Its 0.75-inch-thick granite enclosure makes the Status Element monitor unique. The enclosure of the 53-pound speaker has four additional layers: elastomer, aluminum, silicon, and foam. Under the hood are a one-inch fabric tweeter and 6.5-inch beryllium alloy woofer. Your $15,000/pair can buy any of several colors of granite of which our favorite (though not pictured) is cactus green. It looked great on the spokesperson's iPhone. This product was born in the U.S.A.
Paradigm has refreshed its world-beating Millennia CT sat/sub system as the CT 2. It still has the same one-inch tweeter and four-inch woofer, both S-PAL, the company's satin-anodized aluminum, with an eight-inch driver built into the flat-form-factor sub. The new elements are in the control module and they include Dolby Digital decoding and Buetooth with aptX. Current CT owners should check out the upgrade. Price for CT 2 is $849, shipping first quarter of 2014. Paradigm has also added a Soundtrack II to the existing Soundtrack soundbar. The new one has 2.1 channels, two one-inch S-PAL tweeters, two four-inch woofers, two 4.5-inch passive radiators, wireless sub, Bluetooth/aptX, and will sell for $899. Also new is a Soundscape soundbar designed to go with TVs 60 inches and up. This 5.0-channel bar (sub extra) has three tweeters, each mated with a midbass driver, except for the center tweeter which gets two. Each of the seven drivers is powered by 25 watts. Dolby Digital, DTS, and Bluetooth/aptX are included. Price is $1499. Both bars will ship in the first quarter of 2014.
Olympica is a new speaker line from Sonus Faber, whose speakers have always been luxurious in both build and looks. A 1.1-inch silk dome tweeter and six-inch paper-composite woofer are built into a curved enclosure that is asymmetrical and built in mirror-imaged pairs. This allows the slot ports, located toward the rear of the side panels, to interact with the room in different ways, so if you audition these, you'll want to experiment with positioning, facing the port inward or outward. Available in light walnut and dark graphite veneer finishes, these were easily the most beautiful products we've seen on the first day of CEDIA 2013, and we suspect we won't see anything finer. Pricing is $6500/pair, shipping now. A matching center model is also available.
We hit the soundbar beat pretty hard at this show and our coverage wouldn't be complete without mention of two Bose products. The CineMate 1 SR ($1350) is said to be the bestselling bar in North America over the past nine months. It uses seven of the same tiny drivers that make the famous Bose "jewel cubes" sound pretty good (we know this, having reviewed them in another form). There are also two radiators providing side effects. And the bar's pretty control savvy, with multi-room control and Control 4, Crestron, RTI, and Savant compatibility. The same bar features in the Lifestyle 135 system ($2100) which adds a console with iOS dock and room correction.
Celebrity designer Andrew Jones, having already ennobled two loudspeaker lines that sell for real-world prices with his high-end touch, brings much the same values to the SP-SB23W soundbar. The 2.1-channel bar uses the same curved MDF enclosure, the same one-inch soft dome tweeter (times two), and similar three-inch woofers (times four) plus a 100-watt, 6.5-inch, wireless sub. Each of the six drivers gets a separate 28-watt amp channel. Designed for music as well as movies, the bar offers Bluetooth with aptX compression coding, plus Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, and is designed to plug into a TV's analog output. See upcoming review by Brent Butterworth. Price $399, shipping this fall.
In the past, we've found Phase Technology's three-channel passive soundbars quite persuasive, so we happily greeted the new TeatroTSB3.0. Here's the cool part: Spatial Field Expander drivers at the sides of the extruded aluminum bar push the left and right channels outward for a most un-bar-like, room-filling effect. Each of the three channels gets a classic Phase Tech 0.75-inch soft dome tweeter (this is the company that invented soft dome tweeters) plus a couple of polypropylene woofers; the SFE side drivers are one-inch aluminum domes. Shipping in late fall, price n/a. Phase Tech also showed the SB60 CA (Classic Audiophile) monitor to honor its 60th anniversary. Ken Hecht, son of the late founder Bill Hecht, remains actively involved in the company.
The Canton DM 50 sound pad (yes, we love the name too) is just about wide enough for the pedestal of a large flat panel TV. While the driver complement remained something of a mystery due to the nondetachable grille, it does have two 3.5-inch woofers firing out of the bottom. Dolby Digital and DTS decoding are present. Total power is 200 watts, Class D. Like any respectable bar nowadays, it also has Bluetooth. Price $599.
With three sides wrapped in fabric, the SoloCinema Studio bears the unmistakable DNA of Definitive Technology, and comes out of the company's new design center. This 5.1-channel soundbar has HDMI connectivity (three in, one out) along with non-lossless Dolby Digital and DTS surround and Bluetooth wireless connectivity (including both aptX and AAC for higher transmission quality). SRS TruSurround HD4 mingles with proprietary processing for zippier surround. Driver complement includes a trio of one-inch aluminum dome tweeters, six polymer-composite woofers, and an eight-inch driver in the external sub. With 200 watts behind it, that sub is no slouch, and the bar gets another 120 watts total. The system ships in October for $1199, eight hundred bucks less than the existing SoloCinema XTR soundbar.
Three new surround receivers from Anthem include the MRX 310, MRX 510 (shown), and MRX 710. The 310 has five channels while the 510 and 710 are seven-channel products. Power is 60, 75, and 90 watts times five (and kudos to Anthem for not merely quoting two-channel figures and calling it a day). Anthem has all the control angles covered including AMX, Bitwise, Control 4, Crestron, and Savant. The ARC 1M room correction has been improved, approaching the quality of that in Anthem's pre-pros, with more options and better filtering. The receivers boast the Dolby Volume low-volume listening mode to make movie sessions more painless. And 4K is supported for both pass-through and upscaling. Pricing is $1200, $1600, and $2000. The two upper models will ship this fall while the bottom model will ship in early 2014.
GoldenEar Technology's SuperCinema 3D Array XL soundbar (top) features three of the company's signature folded ribbon tweeters, and really, that is so cool, we could just stop right there. But there are also eight 4.5-inch woofers in an enclosure with a depth of just 2.7 inches. GoldenEar's 3D Array processing cancels out crosstalk between the left and right channels, spreading the soundstage beyond the bar. Designed to go with TVs of 70 inches and up, the bar will sell for $1499 when it ships in spring 2014.