Intelligent Design Gives Balance to Aesthetics, Functionality and Performance

It is a common theme in system design.

Creating a system which has the aesthetics to satisfy the interior designer, the ease of functionality to please the end user, while offering a high level of performance. Conventional wisdom would lead one to believe that “something has to give”. Compromise is a reality in our industry. Our consultations with the interested parties allow us to deduce where the priorities lie, and which solutions will most likely be approved or dismissed. Sadly, performance tends to take the back seat to aesthetics and functionality. Which is not to say that it should take precedent, but all too often it is marginalized to an unnecessary degree.

There was a tag line in an old 1970’s TV show which sums things up beautifully “We have the technology”. Advancements in amplification, driver design, connectivity and room calibration, offer a means to fulfill multiple criteria with little to no compromise. Applying these technologies to ensure the acceptance by all parties while maintaining the principles of the brand, is the essence of intelligent design.

A clear application of intelligent design is exemplified in Lenbrook International’s solution to a common request.  A 2.1 audio system for a media room setting which could be executed as an integrated zone or as a stand-alone solution. The solution is both elegant and purposeful.

For amplification, start with the NAD M10 as the system centerpiece. Designed as a luxury audio streaming amplifier, the M10 offers the BluOS high resolution streaming platform providing a virtually endless amount of audio content. Incorporating NAD’s flagship amplifier platform, it delivers 100 watts x 2 channels of very refined power, and offers a substantial degree of connectivity (network, HDMI eARC, Bluetooth). As an all-in-one component, the minimalist design and modest size of the M10 offers both confidence and understated elegance.

Everyone knows that speakers make the single biggest sonic difference in a system. The challenge is obtaining high performance in an elegant and unobtrusive form factor. Just introduced, the PSB PWM2 is a high-performance, wall-mounted solution capable of delivering a very refined sound-field with incredible dispersive capabilities over a wide frequency spectrum. Able to play into the lower register (58hz @-10db) they offer full range sound on their own or allow for seamless integration of a subwoofer. Its clean and simple lines exude high value without dominating the overall visual of the room.

Placing a subwoofer in most decors is a difficult proposition. The traditional bulky black box is obtrusive to most room designs. Incorporating new shallow driver technology, the CSIR SUB is able to deliver remarkable low frequency performance from an In-Room subwoofer, with an approximate cabinet depth of a mere 4”. Offering three different placement methods (upright, on its back under a structure, fastened on-wall) it easy to blend into the room’s décor or hide altogether.

The PSB CS 500W matching subwoofer amplifier fits a 1U rack space and can easily be hidden, since once set, it does not have to be accessed regularly.

The last step in maximizing performance is control and calibration.  Fine tuning the listening space is quite easily done with the NAD M10’s Dirac room calibration system. The Dirac system is quick, efficient and consistent to deploy and its results are extremely demonstrable to the client. Control of the system can be governed through the BluOS App (Android/iOS/PC) or through many popular home automation systems. As part of the BluOS ecosystem, the room can be viewed as a stand-alone system or as zone within a whole home audio distribution system.

Each of the above components represents outstanding performance and value in their own right. But when used together in a professionally designed installation, the system represents the time-honored axiom of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. That synergy happens when proper aesthetics, functionality and performance come together.