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
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
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-
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-
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.