StormAudio is a new player in the AV processor and integrated AV processor market, but what it’s done is split the difference between the vertiginous cost of entry to ultra high-end audio, and consumer-level AVRs plus pre-pros. Its ISP series AV processors offer up to 32 channels of audio.
I recently began a hands-on of StormAudio’s I.ISP 3D.16.12 AV integrated processor, which sports 12 channels of 200 watts per channel amplification, as well as 16-channel processing that includes Dirac Live room correction on all channels. It is the most mighty AVR I have ever used, and the web interface for setup makes it easy to configure it for myriad applications.
At CEDIA the company introduced a four ultra high-quality XLR expansion card, the XLR +4 ($1250) for its 16-channel AV processor, the ISP 3D 16 Elite. StormAudio senior VP Yves Trélohan noted that competing solutions with 20 channels run $20,000+ while StormAudio’s solution comes in at around $12,500 to $13,000. The company suggests using these extra four channels in conjunction with subwoofers.
The StormAudio XLR +4 expansion module
The web interface is a boon for all of StormAudio’s devices, not just the I.ISP 3D.16.12 that I am working with. And at CEDIA the company announced that it is debuting remote monitoring for custom integrators starting next month. This will provide detailed information about all of the gear in the rack, allowing for easy troubleshooting. Furthermore, those integrators will get access to the full setup interface.
Another product announced by StormAudio is the AVB (Audio Video Bridging) module, which will also ship next month. This allows for AV output over Ethernet to an AV-enabled router that then handles individual audio channel routing. This allows for a one-cable solution to distributing audio to active speakers or amplifier and will cost $4600, with availability in October.
Per StormAudio, “The StormAudio hardware line consists of 4 preamp / processors (from 16- to 32-channels), 3 power amplifiers (8- to 16 channels) and a 16-channel Integrated Immersive Sound AV Processor (combination amp/processor). The processors have built-in compatibility with Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.”
Right this second, I have the I.ISP upstairs in a 4K HDR-capable theater; it sounds super-sweet. Indeed, it makes my theater sound a lot like the super-pricey megasystems I hear at CEDIA. Surely Dirac Live on all channels, and the use of five highly capable subs, helps make this (and any) StormAudio AP processor ideal for advanced home theater applications where tactile bass at all frequencies is desired and everything from chest-slam effects to subterranean rumbles are rendered with granular detail.
Also, my residence is a perfect usage case scenario for the self-powered I.ISP 3D.16.12, in that I live in a Philly row house and space is limited. I dedicate almost the entire top floor to home cinema—it measures 11′ x 18′ x 9’—so I appreciate a solution that delivers so much oomph without requiring an entire closet full of amps. During movies, I can hear and feel its power as compared to using an AVR from a popular brand to run things—even a flagship model.
Finally, for packing an entire rack’s worth of gear into one box and making it as flexible and configurable as anything I’ve seen or used, and in consideration of what I have heard and experienced—personally—coming from StormAudio’s I.ISP 3D.16.12 integrated processor, I decided it deserves an AVS Forum Best of CEDIA 2017 award.
I gave the I.ISP 3D.16.12 an AVS Forum Best of CEDIA award for putting everything I want in home theater system in one box
For this post, rather than start a new thread, I’m directing the comments link to the existing hands-on article I started just prior to CEDIA 2017.