Kenwood, one of America’s best-selling brands of “Home Theater in a Box” systems, unveiled its new Kenwood Fineline Series of home theater ensembles that are packed with cutting-edge audio and video entertainment technologies and feature components and speakers styled to match the sleek, high-tech look of flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs. Two systems demonstrated today, the 5.1-channel HTB-S610 — featuring a wireless surround speaker system — and the 6.1-channel HTB-S710DV — with special features for video gaming — also offer new Dolby Pro Logic IIx surround sound processing with 7.1 channel capability for listeners seeking the very latest surround sound experience.
Kenwood Fineline components are defined by their contemporary low-profile design and the silver finish on components and loudspeakers. All systems are equipped with Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES surround sound decoding, as well as Dolby Pro Logic IIx processing, and they also provide auto sensing of the surround sound format (Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.) and automatically select for proper digital decoding.
The HTB-S710DV system consists of an audio/video receiver, a progressive scan DVD player, and seven speakers, including a powered subwoofer; the HTB-S610 is equipped with an audio/video receiver, wireless surround speaker transmitter and receiver modules, and six speakers, including a powered subwoofer. All Kenwood home theater systems are packaged with all necessary cables and illustrated, easy-to-follow instructions.
“The new Kenwood Fineline Home Theater Systems deliver on our brand promise of ‘Future Ready/Already’: they are leading-edge products that will seamlessly integrate with tomorrow’s technology,” said John Hwang, R&D/product manager for home electronics. “These systems provide consumers with attractive, affordable choices and the latest in home entertainment features and technology.”
HTB-S710DV System Touts Gaming Features and 6.1-Channel Audio
In addition to providing a high-quality 6.1-channel home theater audio performance, the HTB-S710DV is equipped with these special features for video gaming:
· Dual-Source/Single Zone operation, which permits a headphone user to listen to a different source, such as a video game, while others listen to another music source through the system’s speakers;
· New Dolby Headphone technology, which simulates 5-channel surround sound in three different listening modes for someone wearing conventional stereo
headphones. The three modes give listeners the impression that sound is coming to them from outside the headphone’s field, rather than the inside of one’s head
(a common complaint of headphone users and a source of headphone fatigue); and
· Game system inputs on the receiver’s front-panel with automatic signal detection for quick and easy connection of video games to the home theater system.
The HTB-S710DV also features new Dolby Virtual Speaker Technology, designed to provide a realistic, wide and spacious front image, even when listening to conventional stereo.
The system’s receiver is equipped with an ADI SHARC 32-bit floating-point DSP chip, which provides high-resolution decoding of high and low level audio signals. The single disc, progressive scan DVD player plays multiple video and audio formats including DVD, conventional CD, and MP3 and WMA files, as well as JPEG photo CDs. The system delivers 880 watts total power (130 watts x 6 channels plus a 100-watt powered subwoofer), and the receiver is equipped with digital amplification for efficient, stable high-power performance with minimal heat generation.
The HTB-S710DV features left, center, and right speakers based on dual, 2-inch, full-range drivers, and three surround speakers based on a single 2-inch full-range driver. The speakers feature silver metallic-finished speaker housings, with high-contrast removable metal speaker grilles. The front left and right speakers come with tabletop speaker stands, and all 6 speakers have built-in wall-mount hardware.
New HTB-S610 System: Smart Wireless Speaker Design
Consumers who want to avoid running wires across the room for surround speakers will look closely at the HTB-S610. The system is equipped with left and right surround speakers that can either be wired directly to the receiver or used with the included wireless RF transmitter/receiver system. In a major improvement over typical wireless designs, Kenwood’s wireless speakers are not battery-powered. Instead, they connect to the AC-powered wireless receiver unit that picks-up the surround channel signals broadcast by the RF transmitter unit.
Wireless Speakers with More Power and Better Sound
The wireless surround receiver unit features a built-in power amplifier that provides up to 50 watts to each surround speaker, yielding significantly more power and better-sounding audio than most wireless set-ups, which use low-wattage, self-powered speakers. To eliminate hum and any other noise that might be heard from the wireless speakers, the wireless receiver is equipped with RF noise reduction and 0-bit muting, ensuring that the speakers remain perfectly silent during silent passages.
The receiver in the HTB-S610 system provides 100 watts x 5 channels; surround back channel preamp outputs for 6.1- and 7.1-channel operation are also provided, but a separate amplifier and speakers must be supplied. The system is packaged with five matched speakers and a powered subwoofer with a 6.5-inch woofer and a built-in 100-watt amplifier.
Price and Availability
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the HTB-S710DV is $800.00, and for the HTB-S610 it is $600.00. The HTB-S710DV will be available from authorized Kenwood dealers in May; the HTB-S610 will be available in July.