Sonance surprised us at CEDIA Expo 2023 with the launch of an all-new Visual Experience line of architectural loudspeakers. Embodying several true innovations, and available in both Sonance and James versions, the Visual Experience line will supersede the highly successful and award-winning Visual Performance series – a series that was a best-seller for most Sonance integrators.
See more on the Sonance Visual Experience line of speakers
There’s a reason why Sonance has for decades remained the industry’s leading brand of architectural loudspeakers for both the residential and commercial integration segments. Most other brands head to China to buy off-the-shelf products and silkscreen their brand name on an item they’ll market that remains virtually identical to those that will be offered by many other brands as well. But not Sonance…they continue to innovate and advance the state-of-the-art of the audio integration business, with all-new, completely fresh designs that embody fresh innovations, new technology, and expansive capabilities.
We see this strategy take hold again, as the company moves beyond its popular Visual Performance series to this new Visual Experience series. Sonance has always been focused on the experience – for the client and for the integrator as well. And the Visual Experience series advances that strategy with some interesting new features that all will appreciate.
Two Iterations – Sonance VX Series and James VXQ Series
There are two iterations of the Visual Experience series, Sonance VX models and James VXQ models. There is a lot of shared technology, but James offers an interesting new high-frequency section with new technical refinements that enhance the performance of its famous quad tweeter array. I can’t wait to hear it.
For now, this initial introduction by the company just gives us a tantalizing glimpse of what this dramatic line of 21 all-new models will offer. For example, the company has designed an all-new core driver they call their Next Gen transducer.
New Sinusoidal Waveguide Tweeter Design
Sonance says that its new tweeter design is the heart of the Sonance VX series. This new tweeter features a technology they call the Sonance Waveguide Tweeter Design. This “sinusoidal” waveguide is “a specially tuned technology” that it says delivers “pristine audio quality with smooth, consistent dispersion and coverage.”
The purpose of these technological advancements is to offer end users an immersive experience with a quality of audio performance they’ve never heard before.
James VXQ with New Technology Quadratech Tweeter Array
Not to be outdone, in the James VXQ series, we have the latest advancement of their quad tweeter design – for which the brand is quite famous. This latest innovation is called the James Visual Experience with Quadratech, VXQ. What’s the difference between the new Quadratch tweeter versus James’ original quad tweeter design? Well, in short, the company used sophisticated modeling techniques with machine learning to create a Cymatic Diffuser that optimizes the dispersion pattern of this latest quad tweeter design.
Once again, that smooth wide dispersion is designed to immerse the listener in a rich, detailed music performance – no matter where they are in the room. Are you sensing a theme here?
This level of audio engineering and our approach for developing the new VXQ models is unlike anything we have really done before. We leveraged iterative machine learning and simulation to optimize the cymatic diffuser for each driver size so that each is delivering smooth dispersion and coverage with consistent tonality for that particular model.Skylar Gray, Sonance Product Designer
Includes Popular CDX Crossover and Trim Options
Also included in all Visual Experience models is the company’s popular Constant Directivity Crossover (CDX) crossover design first introduced in its Invisible Series models. There are also options for the trim with the models shipping with a new Micro Trim grille as the standard option. Integrators have the option of ordering a Trimless grille…or to even go one step further and flush mount the speaker using Sonance TRUFIG Mounting Technology.
Importantly, this new speaker line offers an innovative one- or two-step installation scheme. How does the two-step installation work? The system includes a separate frame, called a Flex Frame, which can be mounted itself in the opening and connected to the speaker wire. Then the speaker, which contains a color-coded locater system can be slid into the frame and fully locked into position for secure performance.
Innovative New Flex Frame 1- or 2-Step Installation System
The advantage of a two-step installation system is greater ease of installation – no balancing at the top of your ladder holding a heavy speaker in one hand, power driver in the other…while trying to connect cables. position the speaker, and drill down the dogs. Another advantage is installation flexibility, as the opening with the Flex Frame mounted into it can be temporarily covered with a grill, leaving the speaker to be installed at a later time. It is a clever design that seems more secure than some of the toolless installation concepts I’ve seen.
However, if you prefer, you can simply mate the two units together and install it just as you would a traditional one-step in-ceiling speaker. The choice is yours…and in our business, choice is good.
Sonance estimates that both the VX and the VXQ series are expected to ship in mid- to late-first quarter of 2024¹.
See more on Sonance’s new VX and James’ new VXQ series at sonance.com/visual-experience.
#1 – October 20, 2023 – When originally posted, this sentence said that the VX series would be available to ship in late December/early January. The company has corrected the timing as indicated above.