All you need to know about the new 'Trimless' in-wall and in-ceiling speakers from Monitor Audio
Monitor Audio are a leading specialist speaker company from England best known for the high quality sound and finish of their domestic speakers. They have transferred this expertise to deliver a range of built in options that are musically superior but still represent great value for money.
The finest technology is found in the IDC models
Within their range, there are a few really stand-out designs: the CT 280 & 380 IDC in both ceiling and wall mount configurations. What makes these special is Monitor Audios unique 3 way configuration and the driver technology plucked straight out of their best domestic speakers.
Now if you are building speakers in, one thing is for certain and that is that you want to get it right first time because it's not going to be a simple job to change things once they are in and the house or room is finished. With any speaker that is built in, it's self evident that they can't be moved – so being able to effectively align the speakers to where you are going to listen after installation is vital. SpeakerCraft were first off the blocks with their AIM designs which pivoted both bass driver and tweeter. But Monitor Audio have added another level of refinement again to this concept with their radical dual concentric midrange and tweeter assembly. This uses a large 5 inch metal dome midrange driver combined with centrally mounted high frequency unit – and the whole assembly can pivot.
This driver technology gives fantastic midrange quality – voices are much clearer as are most instruments – and the sound is much more coherent - as Linn might have put it, everyone is playing together. Bass drivers are Monitor Audio’s proprietary C–Cam drivers. While bass is effectively omni directional – ie it radiates out evenly from source, we can very easily pick out where midrange and treble signals are coming from and they are are far more directional – in other words they don’t spread so well and you have to align speakers to get both an even balance of sound and stereo imaging. Another factor that makes these new Monitor Audios work so well is the dome of the midrange – this gives a much better spread of sound than a normal cone driver.
In addition to the highly specified drivers, the better models feature front panel adjustment for boundary compensation, treble level (and in the case of the 380) midrange level, allowing you to fine tune the overall response once installed and connected. Given the identical size of the two upper models you might want to know the difference between the 280 and 380 - the 380 is their flagship model with a better bass driver - it is completely different and built to a much higher specification giving a significant and worthwhile improvement over the 280 for just $150 per unit - if you can afford it, we really recommend the better option as we’ve heard how much better again they are. That said, the 280s are the ones to beat at $500 each.
The bottom line is that these are the speakers you are after if you want both high levels of sound quality and value - the performance is directly comparable to what you’ll get with Monitor Audio's Silver series.
New Super-Slim LCR in–wall speakers
If ever there was an in–built speaker that meets a variety of criteria Monitor Audio’s new LCRs are it. These style oriented speakers have the ability to be placed vertically or horizontally, (thus could be an ideal centre speaker). Plus the narrow profile and low installation depth (less than 10cm) gives you great flexibility in placement. Like the other new Monitor Audio custom install speakers the LCRs have the trimless design, magnetic grill fitting and strong tri–grip fixings. All this and un–compromised sound quality. Each of Monitor Audio in–built speakers, for each different application is designed for optimum performance. To get the most from the compact deign of these new LCRS Monitor Audio have opted for two 5" 'Metal Matrix Polymer' drivers for rigidity and responsiveness. The high resolution 'C-Cam' gold tweeter can pivot for refining imaging. The two models are the same except the 250 includes high frequency level adjustment to audio tune the speaker for rooms that are too bright or damped. Dimensions with grill 17.74 x 38.52 cm
New in–built subwoofer
The 'crowning glory' to many systems, music or especially home theatre is good a subwoofer. With the new built–in subwoofer you can have a fully appointed, fully discreet Monitor Audio speaker system. And you can get those extra low (and some would say those extra fun), bass frequencies. The IWS–10 can be placed in–wall, in–ceiling, even in–floor. The high technology driver is derived from Monitor Audio’s top Platinum range with an extremely rigid, flat surface that delivers accurate bass from it’s shallow profile. It features Monitor Audio’s Tri–Grip clamp system and trimless grill. The second part to a subwoofer is the power behind it so Monitor Audio have the IWA–250,. The slim, heavy duty rack mount case houses 250 watts of cool running, switch mode amplification. This can be stitched on via trigger link or by auto sensing. Optional, is the IWB–10 sealed pre–construction back box. Aside from providing the ideal environment for the driver it is good for controlling sound leakage to adjoining rooms.
While our own interests are primarily musical and the vast majority of our installations are in stereo pairs, the Monitor Audios make fantastic speakers for surround systems. In a perfect world, we would always specify the same speakers front, centre and surround. In reality, you almost always have to mix in-wall with in-ceiling, or sizes to meet budgets - there are plenty of options within the range to allow you to do this consistently - the goal is always to maintain consistent quality and timbre. For instance you can have the W280LCRs in front and the C265s as surrounds. Tell us about your plans and we’ll put together the options for you.
If looking at a number of rooms, it's OK to compromise a little, especially in smaller spaces. That’s why we've got more affordable options from Monitor Audio starting at just $225 a speaker. The Dual tweeter option is great for bathrooms as it cuts down on ceiling clutter. All models are splash and humidity proof for installation in shower rooms or outside in soffits. The aluminium alloy grilles offer rust-free performance and longevity and feature dust protection covers that are designed to prevent the ingress of dirt or dust into the driver and crossover. All models are paint-able to blend with the living environment. A paint mask and additional scrim material are provided for trouble free painting.
Monitor Audio In-Built speaker options.
New Trimless 'IDC', best models
CT 280 IDC 8", 120w 3 way pivoting in–ceiling speaker NZ$ 500 each
CT 380 IDC 8", 150w 3 way pivoting in–ceiling speaker NZ$ 650 each
WT 280 IDC 8", 120w 3 way pivoting in–wall speaker NZ$ 625 each
WT 380 IDC 8", 120w 3 way pivoting in–wall speaker NZ$ 775 each
New Trimless 'Super-slim' LCR in-wall speakers, general use
WT 150 LCR, NZ$ 450 each
WT 250 LCR, with frequency adjust NZ$ 500 each
New Trimless in-ceiling speakers, general use
CT 165 - 6.5", 65w Distributed audio speaker NZ$ 250 each
CT 165 T2 - 6.5", 65w 'Dual-Tweeter' speaker NZ$ 300 each (only one needed per room)
CT 265 - 6.5", 75w Distributed audio speaker each NZ$ 350
CT 280 - 8", 120w Distributed audio speaker each NZ$ 420
New in–wall subwoofer
IWS 10 - 10", 6in–wall/in–ceiling Subwoofer NZ$ 650 each
IWA 250 - 250w Amplifier for ISW 10 NZ$ 650
IWB 10 - Backbox for ISW 10, optional NZ$ 350
New Trimless architectural in–ceiling speakers with a choice of round or square grill.
General use, easy installation, smaller in size, less physical depth.
CWT160 6” NZ$ 450 each
CWT180 8” NZ$ 500 each
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