Control4’s New Triad Designer In-Walls: Full-Range, Totally Serviceable Speaker with 4-inch Grille

Control4’s new Designer Series DS4 in-wall/in-ceiling speakers from Triad feature full-range, broadly dispersed sound with small 4-inch opening and grille; completely serviceable without wrecking wall.

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Triad Speakers, a Control4 (Nasdaq: CTRL) company, is building big in-ceiling speakers and subwoofers with itty bitty grilles. The new Designer Series (DS4), to be showcased at CEDIA 2017, represents Triad’s entrée into the category of small-aperture speakers. They’re sized like a typical box speaker, but all that bulk stays hidden behind the wall, while a palm-sized opening pokes through, concealed with a discreet 4-inch grille.

Triad isn’t the first company to offer full-sized speakers with pint-sized apertures. There are a few others out there, but Triad does solve a few major challenges of such designs.

Major challenge No. 1 is this: Once you seal these speakers in the wall, how do you repair them? If you don’t have crawl space above the speakers, you’re out of luck, especially if your wall is finished with expensive faux-painted plaster or exotic wood from some remote forest in Africa.

You have to open up the wall to pull out the guts.

In the case of Triad Designer speakers, all of the serviceable parts are accessible via the small opening.

You can replace anything in the wall, except for the box.”

— Kordon Vaughn, Control4

“You can replace anything in the wall, except for the box,” says Kordon Vaughn, Control4 senior product manager.

He recalls a client who once spent $10,000 to re-finish a fancy wall that concealed a completely invisible (broken) speaker. Granted, Triad’s Designer speakers don’t disappear entirely behind the wall, but darn near.

Vaughn says it’s no small feat designing a full-range speaker that is completely serviceable from a four-inch opening.

“It’s pretty tricky,” he says, “especially considering things like reconnecting wires on a crossover.”

The other tricky thing about a small-aperture speaker is coaxing good sound quality out of such a small hole.

Personally, I’m not a great judge of sound quality, but the audiophile editors in a preview of the new speakers oohed and aahed appropriately, telling me privately that the performance was, in fact, rather extraordinary.

On top of the sound quality, Triad’s sound dispersion is broader than most – about 150 degrees – so you won’t need to install a bjillion of them in a single space.

Triad’s Ultra-Broad Dispersion (UBD) tweeter features 50 percent more cone area than competitors, according to the company.

The companion subwoofer handles 300W at 4 ohm.

The Triad Designer Series is available today with a U.S. MSRP of $1,400 each for the DS4-FR speakers and DS4-SUB subwoofers. The products come with a 10-year warranty.

Triad founder Larry Pexton's home – Designer Series hole and speaker flank traditional in-wall variety.


Triad Designer Series – Features

The Triad Designer Series is a uniquely engineered family of luxury in-ceiling speakers that deliver rich, full sound through a speaker grill that is a fraction of the size of traditional in-ceiling speakers.

The DS4-FR Full-Range speaker includes two woofers and an Ultra Broad Dispersion (UBD) tweeter providing 150-degrees of sound, up to 50 percent wider than conventional speakers. Everyone can enjoy the music while minimizing hot spots where the music is too loud. The DS4-SUB Subwoofer includes three woofers for exceptional bass while being incredibly discrete.

Designer Series speakers are constructed with solid wood to prevent sound from traveling between floors.

Built with installers in mind, Designer Series speakers are completely serviceable through the grill opening including all drivers and crossovers. The speaker grills can also be painted to match any room.

IN-CEILING DS4-FR FULL-RANGE

  • 1 2.5″ UBD™ broadband full-range driver
  • 2 3″ x 6″ woofers
  • 4″ port with round or square (sold separately) flush-mount grills
  • Handles 100-200W at 6 ohm
  • Frequency response 55 Hz – 20 kHz

IN-CEILING DS4-SUB SUBWOOFER

  • 3 dedicated 3″ × 6″ woofers
  • 4″ port with round or square (sold separately) flush-mount grills
  • Handles 300W at 4 ohm
  • Frequency response 28 Hz – 200 Hz

About the Author

Julie Jacobson
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Julie Jacobson:

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson

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