Sydney, Australia, April 27, 2005: NHT (Now Hear This) is showcasing for the first time in Australia an award-winning new DEQX Calibrated™ DSP-corrected, powered speaker system that reduces distortion and offers impeccable frequency and phase response regardless of placement or listening.
NHT Xd is the result of the combined efforts of US companies NHT and PowerPhysics and Australian digital audio specialists DEQX Pty Ltd. The three companies pooled their respective core technologies to develop a system that removes virtually all possible distortion from the audio signal path while providing a much wider soundfield that remains accurate even when listening far off axis.
The Xd is the first loudspeaker system in the world designed from the ground up to incorporate DEQX Calibrated™. This is a unique, patent-pending, all-Australian-developed DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology for loudspeaker correction and very steep linear-phase digital crossovers that overseas commentators are suggesting is the future of loudspeaker design.
Recent demonstrations in the USA have led to numerous accolades for the Xd system including G4TechTV's® "Best of CES 2005" Award for the Ultimate Audio category and "Best Loudspeaker Under $6000 at CEDIA 2004" from AVguide Monthly Magazine. The system features two small speaker cabinets; a powered bass or woofer module; and a hybrid outboard component that houses the DEQX Calibrated™ DSP and PowerPhysics One-Cycle Sound™ amplifiers. Additional channels and bass modules can be added to create surround systems. Significantly, Xd owners will be able to upgrade their loudspeaker systems as new DSP software-based functions are introduced in the future.
"The loudspeaker is the weakest link in any audio system," said Chris Byrne, NHT's co-founder and Managing Director, Rockford Home Group. "No matter how high the price or defined the engineering, a traditional passive loudspeaker is going to add substantial distortion and frequency response errors. Combine this fact with necessary compromises in passive crossovers -- as well as unknowns such as amplifier power, proximity of boundaries and speaker placement -- and it's no wonder that end-users become frustrated with having to sit in the "sweet spot" to achieve reasonable sound quality in their homes. NHT Xd is the first real response to consumer demands for high-performance smaller systems that offer truly flexible placement and ultimately lead to a wider soundfield that remains precise and accurate no matter where the listener is situated."
NHT Xd: Three Key Ingredients
The amplifier section of the NHT XdA contains four PowerPhysics One-Cycle Sound™ amplifiers that supply high-efficiency bi-amplification of stereo channels and two balanced,line-level output channels for the woofer(s). PowerPhysics™ proprietary Class D amplifier is compact and highly efficient, generating the bare minimum of heat, allowing NHT to put all electronics into a single chassis measuring 2.6"H x 17"W.
The diminutive (10.25"H x 6.5"W x 8.5"D) NHT XdS satellite speaker features a two-way acoustic suspension design that houses an ultra-low distortion 5.25" midrange and 1" neodymium tweeter. A massive heat sink is attached to the rear of the tweeter to provide substantial power handling while the cabinet baffle itself is molded from a dense, sonically neutral composite material designed for far-reaching sound dispersion. Each satellite is bi-amplified, with the midrange and tweeter each powered by an individual amplifier.
Rounding out the NHT Xd system is the NHT XdW powered bass module, comprised of two active, opposed 10-inch drivers and a PowerPhysics 500W amplifier. Unlike other powered woofers, the XdW features only three controls - volume trim, balanced input and voltage selection. (Crossover functions such as frequency response, phase, crossover point and time-domain filtering are managed by the DEQX processor in the XdA.)
DEQX Calibration™: Why and what for?
In short, DEQX Calibration measures loudspeaker and room acoustics using the company's unique methodology, with special filters that simultaneously correct all frequencies in time as well as phase and frequency response to optimize system performance. As a result, sound is dispersed across a much wider stage without being tied down to a narrow sweet spot. The mechanical errors inherent in all loudspeaker drivers are largely eliminated, providing a strikingly natural sound. Additionally, imaging is articulate and defined while distortion is reduced to previously unattainable low levels that are usually associated with electronics components, not speakers.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the NHT Xd system is the sense of accuracy that is maintained when moving across the soundfield. The sweet spot seems to follow the listener around the room even when sitting far off axis. "Australia's Fairlight company introduced the first use of DSP for an audio product in the seventies," says Kim Ryrie, a co-founder of Fairlight and now CEO of DEQX. "So it made sense to use the latest DSP techniques to attack what is by far the most badly behaved component in the full audio chain - the loudspeaker. What DEQX provides that is new is full control over timing and phase at all frequencies. The audio design world is very conservative, so we were very fortunate to have the highly regarded engineers at NHT take up the challenge of creating the world's first DEQX Calibrated™ loudspeaker system," said Ryrie. Added Byrne: "After all the speaker refinements and improvements of the past 60 years, DSP presents a path for correcting system behavior that will allow us to meet consumer demands for higher performance, smaller systems that are flexible in placement considerations, making them essential to anybody who is ready to take the next step in audio reproduction."