By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York -- Pyle Audio will debut this week a shower-friendly portable Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone.
The Gator Sound waterproof speaker and speakerphone is a lightweight, waterproof unit with a hook for hanging on a shower head, built-in microphone for hands-free calling, and a push-button control to connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device.
It features a rechargeable lithium battery, USB charging cable and enhanced bass production, the company said. It comes in blue, white or black and will retail for $49.99.
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.
Chicago – Car audio brand MB Quart is getting into the portable audio market with the launch of four battery-powered Bluetooth speakers priced from a suggested $59 to $199.
The MB Quart Universal Bluetooth (QUB) speakers are among the “very few that put music and sound quality before size or price,” said Brian Sherman, director of business development for MB Quart parent Maxxsonics.
New York – Braven and Jabra have expanded their portable Bluetooth speaker selections in a market that has grown at triple-digit percentage rates in units and dollars so far this year.
NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service found retail-level unit sales of Bluetooth-only speakers, excluding Bluetooth-equipped speakers with docking pins, rose 379 percent for the year through August on a dollar gain of 213 percent.
Irvine, Calif. – Mobile-device accessory maker Incipio Technologies purchased Braven, the privately held maker of battery-operated Bluetooth speakers.
Incipio said it will make Braven’s products available to its 40,000 retail locations worldwide, although Braven products will continue to be available through Braven’s sales channels. The brand will launch new products in the coming months, Incipio added.
Santa Clara, Calif. – GPS supplier Magellan diversified its wearable-electronics lineup with the launch of its first fitness-oriented smart watch, which joins a pair of fitness-oriented GPS watches launched in 2012.
Toronto — Startup Mass Fidelity launched its first product, a $249 Bluetooth receiver promoted as offering CD-quality sound.
The Relay, milled out of a seamless block of aerospace-grade aluminum, is also promoted as looking like a high-end audio component, thanks to its brushed finish and radiused corners.
To deliver the performance of high-end components, the Relay streams AAC and AptX over Bluetooth and features 24-bit Cirrus Logic audio processor, 24-bit Burr-Brown DAC, and dual simultaneous 24-bit/48kHz digital outputs.
San Diego — Soundcast Systems, the supplier of high-end wireless speakers, is entering a new audio market with the launch of its first Bluetooth speaker, an outdoor model priced at a suggested $449.
The company is “receiving broad response” from custom installers, CE dealers and retailers of outdoor-living products, a spokesperson said. Shipments start the first week of July but will be on allocation until August, the spokesperson added.
San Francisco – The Android OS will soon join the iOS and BlackBerry 10 operating systems in providing native software support for Bluetooth Smart Ready technology, Google announced here at its developers conference.
Cambridge, U.K. – More CE products are coming equipped with CSR’s AptX audio codec for Bluetooth.
The latest products include the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and Scandyna’s active SmallPod and MiniPod Bluetooth speakers.