Wisdom Audio LS3 & LS4 Speakers

Well-known for its high-end, in-wall, line-source speakers, Wisdom Audio has just announced two new on-wall models, the LS3 and LS4, which are designed—and priced—for the ultra-high-end market.

The LS3 and LS4 are based on wideband planar-magnetic drivers in a modular, vertical line-source configuration. Each module includes two upper-bass/midrange drivers that cover the frequency range from 80 to 750Hz and flank a central high-frequency driver that covers the rest of the audible range with a flat response to beyond 20kHz. The LS3 includes three of these 20-inch modules, while the LS4 includes four, resulting in speakers that are 60 and 80 inches tall, respectively. As a result, the LS3 has a total radiating surface area equivalent to 32 6-inch cone drivers and 69 1-inch dome tweeters, and the LS4 has the same radiating area as 43 6-inch midrange drivers and 96 1-inch dome tweeters. Also, vertical line-source speakers provide a much more even soundfield than conventional designs for listeners whose ears are within the height of the speakers.

Both models are designed to be bi-amped, so there is no internal crossover. Not only that, the high-frequency driver covers a much wider range than a conventional tweeter, so there is no crossover distortion in the 3kHz region, where the human ear is most sensitive to any aberrations. These speakers are highly efficient with a sensitivity of 100dB/W/m, and the company claims they can generate sound levels greater than 130dB SPL without distortion, thus avoiding any dynamic compression at high listening levels.

Of course, no self-respecting high-end home theater would be caught dead without a subwoofer, and Wisdom offers the perfect mate to the LS3 and LS4—the new STS passive subwoofer with dual 15-inch drivers. At five feet tall and three feet wide, it looks huge next to the SCS "suitcase" sub as seen here at this year's CEDIA Expo, but it's actually surprisingly small for what it does—130dB SPL at 20Hz (-3dB at 15Hz) with a sensitivity of 101dB/W/m and the ability to handle power up to 5kW!

As I said at the beginning, the LS3 and LS4 are priced for the ultra-high-end market—just add four 0s to the numerals in each model designation. That's $30,000 for the LS3 and $40,000 for the LS4—and those prices are for one speaker, not a pair! The STS sub goes for $10,000, so a 5.1 system with three LS4s in front behind a perforated or woven screen, two LS3s for surrounds, and two STS subs will set you back an even $200,000, and that doesn't include any amplification. But based on what I've heard from Wisdom Audio in the past, such a system should make a glorious sound.