JBL Intros ‘Cost is No Object’ System

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Harman’s JBL and Infinity car audio brands will offer new ultra high end audiophile systems this year, said Harman’s Jeff Fay during CES this month.

Infinity will offer its new speaker system under its former Beta brand (now spelled BeTA), which it is bringing back this year.  The speakers are designed as a “cost is no object” system using beryllium tweeters.  The two-way passive system includes 6.5 inch carbon fiber woofers plus the tweeters.

JBL’s version is the ARENA and the top-of-the-line ARENA EXP.   The latter, at a suggested price of $5,499, is a three-way active system with a 1-inch beryllium tweeter.  Beryllium is a rare earth metal that provides 4.5 times the stiffness of aluminum or titanium with three times more damping and at half of the weight.  “Beryllium tweeters are the centerpiece of the ARENA automotive loudspeaker series,” said Harman.

Another standout feature are ARENA’s trim accessories.  They include a magnetic cover to hide screw holes plus a modular magnetic grill.

The 3.5-inch midrange and 6.5-inch aluminum basket woofers use woven carbon fiber cones.

Then there’s a JBL ARENA 6.5-inch, passive two-way system at a suggested retail price of $2,299.

Fay said the beryllium tweeters are similar to those used in Revel $20,000 home audio speakers.

“This is the best of our capabilities,” said Fay. “It’s beyond state of the art.”

ARENA is due for shipping in September and will be Hi-Res Audio certified.

Fay added,  “It’s our heritage. We make $60,000 home speakers. We make Mark Levinson and Revel.  We think we can do a better job” than some of the other audiophile systems available.


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