Interview: Stealth Acoustics to highlight invisible innovation at ISE 2018

Among the highlights on Stealth Acoustics’ stand at ISE next week will be its newly developed LRx83 speaker.

The 6th generation of the manufacturer’s high-performance fully invisible speaker is designed to offer significant advancements in sound quality and power handling. Its 3-way driver architecture couples a 25mm neodymium tweeter, a 30mm neodymium mid-range and a traditional high-power 8-in woofer into a solution that Stealth states can provide better performance than visible architectural speakers.

300W power handling provides robust output, while the patented combination of drivers reproduces flat response from 20kHz down to 40Hz without need for special protection circuits or band-limiting filters.

What Stealth bills as “near hemispherical sound dispersion” across the entire audio spectrum ensures even coverage, reducing hotspots and dead zones. Bass extension to near sub-bass frequencies is furthermore accomplished by the speaker’s paintable flat-front FidelityGlass radiating surface which has two-times the area of a 15-in woofer.

HiddenWires sat down with Steve Olszewski, vice president at Stealth Acoustics, to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities facing home technology integrators and look forward to ISE 2018.

How would you describe the home cinema market for installers at the moment?

The home cinema market is always dynamic and changing as lifestyle trends and film reproduction technology progress. As long as there is access to good movie content in the home and a decent playback system, people will stay at home to watch most films other than new releases. This can create an excellent opportunity for installers in providing the right cinema solution in a home.

Few people build a fully dedicated themed theatre space because unless you have the time (and home area available) to dedicate substantial home space for say a weekly movie “event”, that space can be put to better overall use. Dedicated cinema rooms are costly and many times under used – it’s now all about maximising space utilisation and cogency with modern home design and normal home lifestyles as well as having a great cinema experience in the home.

In this regard, we believe that homeowners want their home cinemas to be an integral part of their normal home layout and why here at Stealth we suggest using highly capable invisible theatre surround sound speakers and subwoofers in family rooms, media rooms, man caves and bedrooms, as well as in dedicated home cinema spaces.

In your view, where does the opportunity lie for installers? (i.e. What are they missing? How can they capitalise on homeowner trends?)

Homeowners looking for sound in their homes can benefit from training about what having good sound really means. We are now coming out of the age of low-res MP3 compressed audio – initially, driven by limited internet speeds -  and into a new era of Hi-Fidelity content that modern networks and devices can deliver.

The rise of convenient and easily configured networked playback speaker systems, while granting excellent access to content, still do not really deliver a true Hi-Fidelity listening experience that fills an entire room with full-range sound.

So, it becomes a matter of installers and dealers teaching customers about the trade-offs of convenience verses audio quality; a good dealer should be able to supply either of these two approaches as appropriate to the buyer in an educational and consulting manner. If you demo each approach with quality gear and best available content, the differences become clear and customers have more choices. This represents the “soft” human engagement side of our industry, but provides a powerful tool for dealers.

Why, and how do Stealth products help them meet these demands?

Stealth makes very unique audio and visual products that bridge the gap between high performance technology and aesthetics. Our broad line of invisible speakers, especially our new expert grade LRx series, performs better than many visible speaker offerings. We are the only invisible speaker company that utilises true cone woofers and traditional multi-stage crossovers in a design that installs and finishes in a wall or ceiling like a piece of wallboard, becoming totally invisible.

Our invisible speakers provide impressive audio performance; even response from 18kHz down to 30Hz; near hemispherical radiation across all frequencies and a natural sound that even critical listeners enjoy. Dealers can benefit from being able to satisfy virtually any home audio system need – from distributed sound to home theatres – that does not compete with room décor. Beyond invisible speakers, our artistically customisable on-wall Image III art speakers and subwoofers create more opportunities in homes, corporates or even art installations.

For outdoors, we have our StingRay line, an IP-68 rated, hermetically sealed artistically customisable speaker with no openings or grill. Our award-winning Patio Theater, large-scale motorised big screen outdoor entertainment system also provides even bigger opportunities for dealers to meet the needs of higher-end customers, whilst making excellent margins.

What will ISE attendees take from a visit to Stealth’s booth?

A visit to Stealth’s stand in Hall 5 is a must for any dealer or installer that wants to advance their product and system offerings to move beyond pitching the same repetitive things others present. We prove in our on-floor listening room that our patented speaker technology is different from any other speaker solution and performs incredible well – hearing is believing. Many other, if not all other, invisible speakers have limitations of performance, or just bad sound.

Stealth technology is really quite different.

The best way to prove that difference is by allowing ISE attendees to listen for themselves and then take the steps to become a Stealth dealer, or expand into our latest generation of products for our existing dealers. We’ll demonstrate how dealers can differentiate themselves from competitors and win jobs on aesthetics, performance and better overall value to their customers, designers and architects.

Outside of the main entrances to the RAI exhibit halls, our IP68 rated StingRay outdoor speakers will be greeting attendees with music and announcements, as they have for the last three ISE shows. Winter in Amsterdam is certainly a challenge for any outdoor speaker and the StingRay’s excel under such intense weather conditions. That’s real world-proof of our StingRay’s performance – don’t miss it when entering the show!

Stealth Acoustics can be found at stand 5-R110 at ISE. This year’s show runs from 6 to 9 February, 2018 at the RAI, Amsterdam.