First Look At The Beale Street Audio ICS6 and ICS8

Beale-ICS6-MB-3Q-and-Sonic-Vortex.jpg
Beale Street Audio ICS Series Subwoofer Showing Sonic Vortex Design. Images provided by Beale Street Audio

Dateline: 02/26/2014
In-wall speakers are one way to remove room clutter from a home theater setup, but placing a subwoofer in a wall is a little tricky, as you don't want those low frequencies to produce undesirable wall vibrations, which in turn can radiate out into your room.

However, what is even trickier is installing a subwoofer in your ceiling. For one thing, placing a subwoofer in a ceiling is counter-intuitive as low frequency sounds typical originate from below ear level, and those sonic frequencies are often felt through your feet. However, since low-frequency sounds are actually omnidirectional, a subwoofer can actually be mounted in the ceiling - if the subwoofer is constructed and installed properly so as to not cause excessive vibration or damage to the ceiling.

With that in mind, Beale Street Audio has announced its first subwoofers designed for ceiling installation, the ICS6 and ICS8. Features common to both subwoofers are: Woven Kevlar Woofer Drivers, High-Efficiency Voice Coil, Bass Efficient Motor Structure, Butyl Rubber Surround (the area between the drive and circular frame that allows the speaker cone to move in and out), and Beale Audio's Sonic Vortex Ported Transmission Line Enclosure.

The Sonic Vortex

The inclusion of Sonic Vortex technology is what makes these subs a very good solution for in-wall, or in-ceiling, installation. Instead of a large cabinet that is required for most subwoofers (in order to provide space for all that air to move), the Sonic Vortex is a tight grooved/wave housing that surrounds the Subwoofer driver assembly.

The way the Sonic Vortex works, air is pushed by the driver through the surrounding groove/wave structure, which has small exit ports surrounding the front of the driver/vortex assembly. Except for the exit ports, the whole assembly is sealed by a tight fitting outer container that minimizes vibration and also stops air from escaping into the internal structure of the ceiling or walls. This prevents unwanted sonic artifacts that could cause structural damage to the wall or ceiling. Check out more details on Sonic Vortex Technology

It is also important to point out that the ICS6 and ICS8 are Passive Subwoofers. This means that an external amplifier is required for power. In other words, you don't power these subwoofers using a traditional subwoofer or LFE preamp line output from a home theater receiver.

Additional specifications for each subwoofer include:

ICS6

Driver size: 6.5-inches
Frequency Response: 42Hz - 300Hz
Sensitivity: 90db
Grill Color: White
Grill Type: Magnetic Bezelless
Connector Type: Gold Spring Push Terminal
Weight: 7.10 lbs
Cutout: 8.4-inches (214 mm)
Diameter: 9.4-inches (239 mm)
Depth: 6.8-inches (172 mm)

ICS8

Driver size: 8-inches
Frequency Response: 35 Hz - 300Hz
Sensitivity: 90db
Grill Color: White
Grill Type: Magnetic Bezelless
Connector Type: Gold Spring Push Terminal
Weight: 8.38 lbs
Cutout: 10.3-inches (261 mm)
Diameter: 11.3-inches (284 mm)
Depth: 8.6-inches (219.5 mm)

For more details, refer to the Official Beale Street Audio ICS6 and ICS8 Product Pages.

Important Note: To find out if an in-ceiling subwoofer is right for your home theater setup, contact your local home theater dealer/installer to come and evaluate your room as room shape and ceiling design will affect placement, size/number required, and performance.