By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York — Sonos promised to inject more competition into the wireless multi-room-audio business during the holiday season with the launch today of its lowest price and most compact wireless speaker to date.
The $199-everyday Play:1 is available today through Target, Best Buy, J&R Music World, Amazon and 3,500 independent retailers, small chains, and systems integrators, said CEO and co-founder John MacFarlane.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Leon Speakers has acquired Media Decor, manufacturer of high-end concealment products, including art lifts and moving art.
The purchase expands Leon's portfolio of high-end, custom-tailored loudspeakers with TV enhancement solutions, providing new commercial and residential business opportunities.
For the complete story please see Residential Systems.
Framingham, Mass. — Bose is stepping up its profile in wireless multi-room audio, promising to bring broader awareness to the up-and-coming product category and additional competition for existing suppliers.
Bose launched three single-chassis SoundTouch Wi-Fi-equipped active speakers, which stream music stored on Macs and PCs, Cloud-based music from Pandora and vTuner, and music stored on Apple smartphones and tablets. Handheld Android devices might also become SoundTouch sources with a software update under consideration.
Baltimore – Polk Audio launched what it called its most aggressive promotion campaign ever, teaming up with music group Walk Off The Earth, promoting an online talent-search contest, and deploying a product-laden tour bus around the U.S.
The “Listen To The Music” campaign will focus on promoting the company’s Heritage Collection of personal audio products, mainly to the 25- to 34-year-old age group.
Streur, Denmark – Bang & Olufsen’s global first-quarter sales slipped 5.7 percent to 566 million DKK ($103.4 million), and first-quarter losses grew 12.8 percent to 53 million DKK ($9.68 million) compared to the year-ago quarter.
The first quarter of the 2013/2014 fiscal year ended in August.
Ridgefield Park, N.J. — Samsung will offer its first dedicated wireless multi-room, multisource audio system on Oct. 13 when its first Shape wireless-audio products appear in stores.
Denver – Integra will distribute the audiophile-oriented Esoteric audio brand starting Oct. 1 in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, Integra announced.
Both brands are owned in part by Gibson, which has ownership stakes in Integra owner Onkyo Corp. of Japan and Esoteric owner TEAC of Japan.
In 2012, Gibson acquired a 51 percent stake in Onkyo USA and became the second-largest shareholder of Onkyo Corp. in Japan. Earlier this year, Gibson bought a 54.4 percent stake in Japan’s Teac.
Denver – Startup DaVinci Group has signed up 350 dealers on its way to expanding to 700 by the end of November, co-founder Daniel Kippycash said during the CEDIA Expo.
The group was formed last November and debuted at CES with a focus on the systems-integration channel. Most dealers are single-location operations, with some operating two to three locations.
The company, which is owned in part by employees, reps, and dealers, will cap its dealer base at 700 to maintain limited distribution and high margins, Kippycash said.
Denver – Sony Electronics is getting more aggressive in the custom channel with the launch of a new program that it expects to accelerate its channel growth, which is already running 25 percent ahead of last year for the year to date.
The program coincides with the hiring of former Niles president Frank Sterns as Sony’s first custom sales VP.
Denver — Bang & Olufsen will offer the industry’s first WiSA-certified wireless audio products in October, with additional B&O products to come by the end of the year, the company announced.
The B&O products will be the first of a wave of WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Sound)-certified products to hit the market in 2014, with other brands introducing anywhere from five to 10 WiSA-certified products at the 2014 International CES, said Jim Venable, president of the WiSA Association.