By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS — Audio companies are shifting from dedicated Apple pin connectors to wireless Bluetooth technology to play back music stored on mobile devices.
Bluetooth expands the compatibility of speaker systems beyond Apple devices to include any smartphone or tablet based on other operating systems, notably Android. Here’s what select exhibitors plan to show in new Bluetooth speakers:
Braven is expanding its selection of Bluetooth speakers with the $279-suggested 850, shipping in June, and the $299 855s, shipping in July. Both are AC/DC models that are larger versions of existing products that will remain in the line.
The 20-watt 850 is almost four times larger than the previous flagship Bluetooth speaker, the $189 650, but it’s still less than a foot long. The 850 comes with two active and two passive drivers, the ability to charge USB-connected devices, 3.7-volt 8,800 mAh battery with 20 hours of playback time, integrated speakerphone and aircraft-grade aluminum case.
Its USB port charges cellphones but also charges tablets and other 2.1-amp devices. Two speakers can be paired wirelessly for use as separate left-right speakers. It also decodes AptX over Bluetooth.
The $299 855s is four times larger than the current $179 625s. The new model features IPX3 water resistance and ability to charge USB devices through its 3.7-volt 8,800 mAh battery, which delivers 20 hours of playback time. It comes with stereo drivers. Two models can be daisychained to create separate left-right speakers. Additional details were unavailable.
Coby plans to unveil its line of Jammerz MusicBox Bluetooth speakers, consisting of five models priced from a suggested $19 to $79. Three are portable AC/ DC models. All feature a USB port and charging cable, and all are expected to ship in May.
The $19 CSBT11portable speaker features cylindrical shape, built-in lithium-ion battery, and speakerphone function with one-touch answering. The $24 portable CSBT14 is square-shaped and adds 3.5mm aux in. The portable $34 CSBT22 adds passive bass radiator.
In AC-only models, the $49 CSBT25 features aux input and 2x5-watt amp rating. The AC-only $79 CSBT85 adds stereo full-range drivers, built-in subwoofer, aux in, and cradle stand for smartphones and tablets.
Divoom will display its recently announced Onbeat- 200, a $79-suggested portable AC/DC Bluetooth speaker with two 2-inch full-range drivers, passive bass radiator, aux input, hands-free microphone, and 5-volt lithium- ion battery to deliver 8-watt output. Music playback time is up to four hours, and talk time is up to eight hours.
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