Speakers

Elac could release its first sound bar by mid-2018

Elac America says it is interested in producing high-end sound bars and could have a model in the market by the middle of next year.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Speaker brand Elac, which has received numerous awards for its passive loudspeakers, says it could release a high-end soundbar by the middle of 2018.

Christopher Walker, vice president of product development at Elac America, said that the company was interested in soundbars as it was a growing category. Elac designer Andrew Jones produced one of CNET's favorite sound bars, the $400 (AU$829 or roughly converting to £300) Pioneer SP-SB23W, which is still in production.

"We could make a sound bar for $400 and we can make it sound really good," said Walker.

However he added the company was more interested in the higher-end -- a sound bar around $999 (roughly £755 or AU$1,240) which would include more sophisticated features than before including HDMI switching.

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While Walker didn't confirm that the company was working on a specific model, he said that an Elac sound bar could potentially appear from the middle of 2018 onwards.

He said the company's recent acquisition of Audio Alchemy meant that such a product would benefit from the know-how of Alchemy head Peter Madnick, who has previously worked on AV products including Runco projectors.

Thanks to designers such as Andrew Jones, home audio is undergoing a transformation right now with high-performance budget components that are now the focus for a lot of companies. By Elac choosing to target the higher end with a $1,000 sound bar and the imminent Adante speakers, the company is likely trying to prove that it's capable of more than "just" cheap, yet highly talented, speakers.