ISE 2016 was full of highlights, even if it was a little light on residential announcements at this year’s show. One of the key residential announcements at the show however took place at Harman Residential’s stand in hall 1. It was here that the company rolled out its JBL Synthesis SCL-3 and SCL-4 compression driver in-wall/in-ceiling speakers, alongside the JBL SDP-75 surround processor and JBL 4367 studio monitor speakers.
The SCL-3 and SCL-4 are the first two models from the JBL Synthesis custom loudspeaker range. They boast many of the same technologies and components one would typically expect to find in the company’s professional speaker line-up – and it’s noticeable in the demo JBL gave CE Pro Europe.
Both loudspeakers use JBL Professional’s patented D2 compression driver technology with M2-derived HDI (High Definition Imaging) waveguide/horn geometry. The SCL-3 and SCL-4 are designed as small format, flush-mount loudspeakers and feature integrated enclosures that provide a range of flexible installation options, including in-wall surround, in-wall LCR and in-ceiling overhead applications.
“The JBL brand is synonymous with providing the ultimate in cinema sound excellence,” says Jim Garrett, director of marketing and product development, Harman. “The JBL Synthesis SCL-3 and SCL-4 loudspeakers are designed to take advantage of our professional grade loudspeaker technologies, materials and manufacturing processes to bring this same level of quality to the home theatre experience.”
That wasn’t the only technology that blew CE Pro Europe away at the company’s demo however. Powering the system was the SDP-75 processor, a result of a strategic global partnership between JBL Synthesis and Trinnov Audio.
Boasting Dolby Atmos, Auro3D and DTS:X, CE Pro Europe was treated to a demo of all three of the formats. While Dolby Atmos and Auro3D have been around for quite some time, this was the first time experiencing DTS:X. If this demo is anything to go by, then it’s certainly a contender in the 3D audio space.
The demo included a video of a cartoon frog chasing a fly. It was the perfect, humourous choice for showing off the 3D audio format and was certainly a good way to showcase the difference between it and Dolby Atmos.
DTS:X allows home cinema designers to the speakers pretty much anywhere they want to and have the system intelligently map the correct sounds to each speaker – giving a much easier 3D audio set-up than some of its competitors.
JBL’s processor however doesn’t care what format users want, as it supports all three. It’s not the only processor on the market to do that however. In fact, Auro’s new hardware division offers exactly that – a format agnostic sound processor.
The final piece of JBL Synthesis’ puzzle at ISE 2016 was the 4367 Studio Monitor, created to bring professional-grade JBL performance to home audio.
The JBL 4367 incorporates drivers and technologies directly drawn from the company’s M2 Master Reference Monitor to deliver musical realism and sonic accuracy. It features JBL’s iconic studio monitor design, with an exposed mid/high-frequency horn driver and a blue front baffle that reflect the 4367’s pro audio lineage.
It comes equipped with the company’s patented D2 compression driver technology, the D2430K dual-diaphragm, dual-voice-coil compression driver, employing two annular (ring-shaped) diaphragms and two voice coils to deliver extended high frequency response to 40kHz with extremely low distortion even at high volume levels.
The annular diaphragms are not subject to the break-up modes of a conventional dome diaphragm, and the use of two voice coils yields a dramatic increase in output and power handling, resulting in what JBL describes as ‘extraordinary clarity and resolution with a rich, musically involving midrange and smooth, accurate high-frequency reproduction’.
The JBL Synthesis demo room hosted an SCL 9.4.4 System with four 18in Subwoofers and over 11,400W of amplification. In fact, there were three JBL SCL-3 LCR, 10 SCL-4 (six surrounds and four heights), four S1S-EX 18in passive subwoofers, four SDA-4600 power amplifiers with 1,200W per channel, two SDA-8300 power amplifiers with 300W per channel, one SDEC 5,500 room EQ calibrated with Harman’s ARCOS software and one SDP-75 32-channel surround processor supporting Auro3D, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Alongside its own technology, JBL also used a Lumagen Radiance XE video scaler, 140in Screen Research screen and an NEC 1100 digital cinema projector.