CES 2010: Polk Audio

by: Dan -
More On: CES 2010 HitMaster Gaming Studio Monitor Wireless Surround F/X
Before CES opened, I was able to get a single review unit of Polk Audio’s new HitMaster Gaming Stage Monitor and put it through its paces. The review ran the same day the HitMaster debuted to the public at the 2010 CES. However, the one thing that I was unable to do was review the experience with a full complement of HitMasters, but when I rolled into Polk Audio’s suite at the Venetian, I knew I would soon have my answers. Check out the pictures below as to why.

The Polk engineers had come up with a demo for the HitMaster that had not 5, not 10 but 12 HitMasters daisy chained together to demo The Beatles: Rock Band and Rock Band 2. Of the 12, four were attached to each of the support beams and the remaining four (one for each instrument and mic) scattered around the “stage”. I have to say that it was a much different experience than when I had a single monitor hooked up during the review. The entire stage seemed alive with music from the four HitMasters that were angled back toward us, and once I stepped off, it was incredible how the sound just cascaded off the eight monitors strapped to the scaffolding and into the room. It gave off the feel of being at a small concert in a pub or bar.

The other item that I took a look at was the Wireless Surround F/X speaker. It is a single-unit surround speaker that is a great compliment to any surround bar or in-wall speakers that Polk Audio offers. I took in a demo where the Wireless Surround F/X was behind a couch and was used in conjunction with three in-wall speakers. The sound was perfectly balanced in the room, as the speaker created more of an entire soundfield than directional surround like conventional speakers do. In fact, Polk calls their technology “Controlled Dispersion Array” in which the speaker is designed to create a 5.1 or a 7.1 surround feel from its five drivers (4 – 2.5” full range drivers and a 5.25” woofer) powered by a 120w amp. It also has the ability to change the audio output based on whether the speaker is positioned on a shelf, floor or table while connected through the 2.4GHz spectrum. The Wireless Surround F/X will be out later this year and should be priced in the $399 range and looks to be a good add-on if you need true surround but can’t run wires.

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