GoldenEar Invisa SPS In-Wall Speakers at CEDIA 2017

by Mark Henninger | September 14, 2017

When it comes to giving great CEDIA demos, GoldenEar’s track record is unblemished. Year after year, the company puts on one of the best sounding presentations on the show floor at the annual custom integrator-centric convention. This year the company showed its Invisa SPS (Signature Point Source) in-wall speakers ($1,000) handling the front LCR of a 5.2.4 3D immersive audio system.

Given that Custom Integration is all about building stuff into homes, it’s no surprise that CEDIA has a heavy concentration of architectural speakers on the show floor; 2017 was no exception. GoldenEar’s goal in introducing a new in wall model is noble, it wants to bring the performance of its Triton tower speakers to architectural applications.

The demo system consisted of 9 speakers and two subwoofers. Up front, handling left, center and right-channel duties, were three of the new Invisa SPS In-Walls. Surround duties were taken care of by a pair of Invisa MPX ($500) speakers while four Invisa HTR 7000 ($500) angled in-ceiling units added elevation channels to the experience. Last but assuredly not least, twin SuperSub X ($1,250) subwoofers belted out the bass.

The demo was, as usual, run by GoldenEar founder Sandy Gross. He took me through a selection of familiar Dolby Atmos demo clips including Everest and Pan. The swirling winds and snow in the Everest clip made a convincing case that this system, despite consisting entirely of architectural speakers, could deliver a true 3D immersive experience.

And then Sandy moved on to the clip from Unbreakable, which ranks in the top 5 as far as Atmos clips that I’ve seen and heard the most times at shows. For one thing, the two compact SuperSub Xs delivered excellent quality, tight, deep bass. And the rest of the system had both dynamic impact and fine resolution—objects tracked around and over my head quite smoothly. It was not as perfect as a system with standalone speakers in optimal positions, but it was better than most in-wall and in-ceiling systems I heard at CEDIA this year.

With the new Invisa SPS, GoldenEar delivers the sort of sound quality it’s justifiably popular and well-reviewed Triton towers are known for, in a form factor that can be made to be effectively invisible. It’s always good to have options, at $1,000 per speaker this is a particularly good one for a stealthy but high-fidelity living room-style home theater.

At the tail end of the demo, Sandy put on some music that was upmixed through the Dolby Surround upmixer by the Trinnov AV processor that was running the rig. “In My Room” by The Beach Boys sounded enveloping yet accurate, thus proving the versatility of the system—it can do music, not just movies. The Invisa SPS is clearly a great addition to GoldenEar’s selection of in-wall and in-ceiling options.

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