By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Columbia, Md. — Consumers will be turning on HD Radio in more OEM sound systems from more automakers in the coming year, based on introductions at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, said HD Radio developer iBiquity Digital.
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.
Las Vegas – Rockford Fosgate is stepping up efforts to promote car-audio awareness among the nation’s youth through a demo-vehicle program that puts a tricked-out compact panel van in the hands of the company’s independent reps.
“Twelve- to 18-year-olds are not aware of car audio,” said Theresa Hephner, senior director of products and marketing for parent Rockford Corp. Other aftermarket car audio companies do not offer demo-vehicle programs to their reps to promote their vans, she noted.
LAS VEGAS — Sony is expanding its selection of CD receivers that use USB-connected iPhones and Bluetooth-connected Android phones as touchscreen remotes and supplementary head-unit displays that can be mounted on top of a dashboard via suction cup.
The technology, called App Remote, also expands head-unit control of a connected smartphone’s music-playback functions and enables head units to launch smartphone apps of any type.
Las Vegas – Harman is expanding the number of entertainment services available through its Aha cloud-based infotainment service for OEM and aftermarket radios.
The AccuRadio, Deezer, Rdio and SomaFM music services have begun offering music content to drivers through Aha, joining AOL SHOUTcast Radio, Radio.com by CBS Radio, Live365, MOG, Rhapsody and Slacker, Harman announced here at CES.
Chicago – Maxxsonics is redesigning most of its Hifonics subwoofer lineup with the February shipment of five models that deliver greater power handling and deeper bass than their predecessors.
The dual-voice-coil, 4-ohm products, which will be displayed at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas during CES, consist of the $169-suggested 12-inch Brutus, $139 12-inch Atlas, two Hercules models at $109 and $99, and the $79 Zeus. Maximum power handling ranges from 600 to 1,200 watts.
Mt. Olympus woofers remain in the line for competition-level enthusiasts.
Cypress, Calif. – Allen Gharapetian has joined Clarion as marketing VP.
Gharapetian brings more than 20 years of marketing and product management experience to Clarion, having previously held positions at SRS Labs, Memorex Products and Yamaha.
At Clarion, he will be in charge of OEM and retail marketing and product planning, retail and commercial vehicle product planning, and connected products and services planning.
He reports to Clarion Corporation of America president Paul Lachner.
Los Angeles – High-end home-audio supplier Krell Industries entered the car audio market with the launch of a Krell-branded sound system in the 2014 Acura RLX.
The luxury car’s premium OEM system, developed in collaboration with Krell, put in an appearance here at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The sound system’s main amplifier channels use the same bipolar power transistors appearing in Krell’s home amps to deliver a third less distortion than a “leading competitor’s flagship luxury car amplifier,” Krell said.
Oxnard, Calif. – Sound Storm Laboratories has begun shipping four in-dash multimedia head units, all with 7-inch wide-screen touchscreens.
Two models feature motorized screen that flips out of a single-DIN chassis. The other two are double-DIN models.
Tampa Bay, Fla. – Car stereo accessories supplier iSimple is expanding its distribution to Sears Automotive and Kmart stores.
The retail chains will offer products from the brand’s StrongHold line of tablet- and smartphone-mounting kits and several other products.
StrongHold products began appearing this month in 800 Sears Automotive stores, and about 1,200 Kmart stores will feature the products in a new display area called “The Gift Bar,” said Bogden Nedeclu, senior VP/GM of iSimple parent Aamp of America.