Monitor Audio debuts ASB-2 luxury soundbar

posted on Friday, 8th November 2013 by Steve May

Soundbar  High-end 

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Monitor Audio has entered the soundbar market with the ASB-2. Described as "an all-in-one home entertainment audio system," the high-end newcomer is Apple AirPlay enabled, and DLNA and UPnP compliant. Airplay Direct allows users to stream directly, without recourse to a network. 

Design and build are uncompromising. The curved enclosure is made from highly rigid mineral filled polymer and finished in black grille cloth with brushed metal end trims. It can be racked, stood on furniture or wall mounted using either the brand's optional wall fixing bracket or a Sanus system.

Inputs comprise three HDMIs with video pass-through and on-screen display, optical and coaxial inputs, plus stereo phonos for legacy audio equipment. Those that need extra bass grunt can take advantage of the soundbar's LFE output.  All network setup and upgrades are via USB or Wi-Fi. The unit itself measures 100.5 x 16.7 x 18cm high (w/d/h).

The ASB-2 features five discrete power amp stages delivering a total of 160W to six of the brand's proprietary C-CAM drivers, all custom-tuned by DSP control. The subwoofer section comprises two 5.5-inch drivers and receives 60W, while two 4-inch midrange drivers are driven by 35W amplifiers; the two 1-inch tweeters have their own dedicated 15W amps.

For a wide expansive soundfield, the system employs 3D audio utilising a mix of Head Related Transfer Function (HTRF) processing and crosstalk cancellation. Given a 7.1 audio input the soundbar processes them to left, right and centre, while virtual rear channels are generated by applying crosstalk cancellation processing. The Monitor Audio ASB-2, available now, retails for £999.

Also read:
Monitor Audio outs extensive range of CP in-wall speakers

Monitor Audio upgrades Silver speaker range

Monitor Audio bows Shadow on-wall speakers

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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