Klipsch’s chief of product development Mark Cassavant described the 115 as “a bad-ass new 15-inch subwoofer.” The 115 is a sizeable subwoofer, priced at $849, and is said to be “naturally” flat to 20Hz (or-3dB at 18Hz) without requiring any lift from EQ systems at all. Cassavant observed that the model 115 represents “an engineering bargain” relative to other subwoofers capable of offering true 20Hz bass extension.
Klipsch’s Gallery-series speakers are extremely slender “flat panel-friendly” models that, despite their shallow enclosures, just manage to fit in Klipsch’s signature Tractrix horns for their high frequency drivers (see photos). One of the most interesting new elements of the Gallery family is the self-powered, iDevice friendly, Airplay-enabled G-17 Air tabletop speaker, which will sell for about $549 and should be released in October 2011. In a nutshell, the G-17 Air is said to “offer the benefits of a dock-type speaker, but without the dock.”
Headphone announcements centered on the all new Mode M40 headphone—a full-size, over-the-ear, self-powered, noise-cancelling model featuring 2-drivers per earpiece. The Mode can run for up to 45 hours on one AAA battery. Projected price: $349. Availability: late October 2011. Based on a brief listen, I’d say this is by far Klipsch’s most sophisticated and sonically ambitious headphone to date.
Also new within the Klipsch headphone lineup were the new Reference-series headphones, which are re-voiced, upscale versions of previously released Klipsch models. The Reference range includes the Reference One headphone ($199, an improved version of the Image One recently reviewed in Playback), the Reference S4 earphone ($99, an enhanced version of the Image S4), and the Reference S4i earphone with mic/remote module ($119, basically an iPhone/iDevice-compatible version of the Reference S4). Last but not least, Klipsch rolled out its new Image S4a earphone, which is billed as the industry’s first designed-for-Android earphone.
Though best known in the pro-sound world, the Swedish company Labgruppen makes some very accomplished (and not terribly expensive) high-performance amplifiers that I suspect might eventually find their way into high-end theater applications. Labgruppen was founded in the early 1970’s and is at this point the number one seller of “touring amplifiers” in North America. The firm’s amps are also popular for home use in distributed audio applications.
Labgruppen amps are so-called “green designs” that are known for their extreme efficiency and reliability. Models range in output from 125 Wpc all the way up 20,000 Wpc (no, that’s not a typo).
The Lexicon display highlighted the firm’s upcoming MP20 A/V controller, which will—upon release—be the first home theater product to incorporate Harman’s Quantum Logic surround technology. The MP20 is a 20-channel “media processor” featuring a 12.4-channel main system (7.1-channels + 5 additional height channels + 3 additional subwoofer channels = 12.4), with four spare assignable channels.