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Kicker Prepares Bluetooth Speaker For CES

Stillwater, Okla. – Kicker will go to International CES with its second Bluetooth-only desktop speaker. 11/19/2013 11:21:00 AM Eastern

Stillwater, Okla. – Kicker will go to International CES with its second Bluetooth-only desktop speaker.

The AC-only Amphitheater K3 will begin shipping via www.kicker.com and authorized dealers during first quarter of 2014 at a suggested $199. It will join the larger AC-only Amphitheater Bluetooth BT2, a $299 Bluetooth-only speaker.

The Bluetooth-speaker launches are part of a plan to expand the company’s selection of Bluetooth-only speakers and de-emphasize speakers with dedicated iOS docks.

The Amphitheater K3 will be the company’s first Bluetooth speaker to stream the aptX codec over Bluetooth. It will also be the company’s first speaker equipped with nearfield communications (NFC).

The company said it is focusing on AC-only tabletop speakers to deliver the power and bass that Kicker is known for in car audio.

The new model is about half the size of the BT2 but, like its big brother, is a two-way model whose shape evokes an amphitheater.

The bigger model measures 8.87 by 19 by 9.14 inches and features 50-watt amp, 5-inch woofers, 0.75-inch soft-dome tweeters, and square 6x6-inch square passive radiator. The radiator delivers frequency response of 40Hz to 20kHz, +/-3dB. It also features digital signal processing (DSP) to optimize sound performance. Its USB port charges external devices, and an auxiliary-input jack connects non-Bluetooth devices.

The smaller K3 is about half the size of the BT2 at 4.5 by 11.8 by 6.2 inches and packs 2x10-watt amp, 3-inch drivers, vented enclosure in lieu of a passive radiator, USB charging port, 3.5mm aux in, DSP, and cabinet-top controls for source selection, volume up/down and play/pause.

Kicker has been selling headphones and desktop speakers almost exclusively on its web site, but it also sells headphones through Fry’s, Brandsmart, and Brookstone and sells its speakers through the online stores of Best Buy and Walmart.

Three other desktop products from Kicker include the $249 Amphitheater BT with Bluetooth and 30-pin Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad dock. The other two models lack Bluetooth. They are the $249 Amphitheater, which features 30-pin Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad dock, and the $149 iK501, a Made for iPod/iPhone docking speaker with 30-pin connector.