NEW YORK – Brand names big and small are bringing new portable Bluetooth speakers into a market that’s growing at doubledigit percentage rates.
The latest new products, ranging in price from $29 to $399, enter a market whose factory-level dollar volume grew 46 percent to $385 million in 2013, CEA estimates show. The association forecasts 12 percent growth this year to $430 million. The statistics include portable AC/DC models and AC-only models.
The gains prompted CE supplier Sceptre to launch its first Bluetooth speaker.
Here’s what the companies launched:
Harman Kardon: The brand’s new $399-suggested Onyx Studio Bluetooth speaker is available in the U.S. exclusively through Sprint stores, Sprint’s web site, and telesales. “There is no time limit to this exclusivity,” a Harman spokesman said, The disc-like speaker measures 11 inches by 10.2 inches by 6.3 inches and packs 60-watt RMS amplification, two 3-inch woofers, two 0.75-inch tweeters, and two passive radiators to deliver frequency response of 60Hz to 20kHz. The speaker features biamplification and DSP to enhance sound. The built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides five-hour play time.
Pyle Audio: The company shipped a shower-friendly portable Bluetooth speaker/ speakerphone called Gator Sound. The $49 waterproof speaker comes with integrate hook for hanging on a shower head, and a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. It features a rechargeable battery and USB charging cable. It comes in blue, white or black and will retail for $49.99
Sceptre: The $99-suggested Sound- Pal is a football-shaped portable Bluetooth speaker available in six colors. It also features a MicroSD card reader to play back music from a memory card.
The speaker, which plays for up to six hours on a charge, features two active drivers, one passive bass radiator, NFC and 3.5mm aux in. It charges via USB and features integrated noise-canceling microphone for use as a speakerphone. Onboard controls give users the ability to answer or ignore phone calls, pause and resume music, and switch tracks.
The price includes a protective cover to prevent bumps and scrapes, and a dual 3.5mm-to- RCA cable to connect two speakers to a TV’s audio output to deliver enhanced stereo.
Scosche: One of the company’s most compact Bluetooth speakers to date is the $29 BoomCan BT, which stands slightly taller than 2 inches. It features 35mm up-firing speaker to deliver 360-degrees sound. Its lithium-ion battery delivers two hours of wireless playback. The speaker is available in red, blue, white and black at Scosche.com.