By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
NEW YORK — Coby has introduced one of the country's first headphone MP3 player/encoders, the $199-suggested MPR650. With it, consumers don't need a PC to make MP3 recordings. The portable connects to CD players, cassette decks and radios to record music and convert it into MP3 files playable through the device's supplied headphones. The 3.75x2.5x0.63-inch portable is USB-ready, has 32MB built-in flash memory, an MMC card slot for memory expansion, and song title and artist display. Although some portable encoding products are available overseas, the company said, none has been offered domestically, and most of them are priced at $300 and up.
ANN ARBOR, MICH. — High-end audio supplier Wadia is developing its first DVD player, which will play DVD-Audio and DVD-Video discs, as well as its first multichannel preamp/ processor and its first amplifier. They'll be part of the 3 series, which marks the company's return to lower priced components, from $3,000-$5,000, said sales and marketing VP John Schaffer. One of the series' first products is a $3,650 CD player. The multichannel audio computer, or preamp/processor, will complement a two-channel model. The amplifier will be a multichannel model.
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. — Having shipped its first hard-drive music server, Linn Products has introduced its first five-channel amplifier, a multiroom version of its Classik CD-receiver, and a center channel that cosmetically and sonically matches the Ninka and Katan series speakers. The 5x125-watt (into 8-ohm) amp retails for $2,750 in black and $2,795 in silver. The center channel speaker retails for $700 in black and $750 in other finishes. The new Classik, expected to retail for around $2,000, adds multiroom capabilities. Up to five models can be connected via CAT-5 cable to distribute audio from one model to all of the others. Eventually, the company will enable its in-wall keypads to control the devices. Digital control signals and balanced differential analog audio are transmitted over CAT-5.
LEXINGTON, KEN. — Elan Home Systems has begun shipping its highest priced, highest quality in-wall speakers to date.
They are the Elite series speakers, consisting of four pairs priced from $1,000-$1,350/pair. All feature MDF baffle boards, one-piece Kentucky-hardwood frames in various finishes, selectable tweeter-brightness control, swiveling tweeters, video shielding, and interchangeable cloth-covered fascias, which are available in white, black and chocolate.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.