To See or Not To See – The Case for the Invisible Speaker
November 28, 2012
Speakers can be beautiful.
If it was up to some people, they would be in every room of the house and not hidden in the ceiling or wall cavities, rather out for all to see. Sadly, the vast majority of clients don’t agree – the most common request we receive when designing a multi-room audio system is, “I don’t want to see the speakers!”
This used to make life difficult, but thankfully these days there’s a wealth of ‘architectural’ style in-wall and in-ceiling speakers available from companies like Sonance with solutions that blend the speakers in so effectively they become unnoticeable.
However, for some people, minimising the presence of speakers is still not good enough. . And we aim to please all of our clients regardless of how fussy. Fortunately the audio boffins at Sonance HQ have been working hard to please and the result is Sonance’s new Invisible Series speakers.”
For all those audio savvy people out there who I hear shouting ”Invisible speakers are not new!” Absolutely! Companies like Stealth Acoustics and even Sonance themselves have been making invisible speakers for years with varying degrees of success. But there has always been a compromise – sound! But how do you make a speaker sound good when it’s effectively being covered with plaster? We don’t know the answer, because Sonance won’t tell us, but they do exist and they’re about to change the game entirely.
Imagine hanging your beautiful new 84” Ultra High Def TV on the wall, but rather than using the TV’s cheap, tinny built-in speakers, the audio emerges as if from nowhere in a perfect stereo sound stage. Pick up your iPad and choose a track from your iTunes library – the TV switches off and glorious music fills the room without even hinting where it’s coming from. Want more bass? No problem- let’s just add an invisible subwoofer to fill in the bottom end so you can crank up those club tunes. Want more treble? Just flick a switch to phase-align the speakers using BBE technology. Yes, BBE – that’s what you used to have on your Sony Walkman; it makes everything brighter, crisper and cleaner. Works a treat on these invisible speakers. The result is great sound. Certainly not audiophile quality mind you, but great sound nonetheless.
So now we have a solution for architects, interior designers and minimalist home owners everywhere. Put them in your walls, your ceilings, your living rooms, bedrooms, garage, office…wherever there’s plaster, you can finally have fantastic invisible sound.
Now who’s going to invent the invisible TV?