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Russound Persevering In Down Market

8/02/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEWMARKET, N.H. — Russound plans
a variety of new multi-room-audio products
in the coming months despite what
it said was a 27 percent drop in industrywide
factory-level multi-room-audio
sales, including speakers, during the
two years ending in 2009.

Many of the products will debut at
September’s CEDIA Expo. Here’s what
the brand revealed so far:

Collage updates: A firmware update due
in a couple months will add Radiotime’s
Internet-radio station- aggregation service
to the retrofit-focused Collage Media
and Intercom system, which already
streams the Rhapsody music service.

The services are accessed from Collage’s
in-wall amplified keypads, which
incorporate RDS FM tuner and ability to
stream music from PCs and network-attached
storage devices. Music is delivered
to the in-wall keypads over a home’s
powerlines.

Next year, the company plans a Collage
iPod/iPhone dock to turn an iPod
into a home-wide music source. Also
next year, Collage will get a Source
Bridge to connect security cameras as
well as legacy sources.


C-series multizone amp/controller:

The six-source, six-zone MCA-C3 features
AM/FM RDS tuner, 12x20-watt amp, zone
grouping, and new protocol to streamline
integration with third-party home-control
systems. It’s due at the end of September
or early October to join the higher powered
eight-source eight-zone MCA-C5.
The MCA-C3 and six bundled in-wall keypads
will retail for $3,899.

Touchpoint upgrade: The TCH1 Touchpoint
links an R-Net multi-room-audio
system to a home Wi-Fi network, serving
up a web page that enables an iPhone or
iPod Touch to control an R-Net system.
Now, with a firmware upgrade, consumers
can control an R-Net system from
an iPad. The upgrade also adds such
features as a back button, ability to display
SMS3 music-server album art on an
iPhone or iPad, and more ways to search
for music, including genre.

X-series amps: Three models in Russound’s
first series of two-channel amps
are targeted to single-zone installs such as
home barrooms. The amps feature frontmounted
volume and balance controls.
Pricing and ship dates were unavailable.


Rock speakers:
Four new models
available in three colors will be more efficient than their predecessors and feature
8-inch woofers, up from their predecessors’
6-inch woofers. One will be the
brand’s first single-speaker-stereo rock
speaker. Shipments are planned for the
fourth quarter at prices expected to be
the same as the current models.


Touchscreen:
The 3.5-inch TS2-C3, due
around November, will replace a 3.7-inch
model and add active TFT display, a faster
processor to improve graphics, and
ability to support all features in C-series
multizone controller/amplifiers. It’s expected
to retail for 30 percent less than
its $1,299-suggested predecessor.


Acclaim outdoor speakers:
The first
outdoor speakers in the value-oriented
Acclaim 5 speaker series ship in July.
They’re more efficient than previous
Russound models and double as bookshelf
speakers. Three models retail for
$199 to $349/pair. A single-speaker-stereo
unit is $249.