Experiencing a renaissance of popularity due to the momentum of both Ultra HD 4K and object-based surround sound, home theater is once again a very hot market for professional system installers.
Announcing itself to the U.S. professional installation market earlier this fall at the 2016 CEDIA Expo in Dallas, the European manufacturer partnered with industry veteran Mark Cichowski and his company Clarity AV International to handle its U.S. business.
“One reason I got involved with StormAudio is that I believe the immersive category itself is up-and-coming, that people are progressing to this for their home theaters,” says Cichowski.
“With the engineering heritage and background that parent company Auro Technologies and its world-class recording studio Galaxy Studios bring, the quality of this line is very high and I am confident they will keep it that way. They have strong resources and funding to provide world-class support to properly develop the channel, and make it a sustainable model. Storm Audio has worked hard to simplify the install and user interface experience for the integrator. This venture has all the makings for success and the opportunity to eclipse the two or three brands that occupy the space.”
StormAudio will use independent reps in the U.S., Canada, South America and the Pacific region. As part of its launch, it will offer a selection of processors and amplifiers.
The Belgium-based company's processors include the ISP 3D.16 ELITE ($13,800), the ISP 3D.32 ELITE ($18,400) and the ISP 3D.32 ELITE Reference ($23,000) products.
All three processors feature Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D immersive surround sound processing, as well as the company's StormRemote monitoring technology to enable dealers to remotely maintain their clients' systems, and its StormOptimizer room equalization (EQ) technologies.
StormAudio's line of Class D amplifiers include the PA 8 Master ($6,900), the PA 16 ELITE ($11,500), and the PA 8 ELITE ($9,200). The amps utilize large power supplies with high-current, efficient amplifier modules.
StormAudio specifies the PA 8 Master to deliver 200 watts into each of its eight channels, and the PA 16 ELITE to deliver 225 watts into 16 channels. The PA 8 ELITE is specified to produce 200 watts into eight channels, and the power increases to 400 watts with 4 ohm-loads.
Analyzing the state of the U.S. home theater market, Yves Trelohan, head of the home entertainment and luxury audio product division, Auro Technologies, says the American custom installation industry is doing well, and the key for the brand's success with American installers will be organization.
“It is a great opportunity to launch our StormAudio product line worldwide at CEDIA. To succeed in the U.S. domestic market is one of our key priorities in the coming months, and I am convinced that we have established the proper sales, marketing and operations structure domestically to complement our state-of-the-art product line to become an extremely successful player in this market,” says Trelohan.