CUSTOM LENGTH THEATER SOUNDBAR

Next Level Acoustics Unveils Super Soundbar – Sound & Vision

 

Boston-based Next Level Acoustics has introduced a high-performance soundbar that can be customized to match TVs with screens starting at 70 inches and projection screens up to 200 inches (diagonal).The Fusion Theater Soundbar (starting at $2,499) is a formidable three-channel LCR design that at minimum mates six 5.5-inch carbon wool woofers with three 1-inch silk dome tweeters in an enclosure made of 0.75-inch MDF/Baltic birch and built to match a specific screen size.

Standard dimensions are 66 inches wide, 6.3 inches high, and 3.75 inches deep. The cabinet has tapered ends and features a “resonance-suppressing” butyl latex/silica sound deadening acoustic treatment on the inside. Other highlights include ClarityCap capacitors from England’s ESA, custom threaded inserts, and Next Level’s Z-Clip easy mount system.

Specs include a low-frequency limit of 44 Hz, sensitivity of 92 dB SPL (1 watt/1 meter), and maximum power handling of 350 watts.

Standard finish is high-gloss piano black but custom finishes are available.

Last year, Next Level introduced the Elite Series of soundbar enclosures that can be customized for soundbars up to 5.5 inches tall, 3.3 inches deep, and between 48 and 76 inches wide.

For more information, visit nextlevelacoustics.com.

Fusion Theater Custom

Rob and Lee hard at work

Side profile

IN FLOOR SUBWOOFER

In Floor Subwoofer Installation – Hidden Subwoofer

 BY 

Polk Audio CSW100 - Hidden In Floor Subwoofer

Polk Audio CSW200 - Hidden In Floor Subwoofer

An in floor subwoofer is a great way to provide serious bass levels to your audio system without compromising the aesthetic of the room. Floor standing subwoofers are great, but interior designers and homeowners alike commonly ask, “Do I really need a subwoofer? I’d rather not have such a large speaker just sitting in the room.” The answer is yes, if proper surround sound is the goal then a subwoofer is necessary. It doesn’t have to sit in the middle of the room though; it could be hidden in the floor. An in floor sub is the solution that both audio enthusiasts and interior designers are happy with.

In Floor Subwoofer Applications
In Floor Subwoofers Product Choices
How to Choose an In Floor Subwoofer
In Floor Subwoofer Amplifiers
Installing an In Floor Subwoofer

In Floor Subwoofer Applications

In floor subwoofers are used when the presence of a floor standing subwoofer would be considered unsightly, but the goal of high quality audio is not to be compromised. This is most commonly the case in surround sound systems, which always require a subwoofer. In a room where the rest of the speakers are either within bookshelves, the wall, or the ceiling, the subwoofer is generally the last component that needs to be hidden, in which case an in floor subwoofer becomes necessary. This could also be true in stereo audio zones where there is a conflict of interest between family members, in which one would prioritize audio over aesthetic, but the other would prioritize aesthetic over audio.

In floor subwoofers are preferable to in wall subs in terms of sound quality. This is because in wall subwoofers are generally designed to be only 4″ in depth, which is a severe limitation on the depth of the speaker and also the air volume of the enclosure (if it’s even a sealed enclosure at all). Not only that, but drywall isn’t exactly a rigid stucture. It’s very common for the vibration of an in wall subwoofer to carry into the drywall which will cause a lot of excrutiatingly annoying unwanted noise. In floor subwoofers are generally 3-4 times as deep as in-wall subwoofers, allowing for a much deeper speaker and a lot more air volume. Since the floor is very rigid, it also avoids creating unwanted noise from vibration of surrounding materials.

In Floor Subwoofer Products

We prefer the 12″ in floor subs in the UTF series from Next Level Acoustics. These are premium grade in floor subs made with no compromise, and can even be customized to suit individual taste. These subs are a great value because they offer an experience you can’t buy in a big box store, but at a price that’s still inline with the rest of the market. Specifications for each subwoofer are in following table.

CI-UTF 10

Price: Call for Price
Cone: 10″ Kevlar
Magnet 30 Oz
Voice Coil 8 Ohm – 1.7″
Power 250W RMS
Response: 37-100Hz
SPL Output: 112 dB
Size: 30″x13″11″D
Weight: 35 lbs
Cutout: 2.5″ x 11″

CI-UTF 12

Price: Call for Price
Cone: 12″ Kevlar
Magnet 40 Oz
Voice Coil 8 Ohm – 2″
Power 300W RMS
Response: 34-100Hz
SPL Output: 117 dB
Size: 30″x14″13″D
Weight: 40 lbs
Cutout: 2.5″ x 12.5″

CI-UTF 12LE

Price: Call for Price
Cone: 10″ Kevlar
Magnet 70 Oz
Voice Coil 4 Ohms – 3″
Power 500W RMS
Response: 29-100Hz
SPL Output: 121 dB
Size: 30″x14″13″D
Weight: 48 lbs
Cutout: 2.5″ x 12.5″

Next Level Acoustics Projection Screens Expand Company’s Product Line – CEPro

 

Next Level Acoustics Projection Screens Expand Company’s Product Line

Robert Archer · March 22, 2018
Starting with a line of speakers and audio accessories, the newly announced Next Level Acoustics Projection Screens line expands the company’s offerings into the video category.

Next Level Acoustics’ “Screen Collection” is designed to provide professional integrators with a choice of projection screens that offer a high “price and performance” ratio.

The Massachusetts-based A/V manufacturer says the product line includes a range of materials such as matte white, acoustically transparent, and ambient light rejecting (ALR) capabilities. Next Level Acoustics says that its new products are available with .4-inch slim bezels, and integrators can specify the screens in either 1.78:1 widescreen or 2.35:1 CinemaScope aspect ratios.

In addition, Next Level Acoustics says the projection screens come standard with LED lighting kits that include remotes.

A Closer Look at the Next Level Acoustics Projection Screens

Next Level Acoustics’ new line of video-projection screens include a choice of four models that support 4K and 8K resolutions, and the company emphasizes the products are only available through authorized dealers. These options include:

Classic White:

  • Classic white 1.0 gain
  • Texture-free screen surface
  • Designed to minimize image graininess and projector hot spotting
  • The screen is said to produce a wide viewing angle

Ambient Light Rejection:

  • Contrast enhancement as high as 95 percent in high- and low-ambient light environments
  • According to Next Level Acoustics, the screen minimizes hot spotting, while also deflecting ambient light
  • Texture-free surface helps the screen to produce high levels of sharpness and resolution
  • Next Level Acoustics says the ambient light rejecting screen enables perfect pixel geometry
  • The screen supports wide viewing angles

Cineweave:

  • Next Level Acoustics states the Cineweave produces “virtually zero audio attenuation” through its high density of perforations per square inch
  • The perforated material is “rotated” to eliminate moire
  • Screen includes acoustically transparent backing material
  • texture-free surface
  • No hot spotting or grainy images

Ambient Light Rejecting Acoustically Transparent Combination Screen:

  • Provides high levels of light rejection
  • low levels of audio attenuation
  • Material design eliminates moire
  • The combination screen produces wide viewing angle

Next Level Acoustics Shipping Fusion Theater Series Soundbar – CEPro

 

Robert Archer · January 5, 2018

Next Level Acoustics, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of audio products and accessories for the custom installation market is shipping its new Fusion Theater Series soundbar.

Developed for the professional integration market, the new Fusion Theater Series soundbar is designed for large-format screens. Next Level Acoustics states the Fusion Theater Series soundbars start at 80 inches and the company can build the products as large as 130 inches.

The Bay State audio company points out that it employs an array of drivers that include carbon wool and reed, Dyna tweeters and specifically tuned passive radiators that reside in ported enclosures.

Next Level Acoustics Fusion Theater Series Soundbar Specifications

Outlining the Fusion Theater Series Soundbar’s features, Next Level Acoustics says that its large-format soundbar offers these features:

  • TWWPRPR, PRWTWPR, PRPRWWT driver configurations
  • Six 5.5-inch carbon wool drivers
  • Three 1-inch Dyna silk dome tweeters
  • Six 5-inch tuned passive radiators (two per speaker section)
  • Elite Series tapered end aesthetic options
  • British ESA Clarity capacitors
  • Proprietary CI Series sound deadening butyl latex/silica coating
  • High-gloss piano black finish, with additional finishes and veneers available upon request
  • Z-Clip easy mount mounting system
  • MDF CNC construction that is highlighted by a 3/4-inch thich MDF front panel and baltic birch rear panel
  • Next Level Acoustics specifies the speaker’s sensitivity at 102dB and impedance rating at 4 ohms
  • The soundbar is stated to produce a frequency response of 45Hz to 20kHz, and its power handling rating from 30 watts to 350 watts

Next Level Acoustics Speakers, Subs & Soundbars Demoed at CEDIA 2017 – AVS Forum

 

Mark Henninger · September 15, 2017

While CEDIA is full of established brands occupying giant booths, it is also a show where you’ll find startups that target specific needs with dedication. The drive to succeed fuels competition, and Next Level Acoustics showed up at CEDIA ready to rumble. The company, started by AVS Forum Blu-ray reviewer Lee Weber, was exhibiting at CEDIA for the first time, and I liked what it was up to.

At CEDIA 2017, custom soundbars were definitely a thing. No longer restricted to the high-end custom shops such as James Loudspeakers, numerous companies let you order a (passive) soundbar at a custom length and in a custom finish. To that end, Next Level Acoustics was showing its Fusion Reference soundbar, which is available either flat, or curved depending on your TV type.

Lee was at the Next Level Acoustics booth and both queued up the demos plus discussed the products. As I listened to “24K Magic” by Tony Modicano, I duly noted the soundbar had much more in common with real speakers—in terms of capability—than what you usually call a “soundbar.” And when Lee mentioned he has built a custom unit for a 120″ screen, I understood exactly what the Fusion Reference is all about: Actually hiding a traditional speaker system in a soundbar form factor. In other words, these ARE real speakers.

You want specs? You got ’em. The Fusion Reference is a sealed 3-way design. It relies on three silk-dome tweeters plus six 5.5″ woven-fiber mid/woofers for a frequency response of 44 Hz to 20 kHz. Rated sensitivity is 92 dB/W/m and this is a 4-ohm (nominal) device that’s rated to take up to 350 watts of power.

As you might imagine, if you power a Fusion Reference with a good AVR and add a competent sub, you’re going to be rocking the house in no time at all. Of course, being a CI product you have to call for an estimate to get a price, but one of Next Level Acoustics’ goals is to provide superior performance for the dollar.

Lee also demonstrated Next Level Acoustics’ “High Velocity Subwoofer” in a 10″ version, the CI-HV10. It’s vented bandpass design offered powerful, deep response that moved some serious air for a sub its size. I checked out the Disc Wars scene from Tron Legacy and was satisfied that it performs at a high level.

The 10″ model subwoofer Lee demoed weighs 69 pounds and measures 17″ D x 14″ W x 20″ H. It’s powered by a 500-watt (RMS) amplifier and the 10″ driver has a 3″ voice coil! That’s good for a frequency response of 24 Hz to 100 Hz. Meanwhile, the step-up 12″ model has the same amount of power, but is larger and heavier with more efficient driver and a larger vent, so it can dig deeper with a response of 19 Hz to 100 Hz.


The CI-VH10 subwoofer from Next Level Acoustics

Lee noted that he can manufacture custom variants of the High Velocity Subwoofer using a 15″, 18″, or even a 21″ driver. Next Level Acoustics touts gains in efficiency as well as output as the reason for going with a bandpass sub that uses an internal chamber, as opposed to an open-face vented or sealed subwoofer design. The proof is in the performance and I thought the 10″ model sounded (and felt) great.

As far as CEDIA debuts go, Next Level Acoustics has done well. The demos hinted at performance that would surely take a better environment to fully appreciate, and the 2-week turnaround cited by Lee is in line with what competitors are doing. I wish Lee the best of luck with his enterprise and hope to see bigger booths and more products in years to come.

Meet Robert Goldman of Next Level Acoustics in Newton – Boston Voyager Magazine

 

Voyager Staff · June 5, 2017

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Goldman.

Robert, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Ten years ago, I started as an audio/video integrator in New Jersey and in the last five years my wife and I decided to relocate to Massachusetts. I always had a passion for the custom side of the A/V industry and loved to see the smile on my clients faces when we finished an installation. Two years ago, I was speaking with a speaker builder that I have known for many years and I pitched an idea that would fully integrate my love of custom A/V with his love of design to bring a unique line of custom speakers and enclosures to the market. I remember it clearly, we just decided to launch the line, but I had no idea what to name this new product line. Then it hit me, everything we were trying to do was to take the existing speaker sales model and to move it into the “Next Level” by providing audiophile sound at prices the middle market could afford. Next Level Acoustics was born out of this concept.

My partners and I decided that if we were going to come to market with Next Level custom audio solutions, there would be three governing principles that we would adhere to:

• Upper echelon sound, regardless of price point or product
• Focus on the price / performance ratio ensuring that the middle market consumer could afford to purchase
the line
• Manufacturing in the United States using high-quality components and construction techniques

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been many struggles along the way with negative criticism from “Industry” experts including local distributors.

“You will never make it”
“There is too much competition”
“The industry does not need another speaker company”
“Why would anyone purchase a no-name product”

I remember countless times pitching our line to numerous sales representatives and distributors, as well as magazines only to be turned down with no explanation or response, and in some cases even yelled at.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Next Level Acoustics is known for high-quality unique custom solutions for the latest trends in home entertainment and design. We are best known for our Elite Series Soundbar enclosures, custom Fusion Series Soundbars, and our CI Series custom In-wall speakers.

I am most proud of the fact that in two years’ time I have taken this company from just an idea I hatched while living with my wife and daughter in our one bedroom apartment, to being featured in the largest and most well respected audio publications in the country (i.e. CEpro and Sound and Vision Magazine), being represented by well-respected representatives and distributors in the US and Canada, as well as representing Next Level Acoustics at this years (September 2017) largest custom electronics show in the country, CEDIA, taking place in San Diego California.

What separates ourselves from the others:

1. Passion for what we do
2. Customer service and caring not just about our dealers, but also the end user’s experience
3. Crushing the competition when it comes to the price/performance ratio
4. Ensuring every speaker that we make “I” personally would be proud to have in my own home

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The Boston area is an amazing place for entrepreneurs with a similar business model. The relationships that Next Level Acoustics has formed in the Boston/New England area, from my business partner (Lee Weber), to our New England Distributor (Novus Distribution), to all of our dealers are the cornerstone of our company. This area supports individuals who have drive and passion and who will knock down every door until someone listens.

Contact Info:

Next Level Acoustics Offers Custom Soundbar Cases – Sound and Vision

 

SV Staff · April 17, 2017

Next Level Acoustics, a Boston-based startup specializing in custom speaker systems, also offers a unique line of custom soundbar enclosures designed to provide “the perfect balance between aesthetics and integration.”

The Elite Series enclosures—intended for soundbars up to 5.5 inches tall, 3.3 inches deep, and between 48 and 76 inches wide—are customized to provide an integrated look with any TV and feature an open top panel with inset grilles to provide “breathing room” when used with the Sonos Playbar.

Beyond cosmetics, the enclosures aim to improve sound quality with interior “side reflectors” that focus sound at the listening position to improve intelligibility.

Enclosures are made of Formica-covered MDF, have removable mesh-weave grilles with magnetic fasteners, and are available in open- and closed-back versions—the former for mounting directly to the wall, the latter for mounting to an articulating TV mount.

The standard finish is gloss black but custom colors are available. Specialty grilles with badge cutouts for Sony, Samsung, and LG TVs are available. Pricing starts at $550 and scales up from there depending on size and finish.

For more information, visit nextlevelacoustics.com.

 

Next Level Acoustics’ Fusion Reference Soundbar Complements Flat-Panel TVs – CEPro

 

Robert Archer · April 4, 2017

Building its product line and dealer network slowly and surely, the new audio company Next Level Acoustics has introduced its Fusion Reference Soundbar (FRS).

The Massachusetts manufacturer says that it drew from its CI Series for soundbar’s sound performance, and its Elite Cases for its form factor, to create a speaker that complements large flat-panel televisions.

A flagship product, the the three-channel soundbar has been developed for on-wall installations with TVs larger than 75 inches.

“Designed for ultra-high resolution clarity, dialogue intelligibility and lifelike soundstage, the FRS is comparable to Reference-grade floorstanding towers and in-wall speaker systems that also include a dedicated center channel,” stresses the company in a press release. “Three large speaker cabinets are replaced by a single, elegant, soundbar format with beautifully sculptured ends and finishes, custom fabricated to precisely fit within the form factor of your existing television.”

Inside the Fusion Reference Soundbar

Internally, the speaker employs six 5.5-inch carbon-wool drivers, along with three 1-inch DYNA silk-dome tweeters, and a crossover network that utilizes ESA Clarity Capacitors.

Further aiding the speakers performance, Next Level Acoustics points out the speaker features its CI series sound deadening Butyl latex/silica coating that provides additional inertness to the Fusion Reference Soundbar’s enclosure.

The speaker is finished in a high-gloss piano black and its industrial design includes tapered ends.

Some of the dealer features include 400mm threaded back panel mounting inserts and Next Level Acoustics’ Z-Clip Easy Mount System to facilitate installation.

Next Level Acoustics says the 4-ohm speaker is 92dB sensitive,and produces a frequency response of 44Hz to 20kHz.

Advanced Features

  • TWW, WTW, WWT Configuration
  • Six – 5.5″ Carbon Wool Drivers (CI-IW55 Drivers – Reviewed by CEPro)
  • Three – 1″ DYNA Silk Dome Tweeters (CI-IWHDMON Tweeters – Reviewed by CEPro)
  • British ESA Clarity Capacitors
  • Proprietary CI Series Sound Deadening Butyl Latex/Silica Coating
  • Elite Series Inspired Seamless Tapered Ends
  • High-Gloss Piano Black Post Forming Formica Finish (Additional Finishes Available)
  • 400mm / Choice of Placement (Dual Vertically Spaced Threaded Back Panel Mounting Inserts)
  • Additional Z-Clip Easy Mount System
  • Precision CNC Construction with 3/4″ Thick MDF Front Panel and Baltic Birch Back Panel
  • 66″ wide x 3.75″ deep x 6.3″ high (75″ TV Pairing)
  • Custom Widths and TV Badge Grille Notches Available

Next Level Acoustics Announces UM-1 Mount for Soundbars – CEPro

 

Robert Archer · January 30, 2017

Over the past 18 or so months, the Massachusetts manufacturer Next Level Acoustics has grown its product line from its initial Elite Series Sonos PlayBar Enclosure, along with its soundbars and subwoofers.

Next Level has announced its UM-1 bracket. The company says the new UM-1 bracket can be used by electronics professionals to create an integrated look to their flat-panel TV and soundbar installations.

Next Level Acoustics says the UM-1 bracket provides full height, depth and tilt adjustments for fine tuning speaker placement, and it emphasizes that the made-in-the-USA bracket features 10- and 14-gauge steel.

The UM-1 bracket supports speakers up to 20 pounds mounted above flat-panel TVs, and soundbars as heavy as 30 pounds when soundbars are mounted below flat-panel televisions.

The bracket is compatible with its Elite Series Sonos PlayBar Enclosure, as well as third-party soundbar products.

EXCLUSIVE REVIEW BY ED GILMORE – GILMORES SOUND ADVICE – NYC

Speaker systems are a dime a dozen, or so it seems.  I have often wondered what the thought process is of the entrepreneur who decides that their contribution to the CI market will be another speaker design. Is it utter hubris, a metastasis of an overly aggressive and cancerous ego? I ask this because if you posted this question of “what product hole in your lineup needs to be filled?” the very last thing a custom installer would cite is another speaker line. But that is only the case if differentiation is not the goal. Enter Next Level Acoustics, a speaker company hailing from the technology hotbed of…Massachusetts.

Steve Katz- who represents Next Level nationally, dropped by our showroom and inquired if I was interested in a new speaker line. In between the no’s, he- as any good rep would, offered to drop off the new Next Level HV-10 Subwoofer and a pair of In-Wall monitors to audition. I’m a nice guy, so what the hell- I agreed. Besides, a new Hegel Rost had been loaned to me to evaluate, so I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone. Ignoring the derision of my employees (“oh look, yet another addition to Ed’s world of speakers!”) I wheeled in 3 boxes that contained the CI-HV10 subwoofer, and a pair of the CI-IWHDMON Speakers.

These guys from Next Level clearly spent an inordinate amount of time cleverly naming their product. The CI-HV10 stands for Custom Installation Series High Velocity 10, as in a 10” aluminum cone with a sealed front vented box, and a 500 Watt plate amp installed on the back. Looking at the hefty 17” x 14” x 20 box elicited a shrug…nothing new to see here people, move on. But outside appearances can be deceiving as I learned quickly with the HV10. In describing the HV10 and the larger HV12 subwoofer, Next level says “The key to their performance is a two-chamber tuning system that affects both the front and back of the active woofer cone. The back chamber acts as a governor providing a sealed air restorative force that prevents power robbing ultra-low frequency decoupling (subsonic “run away”), while the front/vented portion does the actual tuning and is responsible for delivery of bass into the room. This two-part tuning mechanism provides more precise power management and constant bandwidth over conventional open-faced subwoofers (nearly 50%), while adding almost 40% greater efficiency. The thermal tolerance of the woofer’s voice coil now becomes the output limiting factor, rather than excess excursion issues, common with open-faced sealed and vented subwoofers. A single 4″ flared vent (dual on the HV12), with less than 12 grams of actual moving air mass, creates a super-fast, responsive, low frequency shock wave that energizes the room and is more faithful to the input signal than slower conventional open-faced subwoofers. This provides a higher level of detailed bass at nearly 5X the speed. The CI-HV10/HV12 is simply faster, tighter and more faithful to the input signal.”  OK- that’s what they say. Manufacturers make up a lot of things to say but in this case, that is pretty much what I heard. Remember the shrug? Well, like a lot of things real beauty is often found on the inside. Before I get to my audition impressions, let me describe my thoughts unpacking the CI-IWDMON speakers; Dang, these things are big, heavy and solid with their MDF back boxes.

Oh, and what does that mess of letters represent?  I thought you would never ask… Custom Integration Series In-Wall High Definition Monitors. They can be used as an LCR or Stereo Pair. What we have in this 14” x 30” x 5” enclosure is a D’Appolito or MTM arranged 7inch SEAS Reed Cone midbass drivers with a 1 inch pure Scandinavian silk domed tweeter. Next Levels description of the Reed cones “stiffness” embedded into the highly-damped fiber cone whose assembly governed by shorting rings that act as a “pure piston” reads almost pornographically. The PG rated translation is that they are very accurate, exhibit low distortion and high SPL that does not betray their clarity. That’s all great, but how does the system really sound? Using an Oppo 103D for CD’s (sorry, it’s what I had), Tidal streaming through Blue Sound, and Hegel’s internal “HD Airplay” as sources through the Rost, it sounded damn fantastic. Full disclosure, I have been fairly spoiled by our loaned Steinway Model D system, or the Wisdom LS-75/STS system in our space. But the rest of the 99.99% mere mortals among us are looking for real world value and performance, and this is where Next Level excels.

If you want prodigious and lightning quick bass, with an uncolored, balanced and accurate presentation look no further. Whether I was listening to Radiohead, Coltrane, Prokofiev, Oscar Peterson, or Bowie I was impressed with the large soundstage and effortless dynamics. At the suggested MSRP price-point, which is 2-3 times lower than anything close to its quality, this system is impressive!

I did have one initial criticism; for my market in Manhattan, the 5-inch depth on the CI-IWHDMON with backbox is nearly prohibitive for the in-wall monitors, and almost no-one in Manhattan is looking at freestanding subwoofers. As soon as I uttered those words, Next Level was already showing me the solutions. Specifically, they have a full line of in-wall speakers that fit standard 2×4 construction. In addition, the team is developing an in-wall subwoofer, using (4) 4.5” woofers employing “shockwave” principles that the installer will fully drywall over leaving only a small opening at the bottom. The open port can be finished with a custom grille, or an AC vent cover for a minimalistic and hidden look. I will be looking forward to seeing these offerings, as well as whatever else is coming down the pike. In conclusion, I really like what I heard and if you like well-engineered speakers that can help differentiate your product line I strongly suggest you consider Next Level Acoustics.