Large Revamp Brings Designer-Friendly Thin-Bezel Design
The new Protege Series includes 31 models of architectural speakers and subwoofers, all with a Thin-Bezel design that eliminates the wide plastic flange that surrounds most ceiling and inwall speakers. The look is sleeker and much more nuanced, allowing the speakers to blend in better in walls and ceilings – and to please homeowners and interior designers.
To make transitioning to Protege as easy as possible for systems integrators and custom installers, Proficient’s engineers adapted each model in the new series from an existing design. The acoustical and electrical engineering is identical to that of the originals, only the look has changed. Where an installer might have previously specified a C640, the Protege Series C641 can now be specified with no change in performance or installation.
The Proficient Protege product line includes every type of flush-mount speaker a system integrator might need for residential installations: eighteen in-ceiling speakers, ten in-wall speakers, two in-wall subwoofers and an in-ceiling subwoofer. Every home application can now benefit from the clean new look, whether it’s a dining room using Proficient’s affordable C625TT single-point stereo in-ceiling speaker, a custom home theater using the brand’s IW655 top-of-the-line dual- 6 ½” inwall LCR speaker or IWS85 dual 8” inwall subwoofer or anything in between for that matter.
“The Thin-Bezel design has become popular in the residential custom-installation market and we knew our dealers would love it,” Core Brands’ Keith Marshall said. “But we didn’t want them to have to get used to new models, especially since they like our signature sound so much already. That’s why we created Protege as an adaptation of our existing speaker line. There’s nothing new for the dealer to learn. The installation procedure is basically the same, and even the model numbers are barely changed. So with practically no effort, our dealers can get a much nicer look in their installations. We think they’re going to readily adapt to it and we are quite confident that their customers will too.”
2.1 System, Powered Subwoofer & Sound Bar Designed to Bring Great Sound to Any Room in Any Home
Today Proficient Audio introduced three new compact loudspeaker systems designed to bring high-quality sound to places in the home where there’s not enough space for a typical audio system. The new models include the $600 GS2.1 subwoofer/satellite minisystem, the $300 GS6 compact subwoofer and the $625 GSB3 soundbar.
“Most of the Proficient line is focused on home theaters, media rooms and multiroom sound systems,” Proficient Audio president Keith Marshall said. “Many of our customers have asked us if we could deliver the same sound quality in smaller spaces, such as offices and bedrooms. These new speakers are designed to do just that. They use the same quality components found in the rest of the line, but scaled down to suit smaller environments.”
Three New High Performance Subs Plus Mono Amp/Crossover
With the release of three new subwoofer models designed for in-wall or in-ceiling mounting, Proficient Audio is making it easier to get powerful bass without sacrificing any floor space.
The new models are the $625 IWS82 in-wall sub, the $500 IWS100 in-wall sub and the $375 ICS10 in-ceiling subwoofer. All are designed for use with Proficient’s $500 M3 180-watt subwoofer amplifier/crossover.
Proficient Audio president Keith Marshall notes, “For years, our IWS10 in-wall subwoofer has been popular with homeowners who want high-powered, high-quality bass but don’t have room for a large subwoofer. So we decided to expand the category. These new subs will give homeowners more options, and make it easier to install two or even four subwoofers for those who want true state-of-the-art bass.
“By designing these architectural subs for use with the M3 amplifier, we made them just as easy to install as our other in-wall and in-ceiling speakers,” Marshall adds. “There’s no need to run AC power to the subwoofers, so you don’t have to call in an electrician. Just run the wire back to the equipment rack, same as you would with any other in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, and connect it to the M3.”
The IWS82 is Proficient’s top-of-the-line architectural subwoofer. The dual 8” sub employs long-excursion graphite woofers with a power handling capacity of 200 watts. The system has a frequency response range of 30 to 120 Hz. The IWS82’s compact design makes it easy retrofit into existing homes.
The IWS100 in-wall subwoofer features an inverted motor design—the magnet is inside the speaker cone instead of behind it. This design allows the big, 10” long-excursion treated paper cone woofer to fit into a standard wall space. Frequency response is rated at 36 to 150 Hz. The IWS100 is tuned to the optional BB-IWS10 MDF back box for use in new construction.
The ICS10 in-ceiling subwoofer is certainly one of the least conspicuous subwoofers available. It mounts entirely in the ceiling, so it doesn’t affect wall décor or furniture. It uses a 10” long-excursion graphite cone with a ferrite magnet motor. Capable of handling up to 175 watts, the ICS10 has a frequency response of 30 to 120 Hz. With an installed depth of 6½”, the ICS10 easily fits any ceiling cavity.
“In addition to its TV sound improvement capabilities, the new Max TV MT2 from Proficient Audio also includes Bluetooth wireless connectivity”
There are many reasons why the home audio market is experiencing a resurgence. In the home theater category or media system category, soundbar speaker products are as popular as they ever been and as the category matures it is also becoming more diversified.
Back in September, the California-based audio manufacturer Proficient Audio announced its latest speaker solution the new MaxTV MT2 which is designed for placement underneath a flat-panel television. When it introduced the MaxTV the company explained that a vast majority of flat-panel televisions are placed on stands and not mounted on a wall. Proficient theorizes the MaxTV provides the majority of users who are placing TVs on a stand with an audio upgrade that is easy to implement. “It’s rare to find a TV with good sound, and I’ve never heard one with great sound. It’s no wonder [why the sound from a TV is substandard] … the limited space available inside a TV cabinet has been a barrier to good on-board TV sound for years. Now with today’s flat- panels [TVs] it would be difficult for TV designers to even consider great sound in a TV as a goal,” says Loren Maldoon of Proficient Audio. “The only real way to get high quality TV sound today is with an outboard solution, but for many situations a full-blown home theater sound system isn’t practical. A lot of soundbars just don’t begin to make it to the level we would consider acceptable. So we approached the challenge from a whole new direction. We asked, what if we designed a sound system that was a platform for the display? The answer was Proficient Max TV. Our first TV speaker, the MT2 is perfect for people who want great sound but don’t want to fill their room with speakers and electronics.”
”The MaxTV MT2 is an expert when it comes to impressive sound in a tiny package. We loved some of the design touches, like the magnetic removable speaker grills”
The phrase “sound bar” has a mixed reputation. But it’s not a dirty word or a slur- in fact, though the category might not seem sexy, it’s improved remarkably over the past few years. Though still constrained by the laws of physics- booming sound usually requires bigger space- new materials and technologies continue to allow improvements. Just like your headphones and earbuds have gotten better and less expensive, so have sound bars, all-in-one solutions that make home theater-quality sound simple and easy.
The Proficient MaxTV MT2 is the latest and greatest model from an audio company that specializes in some pretty high-end audiophile-grade equipment. This cabinet combines two subwoofers, two tweeters and four mid-ranges in a package that is, remarkably, only four inches high. Wide enough to accomadate most televisions without looking too overwhelming or being dwarfed, it’s perfect for modern flat panel TVs. Many folks buy a nice television and rely on the built-in speakers, which always sound anemic. The difference is amazing, and well worth the price- we definitely recommend saving a bit of money or opting for a smaller screen- and putting some of the savings towards the audio. Your ears will thank you.
Each year, CustomRetailer invites nominations of products that stand out for being innovative, high-performing and solutions-oriented for the custom installation professional. This year’s winners stood out as particularly impressive, considering the unique challenges custom installers face every day on the job. The impact these products have on the industry is felt in the installers’ productivity, the dealers’ profitability, the clients’ satisfaction and the industry’s vitality. Congratulations to the winners!
Proficient Audio MaxTV MT2 Under-TV Soundbar
During the company’s CEDIA press conference, Proficient president Keith Marshall explained that approximately four out of five TVs installed in the home are placed on stands. Using this information as a starting point, Proficient designed its MT2 speaker that contains four 2.5-inch midrange drivers and two 1-inch soft-dome tweeters arranged in a left/right midrange tweeter configuration. Augmenting the speaker’s low end is a pair of 5.25-inch downward firing woofers that are set in their own sub-enclosures. Proficient adds the speaker system also includes Bluetooth to enable streaming wireless audio from mobile devices and the enclosure can support TVs weighing up to 160 pounds.
GadgetReview four star review.
Sound bars make a lot of sense, especially now that TVs have gotten so thin. There’s no space for large speakers or heavy-duty audio amplification of them. So a stand-alone set of speakers that don’t take up the space of a traditional arrangement that requires speaker stands, strung out wiring and room, sounds good. And since more people than not have their TV on a cabinet, not wall-mounted, being able to put that sound bar right up against the TV makes sense too. But being able to put the sound bar beneath the TV makes even more sense, because it doesn’t take up any space to speak of (about all it doses is raise the TV a few inches higher than it was). Of course the TV’s pedestal shouldn’t exceed that of the top of the sound bar as that way lies madness (or a really bad accident).
Hence the mindset of Proficient Audio’s MaxTV MT2 TV Sound Speaker which, by the way, is 28-inches wide but only 4-inches high. Now while there are others that might look similar from the outside, what is found inside the MaxTV is pretty different. And it’s that difference that makes for some really good audio to accompany whatever you are watching.
“Proficient Audio launches MaxTV MT2 speaker box, soundbars start job hunt” Engadget
According to Proficient’s Loren Maldoon, “It’s rare to find a TV with good sound. And I’ve never heard one with great sound. It’s no wonder. The limited space available inside a TV cabinet has been a barrier to good on-board TV sound for years. Now with today’s flat panels, it would be difficult for TV designers to even consider great sound in a TV as a goal. The only real way to get high quality TV sound today is with an outboard solution. But, for many situations a full-blown home theater sound system isn’t practical. A lot of soundbars just don’t begin to make it to the level we would consider acceptable. So, we approached the challenge from a whole new direction. We asked, what if we designed a sound system that was a platform for the display? The answer was Proficient MaxTV. Our first TV Speaker, the MT2 is perfect for people who want great sound but don’t want to fill their room with speakers and electronics.”
“In creating Proficient MaxTV, our design and engineering team set up performance goals, focusing on voice intelligibility, dynamic range and tonal accuracy. This is important for movies and TV, and, is also essential for music listeners. Given this approach, the MT2 really sounds great with music program material too,” continued Maldoon. In addition, there is a selectable DSP to enhance the sound field.
MaxTV includes Bluetooth so end-users can stream music from their smartphones, tablets or computers. They can even up the experience of watching video or playing games on those devices by streaming the audio to the MT2.”
The Proficient MaxTV contains four 2½” midranges and two 1″ soft dome tweeters, front-mounted in a stereo Mid-Tweeter-Mid configuration. The left and right speaker systems are in their own internal enclosures. The powerful low end is produced by two 5¼” down-firing subwoofers, each in their own tuned and vented internal enclosures.
MaxTV uses four 20 Watt (RMS) digital amplifiers. The four amps are run in a 2 channel bi-amplified configuration. The two 5 ¼” low frequency drivers are each direct coupled to their own 20 Watt amp. The remaining two 20 Watt amps each drive the left and right front firing drivers. An on-board limiter protects the woofer’s driver being over-powered and maintains clean and undistorted sound, at any output level.
The Proficient MT2 TV Speaker works with TVs mounted on stands or wall mounted. Used as a TV platform, the MT2 can support up to 160 pounds.
The Big Red Button Demo Kit
Proficient believes that once someone hears the difference MaxTV makes, they will buy it. Given this, Proficient will have “The Big Red Button” a 4″ x 4″ button that will let dealers compare the TV sound system and then MaxTV. Proficient dealers should contact their local Proficient rep for details.
Proficient MaxTV is shipping now with an MSRP of $599.
New C600 offers high performance at a surprisingly affordable price.
Proficient Audio introduces the C600, a new in-ceiling speaker that delivers exceptional value in response to dealer installer demands.
“An inexpensive, entry-level 6½-inch ceiling speaker is important for our dealers. The everyday price means that a dealer can pick it up any day of the week and not have to wait for a sales promotion,” Proficient Audio president Keith Marshall said. “Dealers have been telling us that it’s difficult for them to sell a budget speaker that doesn’t have good sound quality. We challenged our guys to develop a speaker that sounded great, and we think they succeeded. This little guy punches above its weight class.”
The woofer in the C600 uses a polypropylene cone, well known for being stiff yet light for good bass with low distortion. The C600’s ½-inch fixed position polyethylene dome tweeter perfectly complements the polypropylene woofer – it’s light, fast and features wide dispersion.
The 8 Ohm C600 is rated to handle maximum power of 75 watts, and produces a frequency response of 55Hz to 20kHz with a high sensitivity of 89dB 1W/1m. Suggested retail price of the C600 is $130 per pair. It’s shipping and available now.
About Proficient Audio
Proficient is a leading brand in the dealer-installed home audio market, with single-brand system solutions and an extensive line of speakers for whole-house, home theater and outdoor audio systems. Proficient also offers receivers, amplifiers, multi-room audio controllers, control keypads and an extensive selection of accessories — everything needed to build high-quality home sound systems.
Proficient Audio is a division of SpeakerCraft LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nortek, Inc. Since its founding in 2001, Proficient Audio has delivered top-notch product and industry-leading service. It is now known as one of the residential custom install industry’s most innovative brands. For more information, go to www.proficientaudio.com or write to us at Proficient Audio, 940 Columbia Avenue, Riverside, CA 92507. Our toll-free phone number is (877) 888-9004 and we can be faxed at (951) 750-6304.