I wrote up last week's announcement of the Emergence 2.1 Speaker system, but a release can say anything. Accoustic3D is making some big claims, and it was time for them to prove their mettle. Accoustic3D's Joe Hayes bought a set of the 2.1 Emergence speakers — there are apparently only two hand-tooled sets in existence right now — into the Gizmodo offices for a bit of hands on listening time.
The look of the Emergence speakers is quite eye catching; the design is through Brisbane's Infinity Designs; they also design furniture for Freedom Furniture. The idea is that they're meant to be lifestyle speakers aimed pretty much squarely at the market that currently buys soundbars.
While these are the hand-tooled prototypes, the finished product is pretty much set in stone; it's just a matter of firing up the factories to do so. One thing that did come up in the original story is that Accoustic3D are still seeking funding, but according to Hayes, that's a matter of funding for international expansion; all the necessary funds for R&D and manufacturing are already in place.
The sound output from the Emergence set is certainly loud — not that loud always equals good automatically — filling the room no matter where I stood or sat. Going through a range of music, from classic blues to 80s electronica showed plenty of dynamic range and ability to reproduce music faithfully... to an extent.
So far, so good, but I can't truly say that I was blown away by the sound, if only because it's exceptionally hard to properly assess speakers with unfamiliar music; I didn't know what I was getting that I wouldn't otherwise get, in other words.
So we set up a quick Skype call to show the speaker's ability to acoustically match the original tone of the original audio — in this case a skype call wandering through office rooms, bathrooms and corridors — and there I was truly impressed. Even in what is a truly awful listening room, the echoes of the bathrooom came through with actual depth and resonance, no matter where I placed myself. Impressive stuff, although I'd need to test them for a longer time to come to a definite conclusion. Still, at $999 they're price competitive with many soundbar systems, and could provide a solid challenge when they go on the market in May.