An often overlooked aspect of music reproduction is effortlessness.
One of the first qualities of what listeners to the IRSV notice is how relaxed and effortless the sound even on the loudest passages of music. And it's easy to see why when the output is divided amongst 108 drivers.
When we set out to design and build the FR30 loudspeakers one of our goals was to offer a similar effortlessness to music—a tall task since the FR30 has but 22 drivers to the pair.
What speaker designer Chris Brunhaver did was to take a different tack. Instead of what Infinity chose to do—divide the reproduction duties amongst many standard drivers (like their woofers)—Chris' approach would be to focus instead on the drivers themselves.
In the same way a power amplifier can sound effortless (by increasing headroom), speaker drivers can benefit from the same approach. For a given output level, the drivers on the FR30 have been designed to have a headroom of about 10 times better than even the best off-the-shelf drivers. This increased headroom can be quantified in multiple ways but perhaps the easiest to understand would be in lowered distortion at high output levels.
For a given output level most woofers have about 20% distortion. By pulling out all the stops and designing drivers without regard to costs, Chris was able to reduce that to well under 1% (even at very high output levels).
What this means in terms of effortlessness is immediately noticeable upon listening. Relaxed, effortless, with a sound that seems to go on forever.
So, instead of Infinity's 108 standard drivers dividing the sound up for an effortless presentation, the FR30 achieves its effortlessness with 22 drivers each with 10X better headroom.
You do the math.