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Eli Harary Starts Up Luxury AudioXperts Brand

8/06/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

BOSTON – Industry veteran Eli Harary is returning
to the home audio market to launch a new
luxury brand, with some products appearing
in stores as soon as late September.

The brand, AudioXperts, will include tabletop
audio products, tabletop TV-audio
platforms with swiveling base, and lifestyleoriented
component speakers that will be
available through authorized dealers, select
online retailers, and directly through AudioXperts.

Initial products are scheduled to be displayed
publicly at an invitation-only event on
Aug. 7 in midtown Manhattan.

Harary will serve as company president,
having left D+M’s Boston Acoustics brand
in June 2011 to start a consulting company
focused on the audio and CE businesses.

Harary, who has been in the CE industry for almost
40 years, was with Boston Acoustics for five years,
having previously held management positions at Infinity
and JBL and having owned and operated Paris Audio
stores in Los Angeles for 19 years until he joined
JBL in the early 1990s.

His products will be sold strictly through retailers
“who can present better products,” Harary told
TWICE. Although the products are designed to be
“simple, not confusing,” they will nonetheless “need
someone on the floor or in an Internet environment to
say `You have to check this out. It’s cool,’” he said.

For authorized online retailers, that means a website
that “knows how to call out better goods,” is descriptive,
and offers live chat immediately with someone
over the phone or over the Internet, he explained.

Harary will bring the products to market personally
to select accounts but will also use a mix of
carefully chosen independent reps. Rep selection
is “being carefully managed” to select reps
“in areas where their organizations will add real
value to the process,” Harary said.

Harary has already lined up several A/V
specialty dealers for the products but notes
that products such as the tabletop EVA (En-
Vironmental Audio) Music Systems will “more
than likely” expand beyond A/V specialists to
include additional channels, possibly including
high-end furniture retailers.

Authorized dealers will get a “rich demo program”
and “attainable dealer margins consistent
with the margins required by dealers who
will make the effort to introduce customers to a
new luxury brand.”

In line with the luxury positioning, AudioXperts will
offer a two-year over-the-counter exchange, Harary
said. “If something goes wrong, you just get a new one
[directly from the dealer or from the company itself].”
Consumers who return a product directly to the company
will be able to ship the product for free, he said.

The company will also offer a five-year parts and labor
warranty.

Because the company will “slowly build distribution,”
consumer promotion will initially focus on social media
and viral marketing, then the company will consider national
advertising once it achieves a “reasonable level
of product availability on a national basis,” Harary said.

For its initial product launch, the company will offer models in its 4TV series of audio entertainment consoles and
its EVA series of tabletop audio products.

The 4TV products will appear in stores in late September
and early October, followed by EVA products at the end of
October. Lifestyle-oriented component speakers in the Korner
series will arrive in stores sometime later in the year.

AudioXperts calls the 4TV products under-TV “consoles,”
but they don’t sit on the floor like a piece of furniture. Instead,
they are slim audio platforms that sit on top of furniture and
under a flat-screen TV.

They’re positioned as delivering
component-audio quality for TV and
music in a form designed to “eliminate
confusion, chaos and clutter,” the company
said.

The $1,999-suggested 4TV Model
2112 Virtual Surround Sound Console
and the $3,999 two-piece 4TV Model
5122 5.1 Surround Sound Console
feature smoked-glass and aluminum
low-profile enclosures and a variety of
embedded technologies.

Those technologies include Dolby
Digital and DTS decoding, digital connection
for an optional Apple Airport
Express to add wireless AirPlay capability,
Bluetooth audio streaming with the CSR’s Apt-X codec,
USB audio inputs for playback of music stored on USB
sticks, USB mass-storage devices including Android smartphones.
Apple certification for connection to Apple mobile
devices is pending.

The systems also incorporate multiple surround modes
and EQ settings, including a Voice Intelligibility Enhancement
setting. Controls are touch-sensitive.

Both 4TV products use the TV to switch video sources.
The height of each model is no more than about 2.5-inches.
The 5122 adds more power, more channels, and a
wireless 12-inch subwoofer that can stand upright with
included feet or lie flat, including directly underneath the
5122’s main console.

The 2.1-channel Model 2112 incorporates built-in subwoofer
said to deliver the equivalent bass output of a separate
8-inch powered subwoofer.

The first three EVA products are the $499-suggested
SCR400 dock FM clock radio with Bluetooth, $599
SCR400D dock FM/DAB+ clock radio with Bluetooth for
international markets, and $399 SPS300 dock speaker with
Bluetooth.

The mono speaker systems can be
turned into stereo systems with the addition
of the $349-suggested AC250
amplified speaker with clock or the
$299 PS200 powered speaker.

All feature woven wool cover and
bamboo case, touch controls and Bluetooth
audio streaming with the CSR
Apt-X codec. A digital optical connection
to add an optional Apple Airport
Express and USB audio input to play
back music from USB sticks and massstorage
devices are also featured. Apple
certification for connection to Apple
mobile devices is pending.

EVA models will be available in slate
and sand finishes. They’re designed to
maximize the use of recyclable, renewable and biodegradable
materials, the company said.

A fourth EVA model is due in late fall.

In September, the company will launch Korners, a series
of “room/designer-friendly” high-performance component
speakers and powered subwoofers. Visual samples of the
products were expected to be display at the company’s Aug.
7 event.

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