By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – Luxury-audio brand Meridian launched its first USB DAC, a portable USB-powered model that can be used with laptops for playing music through headphones.
The $299-suggested Explorer, which takes the shape of a finger-size cylinder, can also be connected to component preamplifiers via optical digital connection.
The product is the first in a range of computer-connected Meridian products in this price range, said product management director Ken Forsythe. Dealers have requested such products, he added.
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.
New York – Orb Audio upgraded its mini amplifier for computers, TVs and mobile devices.
The new Mini-T is smaller than its predecessor and priced lower, but it adds upgraded Class-T amplifier chips, subwoofer output, larger speaker-wire connectors and redesigned signal path that reduces noise to lower levels, the company said.
Buena Park, Calif. — Yamaha is combining old media and new media with the launch of its first networked CD player, the $799-suggested CD-N500.
San Francisco — Parasound launched a new home CD player that uses a CD-ROM drive, internal Linux-based computer and proprietary software to deliver a “nearly bit-perfect data stream,” the company announced.
The $4,500-suggested Halo CD 1, which is shipping, “demonstrates that CDs can sound significantly better than anyone has imagined possible," said president Richard Schram. "The full potential of the 16-bit CD format is realized for the first time in the CD 1," he contended.
Las Vegas – AudioControl is bringing to International CES an audiophile-grade amplifier/DAC intended for use with wireless multiroom-audio systems, including Sonos systems.
The $799-suggested compact Rialto 400, which ships a few weeks after CES, can be connected to a pair of passive speakers and the Sonos Connect wireless receiver, which connects existing sound systems or powered speakers to a Sonos wireless-audio network.
Las Vegas – Harman Kardon will go to International CES to expand its selection of AirPlay-enabled A/V receivers, launch its first AVR with embedded Wi-Fi, and bring out its first AVRs with 4K upscaling.
The brand’s two new AVRs are the $799-suggested 7.1-channel AVR 2700 and $999 7.2-channel AVR 3700, both of which feature Apple AirPlay, vTuner Internet radio to connect with thousands of Internet radio stations, and DLNA 1.5 certification to stream audio and video. Both also feature 4K upscaling from any video input. The $999 model adds embedded Wi-Fi.
Las Vegas —Nyne Multimedia will go to January’s International CES here with the Smart Media Center, which represents a new category for the company.
The company specializes in speakers that reproduce music from smartphones and tablets.
The $2,495 SMC-1000 Smart Media Center, shipping in the second quarter, is a TV credenza that packs a 400-watt three-way 2.1 speaker system, FM tuner, smartphone and tablet connectivity, HDMI switching, and two covered shelves to store a TV set-top box, game console and the like.
Peterborough, Ontario — Bryston’s latest digital music player for the home accommodates larger music libraries and offers faster loading times than the company’s current model, Bryston announced.
The BDP-2 at a suggested $2,995 ships in January, joining the current $1,995 BDP-1.
Mahwah, N.J. – Marantz is establishing a new top-end price point in tuner/preamp/surround processors with the shipment of the $3,599-suggested AV8801, which can be paired with the new flagship MM8077 seven-channel power amp at $2,399.
The 11.2-channel component joins the recently shipped $1,699 7.2-channel AV7701 and the $1,599 AV7005 preamp processors in the Marantz lineup of A/V separates and exceeds the price of a previous flagship preamp processor, the $2,999 AV8003, which was discontinued a few years ago, a spokesperson said.
Long Beach, Calif. — Pioneer Electronics has begun offering firmware updates for all of its 2012 networked audio/video receivers (AVRs) to add HTC Connect technology.