SpeakerCraft Kills Nirv Multiroom AV/Control System

After four years, Nortek subsidiary SpeakerCraft drops Nirv home automation/multiroom AV system based on CobraNet. Layoffs ensue.

Nirv one-wire audio, video, home automation system
Julie Jacobson · April 30, 2012

SpeakerCraft—a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc (Nasdaq: NTK).—has abandoned its Nirv multiroom audio, video and control system after spending four years on the project.

Nirv was to be a whole-house A/V system requiring only a single Cat 5 cable to deliver content and two-way control using CobraNet networking technology. While home automation was a key element of the original system, announced in 2009, SpeakerCraft backed off of that feature to focus on multiroom audio and video.

“Nortek is working very hard to better integrate all of its brands,” SpeakerCraft president Jeremy Burkhardt tells CE Pro. “We found that there was just too much overlap between Nirv and [sister company] Elan.”

Elan Home Systems, acquired by Nortek in 2003, has its roots in multiroom audio and video and is gaining traction with its latest home automation system, G!.

Burkhardt says, “Elan is selling a lot of product, so it makes sense to direct dealers to G!”

Nirv never shipped in quantity; it was released only to a handful of dealers.

“They will all be made whole,” Burkhardt says, indicating that SpeakerCraft will take back products and reimburse affected dealers for any expenses incurred around the Nirv line.

The same can be said about SpeakerCraft’s own personnel. There will be layoffs, Burkhardt says, but “they will be taken care of.”

Burkhardt is personally contacting all affected dealers, reps and other parties. “The most important thing is to be a good corporate citizen and we have never strayed from that mission,” he says.

As for SpeakerCraft, Burkhardt tells us to expect more products around its core audio business. Wireless will be a big push going forward.

Nortek just wrapped up a meeting with the presidents of its home technology group, including SpeakerCraft, Elan, Niles, Xantech, Linear, Panamax/Furman and Gefen. Nortek sold its lighting-control division, LiteTouch to Savant earlier this year.

In 2010, Nortek rolled Niles, Elan and Xantech into a group called Linear AVC (Audio Video Control) but SpeakerCraft was not included in the roll-up.

  About the Author

Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Email Julie at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

News · Nirv · Nortek · SpeakerCraft · All Topics
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