By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Car speaker and amplifier trends for 2007 include shallower speaker mounting depths to fit into pickup trucks and other cramped car spaces, and downsized amplifiers.
New products shown at International CES this month or shipping in 2007 include the following:
Audiobahn is shipping an A4002V amplifier designed for intermediate car audio enthusiasts. The two-channel amplifier produces 200 watts at two ohms into two channels or 400 watts mono at 4 ohms. It has a target retail of $279.
Boston Acoustics will ship this spring its lowest-priced subwoofer with a field-replaceable driver. The new G3 comes in 10-inch and 12-inch models with the latter to sell in the $300 range.
Also new are the company's high-end reference component systems to ship in February. Called the SPZ50 and SPZ60, they replace the current "Z" series in 5.5-inch and 6.5-inch woofer sizes at $1,200 per pair for each system.
Infinity redesigned its 16-model Reference car audio speaker line, which now offers 2-ohm impedance (vs. the conventional 4 ohm) for better OEM interfacing. It continues to offer Plus One oversized cones and ships in February at suggested retails from $69.95/pair to $229/pair.
Under the JBL brand are new GTi Competition speakers featuring an elliptical tweeter with a "waveguide" design to optimize the tweeter's directivity. The model 560 GTi 5.5-inch two-way component system has a 125-watt RMS power handling, and the 660 GTi 6.5-inch model handles 150 watts. The expected street price for each model is $2,000 per pair.
Memphis Car Audio is offering a redesigned line of Power Reference amplifiers and speakers.
MTX Audio unveiled at CES a redesigned Thunder Elite series of amplifiers with piano glass black finish and chrome cosmetics. The amplifiers now offer brighter LED lighting and a retailer demo mode for the lines' pulsating light feature. The amps have a series of LEDs that can be set to a specific color or they can pulsate with the beat of the music. Under a demo mode the retailer can show the lighting effects without having to connect the amplifiers to a source.
The entire Thunder Elite line consists of seven different models: four Class D mono blocks, two four-channel amps and a two-channel. The mono blocks range from 3,750 watts to 600 watts and offer features such as XTC fan cooling, StreetWires connection terminals and thermal protection. The two most powerful amps, models TE4001D and TE1501D, are rated at 4,000 and 1500 watts respectively into one ohm. The line ships in the first quarter at prices from $349 to $1,999.
Orion is introducing a new HCCA Woofer with 2,000 watts continuous power handling and a 4-inch voice coil. The 12-inch HCCA version will carry a suggested retail of $699.
Phoenix Gold will ship in the first quarter a new entry-level series of Ryval amplifiers, subwoofers and speakers. The top-of-the-line V754 four-channel amplifier is rated at 75 watts by four, into 4 ohms and the top subwoofer V12S is a 12-inch model rated at 150 watts RMS.
Polk Audio improved its db line of 13 speakers offering shallow- and multi-hole mounting. The 2007 line includes three new sizes — a 3.5 inch coaxial, a 4-inch by 6-inch plate speaker and a 6.5-inch slim-mount coaxial door speaker. Models db651, db651S and db6501 will ship in June at suggested retails of $120 a pair for the first two models and $100 a pair for the latter.
PowerBass is showing a line of three marine speakers in 5.25-inch, 6.5-inch, and 6-inch by 9-inch sizes, which shipped in November, joined by the company's largest amplifier to date, the XA-4000D, rated at 4,000 watts RMS into one ohm.
Stillwater's Kicker showed a shallow-mount subwoofer called the CompVT in 10 inches and 12 inches. They handle 400 watts RMS with a mounting depth of less than 4.5 inches, at a suggested- $169 to $189.
Wet Sounds unveiled a wakeboard tower speaker called the PRO 80 that uses a high-end, 8-inch mid-horn loaded compression bass driver concentrically mounted to another mid base driver with a horn flare firing through the center. The PRO 80 is shipping now at $899.
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.