JVC Readies Sound Bars, Docking Speakers

By Joseph Palenchar On Jan 24 2011 - 6:01am

LAS VEGAS — New home audio products from JVC include the company’s first sound bar with HDMI switching, step-up iPod/iPhone speaker systems, and an iPod/ iPhone-docking Kaboom boombox with guitar and microphone input for playing and singing along to the music.

The products, shown at International CES, include two new sound bars, one of which is the $249-suggested iPod/iPhone-docking TH-BC3. It features two 3D-capable HDMI 1.4a inputs, an HDMI 1.4a output with audio return channel, two optical digital inputs, one coaxial digital input, subwoofer output to connect any brand of subwoofer, FM tuner, and standby passthrough to pass through the video signal of a cable or satellite set-top box to a TV without having to turn the sound bar on. It lacks builtin surround decoders but uses SRS TruSurround HD to create virtual surround sound from the multichannel PCM output of a connected Blu-ray player. It also comes with SRS TruVolume to level out volume differences when switching between sources and channels and when a commercial interrupts a TV program.

Another new sound bar at a suggested $149 lacks the 3D-capable HDMI connections and iPod/iPhone dock of the THBC-3.

The sound bars will replace three models priced at $399, $599 and $799, all with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoders and included wireless subwoofer.

The docking Kaboom boombox is the $349-suggested RV-NB70B with mixing guitar and microphone inputs and video output. It joins a $299 docking Kaboom boombox that lacks guitar/microphone input and video output.

Three tabletop iPod/iPhone-docking speakers systems, which will come to market depending on dealer interest, are step-up models prices tentatively up to about $499. They include a single-chassis model with aluminum chassis, AM/FM/CD, optical input, composite- video output and USB Host port. Another singlepiece model would be the company’s first vertically oriented model and includes CD slot on top, USB Host and MiniSD slot. A three-piece model features separate speakers with sake-soaked wood-cone full-range drivers, AM/FM/CD, USB Host and video output.

All of the audio products are certified as Made for iPhone.

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