San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
NEW YORK — With their eyes on the sales trends, suppliers such as Digital Treasures, Eagle Tech, iHome, Kinivo, Satechi, Soundfreaq, and SuperTooth have launched new Bluetooth speakers in recent weeks.
NEW YORK – No one is crying the blues over Bluetooth- speaker sales.
Triple-digit percentage growth in unit and dollar volume is driving suppliers to launch their first dedicated Bluetooth speakers or expand their selection to offset declining sales of docking tabletop speakers, which use pin connectors to dock with Apple’s mobile iOS devices. Some companies are also adding Bluetooth to docking speakers to extend compatibility to Android-based smartphones.
NEW YORK – New-school audio components such as USB DACs, active USB speakers, and audiophile- grade network-attached storage (NAS) drives are taking their rightful place alongside such old-school components as tube integrated amps and SACD/CD transports to vie for the audiophile dollar.
IRVINE, CALIF. — Korean supplier iRiver plans to expand its selection of audiophile-oriented MP3 players under the Astell&Kern brand to three models later this year from the current one, the company told TWICE.
BUENA PARK, CALIF. — Yamaha brought Mobile High-definition Link (MHL) connections to its home-theater receiver/ speaker packages for the first time and extended discrete amplification to all models.
Most models in the lineup of receiver-based HTiBs, which ship this month, also get a Bluetooth adapter addon for the first time. The $69-suggested adapter connects to the HDMI ports of the lineup’s networked HTiBs to get power and transfer audio in digital form to the AVR’s DACs.
MAHWAH, N.J. — Marantz brought the opening price of networked A/V receivers (AVRs) down to a suggested $499 from $649 with the launch of two slim-line AVRs.
The two new models are the 5x70-watt NR1504 at a suggested $499 and the 7x70-watt NR1604 at a suggested $649. Both are shipping.
CHULA VISTA, CALIF. — The sale of Soundcast Systems to industry veteran Jeremy Burkhardt has fallen through, but Soundcast’s current owners plan to inject “substantial new capital” into the company.
President Mike Weaver announced that he plans to add sales and marketing staff and improve customer service.
TOKYO – Gibson Guitars, which last year bought a 51 percent stake in Onkyo USA, is buying a 54.4 percent stake in Japan’s Teac to share technology and marketing ideas and reduce expenses, the companies said.
Gibson is buying 157.4 million shares at 31 yen per share, or $51.8 million based on a conversion rate of 94.1 yen to the U.S. dollar.
The transaction represents Gibson’s largest investment to date in another company.
UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. — Onkyo is bringing embedded Wi-Fi and stereo Bluetooth to its lineup of A/V receivers (AVRs) for the first time with the launch of three models.
Two of the three feature the embedded wireless technologies.
All three models, including the $499-suggested 5.2-channel TX-NR525, are networked AVRs that stream eight Internet music services and use DLNA1.5 technology to stream music stored on networked devices, including iOS and Android mobile devices equipped with Onkyo’s remote app.
SECAUCUS, N.J. — Panasonic announced March availability and pricing of a quartet of active soundbars and three CD-equipped compact audio systems launched at International CES.
The expanded soundbar lineup consists of four models priced from a suggested $179 to $399, up from 2012’s three models priced at launch from $229 to $399. The new soundbar lineup is sized for 42- to 65-inch TVs, whereas the 2012 line was sized for smaller screens.