Acoustic Energy launches 6.1 Compact/Neo system

Acoustic Energy launches 6.1 Compact/Neo surround system
It had been years since the Compact/Neo family got together for a portrait

UK speaker brand Acoustic Energy has taken inspiration from the forthcoming release of the Star Wars Saga Blu-ray boxset by announcing a 6.1 speaker package to match the sci-fi series' remastered audio.

The £850 array, dubbed Compact/Neo 6.1, uses six of Acoustic Energy's brand-new Compact One speakers and its long-standing Neo subwoofer.

"This is a 6.1 system rather than a more typical 5.1 set-up. It allows those with any modern AV receiver to benefit from rear-back channel processing and get the very best from discs with dedicated Dolby Digital EX, True HD and DTS HD MA 6.1 soundtracks, such as the new Star Wars Saga Blu-ray," said Acoustic Energy.

Of course, cynics might argue the reason for offering a 6.1 package – rather than a 5.1 – is because the Compact One bookshelf speakers are boxed as pairs for stereo systems, and offering five in a setup would involve rethinking the packaging. But we're not cynics.

Seamless sound

Another claimed benefit of the Compact/Neo 6.1 is that it uses identical speakers. This conforms to the ideals espoused by Dolby and the George Lucas-founded THX organisation, and ensures complete tonal balance throughout the 360-degree soundstage.

Put another way, when the Star Destroyer passes over your head at the beginning of A New Hope, it should sound seamless.

The new Compact One satellites are described as 'bijou' (we think that means 'small'), and can be mounted on stands or attached to your wall via supplied brackets. The system comes in a Vermont Walnut finish and will be available from September 12 – the same day the Star Wars Saga arrives on Blu-ray…

Look out for a review on TechRadar soon.