Wisdom of the Sages

Among the myriad speakers introduced at CES were three new additions to the Sage Series from Wisdom Audio. All three—L150m, L100m, and C150m center-channel—are on-wall models based on Wisdom's planar-magnetic, line-array design and intended to be placed behind an acoustically transparent projection screen.

Like many Wisdom models, these use planar-magnetic drivers for the mids and highs. Conductive elements are embedded in a thin, pleated film of advanced polymer, much like a car's rear-window defogger is embedded in the glass. The film is suspended between two sets of permanent magnets, and the audio signal is sent through the conductive elements, causing the film to vibrate accordingly.

Low frequencies are handled by a vertical line array of 6-inch woofers—12 in the L150m, eight in the L100m, and 16 in the C150m (two arrays of eight flanking the planar-magnetic driver), allowing the L100m and C150m to reach down to 40Hz and the L150m to extend to 30Hz (-2dB). Why line arrays? Because of their radiation pattern, which is cylindrical rather than spherical as with point-source speakers, allowing you to hear more of the speaker and less of the room because of the well-controlled vertical dispersion.

All three new on-wall models provide an alternative to their in-wall counterparts to accommodate situations for which in-walls are not possible or desired. The L150m ($16,000 each) is the tallest of the bunch at 76 inches, while the L100m ($11,700 each) and C150m center-channel ($17,500 each) are 50 inches tall for smaller screens. I didn't get to hear them at CES, but from what I've heard at other Wisdom trade-show demos, these speakers should deliver the sonic goods in spades.