Niles is a company focused on providing high–quality products that integrate and distribute home entertainment for the residential and light commercial markets. Throughout its history, Niles has played a major role in transforming whole–house audio/video and home theater from a hobbyist pastime into a thriving, highly professional industry. Niles has grown by continuously refining its existing products, inventing new ones, and always delivering extraordinary value.
A Company Founded on Solutions
Since 1978, Niles has been a solutions–based company. The company’s first product was a switching system designed to help audio retailers demonstrate speakers and amplifiers. These switchers were highly effective at simplifying the retail selling process. The salesperson no longer had to manually disconnect and reconnect wires every time a customer wanted to audition a different component.
Today, Niles is focused on providing high–quality products that integrate and distribute home entertainment for the residential and light commercial markets. Niles is proud to have played a major role in the transformation of whole–house audio/video and home theater from a hobbyist pastime into a thriving, highly professional industry.
MultiZone–Creating a New Industry
Niles’ first consumer products, a four–pair speaker selector box and a patching matrix for up to five components, were relatively simple devices. But in retrospect, they were the precursors to today’s sophisticated multizone audio/video systems. Throughout its history, Niles has always been at the forefront of innovation with products such as the Component Commander®–one of the industry’s first multi–source, multizone whole-house music systems, introduced in 1989.
In 1995 Niles introduced the IntelliPad®–wall–mounted infrared keypad systems that provided one-button control of complex music systems. The IntelliPad acquainted a new generation of installers to the concept of power synchronization, enabling the system to know the power-on/off status of the connected components. This made sure that a power-on command would not be issued when the component was already on. Power synchronization was a monumental step in the development of automated systems.
The A4.6Ci MultiZone Audio Preamplifier and ZR–4630 MultiZone Receiver gave designers and installers greater flexibility to create customized whole–house distributed audio systems. Introduced in 2001, they were combined with keypads, infrared sensors, and hand-held remotes to deliver complete zone–by–zone and system–wide control of home entertainment. Significantly, the programming and storage of all IR codes took place within the preamplifier or receiver. Compared with other multizone systems, this feature dramatically reduced installation time.
Today, Niles builds upon the success of these groundbreaking products and continues to set the industry standard for compatibility, user friendliness, and performance. The new ZR-4 MultiZone Receiver Kit is a whole–house entertainment solution for the growing light commercial, multiple dwelling unit (MDU), and starter home markets. The ZR-4 is an all–in–one system that comes complete with everything, including a built–in AM/FM tuner, weather–resistant keypads, and a wireless learning IR remote control.
The newly introduced ZR-6 MultiZone Receiver is a single chassis solution with desirable features such as plug–and–play iPod integration, a built–in AM/FM tuner, One–Touch–To Entertainment™ automation, weather–resistant keypads with metadata display, and compatible TS–Pro self–configuring color touchscreens. Simple to use and elegantly designed, the ZR–6 is targeted at the heart of the market and is ideally suited for today’s discerning homeowner.
At the pinnacle of Niles’ MultiZone technology is the IntelliControl® ICS system. This award-winning whole–house distributed audio system accommodates all of today’s popular sources and delivers essential metadata to the system’s keypads, touch screens, and hand–held remote controllers. Most importantly, this is all done without any complicated installer programming. At the heart of IntelliControl ICS is the GXR2, a Modular MultiZone Receiver that features interchangeable source modules for today’s popular entertainment, including: XM® and Sirius® satellite radio, iPod, AM/FM and HD Radio™, the DMS4 Digital Music Server, and legacy audio sources such as cable/satellite television, CD and DVD. These interchangeable source modules give users the ability to customize the system to suit their exact needs.
Designed to complement the IntelliControl ICS system is the VS-6 High Definition Video Switcher. The VS-6 enables professional installers to seamlessly integrate high definition video into the IntelliControl ICS entertainment system.
Loudspeakers for Every Application
Niles’ extensive loudspeaker line is guided by the simple concept of "Form Follows Function." Responding to suggestions, perceived problems and opportunities from dealers, installers, and end-users, Niles engineers design each speaker to deliver outstanding value and performance in a particular application.
Niles entered the loudspeaker marketplace in 1988 with its first in–wall loudspeakers, followed in 1990 by ceiling–mount models. In 1994 came the OS10, the first in Niles’ award–winning line of indoor/outdoor speakers. It became an instant hit and defined the category.
In 1997, Niles introduced the AT Advanced Technology series, consisting of loudspeakers designed to satisfy even the most discriminating audiophile. To create them, Niles applied the most modern theories of acoustics to aerospace materials and technology
Also during 1997, Niles introduced the HD CTR/LRS High Definition series, featuring Directed Sound Field Geometry®. These high–power, in–wall loudspeakers accurately recreate high–fidelity home theater sound, making in–wall surround sound an effective reality. The acoustical properties of these speakers and the interactions between the speaker’s components actually "steer® the sound directly towards the listener.
Another major advance came in 1999 with the introduction of Niles’ first SI Stereo Input loudspeakers. Featuring a dual voice–coil woofer and dual tweeters in a stereo–imaging faceplate, SI loudspeakers deliver stereo sound from a single speaker. An SI loudspeaker is the ideal choice in a confined space with room for just one speaker. In multiples, these speakers provide quality sound and balanced coverage throughout hallways, large rooms, patios, and other interior and outdoor spaces.
In 2001, Niles expanded the concept of focused sound distribution through Directed Sound Field Geometry® with the new ceiling–mount DS Directed Soundfield™ loudspeakers. Without compromising the quality of the listening experience, they resolve architectural issues such as cathedral or vaulted ceilings, alignment with in–ceiling lighting, and a plasma display over a fireplace where space for a center channel is lacking. Although intended primarily for the Home Theater environment, DS Directed Soundfield loudspeakers also perform quite well in whole-house distributed music applications. Their flexibility enables installers to direct the sound where it needs to go to achieve optimal acoustic performance.
The culmination of all this experience in high–performance loudspeakers came with the introduction of StageFront Home Theater Solutions. Improvements in source material such as high–definition Blu–ray discs place higher demands on loudspeakers, and integrating loudspeakers with your décor can be an equally challenging proposition. To solve these problems, the entire StageFront line is voice–matched to deliver uniform sound quality, regardless of loudspeaker type. This enables you to freely mix–and–match loudspeakers that are built into cabinets, placed on stands, and built into walls.
Leadership in Home Theater Control and Automation
With the introduction of the IntelliControl® in 1996, Niles established its leadership role in home theater control and automation. Consisting of a main system unit and matching tabletop RF remote controller, the IntelliControl introduced the concept of synchronized control to home theater. Its success can be easily measured by its longevity in the marketplace. For nearly 12 years, the IntelliControl was the premier control and automation system for discerning home theater owners and system integrators.
In 2008, the iC2 replaced the IntelliControl, introducing new features and technologies that make home theater even easier to use and more enjoyable for the entire family. The iC2 is optimized for users that don’t want to deal with nested menus or care to navigate through screen layers. With its large, easy–to–use buttons and one–touch automation, the iC2 has become the preferred choice for home theater users looking for the simplest way to enjoy their entertainment system.
A Pace-setting Amplifier
In keeping with its passion for application–specific design, Niles entered the amplifier category in 1994 with Systems Integration Amplifiers®, which provide the backbone in a multi–room/multi–source sound system. The industry’s first 12–channel amplifiers, Systems Integration Amplifiers were a logical extension of Niles’ expertise in developing six–room stereo speaker selectors that distribute a total of 12 audio channels.
Niles was a founding member of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) in 1989. Niles products have won numerous industry awards. In 1998, Ivan Zuckerman received the prestigious CEDIA Lifetime Achievement Award. For a complete list of Niles’ industry awards, see the awards page
Today and Tomorrow
Headquartered in Petaluma, California CORE Brands ( www.corebrands.com ) is a division of the Nortek Technology Solutions Segment (www.nortek-inc.com). CORE Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech® brands. CORE Brands has more than 190 years of combined experience in the residential, commercial and professional markets and over 4,300 direct customer accounts in multiple distribution channels in the United States and around the world.
The Niles line of more than 500 individual products includes all the essential tools of the trade, a comprehensive array of devices for every aspect of whole–house distribution and integration of audio/video systems – speakers, receivers, amplifiers, automation devices, controls, and accessories. Beyond the products, the Niles is committed to solutions that help their dealers and installers grow. Recognizing that custom installation can be time–sensitive, Niles has set the goal of keeping all of its products in stock at all times, and delivering them promptly when needed. Extensive training, technical support, marketing, and promotional resources also set Niles apart as a "total solutions" company.
And the "tomorrow" at Niles looks equally bright. Our engineers are working hard to keep Niles at the leading edge in home entertainment technology. As home entertainment becomes more integrated and centralized, Niles will be there to retain its position as the First Name In Custom Installation®.