“It’s not a soundbar – it’s a sound experience,” claims South Australia’s Krix of its new LX-7. And in one key regard it does indeed diverge from the soundbar norm. At a time when many loudspeaker companies are delivering more active speakers with the amplification inside the box, Krix has taken the soundbar concept the other way, stripping out all the amps and processing, to deliver a completely passive soundbar.
So you bring your own amplifier, and since the LX-7 delivers three front channels, you’ll need more than a stereo amplifier to drive it; the recommendation is to use three channels of power from an audio-visual receiver.
You’ll also need a subwoofer – “the LX-7 is intended to be combined with a Krix subwoofer(s) to accurately reproduce the lowest frequencies”, says the company. And with your AV receiver’s surround channels then going begging, you’ll be wanting separate surround and/or height speakers as well; Krix can again oblige, as the LX-7 is tonally matched to all Krix surround and overhead speakers, says the company.
So in addition to the AU$4995 price of the LX-7, remember to budget at least as much again for the rest of the system: receiver, subwoofer, surrounds and cabling.
It's not a unique approach: other passive soundbars are available from Theory Audio Design, Monitor Audio, Definitive Technology (which has a long record in this type of soundbar), and others, especially in the custom installation space. The advantage of this approach, says Krix, is that you can enjoy a high-performance result, not limited by the low-powered built-in amps of conventional soundbars.
“High power handling and sensitivity ensure movie soundtracks, games and music are delivered with incredible power and dynamic range,” says the company.
Designed and built by Krix in South Australia, the LX-7 is envisaged for use with TVs of 75 inches and above, and is available in three standard widths to specifically fit 75, 85, and 100-inch sets (167cm, 189.2cm and 218cm respectively). And further, any custom width between 167cm and 226cm can be produced as a special ‘LX-7 CL’ order at the higher price of AU$5495.
Regardless of width, each version has three sections with identical drivers: each boasting a 26mm doped-fabric dome tweeter with ferrofluid cooling and a large roll surround, coupled to a Krix 90x90° short-throw waveguide, alongside a 165mm (6½-inch) paper cone with a large 50mm voice-coil.
Each section is separately ported to the front, indicating separate enclosure sections for each channel. Krix rates the in-room frequency range as 60Hz to 20kHz (no envelope stated), and each channel has a nominal 8-ohm impedance with a nicely high 92dB (2.83V/1m) sensitivity.
This design would seem to be optimised for wall-mounting, as it is relatively shallow (142mm deep) but 220mm high, far too tall to be benched in front of a television, where most consumer soundbars top out at 8cm height for this reason.
The wall-mounting preference is further reinforced by the heavily-braced enclosure and the provision of a wall bracket which allows tilt adjustability up to 15 degrees, so you can aim the sound towards your ears for better on-axis performance. With a long enough throw this might allow the bar to be positioned above the TV, as shown above, so keeping the TV closer to the ideal of its centre being at eye level — though some think this arrangement looks top-heavy. The LX-7 is currently finished only in Krix Cinema Black with a removable black cloth grille; a white grille and surround variant might make such high-bar positioning less intrusive aesthetically.
We had been confused by the positioning for connections – Krix says the speaker terminals are on a front-facing input terminal that accepts up to 10 AWG cable. That would certainly keep wall-mounting flusher, but we couldn’t see these terminals on any of Krix’s imagery, even the exploded diagram.
On enquiry Krix sent us the image above, showing how the terminals are behind a small removable plate positioned between the centre and right sections of the bar, and the cables thread through to the back of the soundbar to keep cable management neat.
The Australian RRP of the LX-7 is set at AU$4995.