SpeakerCraft has always been known for the low-key look of its Profile in-wall speakers, but this year at CEDIA the company took “invisible” a step further with the new Seamless series, the company’s first foray into speakers that literally hide behind drywall. A new line of digital multichannel amps also emphasized its new focus on making audio more discreet.
The new Seamless line includes only two models: the Seamless Subwoofer and Seamless Full-Range 1. Both are flat, metal-rimmed panels no more than 4 inches deep that can literally be slapped into a wall, taped, mudded and slathered in paint. Or plaster. Or stucco. Or wallpaper. SpeakerCraft claims a range of 60Hz to 22kHz on the Subwoofer and 45Hz to 250kHz on the appropriately named Full-Range 1.
Although companies like StealthAcoustics, Amina Technologies and SolidDrive have offered comparably hidden speakers for years, SpeakerCraft is emphasizing the ease of installation and sound quality of its own offerings in the niche space. Adjustable metal fittings are designed to make it less tricky to compensate for off-level drywall, and the company claims they use the entire (considerable) surface area to produce sound, rather just a portion. The square surface area of the sub, for instance, is comparable to the same cone area on a 15-inch round subwoofer.
As SpeakerCraft founder Jeremy Burkhardt frankly put it, they won’t be for everyone. The Seamless Subwoofer will sell to dealers for $1,200 and the Full-Range 1 for $800.
Besides the new low-key speakers, SpeakerCraft also showed off three new Vital digital amplifiers, which are designed to be smaller and cooler than its fire-breathing Big Bang amps, which use beefy Toroidal transformers. The Vital 1250 offers 12 channels while the smaller Vital 850 offers eight, both rated at 50 watts per channel. A third, the Vital 170V, will cater to commercial and industrial users with six channels and 60 watts per channel.
The long road to showrooms
According to Burkhardt, the FloBox products (the largest of which was supposed to retail for $399) just weren’t ready to compete with a field of competitors marketing $79 “toys.” (A little hpyocritical, you might think, from the same company that produces the Julius Dance machine.) A skeptical field of CEDIA dealers didn’t help: A room full of custom installers reportedly asked SpeakerCraft to add to a removable power cable that had to be soldered on so they could charge for labor. Youch.
Meanwhile, the BoomTomb may have missed fourth-quarter launch date the first time around, but SpeakerCraft promises they’ve spent a year tuning it and it will hit markets within 45 days. Start walling off the yard with Metallica-dampening shrubs today.