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Consumer-Direct OSD Audio Adding Retail Distribution

BREA, CALIF. – A company that has been selling outdoor and indoor architectural speakers and related audio products direct to consumers is making a big play for retail distribution.

OSD Audio is setting up a rep and distributor network that it hopes to have in place in 30 of the top 50 markets in time for the CEDIA Expo, said newly hired sales VP Douglas Turner, formerly with Iogear and Toshiba.

The company, which offers more than 200 SKUs when speaker colors are included, is targeting a wide array of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, including big-box stores, custom integrators, home-improvement stores, commercial installers and mom-and-pop electronics stores, he said.

OSD sold direct to consumers exclusively until February 2012, when it began selling OSD-brand products through Amazon. Based on the success of its Amazon venture, OSD will further expand retail distribution, Turner told TWICE.

As part of its expanded distribution strategy, the company will go to the CEDIA Expo with multiple new products, including its first Bluetooth-equipped outdoor rock speaker and first Bluetooth-equipped outdoor patio speaker, which mounts on a home’s exterior. Both speakers are active models that also connect via speaker cables to a home’s multi-room-audio system.

The company will also unveil its first under-TV speaker, also Bluetooth-equipped.

The outdoor Bluetooth speakers are promoted as offering 120- to 150-foot Bluetooth range with no obstructions and 50- to 75-foot range with obstructions.

Turner described the OSD speaker lineup as offering a better value than other brands because of operational efficiencies learned during 10 years of e-commerce selling.

The brand will continue to sell direct to consumers through and through, which was started in 2003 by OSD owner David Chai. Chai also owns other businesses, including an aquarium-manufacturing company.

No OSD-branded products are targeted exclusively to custom integrators, but many are developed specifically for integrators and are “built as well as anything in the industry,” Turner said. Such products include 70-volt products for commercial installs and multizone amps.

To entice a wide variety of retailers to sell the products, OSD Audio establishes minimum advertised prices whose margins are comparable to those of other brands, Turner said. In addition, “if Amazon were to go below MAP, that price becomes the MAP for the channel, and the dealer’s cost goes down,” Turner said.

OSD’s full lineup includes four in-wall/inceiling speaker series priced from a suggested $69 to $599 per pair, in-room subwoofers, an in-wall subwoofer, and an outdoor patio series consisting of 28 cabinet speakers in black or white at prices from a suggested $79 to $369 per pair. The brand also offers more than 30 garden-series rock speakers in three colors from a suggested $89 for a dual-tweeter/dual-voice-coil model to a stereo pair at $349 per pair.

The OSD selection also includes passive and active speaker selectors supporting up to 12 zones and the brand’s first amps, launched six months ago. The amps include two- to 12-zone models, two-channel amps and a subwoofer amp.

To this selection, OSD will add its TV speaker and outdoor Bluetooth speakers.

The Bluetooth-equipped outdoor patio speaker is the two-way BTP-650 at a suggested $289/pair. It will be available in black or white. The two-way BTR-800 rock speaker at $349/pair, available in three colors, features an 8-inch woofer. The $599-suggested TV speaker, called the Sound Platform SP2-1, measures 4 inches by 28 inches by 16.5 inches and houses dual down-firing 5.25-inch subs, four 2.5-inch midrange drivers, and two 1-inch silktweeters powered by a 4×20-watt RMS amp configured for biamplification.