For years speaker companies have been working to design speakers that fully disappear into a home, including those that professional integrators can “mud” into walls and ceilings. The problem with this design concept is that many people frown upon these speakers, feeling they don't provide audiophile sound.
Throwing its hat into the 'disappearing speaker' ring to meet the demands of dealers and music lovers that want invisible speakers with audiophile credentials is the British manufacturer Monitor Audio.
Monitor Audio's IV140 Invisible Speaker was designed to allow integrators to conceal a speaker into walls or ceilings.
The product, which is available from the company's American distributor Kevro, provides dealers with setup options of closed and open back box configurations to increase bass response for home theater applications.
“Installers, architects, designers and clients are increasingly attracted to the benefits of an invisible audio soundstage,” says Dean Hartley, technical director, Monitor Audio. “A completely concealed solution appeals to designers and clients who want to listen to music, but also want to preserve the interior aesthetic. For installers, invisible speakers can be a real problem solver on many projects, but they must be fitted by a professional.
“Meanwhile, everyone is looking for high quality invisible speakers that deliver the best possible audio performance they can buy. Using our 40 years' experience, we've built the IV140 to bring both ultimate discretion and high performance benefits and take advantage of a significant, and growing, market opportunity for invisible speakers.”
The speaker carries an MSRP of $750 each.
Hybrid Back Box Isolates Sound
The IV140 utilizes a single low-frequency transducer, as well as a pair of high-frequency transducers,. These drivers are bonded to a flat, soft polymer membrane to produce sound vibrations. An integrated crossover controls the speaker's two-way driver array. Monitor augments the capabilities of the speaker with its hybrid back box design.
Explaining the concept behind its hybrid back box, Monitor says the design isolates sound and it helps ensure consistent performance regardless of where dealers install the speaker by minimizing sound leakage from the rear of the speaker.
Monitor says the hybrid design in a sealed, closed back configuration limits low frequency below 75Hz to enable the speaker to combine with subwoofers in home theater applications, and when configured as an open back, the speaker can provide an extended frequency response.
Measuring just 3 1/4-inches deep, the U.K.-based company says the IV140 fits into standard stud bays. It also incorporates automatic resetting circuit breakers (PTC) to protect the speaker from overload.
The 8-ohm speaker is specified to produce a frequency response of 75Hz to 18kHz in a closed back, sealed box configuration, and as an open back its frequency response is 55Hz to 18kHz.