By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Framingham, Mass. — Wireless-speaker maker Libratone is adopting a new brand identity to emphasize its Scandinavian-rooted design and audio expertise.
The Copenhagen, Denmark-based company created the new “360 Scandinavian” tagline and will roll out the new branding initially on its website and social-media channels. The branding will roll out shortly after on packaging, point-of-sale materials and ads.
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.
Barcelona, Spain — Sprint will be the exclusive U.S. outlet for the $399-suggested Harman Kardon Onyx Studio Bluetooth speaker, Harman announced at the Mobile World Congress.
Selling the disc-shaped portable speaker marks the first in a series of initiatives from Sprint this year to step up its audio assortment, Sprint said. The Onyx Studio will be available Feb. 25 for $399 exclusively in Sprint stores, the carrier’s online store, and through Sprint telesales for the speaker's launch, Sprint told TWICE.
Indianapolis — Klipsch Group’s Jamo brand is expanding its assortment of custom-installed speakers with a Custom 200 series that’s priced more than its opening-price Contractor series but below its Custom 400 and 600 series.
The four bezel-less speakers consist of the $239-each IW 206 FG in-wall speaker and three in-ceiling models. Those are the $349-each IC 206 LCR FG, the $449/pair IC 208 FG, and the $449/pair IC 206 FG.
New York -- Pyle Audio will debut this week a shower-friendly portable Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone.
The Gator Sound waterproof speaker and speakerphone is a lightweight, waterproof unit with a hook for hanging on a shower head, built-in microphone for hands-free calling, and a push-button control to connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device.
It features a rechargeable lithium battery, USB charging cable and enhanced bass production, the company said. It comes in blue, white or black and will retail for $49.99.
San Diego – Audio supplier Grace Digital launched a tabletop Internet radio/streamer that replaces an existing model and adds two-way speakers and a color screen that displays album and station art.
The $249 Encore GDI-IRC7500 Stereo Wi-Fi Music System accesses more than 18,000 free Internet radio stations and on-demand programs as well as SiriusXM, Rhapsody, Live365, iHeartRadio and Pandora.
Buena Park, Calif. – Yamaha upgraded its opening-price active soundbar by adding Bluetooth to play back music streamed from mobile devices and enable a free app to control the system.
The YAS-103 will retail for a suggested $299 like its predecessor, the YAS-101, when it becomes available later this month.
Gardiner, Maine – NEAR, which announced plans last fall to return to the residential custom-speaker market, priced its first eight all-environment speakers and announced plans for first-quarter shipments.
NEAR, founded in 1988, was acquired in 1997 by Ramsey, N.J.-based Bogen Communications and has since been focused on the commercial audio market.
North Reading, Mass. – Premium audio supplier Bowers & Wilkins unveiled its new opening-price series of in-room speaker series, which adds technology from the company’s higher end lines to improve performance.
Chicago – Bluetooth-speaker supplier Bem Wireless is launching a Bluetooth speaker that’s worn on the wrist and doubles as a hands-free speakerphone.
Bem’s $49 speaker band incorporates a speaker, microphone, spoken audio caller ID, answer button and compatibility with most voice-recognition apps. For music playback, it features play, pause, skip and reverse buttons. Its rechargeable battery delivers up to six hours of talk time.
Petaluma, Calif. – Proficient Audio has begun shipping the final models in its redesigned 31-SKU Protégé series of custom-install speakers, which now feature a thin-bezel design to blend in better with walls and ceilings.