Pro Audio Technology (aka PRO) is a company we don’t cover much here on HomeTheaterReview, if only for logistical reasons: the company’s super-duper-ultra-custom offerings just don’t lend themselves to things like product reviews. This year’s CEDIA Expo in San Diego, though, will see the launch of a new brand from PRO owner Paul Hales–one that combines all of the audio wizardry for which PRO is known with a sophisticated contemporary design and, perhaps more importantly, a more one-size-fits-most lineup of speakers and amps.
More from the press release:
Paul Hales, 30-year loudspeaker engineer, AV industry veteran, and owner of highly-regarded audio manufacturer (PRO), is pleased to announce the launch of Theory Audio Design (Theory), manufacturer of loudspeakers and Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers, making its debut at CEDIA Expo 2018 in San Diego, CA.
“PRO continues to thrive and is a leading brand in elite home theater and distributed audio systems around the world,” said company founder Paul Hales. “With Theory, my goal was to bring the thrilling sound for which my products are known to a broader audience, and that is exactly what we’ve done. The performance and design of the Theory products are extraordinary. I cannot wait to show off these ground-breaking products at CEDIA 2018.”
Models for Every Installed Sound Need
Theory loudspeaker models consist of three in-wall and four slender on-wall models, featuring dual 5-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch woofers. For tight, deep bass, Theory offers two subwoofer models sporting 12-inch and 15-inch high-power drivers. Three soundbars round out the loudspeaker line designed to pair perfectly with today’s 65-inch, 75-inch and 85-inch flat panel TVs. Two innovative Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers (ALC) provide the power and brains behind the beauty. Listeners will recognize Hales’ signature sound quality immediately, providing thrilling dynamics and room-shaking bass without sacrificing décor or precious floor space.
Theory Loudspeakers: Thrilling Theater-Quality Sound with a Clean, Modern Aesthetic
The Theory family of loudspeakers are technological powerhouses that benefit from the same engineering and professional-grade componentry that put Theory’s esteemed sister company, Pro Audio Technology, on the map as the go-to brand for high-output, high-end residential installations. Looking under the hood of Theory’s loudspeakers you’ll find 1.4-inch aluminum diaphragm compression drivers on proprietary Theory ImpedanceOptimizer waveguides, that achieve 110dB of SPL with just 1W input. For the bottom-end, Theory loudspeakers feature reflex-loaded carbon fiber woofers which generate 95dB – 100dB SPL per watt depending on model.
Not just another black box speaker line, Theory loudspeakers look as good as they sound. Constructed from custom aluminum extrusions that are only 3.6 inches in depth, and available in black or white, Theory loudspeakers feature clean lines, rounded edges, machined aluminum accents, and configurable decorative trim to suit any décor. Finish options for the trim pieces include carbon fiber, white, gray, or black gloss, natural and black aluminum, brushed stainless steel, and matte pewter.
Flexible Mounting Solutions
Flexible by design, Theory on-wall and soundbar models offer installers quick and easy installation on any surface, with an innovative T-slot mount system that accommodates a variety of mounting bracket styles, including Z-Clips, yokes and ball mounts that can be positioned anywhere along the length of the speaker to perfectly align with architectural structural elements.
The Theory Amplified Loudspeaker Controller: Audio Swiss Army Knife
At the core of every Theory system lies a 96kHz / 24-bit DSP processing engine called a Loudspeaker Controller. Theory’s ALC-1508B and ALC-1809B eight and nine channel Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers create an entirely new product category by combining the functionality of a multichannel DSP processor, high-power multichannel home theater and distributed audio amplifier, multichannel mixing amplifier, high-resolution loudspeaker processor, and for the first time, multichannel bass management – all packed into a single, stylish, 1U package.
High-Power Multichannel Amplifier: The fan-less, 1U ALC-1508B and ALC-1809B models offer two and three 300W high-current amplifier channels for subwoofer drive respectively, plus six 100W bridgeable amplifier channels to drive full range loudspeakers. As such, the ALC-1508B can support 5.1, 5.2, 7.1 surround sound formats while the 1809B, with its additional 300W channel, adds support for 5.3, 7.2 and the new 5.2.2 Dolby Atmos format.
Multichannel DSP Processor: Both Amplified Loudspeaker Controller models include 80 user-programmable parametric EQ filters (10 per channel), plus gain adjustment, source signals for system diagnosis and delay of up to75msec per channel for on-site system-wide optimization and calibration.
High Resolution Loudspeaker Processor: at the heart of the ALC lies a 96kHz/24bit DSP engine for all Theory and Pro Audio Technology loudspeaker and subwoofer products, with over 160 IIR filters, 8 FIR filters, intelligent power-limiting, and delay. It is this processing engine that makes Theory’s thrilling sound possible.
Mixing/Distributed Audio Amplifier: The ALC-1508B and ALC-1809B each include a full 8×8 matrix mixer, mic input, all-channel priority ducking/paging, four stereo plus mono-sum inputs, bass and treble controls and up to75msecs delay per channel – useful in today’s large distributed outdoor systems. The ALC ducking feature and mic input enables priority paging in commercial distributed audio installations. In residential systems, 8×8 automatic ducking allows new voice-activated control devices such as Amazon Alexa to page any or all of the audio zones within a distributed system. When Alexa speaks, the currently playing audio is immediately reduced in volume, or “ducked”, allowing Alexa to speak clearly over distributed loudspeaker system. When Alexa is done talking, the audio content gradually rises to full output once again. Since any or all inputs can duck any or all output channels, complex systems with many distributed voice control devices can speak over the audio system globally or locally or any combination in between.
Bass Manager: for the first time in a residential multichannel amplifier, the Theory Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers can steer low frequency energy of any of the eight balanced analog audio inputs to any of the two or three subwoofer amp channels enabling distributed bass management in home theater and distributed audio applications. Full range speakers can easily be bass-managed to nearby or local subwoofers.
Theory Audio Design will debut at CEDIA 2018, September 6 – 8, 2018, where a selection of loudspeakers and Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers will be on display along with Pro Audio Technology products in Sound Room 14 (SR-14). Attendees are invited to experience Theory’s sonic muscle for themselves from what is expected to be yet another memorable Hales demo.
The first seven models of Theory loudspeakers and Amplified Loudspeaker Controllers will ship in Q1 2019, with additional models introduced throughout the year. For more information on Theory Audio Design, watch for updates from
• Visit the Theory Audio Design website for updates.
•Pro Audio Technology Introduces New In-wall Speaker at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Room Correction Revisited at HomeTheaterReview.com.