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Tivoli Adds Stereo Bluetooth, First Headphone

5/23/2012 04:49:41 PM Eastern

New York - Tivoli Audio is launching its first pair
of headphones and its first two tabletop radios with stereo Bluetooth.

Tivoli's first headphone pair is a $159-suggested active noise-canceling model with solid-wood ear cups in three finishes.

The company also unveiled
its first Bluetooth receiver, which adds stereo Bluetooth streaming to its
existing tabletop radios and to any other audio device with an aux input.

To bring a curated
selection of 100 Internet radio stations to Bluetooth-equipped products, the
company developed its first Internet radio app for Apple and Android mobile
devices.

Tivoli has no
plans for Apple's Wi-Fi-based AirPlay because Bluetooth is simpler to use, and Bluetooth
can be used in portable products away from a home Wi-Fi network, said Tivoli
CEO Tom DeVesto here at a press conference.

Tivoli plans more
Bluetooth-equipped radios in the future. In fact, DeVesto said he wouldn't be
surprised if "all products" from Tivoli have Bluetooth in the "very near future."

As part of its
Bluetooth debut, Tivoli is launching Bluetooth-equipped versions of its
existing PAL portable AM/FM radio with rechargeable battery and its existing Model
One AM/FM tabletop radio. The radios will continue to be available without Bluetooth
as well.

 Tivoli Audio CEO Tom DeVesto announcing his company's first headphone pair and first Bluetooth products

The new Bluetooth-equipped
radios are the portable AC/DC PAL BT Radio at a suggested $299 and the $259
Model One BT table radio. Both ship in July. The versions without Bluetooth are
priced at $219 and $149, respectively.

The Model One BT is
available in a variety of wood finishes, and the PAL BT Radio is available in
multiple colors. The Model One BT, like its non-Bluetooth cousin, is a 4.5-inch
by 8.37-inch by 5.25-inch mono radio that accepts an optional matching outboard
speaker to deliver stereo.

The Bluetooth
receiver is the $149 BluCon, a 1.1- 2.91- 2.8-inch receiver that is also
available in a variety of finishes, including wood finishes. It ships in late
summer at a suggested $149.

All of the
Bluetooth products feature Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, stereo A2DP profile, PIN-less
pairing and minimum 30-foot Bluetooth range. Range can extend up to 75 feet.
All models store the IDs of eight different Bluetooth devices in memory, though
only one Bluetooth device at a time streams to the Tivoli products.

The company's
first stereo headphone pair lacks Bluetooth but features active noise
cancellation. The $159-suggested over-ear Radio Silenz comes with solid-wood
ear cups to tap the "acoustic advantages of natural woods" to deliver more
natural sound, said DeVesto. The headphones ship in June.

Each padded ear cup
features a 40mm driver and ability to rotate 90 degrees and up for storage in
an included travel pouch. Active noise cancellation lasts for up to 50 hours on
one AAA battery. A defeat button temporarily switches off noise cancellation,
fades the audio, and amplifies voices to hear conversations or announcements
over a plane's PA system.

The headphones
come with gold-plated 3.5mm right-angle stereo plug, airplane adapter, and
wired control unit with volume control and pocket clip.

Tivoli does not
plan to offer a line of headphones, choosing instead to focus on one model that
"looks different and sounds good," DeVesto said.

As for the
company's first Internet radio app, the Apple version is already available for
free, and the free Android app is due in a couple weeks. Devices loaded with
the app can stream the audio content of 100 Tivoli-selected stations via
Bluetooth to any playback device equipped with stereo Bluetooth.

The app's
interface adopts the design of the company's Model One table radio and provides
users with a curated selection of 10 genres, each with 10 radio stations from
around the world chosen based mainly on the Internet radio stations most often
played by consumers on the company's tabletop Internet radios. The stations
were also selected based on content, reliability of signal and streaming
quality, said DeVesto. The stations accessed by the app could change over time,
he noted.

In other comments
made during a question-and-answer session, the CEO noted that Tivoli generates
65 percent of its revenues outside the U.S. because "the dealer networks that
used to exist" in the U.S. to explain quality audio products are "pretty much
gone." The Tivoli company once generated a "huge" amount of business through
Tweeter, which is out of business, he said. Tivoli also sold through Circuit
City, which is also out of business. The audio company tried sales in Best Buy
stores through kiosks that displayed Tivoli products, but salespeople weren't
around to talk them up, he said.

In the U.S.,
Tivoli sells through some A/V specialty stores as well as through The Conran
Shop, which sells furniture, lighting and accessories. Tivoli also sells
through Room and Board, which also specializes in furniture and accessories.
Authorized online retailers include Amazon and Crutchfield.

Tivoli also sells
its products on its web site and in one company-owned store opened outside
Boston about 1.5 years ago. Tivoli delayed the opening of additional
company-owned stores because of the economy but is considering a store in New
York City, London, or both, DeVesto said.

In Europe,
although specialty A/V stores are also going by the wayside, Tivoli has been
able to open up distribution there to the many independent design outlets and
high-end furniture stores, DeVesto said. "In the past year, we fortified our
presence in Europe" and opened up a headquarters and warehouse in The
Netherlands to serve the continent, he said.