Aerial Acoustics System 1 TheaterWall

As I was researching my response to Xavier Beard's question about speakers from Aerial Acoustics, I came across the company's System 1 TheaterWall. This artfully designed, decidedly high-end speaker system surrounds a screen of just about any size with speakers for the left, right, center, and subwoofer channels.

The entire system is custom configured for screens of any size starting at 100 inches, including curved screens and masking systems. It can even accommodate a flat panel on the wall for casual use and a retractable screen that drops down in front of it for movie nights. Best of all, it's reconfigurable if you get a different screen, and you can take it with you if you move, even though it looks like a built-in cabinet.

Closely related to Aerial's Model 9, the L/R column is just 8.5 inches wide and houses a 1-inch titanium-dome tweeter flanked by two 6-inch damped bilaminate-composite midrange drivers. Four long-stroke, damped bilaminate-composite 7-inch woofers—two at the top, tow at the bottom—complete the driver complement. The speaker's response has been optimized for in-cabinet and near-wall positioning and to blend well with the subwoofers. Frequency response is rated from 50Hz to 22kHz (±2dB) with a high sensitivity of 92dB/W/m and nominal impedance of 4Ω.

The matching horizontal center-channel speaker uses the same drivers and achieves the same specs as the L/R columns.

The System 1 includes two subwoofers, each employing twin 10.6-inch Kevlar-Nomex composite cone drivers with massive magnet structures and oversized, 4-layer, high-temperature voice coils. Like the other speakers in this system, the subs are designed to be placed against a wall or in a cabinet with a front-facing port. Their frequency extension is claimed to be flat to below 20Hz.

Powering each sub is a 600W monoblock amp that includes precision crossovers and system-specific equalization.

Fully assembled, the System 1 extends only 12 inches from the wall, and its neutral aesthetic blends into any decor, especially with the grilles installed. In other words, it has a very high spouse-acceptance factor!

Perhaps most surprising is the price—I would have guessed this system to be much more than $28,500. Granted, that doesn't include the screen, surround speakers, or main-channel amplification, but it's less than a pair of Aerial's 20T speakers! The System 1 appears to be an exceptional core around which to build a high-quality home theater without causing a divorce.