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API To Enter PC, Game Speaker Category At CES With Xbox Brand

Speaker maker Audio Products International will enter the computer- and video-game-speaker market at CES with an Xbox-branded 5.1-channel speaker system marketed by its Spherex subsidiary under a licensing agreement with Microsoft.

The $499-suggested system is also intended for use as a home-theater-in-a-box system.

API’s three-year licensing agreement is exclusive and global. Initial products are expected to be available at retail in the first quarter of 2004.

The system features API’s Omnipolar speaker design, used in the company’s Mirage-brand component home speakers to disperse sound in a 360-degree pattern. The five speakers feature an 8-inch 300-watt subwoofer using Apogee’s digital power amplification. The subwoofer box also incorporates audio decoders, three digital inputs and one analog input.

It also features Waves Ltd.’s MaxBass technology, which psycho-acoustically extends the lower end of bass frequency response up to one-and-a-half octaves.

Alex Romanov, president and CEO of Spherex, said the technologies incorporated in the system enabled Spherex “to meet Microsoft’s requirements of providing a ‘reference standard’ video game audio system that offers outstanding performance in a compact package at a consumer-friendly price.”