Sometimes CES delivers a real surprise and a product capable of revolutionizing a product category. The Lexicon SL-1 does just that and I had the honor of being the first person to demo. Using sophisticated DSP and beam-forming technology, a pair of SL-1s can steer sound to the listener, allowing them to select the location and size of the sweet spot using an intuitive phone/tablet app.
I had a chance to hear the system and it absolutely delivers on the promise of rendering an audiophile-quality soundstage regardless of where I sat. Using the app, it only took seconds to nail perfect imaging. Plus, the size of the sweet spot can be increased or decreased at will.
The SL-1 is a futuristic looking speaker that contains that contains 32 drivers: 12 tweeters, 16 midrange drivers, and 4 woofers. The 360-degree arrangement of the drivers allows the speakers to project sound all directions, and DSP allows the speakers to perform audio magic.
Here’s Lexicon’s description of how it works: “SoundSteer Technology utilizes DSP array processing to control the directivity via beam forming. This advanced algorithm adjusts the location and size of the “sweet spot” in real time so the user can optimize the listening experience to suit their individual needs. High-resolution audio is delivered through 32 speakers (12 tweeters, 16 midrange, 4 woofers) over 22 channels of amplification delivering 1250W of power. All of this is controlled by the user through an app on any mobile device.”
I can attest to the effectiveness of this system. I used the app to shift the sweet spot to where I sat, in a demo room that was deliberately arranged in an asymmetrical layout. I’ll post more about that here later, for now, it’s on to another press conference.