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One Of The Hottest Brands At CEDIA 2023 Was Theory Audio Claim Attendees

One of the hottest audio brands at CEDIA 2023 is Theory Audio Design which is distributed by Melbourne based Audio Active.

The US brand appears to be bucking the ‘more is better” marketing trends that several brands are engaging in an effort to get a sale.

Instead, Theory Audio executives are spruiking quality over quantity as well as reasonable pricing over cost-no-object excess.

On hand at the show was speaker design legend and Theory founder and CEO Paul Hales who was pitching his message to attendees.

According to Bruce Thierbach General Manager at Audio Active who was at the Denver show, the Theory range of products “seriously deliver for installers as they are powerful as well as cost effective”.

Hales claims that his primary objective is to create speakers with consistent and accurate timbre across the entire line-up, from entry level to flagship.

In Australia one of the popular Theory speakers is ic6 in-ceiling speaker.

Thierbach claims that the versatile point source coaxial speaker is perfectly at home in a ceiling, in a wall, in a cabinet for surface mounting or even in a hanging pendant enclosure.

He claims that what Hale has developed is a high efficiency, high output and refined yet supremely dynamic audiophile approved sound.


With this speaker also need one or more of Theory’s ALCs (active loudspeaker controllers) which are basically power amps with advanced built-in DSP.

These are a four-channel controller (model DLC-250.4), which is capable of driving up to sixteen Theory speakers.

Theory Audio Design’s DLC-250.4 Active Loudspeaker Controller offers four independent channels and can drive up to 16 Theory speakers.

The ic6 sports a coaxial design with Theory’s 1.4″ advanced polymer compression driver centred within a 6.5″ carbon fibre low frequency driver.

Its rated frequency response is 68Hz-23KHz (-3 dB) or 58Hz-25KHz (-10 dB). It can be paired with one of the company’s subwoofers, but it performs incredibly well on its own claims Theory management.

Sensitivity varies from 92dB to 106dB, depending on enclosure. While only measuring in at about 9 inches in diameter, each IC6 can reach up to 112 dB SPL.

According to Australians at the show it was standing room only in every session with several attendees turned away due to excess demand.

Hales started the demo off playing music through just a single pair of ic6 speakers, mounted in the front wall.

Attendees claim that ‘The fullness of sound, dynamic punch and sheer breadth and depth of the soundstage were quite frankly ridiculously good, particularly for a speaker system that cost around A$2,000 (plus the cost of the controller/amp modules).

By adding in one of Theory’s subwoofers, the new iws12-9 High Output Multi-Mount Subwoofer attendees witnessed a significant lift and deep bass extension, without any hint of boom or bloat claims Ecoustics editors who were at the event.

Even free floating in space, mounted on the rafters next to the speakers, the sub provided deep extended bass that detracted in no way from the exceptional sonic character of the ic6 in its various configurations.

The speaker range has been described as the product for the Man (or Woman) Who Has Everything.

After showcasing the ic6 in its various placements, Hales moved on to show off their latest speaker in the Pro Audio Technology line, the sr-2408iw. Developed for a certain billionaire’s mega yacht, the sr-2408iw, like the ic6, can be installed in wall, flush on wall, or on a bracket that allows the speakers to be angled toward the listening position.

Its aluminium cabinet makes it ideal for marine use, but it’s equally at home inside your mansion or on your pool deck.

Featuring a 1.5″ ring radiator tweeter, two high efficiency 4-inch midrange drivers, and an 8-inch-long throw woofer, the SR-2408iw offers high output and high fidelity in areas where space is limited but performance is crucial. The cabinet depth is just 4 inches making it able to fit in virtually any wall or ceiling.

Observers claim that the Theory Audio Design demo was one of the most impressive things they heard at this year’s show, and at a small fraction of the cost of many of the other rooms.

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