Polk Intros Woodbourne Streaming Audio SystemJanuary 7, 2013 By Nancy Klosek
The model, an unusual hybrid product in that it is both Bluetooth- and Apple AirPlay-compatible, is scheduled to ship in the April-May timeframe at $599, according to Al Baron, product line manager. It is 24-1/2 inches wide and its MDF cabinet houses two 5-1/4-inch polypropylene cones and two one-inch silk-dome tweeters in an acoustic-suspension design. Each driver in the 180-watt system is coupled with its own dedicated amplifier; 70-watt amps for each of the larger drivers and 20-watt amps for each of the tweeters. The system has five wireless and wired inputs; the digital signal processing technology used within is capable of 150 million instructions per second that tailor response shaping, crossover filtering, signal mixing and parametric broadband and band-limited compression.
The component’s rounded edges, mahogany-veneer top and light-beige grille suit it to use in the home and office, and hark back to the wood “basics” that signal a Polk Audio product, said MIchael DiTullo, chief design officer of Polk parent DEI Holdings.
DiTullo said recent DEI consumer research suggested the design approach that informed the Woodbourne’s look and feel – and will influence future Polk designs. Future products will be crafted with what he termed “intrinsically touchable materials,” and will use build materials in an “honest way – only quality treatments of plastic, only ‘warm’ metals like brass, rose gold and copper. They will be handcrafted-evocative.”
Also being shown at CES is the new TSx range of entry-level traditional speakers. The three-tower, two-bookshelf speaker line is a revamp of the five-year-old Polk TSi range, and adds curvature to the cabinets and grilles, along with improved sound and bass; the grouping also uses next-generation silk-dome tweeters. Price range for the five models is unchanged from the earlier series, beginning at $199/pair and topping out at $1,000/pair for the flagship of the line. They are available in the February-March timeframe.
Making its debut under the Definitive Technology banner for DEI in 2013 is that brand’s first Bluetooth product: the Cylinder speaker docking system for tablet devices. Crafted of aluminum, it sports a magnesium kickstand and silicone “jaws” that will hold an iPad, iPad Mini or Android tablet; it can also clip onto a laptop screen ($250; January availability).