Revitalized KLH Speaker Brand To Make CEDIA Appearance Under New Owner
Renowned speaker and audio brand KLH will make its appearance next month at CEDIA Expo since being acquired by long-time Klipsch sales president David P. Kelley.
The newly rejuvenated brand and company, which made an appearance at CES 2018, plans to use its showcase in the San Diego InterContinental Hotel (Bayview Ballroom B September 6th-8th) to show its affordable product lines leave room for custom electronics designers and installers. In that spirit, the company will unveil what it calls a “world’s first” in-wall Voice-Enabled Amplified Keypad as well as new premium stereo, home theater and architectural loudspeakers.
The KLH brand and company, which was founded by the legendary audio engineer Henry Kloss, was acquired by Kelley, former Klipsch global sales president and board member, last year.
Kelley said he plans to bring back the trusted KLH brand by reintroducing some of its famous designs, including the Model Eight radio and Model Nine electrostatic loudspeaker. Kelley also hinted that he plans to introduce some hybrids as well.
The company’s focus is in delivering an ambitious new loudspeaker line that will employ “disruptive solutions that will turn things upside down,” he said.
At CEDIA Expo, KLH also plans to unveil “a disruptive in-home streaming music solution,” the company announced.
“I am taking the brand back to its roots, to Henry’s original mission, to build world-class loudspeakers and radios at affordable prices,” Kelley stated. “I am proud to be the new owner of KLH and will honor Henry and his many contributions to the audio industry through the introduction of our extraordinary new KLH products.”
One of the highlights of the new direction will be the VX-1 Voice-Enabled Amplified Keypad, which is billed as “a simple and cost-efficient solution to transform a single-source home audio system to a wireless multi-source streaming music system.”
The Alexa-enabled Keypad will feature Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with aptX, Hi-Res audio circuitry, and amplification. The company said the VX-1 will replace the existing in-wall passive volume control and can utilize the existing speaker wires for quicker and easier professional or DIY installations.
An onboard 50-watt high-grade Class D digital amplifier and dedicated external DC power supply drive the existing speakers in the home audio system.
Kelley said the company, which is now based in Noblesville, Indiana, has identified 8.5 million potential passive in-wall volume controls currently in U.S. homes that would benefit from an upgrade.
The VX-1, which will carry a $199 suggested retail price when it ships in October, will enable use with Alexa voice control through a free MUZO iOS/Android control app. Using the app, smart phones, tablets, PCs and Macs can be tapped to stream music to the VX-1.
Cognizant of its hallmark, the company has also planned a 12-model line of KLH in-room loudspeakers. Each model is named after a street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the birthplace of KLH. Models include: the Ames and Albany 2-way bookshelf; Kendall, Quincy and Cambridge floor standing loudspeakers; Story center channel speaker; Beacon and Broadway surrounds; and Stratton and Windsor powered subwoofers.
All speaker models feature wood veneer finishes, MDF cabinetry, internal components and dampening, and powerful Kevlar drivers with anodized aluminum dome tweeters.
The company said the floor models incorporate low-resonance driver chambers with tunable baffle ports.
Other speakers planned include the Maxwell In-Wall Series, which was named for MIT physicist James Clerk Maxwell. The speaker is optimized for 2-channel music and home theater applications. All incorporate 6.5-inch Kevlar-coated fiberglass drivers, one-inch silk dome tweeters, tapered array crossovers and gold-plated 5-way push-pin binding posts. Models will be offered in 2-way and 3-way configurations with suggested retail prices spanning affordable price points from $499.99 to $649.99.
Similarly, a Maxwell In-Ceiling Series is planned. These will also use silk dome tweeters, but mounted directly into the center voice coil of a Kevlar-coated fiberglass driver. The concentric design is said to achieve broader dispersion for enjoyment by people positioned around a room. Additional highlights include sealed tuned enclosures with integrated back cans. Three 2-way models are available with suggested retail prices ranging from $299.99 each (5.25-inch driver) to $449 each (6.5-inch driver with an extra-large voice call for greater power handling and deeper bass).
The Faraday In-Ceiling, In-Wall and All Weather Series was named for MIT scientist Michael Faraday offers more affordable speaker options with 2-way designs that feature IMG woofers, soft dome tweeters, magnetic bezel-less paintable microperf grilles and gold-plated, 5-way push-pin binding posts.
Five Faraday In-Ceiling models are available now featuring 6.5-inch or 8.5-inch drivers, at suggested retail prices ranging from $99.99 to $299.99.
Two Faraday 6.5-inch driver In-Wall models are available now at prices of $99.99 each to $149.99 each, respectively.
Also available are two Faraday All-Weather models, a 5.25-inch and 6.5-inch driver version, each with soft dome tweeters. These include C-brackets standard for installation.
By Greg Tarr
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