In the run-up to the NAMM 2018 musical equipment trade show in California, KORG announced KONNECT – a self-contained PA unit designed for nearly every small-scale occasion in need of amplification. Fully self-contained, KONNECT puts together a mixer, power amp, stereo speakers, a multi-effects unit, and feedback cancelling. According to the company, the device can handle live shows, parties, dance studios, exhibitions, seminars, and presentations.
K is designed to be intuitive to use and comes equipped with four audio inputs, a variety of EQ presets, and support for wireless control from a smartphone or tablet. KORG equipped the PA with a 6.5-inch woofer and a pair of tweeters, achieving a total of 180W of power in a compact and portable speaker format. The team also packed a dedicated SHARC DSP processor with 32-bit resolution to implement master effects (reverb, limiting, compression, etc.) and boost sound quality with accurate phase control & further processing options.
In addition to keeping the control panel simple to use with dedicated knobs for every function, KORG created five EQ presets accessible via the voicing knob. These are:
- Music – designed for music listening
- Male and female vocal – designed for vocal and speech reproduction
- Electric and acoustic guitar – designed for guitar performances
- An additional 17 presets, such as bass guitar and keyboard, are accessible from the KONNECT mobile app
Speaking of the app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, it connects to the speaker via Bluetooth to allow for wireless control over most of its parameters. The interface can switch between Standard and Advanced modes, the latter created for more detailed parameter editing. KONNECT App also supports the creation of up to three scenes, letting you save and recall mixing settings. The master reverb effect can be adjusted for each channel separately, and three more master effects can be initialized from within the app – compressor, chorus, and delay.
A novel feature enabled by the digital processing is center cancellation. Available on channels 3 and 4, it works by diminishing the sound of the vocal or the guitar in the song that you are listening to, easily providing karaoke or turning it into background music. There’s a phase switch for reversing phase, alongside a panning function for adjusting the L/R balance. However, both controls are exclusive to the KONNECT app – you won’t find them on the speaker’s control panel.
All in all, the KONNECT speaker is a highly modern portable PA with plenty of tools to handle virtually any small-scale live scenario. The construction and integrated processing seem impressive, and we like how the smartphone app unlocks further functionality that would have turned the speaker’s control panel rather cumbersome, were it to be physically present on the panel. KONNECT strikes us as an example of thoughtful engineering and we can see many bands, performers, and sound technicians taking an interest in it once it reaches the market. Unfortunately, the price and release date haven’t been disclosed by KORG at this time. But now that it’s officially announced, the KONNECT is bound to hit stores sometime in the weeks ahead.