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
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
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.