Long Island Business Puts Sound Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind

Invisible speakers available through Oakwood may be "hidden" within an image.

Huntington Station, NY - Seventy five years ago, if you wanted to use electronics to listen to your favorite music at home, you had to sit near a Philco or Zenith radio set. You were limited to one station or program and there was no chance of picking up the wooden box and taking it up to your bedroom if the rest of the family had already tuned into the Sunday broadcast of Jack Benny or the Lone Ranger. The box itself was typically in a prominent place in the living room, often big enough to have family photos perched on top and its unmistakable hum would preface the night's broadcast as the old tubes warmed up inside.

Today, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone outside an antique shop who would have an operating relic such as this. In fact you might even have a hard time even finding the source of the audio in many homes thanks to one Long Island company that's taking the concept of "invisible sound" up to a whole new level.

Oakwood Automation Systems (OAS), a custom installer of home and building automation systems, recently partnered up with a manufacturer named Stealth Acoustics which puts some very interesting speaker systems into the hands, or walls of homes, retail stores, and galleries or just about anywhere anyone wants to have high-quality sound that's out of sight.

"It's a very unique method of manufacturing that economizes on space without cutting back on acoustics," said Jim Macri, President of OAS. "We can take any flat wall surface and install a high-definition speaker or woofer completely camouflaged from sight, or create an alternative solution in back of a piece of art hung on a wall. It really is a seamless solution that suits many environments."

From an acoustical standpoint, the Stealth line is leading edge with smooth high-frequency response, solid bass extension, and 170-degree dispersion. Various sizes are available with models from 22 in. to 34 in. (H) and 15-7/8 (W) x 3-1/4 in (D). While much of the interest for this has come from homeowners, the stealth system is very popular in retail stores, professional offices, museums and galleries, visitor centers, exhibit centers and lecture halls.

The lineup includes three innovative designs. The Satin White Image II is one variation that can be mounted right out of the box or finished on site to match virtually any dcor imaginable. The Image Wrap™ model includes high resolution images from an artist gallery or the customer's own portfolio. These images are factory-laminated to the speaker face in a "studio wrap" style that turns the speaker itself into a work of art. For a truly sweeping scene, OAS provides The Trilogy™. This option combines the freshly updated CoverArt with a pair of Image II speakers for an awesome panoramic three panel spread.

The Stealth speaker line is just one component to an entire suite of innovative home and building automation systems OAS has been adding to its portfolio since its inception. The company provides custom-tailored automation that basically lets users operate anything that can be lit, opened, heard, or seen electronically whether it's a video surveillance camera, home or exhibit theater, heating and air conditioning system, lighting or security locks; all from simple interface tools loaded on a portable tablet or smart phone. That means things like the radio, iTunes or online music streams may be set up for optimum listening throughout the house or building and managed from the user's device.

"We're basically redefining A/V and Wi-Fi as we've known it and giving users the freedom to enjoy the benefits of both without having to be tethered to a box or console," Macri says of the newer tech available. "And based on what we've seen and heard so far, it gets even better because now we can take some of the same technology and bring it outdoors as well which opens up a whole new layer of possibilities."

For more information about the Stealth line or other automation systems from OAS, contact Jim Macri. 631-683-4573 or email info@oakwoodautomation.com. OAS is based at 405A Oakwood Rd., Huntington Station, NY 11746 (www.oakwoodautomation.com )

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