Monitor Audio W280-IDC
3-way in-wall speaker
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Our take on the Monitor Audio W280-IDC by Crutchfield's Kramer Crane
Jam-packed with high-end speaker technology
Monitor Audio has pulled off a trio of accomplishments with their W280-IDC in-wall speaker. Its three-way design provides smooth blending of its 8" woofer, 4" midrange, and 1" tweeter. They've mounted the tweeter and midrange driver together on a pivoting module, so you can direct sound towards you. And built-in woofer and tweeter output adjustments let you tailor the sound to your room. The W280-IDC is an excellent choice for a high-end in-wall stereo system, or as a left or right channel in a Monitor Audio home theater system.
Monitor Audio's W280-IDC in-wall speaker features built-in sound controls, so you can tailor its sound to your room.
High-tech drivers for better sound
One of Monitor Audio's hallmark technologies is their "C-CAM" driver material. It's a ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium alloy originally developed by the aerospace industry for jet engine components. It's super lightweight and strong, which allows the drivers to respond very quickly and precisely, for accurate sound.
All three of the W280-IDC's drivers are made from this material. The dome tweeter is even treated with an anodized layer of gold for smooth, extended high-frequency response.
Advanced signal distribution
I'll admit, three-way speaker designs aren't always my cup of tea. That's because it's difficult to design a high-quality crossover network that doesn't "get in the way" of the musical signal. But Monitor Audio has overcome this challenge. They've invested significant engineering, design, and testing resources to ensure that their advanced high-order crossover network allows the woofer, midrange driver, and tweeter to blend together seamlessly.
The front panel of the W280-IDC provides easy access to its sound control features. The 1" tweeter has a three-position output level switch which lets you cut or boost high frequencies — a valuable adjustment if you have reflective surfaces like hardwood floors or windows, or absorptive surfaces like thick carpets or upholstered furniture.
The W280-IDC also has a boundary compensation switch, so you can adjust low-frequency output if the speaker is installed near a corner, to prevent boominess.
If this is a do-it-yourself install, check out my guide to installing in-wall speakers, along with our selection of in-wall speaker wire. You can paint the included magnetic grille to have your speaker blend in with your décor.
- 3-way design
- ideal for an in-wall music system or as the left or right channel of a home theater system
- ultra-rigid, lightweight C-CAM (Ceramic-Coated Aluminum/Magnesium) cone material used to provide high efficiency and low distortion
- 8" C-CAM woofer
- boundary compensation switch adjusts low-frequency output when the speaker is placed near a corner
- 4" C-CAM inverted midrange driver
- 1" gold dome C-CAM® tweeter for detailed sound and extended high-frequency response
- three-position tweeter level control cuts or boosts high-frequency output to ideally suit your room's acoustics
- pivoting IDC® (Inverted Dual Concentric) midrange/tweeter module for directing sound toward listening area
- frequency response: 45-30,000 Hz
- recommended amplifier power: 30-120 watts
- sensitivity: 90 dB
- impedance: 6 ohms
- patented Tri-Grip® mounting system ensures maximum surface seal for better bass and midrange clarity
- paintable magnetic grille
- overall dimensions (including grille): 11-5/16"W x 17-3/8"H
- cutout dimensions: 9-3/16"W x 15-1/4"H
- mounting depth: 3-11/16"
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- In-Wall speaker
- Paint skim
- Installation Guide
- Important Safety Instructions
- Cutout Template
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Features and Specs
|Quantity in Package||Single|
|Cutout Size||9.1875 x 15.25|
|Power Range (Watts)||30-120|
|Connector Type||Spring post|
3-Way Speaker Design: The Monitor Audio W280-IDC in-wall loudspeaker features an 8" C-CAM bass driver and a pivoting IDC module, housing a 4" C-CAM RST inverted midrange driver and a 1" C-CAM gold dome tweeter. This true 3-way design provide rich midrange detail, higher system output, greater power handling, and superior vocal intelligibility and sound localization.
IDC Module: The Monitor Audio W280-IDC in-wall speaker employs a unique pivoting Inverted Dual Concentric (IDC) midrange/tweeter module offering up to 18 degrees of pivot. This allows for the in-wall speaker to be discreetly positioned and the sound to be directed toward the listening zone by pivoting the IDC driver module to maximize performance. With the IDC module installed, the Custom Install series in-wall speaker by Monitor Audio becomes a true 3-way design, offering superior performance and flexibility over typical 2-way or fixed angle speakers. Within the proprietary IDC module an inverted 4" midrange driver provides superior dispersion while enabling the midrange cone and tweeter dome assembly to be set as far forward as possible, allowing the clear acoustics of the desired listening zone and reducing undesirable diffraction effects. It's impossible to avoid diffraction effects from conventional two-way designs, which locate the bass driver 3" to 6" behind the speaker grille.
C-CAM Technology: C-CAM drivers are used throughout the W280-IDC in-wall loudspeaker, providing coherent tonal balance and sonic signature across the entering audio frequency spectrum.
- C-CAM Gold-Dome Tweeter: The gold dome tweeter is formed from a ceramic-coated aluminum/magnesium alloy, gold anodized to a specific thickness for ideal stiffness and damping characteristics. Its new profile and surround geometry have been developed using advanced modeling tools, to provide the optimum qualities for accurate sound reproduction. The new design moves the first order of breakup to beyond 35kHz, producing a linear response way beyond audibility, which matches the wide frequency bandwidth available from HD music and cinema sound formats. The gold dome is thinner, lighter, more rigid and therefore more efficient than domes made from other materials which are prone to distortion in the audio band.
- C-CAM Cone Midrange and Bass Driver: Ceramic-Coated Aluminum/Magnesium is a material originally developed by the aerospace industry for jet engine components. Its properties are ideal for loudspeaker cones being extremely rigid, yet light enough to yield high overall efficiency. In manufacture, aluminum/magnesium alloy undergoes a three-stage stress-relieving process to remove surface deformation and molecular weakness. Once formed, the alloy cone is subjected to a high temperature anodic coating process in which a layer of pure ceramic alumina is depleted onto its surfaces to a depth of 50 microns, producing a completely rigid sandwich of alloy and heat-dissipating ceramic material. Conventional cones are liable to flex or twist in operation, producing a significant level of audible distortion. C-CAM cones have a much higher resistance to bending stress and therefore exhibit much greater fidelity over their entire operating range.
RST (Rigid Surface Technology): The W280-IDC in-wall speaker's inverted midrange driver combines Rigid Surface Technology (RST) with C-CAM cone woofer design for a stronger, lighter weight cone. The Rigid Surface Technology (RST) cone profile was inspired by the Japanese art of Origami, which demonstrates how a very light material (like paper) can be strengthened and made more rigid by making small and precise folds on it surface. Developed and perfect using sophisticated computer modeling (Finite Element Analysis), these midbass drivers have been strengthened by a pattern of dimples. RST significantly increases cone rigidity, allowing the radiating surfaces to resist mechanical bending forces, which can twist the shape of conventional driver cones to produce distorted sound. The strengthening effect of RST means that Monitor Audio can use thinner, lighter and more responsive C-CM cones which provide speed and accuracy while offering greatly reduced distortion. The RST patterns also help to displace standing waves that can propagate on the cone's surface.
Controls: Optimum imaging and set-up are established via the High Frequency Level and Boundary Compensation Controls.
- High Frequency Level Control: With the High Frequency Level Control set to "0", the in-ceiling speaker will give you a neutral sound. Switching to the "+3db" setting will give the high frequencies a boost, giving you more clarity and presence in the treble. If you want more prominence in the bass frequencies, switch to the "-3db" setting.
- Boundary Compensation Control: The Boundary Compensation Control provides a gentle midrange roll-off response, while preserving extreme low frequency output when the speaker is placed close to ceiling and wall boundaries. This setting can be turned "On" or "Off".
"Trimless" Magnetic Grille: The W280-IDC in-wall speaker features a "Trimless" steel-mesh grille that is held in place by high strength Neodymium magnets covering the entire speaker for a true trimless, stealth look. The grille is paintable to blend with the living environment; additional scrim material is provided for trouble free painting.
Tri-Grip Fixing System: Monitor Audio's innovative Tri-Grip fixing system is easier to install than conventional clamping schemes but provides three times the surface area and a better surface seal, maximizing bass response and midrange clarity. The Tri-Grip fixings are made from a tough re-enforced polymer, giving a secure installation. The speaker requires a 9.1875" (w) x 15.25" (h) cutout and a mounting depth of 3.6875".
Note: This Custom Install series loudspeaker can only be fixed into drywall with a thickness of up to 1.75".
Spring-Post Terminals: The Monitor Audio W280-IDC is fitted with two spring-post terminals to connect your speaker wire. The spring-post terminals which accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), banana plugs (sing/dual), and pin-connectors.
Protective Covers: The W280-IDC features a dust protection cover that is designed to prevent the ingress of dirt or dust into the driver and crossover.
Moisture & Fire Resistant: The Custom Install series in-wall speaker is splash and humidity proof for installation in shower rooms or pool areas. It also uses fire retardant materials specified to UL-94 VO rating.
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