New York — The Anti-Defamation League’s National Consumer Technology Industry divisio
Lexington, Ky. — Thiel Audio is committed to the independent-rep distribution model and is looking at filling holes in its rep network, said Bob Brown, Thiel board member and interim COO.
In about a month, Thiel will have a “better idea” about its rep choices and will have completed a review of pricing and margin programs, Brown 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.
Newport Beach, Calif. – Retail-level soundbar sales rose 126 percent in the fourth quarter to $245 million compared to the year-ago period and by 82 percent for the full year to $658 million, Quixel Research announced.
For the full year, retail-level dollar sales grew faster than factory-level unit shipments, which rose 68 percent, the company said in citing a 126 percent unit-sales gain in soundbars with external subwoofer.
The company forecasts retail-level soundbar sales will exceed $1 billion in 2013 and jump to well over $2 billion in 2016.
Chicago — At least one more company has launched a wireless speaker that plugs into a home’s AC outlet like a night light.
Start-up Bēm Wireless launched the $99 outlet speaker, a mono Bluetooth speaker available now on the company’s website and in March at Amazon and Target.com.
Santa Barbara, Calif. — Sonos, the supplier of wireless multi-room-audio systems, entered the soundbar market with the $699-suggested Playbar, which connects to a TV and to Sonos’ wireless multi-room-audio network to stream music from PCs, Apple’s mobile devices, and Internet radio stations and music services.
Toronto, Canada – Paradigm Electronics shipped its first soundbar, an active model equipped with wireless subwoofer at a suggested $799.
A production sample was shown at International CES, the company said.
The bar, called Soundtrack, is part of the company’s SHIFT series, launched in 2011 to expand Paradigm’s demographic beyond traditional purchasers of in-room and custom-installed speakers. The first products were powered desktop speakers, surround-sound headphones, and earbuds.
Irvine, Calif. – Start-up Killer Concepts unveiled a portable AC/DC Bluetooth speaker promoted as playing louder and longer than competing models and at half the price.
The $99-suggested speaker, housed in an aluminum chassis, delivers 100dB of output and offers 10-plus hours of playback. Swappable lithium-ion batteries extend playback time.
Girard, Ohio — Subwoofer supplier SVS launched its first full-range speaker, a pair of tower speakers in the Ultra series.
SVS sells online, direct to the end user and via select retailers. Pricing for the SVS Ultra Towers are $1,998/pair.
The 3.5-way tower feature a trapezoid-shaped cabinet whose non-parallel walls reduce standing waves inside the cabinet, effectively eliminating frequency-response colorations, the company said. The wedge-shaped front baffle and flush-mounted drivers are said to reduce edge diffraction and improve on-axis high-frequency response.
Miramar, Fla. — JL Audio is giving owners of Harley Davidson Touring motorcycles the option of upgrading their factory speakers with bigger aftermarket speakers.
The company launched two pairs of speaker adapter rings that let consumers place 6.5-inch speakers in the 5.25-inch factory locations and maintain a stock look. Both models, priced at $50/pair, are designed to accommodate JL’s C3-650 or C5-650 speakers. All mounting hardware is included.
Las Vegas – High-end home audio supplier Bryston expanded from component electronics to speakers at CES with the launch of three Bryston-designed three-way speakers.
More speakers are in the works.
The three models unveiled by the Peterborough, Ontario, company include the flagship floorstanding Model T Signature at $7,495/pair with outboard three-way passive crossover. Bryston plans to offer the ability to upgrade the crossover to an active version to triamplify the speaker.
Wakefield, Mass. – Wharfedale has a new exclusive U.S. importer, Sound Solutions.
Sound Solutions is a new company founded by Walter Schofield, the audio-industry veteran who was one of two principals in Sound Imports, the company that previously imported Wharfedale. The new company, which Schofield founded with a new partner, is better capitalized and will be better able to able to provide dealers with inventory on a more timely basis, and grow the brand, Schofield said.