M&K Sound Launches the IW500, a THX Certified Dominus Reference In-wall Loudspeaker

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(February 16, 2024) M&K Sound has introduced its new in-wall IW500 loudspeaker, an intriguing installment in a segment currently occupied by three other competing models: Perlisten's S5i and S7i and KEF's Ci5160REFM-THX. As the first THX Certified Dominus model designed by M&K, the IW500 is engineered for large home cinemas, offering both vertical and horizontal installation flexibility in places such as behind-screen baffle walls or a masonry surround around a flat-panel display. And while the competition can also perform these duties, the IW500 has them beaten in the price category, offering savings of $1,500 to $6,000 depending on the model.

Celebrating M&K Sound's 50th anniversary, the IW500 stands out for its adaptability in professional and residential installations alike. With a room volume capacity of up to 6500 cubic feet and a viewing distance suitability of up to 20 feet, this speaker is more than comfortable directing audio in expansive environments. The IW500's design allows it to serve as a left, center, or right channel, with a universal waveguide that doesn't need to be re-oriented when switching from vertical to horizontal placements.

The speaker achieves an amp-friendly sensitivity of 92 dB, which speaks to its efficiency by design. And its drivers are aligned vertically, enhancing its on- and off-axis audio performance when used for LCR arrangements during behind-the-screen duties.

THX Certification for the Dominus category involves rigorous testing to ensure the speaker meets high audio quality standards. Featuring a one-inch soft dome tweeter paired with an aluminum waveguide for focused sound dispersion, other drivers include Kurt Muller three-inch soft dome midrange drivers with waveguides for smooth audio transitions and dual 8-inch woofers with carbon fiber cones for deep, impactful bass. An innovative crossover design is woven into the mix for seamless frequency transitions, contributing to M&K's self-proclaimed realistic sound reproduction.

Integration with other M&K Sound products is possible, as the IW500 is timbre-matched with the brand's range of speaker offerings, including its 300 and 150 Series. This compatibility is crucial for creating a cohesive sound environment in large residential cinemas and listening rooms.

Priced at $4999 MSRP per speaker, the IW500 appears to represent an excellent balance of price for performance, though we'll have to wait for real-world listening tests to confirm its mettle. To learn more about the IW500, visit M&K's website here.
 

natty

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Very glad to see another option in the high output in wall speaker category. in fact, this may only be the second one on the market (after Perlisten) to achieve a THX Dominus rating for an in wall speaker. (That's not to say other brands and or speakers don't have as much or even more output, but of course the THX rating is not just about output.)

Looking over the detailed specs on the M&K web site however shows that they are not publishing the CEA 2034 measurements, so it will be hard to implement in a room trying to achieve CEDIA RP22 qualification.
 

Todd Anderson

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I’d didn’t notice that, @natty, but that’s a great point! Wonder if that’s a simple oversight on their part. I’d assume the numbers look pretty good… ???
 

natty

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You know what they say about assumptions....... but yes, I'd guess they are not bad.

Hopefully they will publish those details by the time commercial sales commence.

They are of course not alone in not publishing such details but it seems more and more of the manufacturers who sell into the custom install / luxury home theater market are making an effort to share such data.

For example I was happy to see both Ascendo and Perlisten have that data clearly presented on their respective web sites.
 

Todd Anderson

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StormAudio ISP.24 MK2
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Emotiva XPA-5
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Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
Denon X8500H
Computer Audio
AudioEngine A2+
DAC
THX ONYX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Kaleidescape TERRA, OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Center Channel Speaker
GoldenEar Technology SuperCenter Reference
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC NX7
Screen
Seymour Screen Excellence, Enlightor NEO AT Screen
Streaming Equipment
iFi Audio Zen Blue
Streaming Subscriptions
Qobuz, TIDAL, Spotify, ROON
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F, ZeroSurge 8R15W x 2, ZeroSurge 2R15W x 2
Ha! So true. I’d better be careful!! I’m checking to see if I can get an official response from M&K.

You’re 100% right… the numbers have become a selling point in the CI industry. I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume :-) that we’ll see that infiltrate its way into the consumer space. Though, it might be tough to make it relatable to the masses.
 
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