The loudspeaker market is one of the most competitive categories in consumer electronics and it’s always a challenge for new manufacturers to compete.
Accepting the challenge of building a brand in this competitive environment is the new Massachusetts audio company Next Level Acoustics.
Next Level launched its first products with the introduction of its Elite Series enclosures, and Fusion Series soundbar and subwoofer combination. By the summer of 2016 the company followed up with its newest products, the newly announced Custom Installer (CI) series of architectural loudspeakers.
Next Level Engineered the speakers to deliver the sound quality of established custom installation brands, and it says the products feature acoustic back boxes, binding posts, dog-ear/rail mounting systems and proprietary sound deadening acoustic materials.
Debuting the line for CE Pro, the Massachusetts audio company setup and conducted an exclusive presentation for the editorial staff.
Using a Sony VPL-VW665 4K projector, a Falcon Screens Horizon 2.35:1 acoustically transparent screen, a Da-Lite Imager Projector Screen Masking System, an Anthem AVM 60 Atmos A/V Processor, ATI AT4000 Signature Series amplifiers, a Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray disc player, a Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD disc player, AudioQuest cables, the new speaker manufacturer played its new CI-IWHDMON in the left, center right speaker positions, as well as four of its CI-IW55 speakers in the rear and surround positions, and it employed a single CI-HV10 High-Velocity Subwoofer to round out the system.
The CI-IWHDMON is a two-way design that features a pair of 7-inch reed-cone woofers and a single 1-inch silk-dome tweeter. The, 4-ohm, 89dB efficient speaker provides a frequency response 55Hz to 20kHz. The CI-IW55 incorporates a 5.5-inch long-throw woofer and a 1-inch Vifa textile-dome tweeter. The 4-ohm, 90dB efficient speaker offers a rated frequency response of 60Hz to 20kHz.
Next Level Acoustics’ High Velocity Subwoofer employs a 10-inch aluminum cone woofer, along with a 500-watt amplifier, and it points out the sub utilizes a vented bandpass design.
Seating CE Pro senior editor Bob Archer in the “money seat” Next Level Acoustics played a variety of demo content that was highlighted by a music video starring Dream Theater drummer Mike Mangini, and a battle scene from “Saving Private Ryan.”
Following the demonstration, Archer noted the products were powerful in their ability to deliver an impactful home theater experience.
“I was very impressed with my first listen of the new Next Level Acoustics line of sealed enclosure architectural loudspeakers. The bass was deep and loud with lots of note definition, and it was well integrated into the rest of the sonic picture. The midrange was also smooth, which was highlighted by the clarity of the dialog it reproduced during several movie clips, and the top end was also extended without being shrill,” stated Archer. “Sitting down and listening to a Next Level system that included CI-IWHDMON in-wall speakers as left, center and right front speakers, as well as the company’s CI-IW55 in-wall speakers as side and surround speakers, and a single Next Level CI-HV10 high-velocity subwoofer, I was completely immersed in the action of movies such as 'Saving Private Ryan.' On music I felt the visceral impact of a music video featuring the technique of Dream Theater’s drummer Mike Mangini. It was a very convincing demonstration.”
Now with the products hitting the market Next Level is establishing its distribution network. The company recently appointed Lumescent Systems as its national representative and on a local level it has named Novus Distribution as its New England regional distributor.
Over the next several months in addition to building out its distribution network, Next Level’s Robert Goldman says the company will be expanding its product line. Some of the next-generation Next Level products dealers can expect says Goldman include in-room products such as tower models, as well as its Infinity Grilles trimless architectural models, and its universal soundbar bracket with height, depth and tilt adjustments.
Goldman adds that Next Level is committing to dealer support through initiatives such as custom speaker sizes, paint matching to help the products blend into a variety of home environments, and two-week order fulfillment to ensure integrators stay on time and on budget.
Archer observed that dealers are interested in finding products that offer a value proposition and Next Level fits that type of criteria.
“Looking at the build quality and performance of the products, the Next Level product line should spark interest with dealers,” commented Archer. “Adding in the competitive price points that Next Level is coming to market with, that should be the tipping point that makes Next Level successful in the custom installation industry.”