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Tabletop Audio To Air During CEA's CE Week

6/18/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern
NEW YORK – Tabletop audio systems will dominate the selection of home audio products on display at next week’s CE Week.

iPod-docking speakers, Bluetooth speakers, soundenhancing speakers for flat-panel TVs, and wireless multiroom audio systems using tabletop players will go on display, some with new features not revealed before and others with newly finalized price points and ship dates.

Separately, Pioneer will unveil new apps for its AppRadio 2 aftermarket head unit, which turns iPhones and select Android smartphones into a vehicle’s main source of content. The company will also show a new line of car speakers.

Here’s what you’ll find:

Atlantic Technology:
The audio company will bring an off-tool sample of its PowerBar 235 active soundbar to the show. It’s now scheduled to ship in September at a suggested $899.

The bar incorporates H-PAS (Hybrid Pressure Acceleration System) bass technology to deliver deep bass from a soundbar without the need for a separate powered subwoofer. The 2x45-watt PowerBar 235 will deliver bass response down to 47Hz at –3dB. Other features include Dolby Digital and DTS decoding and a speech-enhancement circuit.

Braven: The startup is launching a trio of Bluetooth speakers that double as hands-free speakerphones and charge mobile devices via USB. They just began to ship and are available for now only at Braven.com.

The speakers are the $149-everyday Braven 600, the $179 625s, and the $189 650. They can be daisychained to boost output.

The new series feature two extended-range drivers, two passive woofers, 3-watt output, and battery life ranging from 14 to 20 hours. An internal duplex microphone allows for hands-free speakerphone calls with most Bluetooth cellphones. The speakerphone feature is compatible with FaceTime, iChat, Skype and other voice applications. The speakers also feature 3.5mm audio in and out jacks.

House of Marley:
The company is announcing a new ship date of July 9 for its Get Up Stand Up iPod/iPhone/ iPad docking speaker. The $349-suggested speaker features 4.5-inch woofers, 1-inch tweeters, aux in, universal power adapter, two 4.5-inch woofers, two 1-inch tweeters, IR remote, and walnut and birch wood frame,

HDMX: The company plans to unveil a Bluetooth speaker that looks like a jar of jam. The $39 HDMX Jam will be available in six “flavors.” Its rechargeable lithiumion battery lasts for up to four hours. It was to be available in June though Best Buy, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and other stores.

Navvo Group: The privately held company, led by former Best Buy executive Wade Fenn, will demonstrate the tabletop VOCO V-Spot networked media player, which incorporates speakers and amplifiers in a single chassis.

With multiple tabletop Voco devices in a home, consumers can stream YouTube videos and multiple songs simultaneously via Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n from multiple networked sources, including: network-attached storage drives, iTunes-equipped computers, iPods, and Android or Apple smartphones and tablets.

The device also connects to Last.fm, Sky.fm, Jazz Radio, Digitally Imported, and more than 50,000 free Internet radio stations and podcasts from Tunein. (More music services are planned).

Other video-streaming services are planned for 2013.

Shipments are now scheduled for early fall at a tentative suggested $399- $449.

The V-Spot also plays music from local sources connected via line input and front and back USB ports, which accept USB hard drives, iPods and other USB devices. The V-Spot also doubles as a Wi-Fi access point to expand home Wi- Fi networks.

Navvo’s networked media players use Wi-Fi-equipped Apple and Android smart devices as VOCO controllers, and unlike other wireless-A/V systems, they feature voice control, not just touch control, to search, access, and manage music.

Proficient: The company will show an updated version of its Zero wireless multi-room-audio system, which now adds stereo Bluetooth.

The basic system, consisting of a transmitter and receiver, ships in the summer at a suggested $699.

The receiver incorporates 2x35-watt digital amp. For local sources, the receiver features analog stereo, optical PCM inputs and Bluetooth. The receiver’s remote enables direct selection of any local source inputs, including a TV.

One transmitter can feed as many as eight receivers, and two transmitters can be used in close proximity to create a 16-zone system.

Range extends up to 90 feet, though an optional PZ Extender ups that to 190 feet.

Proficent also plans a wireless preamp-only receiver that can be used with a 2x40-watt digital amp.
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