A look at the hottest new A/V gear and gadgets.
Focal 300 Series In-wall/ceiling Speakers
Focal, known for its great-looking (and -sounding) speakers, has expanded its mid-priced 300 Series of in-wall/ceiling speakers with three models that feature the brand’s signature flax cone woofers and inverted-dome aluminum-magnesium tweeters. All have a low-profile frame with a magnetic grille and are designed for quick installation (no tools required) and high power handling. Three’s Company:
The 300 IW6 ($499) is a two-way, single-woofer design suitable for music and home theater applications, while the more elongated IWLCR6 (shown, $799) has two woofers flanking a midrange/tweeter complement that can be rotated 90 degrees, making it ideal for use as a left-, center-, or right-channel speaker in a home theater. The ICLCR5 ($799) is also well suited for home theater with a left/center/right channel selector and pivoting midrange/tweeter module that lets you direct sound toward the listening area. Focal USA • (800) 663-9352 • focal.com/us
Integra DRX-7.1 A/V Receiver
Integra’s DRX-7.1 is aimed at “film and music lovers with big rooms and high expectations.” To help meet those expectations, the 9.2-channel receiver is THX Select certified and rated to deliver 140 watts per channel (into 8 ohms) with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X processing for surround layouts with up to 5.2.4 channels (or 7.2.4 if you connect its multichannel preouts to a stereo amp). It supports three high dynamic range (HDR) formats—dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG (Hybrid Log-gamma)—wide color gamut, Rec. 2020 video passthrough, and “virtually every high-resolution and lossless audio format.” One-cable Connectivity:
The DRX-7.1 is one of the first receivers to support the HDBASET standard, which enables 4K/60p/4:4:4 video and uncompressed audio to be transmitted up to 328 feet over a Cat6 (or above) Ethernet cable along with control signals and up to 100 watts of power. Price: $2,400
Integra • (800) 225-1946 • integrahometheater.com
Acoustic Research AR-E10 In-ear Headphones
AR A says it used top-shelf components and spared no expense in designing its first in-ear m monitor, the AR-E10. Each earphone features a hybrid acoustic module that combines a an 8mm (0.3-inch) beryllium driver with a proprietary balanced armature driver.
Two for One: The AR-E10S come with a Bluetooth/aptx neckband for wireless streaming and a choice of detachable cables—one with a 3.5mm minijack connector, the other with a 4.4mm balanced five-pole connector; all cables connect via a two-pin interface and are reinforced with a super-strong synthetic fiber. AR also throws in extra silicone rubber and memory foam eartips and a carry pouch. Price: $250 Acoustic Research • (844) 353-1307 • acousticsresearch-hifi.com
NAD M17 V2 Preamp/processor
When NAD updates its A/V gear, it doesn’t mess around. The Masters Series M17 V2, a remake of its top-of-the-line M17 surround sound preamp/processor, boasts 11.1 balanced outputs (up from 7.1) and offers Dolby Atmos object-based decoding alongside Dolby Truehd and DTS-HD Master Audio. It’s also equipped with Dirac Live—arguably the most advanced room-correction software on the planet—and supports multiroom hi-res audio streaming via the BLUOS platform developed by sister company Bluesound as well as the latest 4K/HDMI features, including HDCP 2.2 copy protection, 4:4:4 color, and high dynamic range (HDR). Mod Squad: The M17 V2 features NAD’S Modular Design Construction (Mdc)—which separates audio, video, and other functions on removable modules to protect against obsolescence—and is equipped with five HDMI inputs and two outputs plus two sets of coaxial and optical digital inputs and outputs. Price: $5,999
NAD • nadelectronics.com
Acer VL7860 Ultra HD Laser Projector
Hailed as the world’s smallest 4K Ultra HD laser projector capable of producing up to 3,000 (ANSI) lumens of light, Acer’s VL7860 can project a gargantuan 10-foot (diagonal) image and supports high dynamic range (HDR) and an expanded color gamut said to cover 110 percent of the Rec. 70 709 standard. It’s also compatible with the Rec. 2020 color space and adjusts lamp power on the fly to optimize black levels. Calibrationking: Calibration King: Isfcertified ISF Certified Calibration Controls (Isfccc) provide tools for optimizing color and brightness, and the projector has an Ecomode Eco mode that’s said to ex extend laser life by up to 30,000 hours. Another nifty feature is Acumotion frame interpolation, which analyzes v video in real time and generates intermediate frames to ensure “seamlessmotion. “seamless motion.” Pr Price: $4,000 Acer Aceramerica America • (866) 695-2237 • acer.com