Residential Tech Feature on Monitor Audio
Posted on October 08 2020
Rediscover Sound with Monitor Audio
Featured in the June / July 2020 issue of Residential Tech Today Magazine, rediscover Monitor Audio 50 years in the making.
Monitor Audio is a British owned global manufacturer of hi-fi loudspeakers and audio components. For nearly 50 years, the company has specialized in the design of traditional, lifestyle, and custom installation speakers and just recently amplifiers. Monitor Audio is a brand that strives for excellence through innovation, and unparalleled sound quality to deliver solutions that serve every application, style and budget.
Monitor Audio was founded in Cambridge, England in 1972 by Mo Iqbal and his team of engineers, who worked out of a small factory assembling loudspeakers by hand.
Monitor Audio began by creating traditional loudspeaker designs, which would soon evolve into some of the most unique solutions within the industry by the mid-1980s when the company would introduce its first generation of metal drivers and tweeters called C-CAM (Ceramic-Coated Aluminum Magnesium). Originally developed by the aerospace industry for jet engine components, C-CAM drivers and tweeters offer advantages over traditional drivers as its properties are ideal for loudspeaker cones, being extremely rigid yet light enough to yield high overall efficiency. C-CAM cones have a much higher resistance to bending and stress and therefore exhibit much greater control and fidelity over their entire operating range. They also feature a significant decrease in audible distortion compared to other materials. C-CAM also shares an audible consistency, producing a smooth transition of frequencies and a sense of realism and cohesion in the soundstage.
Today, by consistently refining and applying their technologies, Monitor Audio has become the world's foremost expert in developing metal dome drivers and tweeters. Metal is not the easiest material to shape, which is why many competitors choose paper or plastic. However, when treated correctly, metal has amazing properties for producing more life-like sound.
Rediscover Design: Transcending Into Custom
Monitor Audio dealers around the globe wanted a broader range of solutions that would feature trickle down technology from the company’s Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Series speakers. Lifestyle and Custom Installation speakers were the natural progression for this British manufacturer.
Monitor Audio’s Lifestyle ranges are comprised of smaller satellite speakers, wall mountable speakers, and soundbars. Using the same C-CAM driver and tweeter technology Monitor Audio is known for, the lifestyle ranges are slim and more compact than traditional box speakers, which make them ideal for rooms or applications where space is limited.
Monitor Audio’s Custom Installation speaker range started off small, only to rise and become a huge collection of solutions across multiple performance levels. Today, Monitor Audio has nearly 70 different custom speakers ranging from $250 ea to $6,000 ea, which include in-ceiling models, in-wall models, subwoofers, all-weather models, and more.
Just two years ago, Monitor Audio took their custom range a step further and introduced a line of Installation Amplifiers that work seamlessly with their range of custom speakers. The Installation Amplifiers are built to do more and use less space. They feature cutting-edge technology for the best sound performance in any installation project and are backed by a 5 year warranty. The multi-channel amplifiers can be used in a wide range of applications in residential and commercial properties with power up to 2000 watts. Monitor Audio's flexible Installation Amplifiers are configurable to 1,2,3,6,8 or 12 channels offer Buss Inputs and A/B Loop Outputs and can be Bridged to provide more power.
The range is comprised of 6 models; 3 standard Distribution amplifiers and 3 Connect amplifiers.
The Distribution Amplifiers feature full connectivity with RS232 control, with simple wired voltage trigger or signal sense and the Connected 'Connect' Amplifiers feature more complex DSP and IP control, offering wider flexibility and integration. Using the ‘Connect’ IP interface, a web application which can be accessed by any device with a web browser, the installer can set features and fine tune audio performance remotely from the amplifier location. Through training, Monitor Audio dealers are in a position to maximize the performance capabilities of the Connected Amps and in turn the Monitor Audio system.
Rediscover Excellence: The New IMS-4 Streamer
As the world continues to evolve with new technologies and ideas, Monitor Audio evolves with it, with the new IMS-4 Music Streamer which joins the companies range of Installation Amplifiers and complete mix of Architectural loudspeakers.
Featuring BluOS™ technology, the IMS-4 can stream four different sources to four separate zones and its BluOS Controller app offers complete flexibility, including streaming from music services, easy access to music libraries and voice control through a smart device.
Accessed through the app, or one of the many supported integrated control systems including Crestron, C4 and RTI, multiple IMS-4 Music Streamers can be integrated with other BluOS devices to provide up to 64 zones of music, with each zone able to play together in perfect sync or play different streams to separate zones. And, BluOS allows streaming of lossless music up to 24-bit/192kHz to every room in a home network. It doesn’t get better!
The IMS-4 can deliver millions of Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) recordings, providing a high performance, seamless music experience anywhere in the home.
Michael Hedges, Monitor Audio’s technical director, said,
“The IMS-4 is an exciting new addition to our extensive range of industry-leading custom installation solutions. I am sure our customers will love its ease of installation, flexibility and powerful performance.”
With the slimline IMS-4 Music Streamer, Monitor Audio offers an exceptional source for custom home audio projects that will compliment their range of installation amplifiers and custom speakers as part of their ever-growing portfolio of high performance solutions.