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Satellite Radio: What's New At Home

1/07/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

New satellite radio products for car, home, and portable use will include high-end satellite-ready A/V receivers all the way down to satellite-ready table radios and satellite-tuner speaker docs.

Here's what dealers will find:

Acoustic Research: Two table radios under the Audiovox-owned Acoustic Research brand will be the industry's first table radios with embedded slot to accept XM Minituners. They also sport embedded iPod docks and are due in the first quarter.

The XM-50 at a tentative suggested $129 with analog-AM/FM reception will join the XM-C90, which adds CD player and will retail for a tentative suggested $239.

Both were shown at least year's International CES under the Audiovox brand, but since then, the company made software and acoustic enhancements and added the iPod dock.

Audio Design Associates: The $4,999-suggested Suite 8200 multiroom-audio receiver is an eight-source, eight-zone 16x25-watt stereo receiver intended to drive an installed multiroom-audio system. It comes with two tuner slots to accept Sirius, XM, HD-Radio and analog AM/FM tuner modules. Its predecessor, the 8100, featured only one tuner slot. It's shipping.

Audiovox: XM's third generation of docking speaker systems is represented by two Audiovox-branded tabletop speaker docks for XM plug-and-play tuners and headphone-type XM portables. These models feature stepped-up sound quality and a more elegant design to look more at home inside the home compared to their boombox-looking predecessors, said Dan Murphy, XM's retail aftermarket distribution executive VP. They fit in small spaces in the home or office.

Both are also the first XM speaker docks to incorporate aux input (3.5 mm), to reproduce sound from connected MP3 players and other audio devices, XM said. They're due early this year.

The $99-suggested XMBB1 XM Sound System features AC/DC operation and a foldable handle so it can be used inside and out. An antenna inside the chassis can be pulled out for placement where reception is best. Its two-way speakers consist of two 3.25-inch woofers and two 0.5-inch tweeters powered by 10-watts of amplification to deliver 80Hz-20kHz frequency response. It plays for more than 18 hours on eight C-cell batteries.

The $149-suggested XMAS100 Compact Sound System is AC-only and sports four 2-inch speakers, two operating at full range and two operating as vented low-frequency drivers. It's equipped with four-channel digital audio processor, 16-watt amplifier, headphone jack and remote.

The embedded pin connector in both models is compatible with the Xpress family of four plug-and-play tuners; the RoadyXT plug-and-play tuner; and the Dephi SkyFi3, Pioneer Inno and Samsung Helix headphone portables. Different docking cups are supplied for a tight fit.

Other existing XM speaker docks will carry over into 2008 but be transitioned out.

Samsung: The company will keep its selection of XM-ready home theater in a box systems (HTiBs) at three in 2008 with the launch of three HTiBs with five-disc DVD changers. They're also the company's first HTiBs with embedded iPod docks. They are the $379-MAP HT-Z510, $429-MAP HT-Z512 and $479-MAP HT-Z515, all due in March with different speaker configurations.

Sunfire: The component-audio brand's first satellite-ready product is a Sirius-ready A/V receiver, the $3,999-suggested TGR-401, due in March. (See page 140.)

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