PR: Polk Audio Introduces the First THX® Ultra2™ Certified In-Ceiling Loudspeaker


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Polk Audio Introduces the First THX® Ultra2™ Certified In-Ceiling Loudspeaker
RTS100 engineered for predictably superior home theater performance
BALTIMORE, MD (August 1, 2006)—Today Polk Audio announced the RTS100, the first in-ceiling speaker to meet THX Ultra2 performance standards. THX Ultra2 is a THX product design, performance and certification program reserved for the finest home theater components. Up until the development of the RTS100, speaker manufacturers had been frustrated in their attempts to develop an in-ceiling speaker that had the frequency response extension, accuracy, high output and imaging quality required for THX Ultra2 certification. THX and Polk worked hard to successfully develop a product design solution that overcomes the common problems associated with in-ceiling speaker performance.

The RTS100 is a 14-inch diameter in-ceiling loudspeaker that features dual 5-1/4" midrange drivers and a 1-inch Ring Radiator tweeter mounted between the drivers. Polk’s exclusive Sound Shape™ baffle guides the sound waves toward the listening position for imaging that seems to hover in front of the listener rather than being localized in the ceiling. The product has an integrated Performance Enclosure that ensures perfect and consistent loading for the drivers for predictable high performance. The integrated enclosure is no larger than the speaker cutout, making installation in existing construction a breeze.

The RTS100 comes with a perforated metal grille and a cloth grille so that home owners can have the look of their choice and installers do not have to inventory two SKUs or special order grilles.

“Our collaboration with Polk has resulted in a design breakthrough for in-ceiling speakers, delivering audio quality and performance previously unattainable,” said Warren Mansfield, director, consumer technology at THX. “The Polk RTS 100 addresses one of the top selling product categories in the custom installation market today, and offers the installer community more options for designing home theater rooms with THX Certified components.”

Polk's patent pending Stud Lock™ mounting system allows the RTS100 to be easily and securely installed for resonance and buzz-free performance. Stud Lock is an adjustable metal frame that is screwed to studs or joists. The RTS speaker is secured to the metal frame instead of the ceiling material, providing a stiffer, more secure mounting platform for the speaker for the best possible performance. A threaded screw insert on the top of the enclosure accepts an eye bolt allowing installers to attach a support wire from a solid surface to the speaker in drop ceiling installations.

The RTS100 joins the RTS105 rectangular THX Ultra2 Certified in-wall model introduced at last year’s CEDIA show. With both models Custom Installation retailers will be able to offer their customers stealth built-in home theater systems with consistent and predictable high performance worthy of the THX Ultra2 certification.

The RTS100 features technologies used in Polk's critically acclaimed LCi Series built-in loudspeakers to deliver the sound quality of stand-alone models—technologies such as Polk's Ring Radiator tweeter, widely praised for its high frequency extension, clarity and detail. The drivers have Aerated Polypropylene cones, the same material used in Polk's award-winning top-line LSi and LCi Series speakers, for the kind of clear, detailed midrange response usually found only in freestanding audiophile speakers.

As in all LCi Series speakers, the RTS100 features control switches that allow the installer or user to optimize the loudspeaker response when the speakers are placed in less than ideal locations. When flush mount speakers are installed too close to adjacent room surfaces, the bass becomes “boomy” and voices sound too heavy and thick. Polk's exclusive “Wall Distance” switch lowers output only in the low-midrange/upper bass area to correct for this problem. Competitors’ in-wall speakers attempt to solve this phenomenon by using a simple high pass filter. That cures the “boom” problem but at the sacrifice of deep bass response. Polk uses a more complex low Q pass-band filter to attenuate only the “boom” region without lowering deep bass output. The user hears flatter, more accurate sound and deep bass even when the speakers are located in less-than-ideal locations by necessity or for decorating reasons.

Speakers used in rooms with too many hard reflecting surfaces and insufficient absorbing materials (carpets, drapes) sound “bright,” harsh and unnatural. Polk's “Tweeter Attenuation” switch engages a pass-band filter to compensate for the effect of overly reflective rooms for warmer, more realistic sound.

Polk Audio's built-in product line is segmented into Good, Better and Best series. The LCi Series is Polk's “Best” and contains three product groups:
The LCi Standard Group, introduced in 2004, these four models are designed for general multi-room audio and home theater use and are full-range products that do not need to be used with a subwoofer.
The IP Group, first shipped in early 2006, are the world's first active Internet Protocol-addressable flush mount high performance loudspeakers and represent the pinnacle of built-in speaker performance and functionality.
The RTS Group, including the RTS100 being introduced here, are specifically engineered for built-in Home Theater applications and should be used with subwoofers for full-range reproduction.

The RTS100 will be delivered to North American retailers in August 2006 at Convention a Suggested Retail Price of $1200 each. It is packaged singly to allow the greatest system design flexibility for 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 channel systems.

Polk Audio will demonstrate the RTS100 at the 2006 CEDIA Expo in booth number 372 of Denver’s Colorado Convention Center, September 14 – 17.


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