakers fall short. The latest version of Wharfedale’s advanced ‘Virtual Speaker’ software was used to hone the design of each Diamond 100 Series model until an ideal acoustic balance was achieved, including the aid of Delayed Cumulative Spectral Analysis, which ruthlessly reveals panel coloration in all its forms. Using this technique, Wharfedale’s engineers have formulated an all-new cabinet panel construction consisting of multi-grain faceted boards (a mix of chipboard and MDF) bonded together to damp unwanted High-Q resonances and block internal sound leakage. As a result of these firmly braced panels, ‘noise’ from the cabinet walls is buried more than 35dB below the driver output. When you listen to Diamond 100 Series speakers, all you hear is the output from the drive units, without any attendant coloration from the cabinet.

Diamonds are forever

Diamonds are forever

One of the key innovations in the Diamonds 100 Series is the Slot-Loaded Distributed Port, developed from the Aperiodic bass loading system found in the Jade Series. Exiting at the base of the speaker cabinet, the reflex port is loaded by a slot that is created by the plinth. This equalizes the air pressure to mimic that inside the cabinet, allowing smooth transition between the pressure variation in the cabinet and the low frequency sound developed in the room.

No other speaker range at such affordable price point implements an advanced bass loading system of this kind. When combined with the speakers’ exceptionally high-quality drive units, Diamond 100 speakers deliver new standards of bass reproduction at budget price points.

·         Diamond 121 2-way stand mount: $344.95 per pair

·         Diamond 122 2-way stand mount: $419.95 per pair

·         Diamond 155 2.5-way floor stander: $749.95 per pair

·         Diamond 157 3-way floor stander: $1,049.95 per pair

·         Diamond 159 3-way floor stander: $1,499.95 per pair

·         Diamond 101 C 2-way center speaker: $344.95

·         Diamond 102 C 3-way center speaker: $518.95

The Swedish thing

Audio Pro, the specialist loudspeakers company from Sweden, is pleased to announce the latest addition to its Living wireless speaker range, the LV1. A single stereo speaker with modern Scandinavian style finished in a slim leather-covered design, LV1 uses wireless technology to transmit audio as a peer-to-peer system or as part of a larger Audio Pro Living home network.

LV1 delivers stereo sound from a single box using Audio Pro’s ‘Embracing Sound’ technology

LV1 delivers stereo sound from a single box using Audio Pro’s ‘Embracing Sound’ technology

The smallest speaker in the Living series – an award-winning lifestyle multi-room audio solution based on wireless technology to distribute audio content throughout the home, it’s the perfect speaker to either start or expand an existing system as it’s easy to place anywhere thanks to its slim and unobtrusive design.

With its built-in digital amplifier, wireless receiver, DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and digital filters, the LV1 delivers stereo sound from a single box using Audio Pro’s ‘Embracing Sound’ technology. A complete speaker system in one box, LV1 is ready to use in the Audio Pro unique network with full CD-quality. This means you can play FLAC or Apple Lossless files without any compression and you can add as many speakers as you like within range of the transmitter.

Just like all speakers in the Living series, LV1 is extremely easy to use – just plug the USB transmitter into a computer, power up the speaker and let the music flow. True plug ‘n’ play, the transmitter can be connected to any audio device with a sound output, such as PC/Mac, iPod/iPhone/iPad dock, cell phone or radio, whilst the included remote control allows the user to set all volume levels throughout the home.

The Audio Pro Network uses a dedicated, protected protocol in the best possible sound quality. Transmission is achieved at full CD-quality, making it possible to play uncompressed formats such as FLAC, Apple Lossless etc. developed especially for the Living range, a built-in “sniffer” system detects other wireless channels and automatically jumps to free RF channels in order to avoid interference before listening. The system progressively controls the audio bands available, ensuring that the Audio Pro network can coexist with other wireless systems. An additional built-in security filter removes all RF interference from other wireless networks.

The Swedish thing

“It should be simple to enjoy wireless Hi-Fi with quality audio,” says Mathias P., Head of Design at Audio Pro. “The future is about lifestyle and new listening behavior with the focus on access to content. The computer is central to our music now, and it deserves the best sound possible. LV1 and the other products within the Living range make that possible without any compromise in sound quality”.

The Audio Pro Living LV1 is available now in the UK in red, black or white leather finishes with the SRP of $525.00.

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