An Australian startup company is claiming that it's reinventing the speaker market with its 3D speakers — or as it would prefer to call them, acoustic hologram generators.
Why acoustic hologram generators and not speakers? I put that question to Joe Hayes, managing director of Accoustic3D, and his claim was that is was essentially "just to put a wedge between us and the other 5,000 speaker makers in the world." Hayes' claim is that the sound quality that you'll get out of Accoustic3D's speakers "is equal to that which you'll get from much higher priced speakers."
As an example, the model that Hayes will first bring to market, the $US999 Emergence 2.1 speaker system is, so he claims, "equal in quality to some systems costing $100,000. Real audiophile stuff for under a grand". The proof will be in the listening — I'm waiting to line up a demonstration session with the Emergence speakers to see if the hype is justified — but Hayes is enthusiastically keen about the potential for his technology, noting that it could scale up to the heights of concert PA systems at the high end, and still have some space to play in the consumer space at the lower end.
A 2.1 speaker system might not sound that enticing, but Hayes' claim is that it's very specific marketing, with an eye towards buyers of products such as soundbars. "The emergence's hologram makes 5.1 look ordinary, but we will look at a 5.1 system in the future".
Hayes estimates that the Emergence system should go on sale sometime in May for sale both online and in traditional retailers, with the possibility of a higher power signature series and potentially an AirPlay compatible model down the track in 2012. [Acoustic3d]